Dr. Sudoku Review


Dr. Sudoku has everything to do with sudoku puzzles and nothing to do with doctors, be they of the medical or mad scientist persuasion. In case you are more familiar with mad scientists than you are with sudoku puzzles, let me start with an explanation of how the puzzles work. Those of you who are whizzes of the number grids should feel free to skip ahead a paragraph.

It's all a numbers game.
A sudoku puzzle consists of a 9x9 grid subdivided into 9 3x3 grids. Each square in the grid must be filled with a number from 1 to 9, but you canít just stick any number anywhere you want. The rules for number placement are pretty simple, but as is usually the case for puzzles with simple rules like Tetris or a Rubikís Cube things can get tricky pretty quickly. Each number from 1 to 9 can only appear in a row in the grid once. Similarly, each digit can only appear once in each column. Lastly, each digit can only appear once in each of the 3x3 sub-grids. Each puzzle will include a few pre-filled squares (more squares are pre-filled in the easier puzzles and fewer in the ones marked as difficult) and from there you must fill out the rest of the grid.

Sudoku is normally a pencil and paper type of puzzle, but it makes the transition to the GameBoy Advance nicely. The D-pad is used to select the current square, pressing A pops up a number selection window, you choose the number to put in the square, press A again, and the number is placed in the square. If the number can not be placed in the square the game will let you know why not and youíll have to try again with a different number. Of course you can place a number in a square when it does not conflict with any of the other numbers in the grid even though it may not be the correct position for that number. The game will also let you jot down tentative numbers into the corners of a square as a way to make notes without actually placing a number into the square. To do so, you hold down the left trigger while selecting the number to place in the square.
If you want to remove a number from the grid, you simply highlight the square and press B. This may sound a little complicated but itís rather easy to get used to in practice. The only downside to the controls is that the game sometimes seems to miss the number you selected and tries to put in another number.