Developer: Chris Greening
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 0.8

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★★
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★½

iPhone Integration Rating: ★★★★★
User Interface Rating: ★★★★★

Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★★

Overall Rating: ★★★★★

Never buy another Sudoku app again.

I guess I should explain myself for the sake of review length, but if you don’t feel like reading today, just buy this app and play it right now.

Trying to beat a puzzle on the way home from the Renaissance Festival. Fail.

Trying to beat a puzzle on the way home from the Renaissance Festival. Fail.

So i’ve found that the typical person would rather do a Sudoku puzzle in a newspaper than a puzzle on their iPhone, not because the game is better or easier to play, but because they like the newspaper routine. Typically in a newspaper, the puzzles get progressively harder throughout the week leading up to an impossibly hard, brain numbing Sudoku puzzle finale. I like this, society like this, and for this reason I believe that mobile Sudoku has always been average in comparison to it’s newspaper counterpart. There has always been hope though, hope in the fact that actually playing Sudoku on a mobile device has always been fun, and that playing Sudoku on your phone is quite convenient. If it weren’t for the newspaper routine, mobile Sudoku would be perfect.

Then came Chris Greening and his amazingly brilliant Sudoku game. What makes it so special is not the fact that the gameplay is anything special, although it is quite nice, but the fact that this game can grab any sudoku puzzle with the iPhone camera and make it completely playable. This app makes the newspaper routine perfectly possible on a mobile device as long as you are willing to spend the 5 seconds involved in importing a puzzle. All you have to do is take a picture of your favorite Sudoku puzzle and start playing.

The process of importing the puzzles is quite simple and almost flawless. From the main screen, you click on the camera button which allows you to take a picture of your desired puzzle. I’d recommend to try to make this picture as straight as possible, because I did run into some difficulty when importing pictures that were taken at harsh angles. With a decent picture though, the app finds the puzzle in the picture, deciphers the numbers in it, and displays it in it’s own Sudoku format. The puzzle can then be titled and given a difficulty rating for your playing pleasure.

Outside of the capturing portion, the game works much like any other Sudoku game out there. There is one neat thing though that I believe makes the whole Sudoku on iPhone gameplay more enjoyable. Typically when I play Sudoku, I write pretty extensive notes on what numbers could be in a given square. Once you find an actual number though, on Sudoku Grab, the possible numbers in the other squares automatically disappear. I know, it’s a small feature, but one that make my gameplay much less tedious, especially on a comparatively small iPhone screen.

I really, truly recommend Sudoku Grab to anyone that has an iPhone and like Sudoku. If you’ve never played Sudoku, I’d recommend going to a “learn Sudoku” website and read up. Then take pictures of all the sites puzzles and import them into your new favorite 99 cent app, Sudoku Grab.

By the way, I am quite partial to the Sudoku puzzle in ASU’s student paper, The State Press, but if you have a favorite Sudoku newspaper, let me know. With Sudoku Grab, I’m only limited now to what I can take a picture of. Fortunately, just about every newspaper has a website.

The wonders of technology.

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