Away with ye, newspaper games! It’s time for Battle Sudoku Against Friends.
Sudoku need not exclusively be the domain of tired-eyed, funny-smelling old men whiling away their bus commute with a newspaper and a pen. Sudoku can be exciting. It can even be cut-throat. Battle Sudoku Against Friends demonstrates that there can be bad blood (and land mines) between the lines of the classic Sudoku grid.
There’s no story to Battle Sudoku Against Friends: it’s just you, a stranger, and the integers, baby—though you can get a friend to compete against you in lieu of a random digital passerby.
You and your rival take turns revealing numbers on a Sudoku grid. Basic rules apply here: numbers can’t repeat in a column, a row, or in any 9 x 9 space. In a traditional game of Sudoku, you can take your time and deduce which numbers are missing according to the numbers that have already been unveiled. Identifying missing numbers according to what’s already been filled in applies with Battle Sudoku Against Friends, too—except you have 60 seconds to uncover three numbers in a single turn. Oh, and there are mines scattered around the grid, too.
Battle Sudoku Against Friends scores you according to the numbers you reveal. Whatever you dig up is added together, and the sum is your score for that round, which is added to your total. You can also score bonus points for revealing numbers according to certain patterns—prime numbers, for instance, or three successive numbers (7, 8, 9). Triggering a mine lowers your score, though if you manage to unearth three in one turn, you’ll net a major bonus.
If you’re hesitant about running onto the Sudoku battlefield in the name of blood, you can buy power-ups that make your experience a little easier. For a few coins, you can X-ray tiles to get a sneak peek at what lies beyond, and/or you can buy precious extra seconds to help you make more strategic decisions. The coins that you use to buy power-ups are the same coins that go towards letting you take your turn, so spend them wisely. They regenerate over time, though, and you can buy more with real-world cash.
Battle Sudoku Against Friends offers a brand new way to have a little aggressive fun with numbers, and it definitely adds a new layer of challenge to an old game. There is one major flaw, however: Facebook is your only log-in option, and your name and portrait are utilized with seemingly no option to change it.
Battle Sudoku Against Friends is not a great option for anyone who feels intimidated around numbers and timers, but if you enjoy thinking over number puzzles on your feet, maybe you should consider getting serious about Sudoku.