Review: A Little Bit of... Dr. Kawashima's Brain Training Sudoku (DSiWare)

The best Sudoku experience on DSiWare yet?

The DSi is quickly becoming the place to be for Sudoku fans with three different titles already available on the service – a fair amount considering the overall amount of games currently released. “A little Bit of…Brain Training Sudoku” is the latest game in the genre and is of course taken from the Dr. Kawashima Brain Training series. As the game is a first-party title it is perhaps expected that the game will be a cut above the other already available games in the genre. Furthermore as the game is taken from a hugely successful series of games surely it must be an instant winner?

Like many DS games in the puzzle genre the game is played with the DSi held like a book and everything is done via touchscreen entry – the natural choice of input for a game such as Sudoku. Simply tapping a square on the grid zooms into that square and from there numbers can easily be written and erased. While zoomed in on a square on the touchscreen the entire grid can be seen on the DSi’s top screen making strategic gameplay that little bit easier.

The gameplay is really pretty intuitive and works simply yet flawlessly. Everything on screen is displayed in a clean-cut, stylish and practical manner as is to be expected from the Brain Training series. There are three available difficulty levels with around 50 puzzles in each level. This puts the game on par with that of Sudoku 150! For Challengers however there are a few extras available in “A little Bit of…Brain Training Sudoku” that pushes it a little bit ahead of its rival.

The first and perhaps most appealing extra available is the option to test your brain age with some of the puzzles available in the full series of games. Each braining training session takes around eight minutes and can be played daily to improve the player’s mental prowess. This little extra is a nice feature and a welcome bonus for the 500 points asking price for the game.

Something else that makes the game feel somewhat more special than the Sudoku games released by Hudson is the option for family and friends to play on a temporary account which does not affect the main player’s progress in the game. Game progress is shown on the main menu screen and on the game’s DSi menu logo – a pretty nice feature that makes the game feel more polished and overall more satisfying.


“A little Bit of…Brain Training Sudoku” does exactly what it sets out to do – it offers a taste of the brain training experience and a selection of Sudoku puzzles at a fraction of the price. For owners of the original series there is little on offer here as the game is in essence simply a scaled down version of the full title. For people unfamiliar with the series, perhaps first-time DS owners, this game is an ideal download as it offers a nice introduction to the brain training series and indeed can perhaps be viewed as a cheaper alternative to the full title with the bonus of not having to carry around the game cartridge. To answer the inevitable question as to which Sudoku game is best, it’s fair to say that due to the extra features and polished feeling of the game “A little Bit of…Brain Training Sudoku” is the superior title.

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