Friday, April 4, 2008


Hooray, more sudoku games! Yes, I am dripping with sarcasm. I can't help it. I'm underenthused. GNUDoku is a completely functional sudoku game, but not as feature-rich as Gnome Sudoku (review here), and completely lacking anything like a stylized graphical design.

Gameplay-wise, there is nothing special. It can generate sudoku puzzles, and has a difficulty slider for selecting how hard the generated puzzles will be. To place a number on the board, you click on an empty square and type the number in.

If you've made a mistake, and entered a number that can't go there, both the square you entered and all the other squares it has a problem with turn red. This is the full extent of the game's 'graphics'. Everything is done with default window elements, which probably makes this a very small file compared it its more-interestyingly-styled cousins.

In the age of broadband and huge hard drives, I can't imagine a sudoku game that occupied any meaningful amount of space, no matter how they pimped it out. Unless it had FMV cutscenes, anyways (For some reason, the idea of a SquareSoft-developed sudoku game makes me laugh). Since that doesn't matter, I call the design 'boring' rather than 'making economical use of space' but it's not ugly, just not interesting. It looks like it could be spreadsheet software.

It works perfectly, despite its lackluster appearance. It does have a 'solve' button which will fill in all the squares... but only if all the squares you've already filled in allow it to complete the game; it won't change anything that wouldn't work, it just does nothing if you ask it to solve an unsolvable situation. That, coupled with a save/load feature, and a 'load seed' button that allows you specify a number for it to plug into its puzzle-generation algorithm, are the entirety of its features.

I think I have to give this one a 'why bother' rating - Ubuntu's default installation includes Gnome Sudoku which is a superior sudoku game. Since they're both free, why not go with the better one, and leave this one alone?

No comments: