Sudoku Gridmaster

Nintendo’s next game in the Touch Generations series, Sudoku Gridmaster, brings the Sudoku craze to the DS. For those of you who are Sudoku virgins, Sudoku is a number puzzle game. It is very simple, and yet very complex at the same time. The board is set in a square that is nine spaces high and nine spaces wide. The goal is to use the numbers one through nine and place them so that the same number is not used more than once in every vertical row, every horizontal row, and every three by three square.

Gridmaster simulates the Sudoku experience well. You simply touch the square that you want to add a number to, and then touch the number you want to be in the square. It’s so easy a caveman can do it! If you aren’t sure what number is supposed to go in a space, you can set up to four small numbers in each space until you are sure what number belongs in that square.

There are hundreds of puzzles in the game, and they range in several levels of difficulty. There is even a mega beginner mode that lights up the squares if you choose the wrong number. One nice thing about playing on the DS as opposed to using a pencil and paper is that once you fill in every space in a puzzle, it lets you know right away if you have solved it or not. With the Sudoku books, you kind of stare at the completed puzzle and hope you aren’t missing anything and then turn to the back of the book and look at the tiny answer key and hope don’t miss anything there either. Taking the “I hope I won…” feeling and changing it to “You won! Congratulations!” right away is really cool.

So many puzzles!

There are only a couple things I don’t like about this game. The first is the complete uselessness of the top screen. The top screen shows the puzzle as you are working on it. The bottom screen shows the puzzle as you are working on it. It brings nothing to the game at all. Couldn’t they at least put some Full House or Step By Step re-runs up there while you are doing the puzzles on the touch screen? The second thing isn’t really a problem; it’s more like a fact. It’s the fact that Sudoku Gridmaster will most likely not entice anyone who does not already like Sudoku to turn to the Sudoku side of the force. It is what it is, digital Sudoku.

Sue Dough Coo?
In summary, this is a good Sudoku game. There are tons of puzzles with varying degrees of difficulty. Playing on the DS is nice because you don’t have to worry about keeping your pencil sharp, holding you page down, drowning in eraser shards, or wondering if you have actually solved the puzzle or not. So if you don’t like Sudoku, you won’t like Sudoku Gridmaster. If you do, however, you will love Sudoku Gridmaster.

— Nate Gleaves