July 25, 2008

# Sudokular – Sudoku on a New Level

Sudoku is a puzzle game in which the player fills out a 9×9 grid with the digits 1 through 9, using each number only once in each row, column, and smaller 3×3 box within the grid. One problem faced by Sudoku lovers who purchase books for their puzzles is that they will eventually run out. Websites such as Sudokular supplement the many puzzle books so players never need to go puzzle-less again.

Sudokular, which prides itself on being “Sudoku on a new level,” offers two modes of play. In QuickGame mode, which is available to anyone, players can choose to play on easy, standard, or hard difficulty. DailyChallenge mode, which is only available to registered members, offers a new puzzle each day. The difficulty of these puzzles changes throughout the week. DailyChallenge puzzles can be completed once and are used to calculate scores for the Hall of Fame. All puzzles from both modes can be played by one of two different methods—simple, which lets the user type in the number, and expert, which inputs all nine numbers in whichever box is clicked on, allowing the player to eliminate numbers as they progress.

Sudokular’s final feature is the Solver, which allows users to input puzzles they’re stuck on and have them solved instantly. Unfortunately, there’s nothing implemented that prevents users from applying Solver on QuickGame puzzles they’re playing on the site, turning what could be a useful aid into a potential cheating tool. In-game help, which is also intended to be an aid for players, checks the game after each input and alerts players if they’ve input the wrong number. As a result, players can just choose random numbers until they input the correct one, making this another potentially exploitable feature.

Practical Uses:

• Play Sudoku during your lunch break at work
• Print out always-fresh puzzles, perfect for when you’re traveling and can’t get to the computer
• Test your skills against other Sudoku players and learn new problem-solving techniques
• Solve those annoying puzzles that you may be stuck on

Insider Tips:

• The Solver can be used to solve any standard format Sudoku puzzle
• A successfully completed puzzle will end the game automatically, so if a completed game remains active it means there is a mistake in the puzzle
• You only get one shot per day on DailyChallenges so don’t quit too early

What We Liked:

• No account is necessary to play QuickGames or use the Solver
• The design is clean and attractive
• Users can play online or save puzzles to print out later
• The interface is straight-forward and easy to use
• Sudokular will show you your mistakes if you fail to successfully solve the puzzle
• Players can choose to be immediately alerted of mistakes by activating in-game help
• Sudokular is available in five languages

What We Didn’t Like:

• The Solver and in-game help can be exploited as built-in cheating tools
• There are no social features, preventing registered users from interacting with one another
• Only regular puzzles are available, there are no Sudoku variations (such as Samurai Sudoku)

Alternatives:

Company Info:

• Launched: May 2007
• Privately Held