My entry on DVD Sudoku puzzled Alfred in one his Best of Blogosphere reports (I’m seeing my entries mentioned often enough, by the way — thanks for that, Alfred). So, maybe I should give more details, now that I was able to try the game?
The box contains a board, 81 cardboard tiles, two-page rules and the DVD. Both tiles and the board are double-sided: one side has the traditional numbers, the other has Japanese symbols. The look pretty, but the colours on the tiles and on the TV screen don’t match 100%. I much prefer the numbers.
The DVD is used to time the game. All the puzzles are also on the DVD. So, when you want to play, you put in the DVD, choose mode (either regular sudoku or the speed game), choose which side of the board you want and select the number of players.
When you play, players must start and end their turns with the DVD remote, as the system works as a clock. In the end, the player who spent least time pondering his or her turns wins the game (this is a victory condition I’d like to see in other games, like Tikal).
That’s pretty nice. The use of DVD as a multiplayer clock is a good idea, and works as a scoring mechanism nicely. As a single-player sudoku device, it’s quite pointless. No reason to buy this; the pen-and-paper puzzles you can print out free from Internet (Web Sudoku, for example) are better. However, since I now have the game, I could use it to solve a sudoku, if I was at home and had enough time to solve the whole puzzle — I wouldn’t bother with the DVD, I’d take the puzzle from my mobile phone sudoku, for example. The board and the tiles are definitely better interface than the mobile phone; put against pen and paper, it’s a question of taste.
I’m looking forward to trying the multiplayer games. They seem interesting, but there’s definitely going to be trouble, if all players aren’t on the same level. But that’s not new problem to anyone who’s ever played a puzzle board game…