App Review: Sudoku 2

For iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

Sudoku 2 by Finger Arts
Sudoku 2 by Finger Arts. Phone image: Unsplash

Category: Sudoku Puzzle Apps

Developer: Finger Arts Inc.
Size: 38.6 MB
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad. iOS 4.3 or later.

Download from iTunes (Free)

Game Features

Good visual help screens which explain how the game works and how scores are determined.
Possibility of customizing the game to your preferences.
Built-in timer to keep track of time spent solving the puzzle.
OpenFeint enabled so you can share your times and scores.

Game Information

For the purposes of this review, I tested the app on a second generation iPad and an iPod Touch, both running iOS 5.

Sudoku 2 by Finger Arts is one of the best-rated games among the many Sudoku apps available today, and with reason. It's easy to play and chock-full of features which can be customized to change the look and feel of the game. From the options screen, you can change the look of the number tiles to whatever suits your preference: tiles, classic, glass, metal, chalkboard, or wood.

Tap on any number in the grid and all instances of that number in the puzzle will be highlighted in bright green for givens and correct entries, and in a lighter green for any "notes" that were taken. This makes it easier to figure out where you may be missing instances of the number in the puzzle. However, if you find that this makes the puzzle too easy, you can disable this feature by turning off "Use Auto-Select" and "Highlight Notes" in the "Options" menu."

To play, first, you must tap the square in which you wish to place the number. The square, as well as the row and column in which i,t appears, will be highlighted in red. Then select and tap the number you'd like to place in the square from the available numbers listed. If the number is correct, you'll see a short animation and it and all other instances of that number will be highlighted in green.

However, if you've made a mistake, the number tile will return to the area below and an "X" will appear above, signifying an error. Once you've entered all instances of a number, the number will disappear from the row of available numbers.

The game includes a "note taking" function for situations where more than one number can work in a particular square. If you wish to make "notes" of possible entries, simply tap the pencil icon below the grid. The number tiles will change from tiles to simple numbers, signifying that the game is in note-taking mode. You can then make any number of entries in a single cell. Beware, no error checking is done so it won't stop you from entering impossible numbers. If you then enter the correct number in one of the squares where you have entered notes, the number will disappear from other notes which become impossible with that entry (note that "auto-remove" notes must be turned on in the options for this to work). The game remains in note-taking mode until the icon is tapped again.

The "i" icon in the top middle of the screen displays a help screen. A timer below the puzzle shows how much time you've spent solving it. If you can't stand the pressure, you can remove it by turning on "Hide Timer" in the options menu.

The total time will still be displayed at the end of the game.

The app keeps track of the score, time spent on the puzzle and the number of mistakes made. In order to win, you need to solve the puzzle with three errors or less. The game is OpenFeint enabled, so you can share your scores online.

The Bottom Line

Sudoku 2 is easy to play and looks good on a hand-held device. It comes with a large number of puzzles in five difficulty levels. Though it doesn't solve the puzzle for you, it does provide you with tools which will allow you to figure it out on your own.

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