Apparently Frontline Studios made such an impression with Sudoku Mania -- easily the worst of the batch of Suduko games for the Nintendo DS -- that Crave Games decided to hire the development team for another Sudoku game for the Nintendo DS. Sudokuro is another quickie game capitalizing on the newspaper puzzle craze, but this time it's got the added Kakuro math-like Sudoku game. Anyway you cut it, Sudokuro is a waste of cartridge silicon and plastic -- not only does it not do anything new in a library already filled with Sudoku games, it does it even worse than Sudoku Mania with the same awful interface...but now with horrible handwriting recognition. Pass.
By now you should already know what Sudoku is, so I'm not going to waste time telling you about how you arrange numbers in a grid, and that the numbers can't repeat in the same row, column or quadrant. What you might not already know is Kakuro, a form of Sudoku that involves using the clues on the column and row to assign the non-repeating number in a way that it all adds up to the given clue. The required math does make Kakuro a little more complicated and less fun, but for those who've been there done that with Sudoku it's something different.
But with the gazillions of Sudoku games already on the Nintendo DS, how does Crave make its Sudoku game stand out above the rest? By making it just as crappy -- no, scratch that, even crappier -- than what's considered the crappiest Sudoku game on the system. The UFO Interactive-published Sudoku Mania and its awful user interface were used as Sudokuro's foundation. Maybe the programmer took our complaints of the piss-poor touch-screen navigation to heart, as the only real enhancement is optional handwriting recognition. Clearly this option was programmed by a first-year computer engineer -- the game only has to recognize nine different characters, and yet it still has a hard time seeing the number 2 if you've drawn it with a little loop...or the number 5 without a hard line at the top. Luckily this is merely an option, so anyone stuck with a copy of this game can choose the more basic "touch the number" option instead.
Everything bad about Sudoku Mania applies to Sudokuro. Along with the awful use of the Nintendo DS touch screen, you still can't put in tiny numerical notes in the squares, an integral part of any Sudoku strategy. There's barely any training involved, instead shoving any sort of instructions into a hard-to-follow "Hint" option. And while we can understand why some Nintendo DS games have load times before booting to the gameplay, it's almost unacceptable to see such a simple game that's nothing but grids and numbers plagued with unnecessary load screens.
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