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Review: Best Sudoku apps for iPhone and iPod touch

#15 User is offline   Swotam 

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 11:10 AM

Dan Frakes wrote:
> I liked Satori's interface a lot, as well. In fact, it was only the (major) problem of multiple solutions that kept it from making my "Best of" list -- it would have been in my top 4. If that bug is indeed fixed in the next version, I'd recommend it, as well.
[/quote]


I emailed Kevin Kozan, the developer of Satori Sudoku regarding the puzzle completion errors and this was the response I received.

"There is a flaw in our generator algorithm that allows puzzles with multiple solutions to be generated. I submitted an update to Apple three days ago, which contains a much improved game generator. Not only will each puzzle have a unique solution but the quality of the puzzles will be greatly improved overall. The update is currently "In Review" by Apple and hopefully it will be available sometime this week."
So, hopefully the issues will be resolved shortly.
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#16 User is offline   surly 

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 11:55 AM

Thanks for the review. Not having an evaluation period (like my old palm based games/apps did) is kind of annoying (Think cut & paste Steve).
I was going to buy the EA Sudoku game but had bought "Scrabble" first. There is a real annoying aspect of Scrabble that from what I've read applies to EA's Sudoku too. The dopey and protracted intro with music cannot be muted and comes up every time you launch the app. Really not a good think when you are at your desk and just want to steal a few minutes to work on a puzzle (I'm sure you can think of a few more places wehre it would be embarrassing for that dopey music to start playing).

A side note. Since EA is not a small time player I thought I could go to the support section of EA's website and send an email asking if this was someting they were going to fix. Their "contact us" segment of eamobile.com/ipod stinks. You need to put in your carrier and phone model to send a message to support. Guess what? iPhone is not in the phone list. So much for sticking with establihsed companies.
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#17 User is online   firebolt 

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 12:18 PM

I bought Platinum Sudoku and found it terrible: it lets you "write" the answer BUT could never recognize my entries. I have very legible handwriting but it failed to recognize my number & substituted another instead. I want to play the puzzle, not fight with it. After 10 minutes of this, I gave up & deleted the game.
I now have Sudoku Unlimited and give it 4 stars. Tapping the X in the panel immediately removes it from obscuring the game. I would like a delete function for removing some of the scores, or putting a limit on how many get retained.
I've been playing a shareware Sudoku on my Treo for years, and I wish I could find its equivalent for my iPhone. It generates symmetrical puzzles, and is fast to operate. What I especially like about it is that it has a different color for each number, making it especially easy to see what numbers are missing in a row or block.
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#18 User is offline   Dan Frakes 

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 02:09 PM

firebolt said:

I bought Platinum Sudoku and found it terrible: it lets you "write" the answer BUT could never recognize my entries. I have very legible handwriting but it failed to recognize my number & substituted another instead. I want to play the puzzle, not fight with it. After 10 minutes of this, I gave up & deleted the game.


Ah, that's right; I remember that now, too. Every time I "wrote" the number 5, it came up as 6 or 9 ;)

#19 User is offline   cbandes 

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 02:29 PM

I really like Sudoku Unlimited. It is inexpensive, has a limitless number of puzzles, a really slick UI and no annoying sound effects. Love it!
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#20 User is offline   Dan Frakes 

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 02:32 PM

Thanks for the info, Swotam. I've heard the same comment from another reader. I've updated the article with a note about this, as I think Satori Sudoku is worth checking out if that fatal flaw is indeed fixed.

#21 User is offline   cbandes 

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 02:32 PM

Bah - the other programs waste precious screen real-estate with obnoxious control schemes. I actively chose SU because I didn't want to be staring at the UI while solving the puzzle. I understand your objection, but I think calling a design decision a "fatal flaw" goes quite a bit too far - especially when you forgive the extremely limited puzzle selection and horrific UI of the Hudson product.
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#22 User is offline   cbandes 

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 02:34 PM

Right on surly - the iphone scrabble is near-perfect but that intro "feature" is extraordinarily annoying, especially since there is no option to mute or skip it. I certainly won't be buying any other EA games for the iphone until there's reason to believe this has been fixed.
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#23 User is offline   Stormchild 

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 07:14 PM

ekchew said:

There is one app (Platinum Sudoku, by gameloft) that offers both Sudoku and Kakuro. I happen to love both! Is that one any good?


