Reviewed: April 4, 2007
Released: March 7, 2007
The game of Sudoku, as stated by Carol Vorderman, was originally created in the 18th Century by a Swiss mathematician. It was then known as Latin Squares. It soon traveled to the United States in the 1970ís. Soon the game was picked up in Japan where number games are as popular as crosswords are in America. Now Sudoku has traveled throughout the world and has become the huge and addicting success that it is now.
Now this internationally-famous game has made its way to the PSP, in Carol Vordermanís Sudoku, eliminating the need for a pencil, scratch paper, and of course a big eraser. This game is not the typical game I would purchase for my PSP due to the fact that it contains no action or any sort of blood and gore that I usually require. However if you are looking for a game to make you want to pull your hair out and pass the time this may be the game for you.
I just want to start out by saying that before I played this game I had never actually played or had any interest in Sudoku. This game actually taught me how to play and why the game was such a popular way to pass the time. If you have never played Sudoku, this game offers techniques and tips on how to play and improve your time and technique. The woman who you will see during the tutorial is Carol Vorderman, hence the name, she is apparently a Sudoku fanatic and has some really helpful tips. Carol explains the rules and gives you tips on the easy puzzles.
The gameplay is exactly what you expect. You play Sudoku. During single player mode there is Classic, Arcade, Career, and Challenge Carol modes. During Classic you can choose the usual levels of play Easy, Medium, Difficult and then they throw in Super Difficult. Arcade mode has Beat the Clock, Extra Time, Perfection, and 3 Strikes. All of which are centered around the time you spend on each puzzle.
In Beat the Clock you are given a limited amount of time to complete the Sudoku. Extra Time is the same as Beat the Clock accept with each correct number you insert you can gain extra time to complete the puzzle. Perfection is the opposite of Extra Time if you make a mistake it will take away time from you. Lastly, in 3 Strikes you must complete the puzzle within the time allocated but you are only allowed to make three mistakes or you automatically lose.
Each of the Arcade modes can be played in Easy, Medium, Difficult, and Super Difficult. If you have never played Sudoku youíll want to stick to the Easy levels though because, as I found out, when they say difficult they mean it. During gameplay you can turn on the helpful hints. These really helped me when I was learning to play the game.
When you play in Career mode you actually obtain belts depending on how good you are at Sudoku. It starts with a White belt and ends with a Black belt. The difficulty of this part of the game is based on the belt you are trying to achieve. I really didnít become very interested in this part of the game, because Sudoku for me is something that is a time killer and not something you canít wait to get home and play. So unless you have a lot of time to kill Arcade and Classic Mode are good enough.
Now if you really want to test your skills, Challenge Carol mode is for you! To actually beat Carol and become a ďSudoku MasterĒ you must complete Career mode by obtaining a black belt and beat the fourth Dan challenge. The Dan challenges are found in the Challenge Carol mode. During the Dan challenges you have to beat Sudoku times accomplished by Carol. All I have to say is good luck. I canít see me ever reaching or caring about reaching the title of ďSudoku MasterĒ. I unfortunately have to take time out of my life to eat and sleep!
During Multiplayer you can play Head To Head, Quickfire, and Time-Attack using the PSP Wi-Fi. During Head to Head you can do the Create Game route or Join Game in which the other person has created the game. If youíre like me, you will think this is one of the more fun parts of the game. It can really make your mind race. This mode is actually the only part of the game I really liked playing.
Quickfire is where you and a friend actually use the same PSP to play. You switch it back and forth between each other and make your moves. Not only is it hard because you donít know where you partner has inserted a number right away but they can make mistakes throwing you off and causing you to make your own mistakes. The object is to be the first one to complete half the puzzle if you really want to try it. During Time-Attack you share the PSP with a friend as well, but you actually get a certain amount of time to insert as many numbers as you can then switch with your partner. I thought it was okay, but itís a lot more fun if you are playing with someone who has their own PSP.
There is pretty much nothing to compare the graphics in this game against. There are no characters that were animated of anything like that I guess you could say that the hostess Carol always came in pretty clear and she had some lovely photoís spread throughout the game.
The sound throughout the entire game consists of pretty much the same song and Carol talking. During the Tutorials, Carol is standing in the screen and she talks to you and explains how to play the game and she gives you helpful hints. That is pretty much it. I thought they could have enriched the game a little, and added some different songs or anything other than the bedtime, elevator music throughout it.
Carol Vordermanís Sudoku costs about $20 in store new. It does come with a multiplayer function for two players using Wi-Fi and there is a multiplayer mode where you can pass the PSP back and forth between each other as well. The game comes with over a million puzzles but 100 puzzles were enough to make me bored with the game. If you are really into playing Sudoku and already have a PSP $20 isnít a bad price for this game.
If you love Sudoku then this is the game for you, but I really donít see why you wouldnít go out and buy a Sudoku book ($3.00) and a pencil ($0.25) and save yourself some money. If you really love elevator music and donít mind wasting $20.00 go ahead and get the game. To each his own.
Iím not going to completely trash the game. If I could have the game for free I might play it, but I would much rather spend my money on something with a little adventure and preferably blood and guts.