Game Review

Telegraph Sudoku & Kakuro Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Jon Wahlgren

Quality sudok... hey, where are you going?

Sudoku and DSiWare are seemingly inseparable at this point, so forgive our lack of shock when another incarnation of the numeric puzzle game peeks its head out from behind the bush of Nintendo's weekly downloads. What did surprise us, and pleasantly so, was just how nice of a package Telegraph Sudoku & Kakuro turned out to be.

Telegraph gets the fundamentals down pat by allowing you to save and resume a puzzle for each of the variants, so you can have up to five games going at a time. There's a pencil tool for scribbling in potential answers, a pen for deciding and an eraser for obvious reasons. If you're new to/bad at sudoku, there's a handy autocorrect feature that lets you know immediately with a big red X if the number you've written in pen is incorrect for that box — on the plus side there's no wasting precious time operating under false assumptions, but the downside is that your completion clock goes up by a minute, eventually lowering the amount of stars you're awarded and thus your overall ranking. The same minute penalty applies to using the hint system, which fills in a random box for you.

A total of 500 puzzles are included here that unlock as you go along, spread across four difficulties ranging from Gentle to Diabolical. Vanilla sudoku accounts for 180 puzzles, and another 80 each go to mini sudoku, which shrinks the field down to a 6x6 grid; jigsaw sudoku, with irregular box sizes spread over a 9x9 grid; sudoku X, which includes two grey diagonals that also must be filled 1 through 9; and newcomer kakuro.

Kakuro is even more of a numerical crossword than sudoku. Presented in the same layout, each "word" is a number that you must add up to in the given boxes using the same criteria as sudoku. For example, if you have three boxes to add up to 9, you can't spam the boxes with 3-3-3. Instead, you'll have to use a combination that doesn't include duplicates in the sequence, like 1-2-6 or 2-3-4. As in sudoku, you can't use numbers that happen to be included in any intersecting lines. The inclusion of kakuro is a nice additive for those who have grown weary of sudoku on DSi, and those new to both will appreciate the variety.

There are other nice touches too, like a tally of how many times a number has been used so far in each puzzle, how clicking one number will highlight all of the placed instances of that number to help avoid silly mistakes, or showing different possible combinations in kakuro. The game also tracks play statistics like total time, best time and completion progress across each of the five modes. Everything is wrapped in a very clean and pleasant theme that is easy on the eyes too. While not stupendous, it's probably as pretty as a sudoku game could ever look.


If video game services had the sentience to utter dying words then DSiWare's would undoubtedly be "sudoku," but along comes Telegraph Sudoku & Kakuro to breathe life into it and show the service how number-crunching puzzles are done. It doesn't just settle for flinging a large quantity of similar puzzles at you, although it does include 500 of them, which is more than we can say for a lot of other downloads. For a meagre 200 points, it's a no-brainer for number fans.

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User Comments (22)



Chris720 said:

Really? An 8 for yet another Sudoku game bombarding DSiWare?

I already downloaded one, not downloading anymore. They're a waste of money in my honest opinion.

I'd rather buy a Sudoku book.



Gizmo said:

@ xdemon720x & "Really? An 8 for yet another Sudoku game bombarding DSiWare?"

It seems you didn't reed the review...



JonWahlgren said:

"Really? An 8 for yet another Sudoku game bombarding DSiWare?"

Genre saturation's got nothing to do with it, and it's not like we have a finite amount of 8's kicking around out back. And besides, it's not like you have to buy it, but those who are interested in getting their first/next sudoku download will want to start here.



Token_Girl said:

This is where updates/dlc would be a great thing for Ninty to adopt. Once there's a good interface I like, I wouldn't mind paying another couple of bucks for an extra 500 puzzles or whatever, as opposed to having to buy different versions with crappier layouts.

Awesome tag-line, btw!



Chris720 said:

@Panda I know that. But DSiWare has enough Sudoku puzzles as it is.

I read the review, and it seems very nice and all and I would probably of downloaded it if/when it hit EU, but too little, too late!

All I'm saying is, I don't think its reasonable for another Sudoku game to pop up on an already quite trashy DSiWare line-up of other Sudoku games and get an 8.

But that's my opinion.

P.S. The 'x' at the beginning and end of my username are just for show, you don't have to use them.



Dodger said:

Hmm. Might be good. Thankfully though, I got brain age sudoku for free when I got my white DSi.



EdEN said:

If you don't own any Sudoku games then this might be a good option. Otherwise the idea of "genre over saturation" could set into your head.



piguy101 said:

This one sounds really good with the inclusions of jigsaw sudoku (whatever that is) and jigsaw sudoku.



James said:

Should we give worse sudoku games higher marks because they got there first?



Merilee said:

EA Sudoku allows you to put in puzzles from books, magazines, newspapers, etc. Does Telegraph allow this?



mjc0961 said:

@13: Of course! Remember, the closer a games is to posting "FIRST!" on the DSiWare service, the bigger the score multiplier it gets.



cheapogamer4life said:

I really like EA's Sudoku, but this one looks good as well. This game only uses up 3 more blocks than EA's game so I might download this title just to try out Kakuro.
@ prosody good review



grumblegrumble said:

I got this, but it looks so bland I haven't played it yet. Personally, my favorite is EA's "Sudoku"... great sound effects and graphics, nice gameplay and I just altogether love that package more than this one. Maybe it'll grow on me, I dunno...



winter123 said:

I've been wanting a sudoku game as I like the game but never play it. Which is the best one? This looks pretty cool that it can actually tells you if youre wrong until youve done alot of puzzles and are better and can turn it off? Idk which one to get.



SonicTheBluBlur said:

@winter123 I looked at a few myself, even a 3DSWare one by Nikoli, but $5 for just 1 type of puzzle seemed a bit high when I found this game. It may not be in 3D, but sudoku DOES NOT NEED 3D, so $2 for a total of (technically) 5 types of puzzles made me decided on this game.

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