Stats aren’t enough to make Sudoku Challenge! worthwhile

Aug 31, 2009
Games

With a multitude of Sudoku apps to choose from, developers have to offer something extra to stand out. For Devare!’s Sudoku Challenge!, that extra is Web-enabled stats, which shows the average solve time, your rank among other solvers and your solve time. Sudoku Challenge! also claims that its thousands of puzzles will never repeat. That’s […]

With a multitude of Sudoku apps to choose from, developers have to offer something extra to stand out.

For Devare!’s Sudoku Challenge!, that extra is Web-enabled stats, which shows the average solve time, your rank among other solvers and your solve time. Sudoku Challenge! also claims that its thousands of puzzles will never repeat. That’s where the pluses end.

There are four levels of difficulty, but I’m really not sure that they’re being sorted correctly. The first easy puzzle I completed had an average solve time of 61 minutes, 45 seconds; my time of 14:17 ranked me 52 of 559 solvers.

On expert, I solved my first puzzle in 14 minutes, 19 seconds. Considering the so-called difficulty, this should have been significantly higher than my easy time. I also discovered that many of these puzzles weren’t solvable by logic only by guessing — a cardinal sin of Sudoku.

Because you’re playing for ranking, I suppose it makes sense that there are no options for smart notes or buttons, or to show incorrect answers. There’s also no function to restart the puzzle or to clear a box of notes at once. You shake to pause (I found by accident), and there’s no auto-pause if you shut off your phone screen without exiting the app, which means your solve time keeps climbing.

Worst of all, you can’t listen to your iPod while this app is running. This is a major design flaw; the developer would’ve been better off finding a way to support the iPod instead of taking the time to create nine equally annoying background tracks.

I’ll give Sudoku Challenge! a point for its Web rankings, but there are far superior Sudoku apps to be found. Save your money for one of those.

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