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Nikoli's Pencil Puzzle


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Maybe the good part is under lock and key...

posted by steve470 (OIL CITY, PA) Nov 1, 2011

Top Reviewer

Member since Aug 2011

1 out of 1 gamers (100%) found this review helpful

As a puzzle fan, I love the idea behind this title. Unfortunately, the game itself left me disappointed at almost every turn.

The puzzle types included are solid enough, but I see three glaring problems:

1. The Sudoku interface is lousy. This is inexcusable, especially given that Brain Age got it right more than five years ago. There is no zoom; the touch screen always shows the entire puzzle, and the 3D screen either shows an irrelevant 3D image or a copy of the puzzle. To make notes in a box, you have to touch an icon or press X. You're restricted to four notes per box, and you must manually move the cursor to a different quarter of the box to enter a second note. Double-tapping a filled box highlights all instances of that number, which is sort of useful, but not nearly enough to outweigh the shortcomings. Multiple puzzles in, I still had to think about the interface as much as I was thinking about the puzzle itself. That's just bad.

2. The game includes 300 Sudoku puzzles, 110 Shikaku (called "Boxes" in the description), 70 Hashi ("Bridges"), and 120 Akari ("Museum"). That's not a lot if Sudoku isn't your favorite. (And given the interface, it isn't likely to be.) Also, customizable generators for each of these puzzle types are freely available online, making these slim pickings seem a bit ridiculous.

3. According to the game description, there's a fifth type of puzzle, specifically created for the 3DS. I was looking forward to that. Unfortunately, I still am: I'm already tired of the first four puzzle types, and I still haven't unlocked the fifth. The description calls this "a challenge"; I call it "tedium".

Puzzle fans will find a bit of enjoyment here. This would have been an extremely good DSiWare/eShop download, but there's not nearly enough to warrant an almost-full-price cartridge.

Verdict: Rent it, and hope someone before you has already unlocked the elusive fifth puzzle.

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