Probably not. Gameloft makes a lot of half-assed, crappy software. I would never buy anything with their name on it.
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#24 User is offline   Stormchild 

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 07:17 PM

[quote name='Gee4orce']
> [quote name='Dan Frakes']
> > [quote name='Gee4orce']
> > No Sudoku Unlimited ? Is that not available on the US store or something ?
>
> It's available; it just didn't make the cut ;)
Why ever not ?! Its got 3 different skins, it's nice an intuitive, has infinite puzzles....
[/quote]

No it doesn't. It is impossible to create an infinite amount of puzzles with a finite set of numbers in a finite number of spaces.
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#25 User is offline   Dan Frakes 

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 11:02 PM

cbandes said:

Bah - the other programs waste precious screen real-estate with obnoxious control schemes. I actively chose SU because I didn't want to be staring at the UI while solving the puzzle. I understand your objection, but I think calling a design decision a "fatal flaw" goes quite a bit too far - especially when you forgive the extremely limited puzzle selection and horrific UI of the Hudson product.


I twice noted the limited number of puzzles in Hudson's offering. But I recommended it because it includes the widest array of "helper" options and is a great game for beginners and casual Sudoku players -- people who are more likely to be fine with "only" 50 puzzles.

As for Sudoku Unlimited's UI, I called the obscured board a fatal flaw in the context of choosing the three or four best apps out of 18 or 19. When you're talking about electronic Sudoku games, a big box that effectively obscures 12 cells while you're trying to make notations is simply bad UI (as is that box appearing in a different location each time you tap a cell -- there's something to be said for consistency in the location of interface elements). If you're happy with SU, great! But I believe the other games simply offer better gameplay.

(As for Hudson having a "horrific UI," I have to disagree. The graphics may not be as attractive as those of EA or Freeverse's offerings, but the board and controls are clear and easy to use?which is especially impressive when you consider how many feature the game offers that other apps don't.)

#26 User is offline   Gee4orce 

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 11:57 PM

Dan Frakes said:

As for Sudoku Unlimited's UI, I called the obscured board a fatal flaw in the context of choosing the three or four best apps out of 18 or 19. When you're talking about electronic Sudoku games, a big box that effectively obscures 12 cells while you're trying to make notations is simply bad UI (as is that box appearing in a different location each time you tap a cell -- there's something to be said for consistency in the location of interface elements). If you're happy with SU, great! But I believe the other games simply offer better gameplay.



Well, I suppose, as we say over this side of the pond : "there's nowt so strange as folk", which roughly translated means "each to his own". :) I actually like the approach of SU, and the pop up number box is intelligent enough that it keeps out of the way of the active square, row and column.

Any idea why I can't get the EA version here though ? I probably would have bought that one if it had been available here. That could be an interesting story for MW to cover - why certain apps are only available in certain territories.
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#27 User is offline   wojtyspa 

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 03:34 AM

I purchased Sudoku from EA. I really enjoy the game. Contrary to the review I played Easy twice and Very Hard Unlocked. One "feature" I don't like is that it plays sound even if the phone is on silent. I enjoyed the review.
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#28 User is offline   daiya 

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 10:57 AM

Thanks very much for this type of comparative review! Extremely helpful, especially as people look at the higher-priced games.
I bought the Trivial Sudoku (.99) and am quite happy with it (notations, no pop up, basic interface). It doesn't have as many games as others, but I'm only a very occasional Sudoku player. If I finish that one, then I'll know I enjoy Sudoku on the phone enough to spend more on a game.
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