(DSiWare)

Game Review

Lola's Fruit Shop Sudoku Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Philip J Reed

Sudoku Jr.

Earlier this year we were pleasantly surprised by Lola's Alphabet Train, a rewardingly sweet journey through simple spelling drills. It was colourful, engaging and inventive. Now we have a sequel in the form of Lola's Fruit Shop Sudoku, and while the previous game's charm is intact, it's a bit less impressive overall.

You'd be forgiven for shaking your head at the presence of yet another Sudoku title on DSiWare — after all, we have Crazy Sudoku, Telegraph Sudoku & Kakuro, Simply Sodoku, Sudoku 4Pockets and Sudoku Sensei, to name just a few — but this time, at least, the game's aimed at a much younger audience. This instruction manual claims that it's suitable for four-year-olds, and yet is still challenging for children as old as eight or nine. Anyone older is not welcome at Lola's Fruit Shop, which is fine by us as we're not sure we'd really want to be there.

The game is, to put it flatly, simple to a fault. There are three levels of difficulty, but they never really require much thought. On the easiest difficulty level, for example, you just use a stylus to drag a few fruits into spaces on the board that are unoccupied. There is no punishment for an incorrect placement, apart from Lola shaking her head disappointedly. Unfortunately this also means there's no chance for the child to learn what he or she did wrong: place a watermelon into a row that already features a watermelon and Lola will shake her head. This lets the child know that he or she did something wrong, but does not identify what, and the game becomes one of rather blind trial and error.

The middle difficulty setting features a larger grid and more fruits, and the toughest setting replaces the fruit with the traditional numbers of Sudoku. This setting certainly does offer more of a challenge for somewhat older children, but the game is stuck in a rather frustrating paradox: the rules of Sudoku are rather complicated for children to understand, meaning that this wouldn't be very suitable for the young ones it seems to be aimed at. Any child capable of understanding and interpreting the rules is already beyond the scope of the challenges in this game, and that's a genuine problem.

The presentation, however, is just as winning as ever. Lola is cute, the graphics are sunny and bright, and the music soothing. After every few rounds you get to pick a new fruit for Lola to display in her shop, which is similar to choosing a toy in Lola's Alphabet Train, but does feel like something less of an incentive. Also this release does not offer the multiple language support of its predecessor, which is worth nothing for those who might expect another useful tool for teaching a secondary language.

On the whole it's a step back for Lola, but it's evidence that the developers are spreading their wings a bit, and it's nice to have another title on the service that's as unabashedly child friendly as this one. We like Lola, and we're interested to see what activity she decides to teach next. It's just that numbers and fruit aren't quite as much fun as toys and trains. Go figure.

Conclusion

Lola's Fruit Shop Sudoku is without question easy to play, but how well it will hold a child's attention is another question. The rules of Sudoku are just complicated enough that this one might be a less than ideal fit for its target audience. On the plus side it looks and plays wonderfully, but unfortunately there's very little content on offer, and even the most interested children are likely to find it tedious before long.

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User Comments (13)

rayword45

#1

rayword45 said:

So there's only 4x4x4? Lame, but apparently not my age range. How many levels?

Barbiegurl777

#2

Barbiegurl777 said:

@rayword45,

4x4x4? Not understanding what you mean...

The game isn't ''lame'' it's quite good & I'm not in the younger age category neither.

I'm 24 & love playing this! :D

I'll be quite frank I suck at sudoku on dsiware & 3dsware but still like trying. :)

When I bought Lola Fruit Shop Sudoku I did have trouble at first playing on easy mode for about 20 mins but after I figured out how to play it help from listening to Lola the Panda in the game I actually started to understand how to play the game.

I use to look at the sudoku games in the e-shop in disgust because I couldn't understand them or how to play them. Now Lola Fruit Sudoku - dsiware is one of my favorite dsiware games to play on my 3ds. :)

Oh Lola's Fruit Shop Sudoku doesn't really have level's you get random sudoku board thing's in the game sometimes you'll get fruit & sometimes you'll get number's.

Best 2 dollar's I spent in the e-shop!

I hope they release the rest of the Lola game series on dsiware. :)

Happy Gaming! (^_^)

Moorpheel

#3

Moorpheel said:

NL wrote:

Lola's Fruit Shop Sudoku (BeiZ, 200pts, 45 blocks) — The official blurb says "this game is the easiest sudoku game in the world!" — sold! We'll put our most stupid reviewer on the case to see if Lola's Fruit Shop Sudoku can live up to its lofty claims.

They lied :|

Tenzen78

#4

Tenzen78 said:

Dear Mr. Reed,

I noticed an error in your review. Lola's Fruit Shop Sudoku DOES offer multiple language support. The game supports three languages (English, French and Spanish), but it doesn't have Lola's Alphabet Train's language selection button. You can access the other languages by changing the console's language setting and restarting the game.

To the people who haven't solved sudokus before playing this game :

Lola's Fruit Shop Sudoku's e-manual has a "How to Play" page that demonstrates sudoku's rules. It has pictures of various gameplay situations.

k8sMum

#5

k8sMum said:

my soon-to-be-7 yr old grandson has been visiting this past month. he's been playing 'kirby's epic yarn', 'LoZ spirit tracks', 'super mario galaxy', 'pikmin 2', 'bowser's inside story' and 'paper mario' for the Wii.

i don't think i will bother getting this one for him.

AwesomeAddict

#8

AwesomeAddict said:

D'awwwwwww... This series is good for young 'uns, but I don't think my 5-year-old brother would like it. He's already completed LEGO Batman and SMG.

Moorpheel

#9

Moorpheel said:

Just because a young child is capable of enjoying complex games for older players, it does not mean they will not enjoy games directed at their age group.

That's like saying adults wouldn't enjoy kool-aid because they already drink coffee.

oninowon

#10

oninowon said:

At first I was intimidated by Sudoku but got the hang of it after trying a few of the easy ones. I got the Brain Age version which I heard was the best. It has room to jot down all possible numbers on a single square (you zoom in and out). I play it whenever I go overseas or on public transportation.

ramstrong

#12

ramstrong said:

"Any child capable of understanding and interpreting the rules is already beyond the scope of the challenges in this game,"

That statement sure sounds like an opinion, to me. Do you have it backed up by research? Any child? Really? What does the fact that some adults are having trouble with sudoku tells you? That they are stupider than a four year old? Did you just (unintentionally) insult a lot of people? ;)

theblackdragonAdmin

#13

theblackdragon said:

@ramstrong: if you want to read that far into it, that's up to you, but if you well and truly want to be insulted by Phil, I'm sure he can come up with something far better for you than that particular statement.

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