Review: Platinum Sudoku

The popular pastime of Sudoku is now on the iPhone. Sudoku -as defined by wikipedia- is: “a logic-based number-placement puzzle. The objective is to fill a 9×9 grid so that each column, each row, and each of the nine 3×3 boxes (also called blocks or regions) contains the digits from 1 to 9 only one time each. The puzzle setter provides a partially completed grid.” Even if reading that immediately makes your brain hurt, you should actually give Platinum Sudoku a try. This highly portable iPhone version combines the enjoyment of exercising the brain and the convenience of not carrying a fat book of number puzzles and a pencil. It does both rather well.

The game offers two main modes: Sudoku and Kakuro. The first is a traditional Sudoku puzzle with 5 levels of difficulty and 108 puzzles in each (for a total of 540 puzzles). Kakuro is a cross between Sudoku and a crossword puzzle. You can input numbers by tapping or writing. The text recognition works surprisingly well, but you would probably find yourself switching to tapping to avoid excess strokes and the dreaded “iPhone finger” sprain. The music is relaxing enough, but in most cases unnecessary and would probably annoy the person on the bus/train next to you.

I had not previously played Sudoku, as numbers make me angry…but I got into the less-overwhelming Kakuro since I like crossword puzzles. Games like this are proven to keep the brain sharp, and given its accessibility to the novice as well as the seasoned pro it will keep a person entertained through hours of pointless board meetings. You do have to justify the iPhone as a business expense right? Don’t worry, at $3.99 it won’t impact your debt/income ratio too much. Maybe they’ll even update it someday with more puzzles.

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