Sudoku Ball-Detective Review

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Sudoku Ball-Detective Publisher: Playlogic
Developer: Whitebear Studios


Platforms: Wii, PC and DS
Reviewed on DS

Jonathan Coleridge has been murdered! Fortunately, the retired Chief Superintendent of Scotland Yard, Edward Bannister, was present at the party where the foul deed was committed. Only by solving a variety of Sudoku Ball puzzles can the former detective determine what happened at this sleepy English manor.

Rating:
Kyle Ackerman


Sudoku Ball-DetectiveSudoku Ball-Detective is a great offering for the DS, providing a vast array of Sudoku puzzles in settings ranging from bare-bones to an extensive murder-mystery framework, all for merely $20. While Sudoku Ball-Detective may not present the absolute best Sudoku in its purest form, the variety of puzzles and intriguing presentation makes it a worthwhile purchase for Sudoku fans.

For those who aren't familiar with Sudoku and its variations, the title (and its hyphenation) may seem confusing. Sudoku has players solving puzzles in which 81 squares contain values from one through nine, with rules governing where those numbers can appear. Sudoku Balls traditionally have such nine-by-nine grids arranged all over the surface of a sphere, such that the edge of one puzzle is also the edge of another, forming an even larger, interconnected puzzle. The Detective part of the puzzle comes from the fact that the game's main story explores a murder mystery. (No, the main character is not a Ball Detective who likes to do Sudoku puzzles.)

Sudoku Ball-DetectiveThe story mode is the main appeal of Sudoku Ball-Detective. The game presents a somewhat clichéd (but entertaining and well illustrated) British parlor-room murder mystery. The story is then slowly unraveled by solving a series of Sudoku Ball puzzles. Each typically has puzzle-related twists. For example, solving specific areas might unveil clues or cause you to gain ground on a fleeing suspect. Locks are picked by identifying the values of particular puzzle cells. Some puzzles are even timed, but in an accessible way – when time runs out, certain numbers flash and disappear, adding a memory element to the game rather than simply eliminating the player.

Sudoku Ball-DetectiveAs ridiculous as the story mode might sound, it adds a welcome element to the typically bloodless Sudoku that made Sudoku Ball-Detective more fun to pick up than most Sudoku games on the DS. There are some minor irritations in the story mode. For example, one can't save in the middle of puzzles, some of which can be quite long. Also, while one can make numerical notations in unsolved cells of regular Sudoku puzzles, one can't do that for puzzles in the story mode.

Sudoku Ball-DetectiveSudoku Ball-Detective has other modes, besides the murder mystery, allowing players to try Sudoku and Sudoku Ball puzzles at three levels of difficulty. So, even if you just want to get your puzzle on without being pestered by plot, Sudoku Ball-Detective offers basic puzzle play. While these modes aren't quite as polished as some competing games, they are more than good enough to make Sudoku Ball-Detective an easy purchase. For example, the Sudoku puzzles in this game only allow players to make four number notations in a cell, rather than nine. Of course, if you need nine notations in a cell, you probably aren't interested in solving Sudoku puzzles. If you are, it's worth the $20 you risk to try out Sudoku Ball-Detective.

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This page contains a single entry by Editor published on August 31, 2009 9:36 AM.

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