Version Reviewed: 1.2
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2
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When thinking of romance infused gaming for Valentine's Day, math-focused logic puzzle Sudoku isn't the first thing to spring to mind. Sure, it's fun and satisfyingly challenging but romantic? Not in the slightest. That doesn't stop Sudoku Seasons giving it a darn good try though.
Instead of using numbers from 1 to 9 like a traditional Sudoku game, Sudoku Seasons focuses on using imagery with romantic connotations. A present, heart, ring, lollipop, red lips, candles, teddy bear, rose and chocolate are all used instead of logical numbers. For the Sudoku veteran, this takes some adjustment. I found it slightly harder to keep track of where relevant pieces should go compared to using conventional numbers. In terms of appearances though, it's much more attractive to look at and does capture the spirit of Valentine's Day reasonably well.
There are options to adjust such aesthetic features. One tap of the relevant option switches play from the aforementioned 'goodies' to conventional numbers. It feels a little like going against the spirit of the title but can be useful for those in need of a regular Sudoku game. The theme can also be adjusted to Mystic Gems, Icy Blue, Merry Green or Santa Red with the pieces of the puzzle changing accordingly.
Sudoku Seasons offers 30 levels per difficulty level, with three difficulties available. For the low price of $0.99, that's a lot of Sudoku to play through. Besides the single player side of things, players can compete against friends over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, thu seeing who can finish a puzzle fastest. Romantic elements come in the form of the Hug option in which the player can send a postcard to their loved ones. It's a minor part of the game but it does tie into the general thematic backdrop.
Underneath the surface, Sudoku Seasons is a pretty run of the mill Sudoku game. That's no bad thing though, given that it does the job perfectly and tries to add a few quirks of its own in the form of different shapes. It might not set the Sudoku world on fire but it will entertain for a pretty decent length of time.