Price: $2.99    Score: 9/10   Category: Games

Sudoku 2 HD Pro for iPad is the turbo version of Finger Arts‘ free version of the Sudoku app. If you’ve played the free version you’ll find that this paid app has more features and no ads. If you’re looking to play Sudoku on the iPad for the first time though, we’ll start from the beginning.

Sudoku 2 HD Pro for iPad takes the pencil and paper game and moves it to the iPad seamlessly, creating an almost game show type atmosphere surrounding play mode. The melody and sound effects employ generic music and cheering people to add to the ceremonial aspect of the game. This is Sudoku on iPad, and it’s a whole lot of fun.

When you arrive at the game’s intro screen you have the choice of locking the screen orientation (from within the game), changing the look of the board, resuming your current game, or starting a new game.

While there aren’t many different aesthetics to choose from Sudoku 2 Pro lets you decide if you want to display the grid or play in classic or glass mode. While classic is predominately brown and organic feeling, glass employs a sort of black and white greyscale version of the actual puzzle board. There aren’t many options to choose from aesthetically, both displays are very clean and Sudoku isn’t about fancy graphics anyway.

Instead of playing with looks too much, Finger Arts made the transition to puzzle solving on the iPad easy. Once you’re in a puzzle you click on a target square to highlight it and then press on the row of numbers (1-9) below in order to add the number to the square where you think it belongs.

If you enter the correct number a score will show up on your screen with the number displayed and a points animation, but if you’re wrong the game disapproves with a blooping sound and leaves you guessing again. Errors show up as x marks in the lower left hand corner, and if you get more than three errors then you haven’t technically solved the puzzle for the purposes of advancing in difficulty (more on that later).

The puzzle board also displays an option timer in the lower part of the screen, along with scoring and a hints section and place to write in pencil mode. If you’re feeling like you need a hint, you can click on the button on the upper right hand corner until you’ve used them all up.

If you want to take a guess in pencil, you click on the thick pencil in the lower right hand corner, and then watch as your pencil fills the number in much smaller than regular mode. Pencil mode allows you to enter two guesses in each square, which is nice, and then switching back to pen is as easy as clicking on the pen/pencil button on the lower right hand corner again.

All said and done, Sudoku for iPad is great for people who love speeding through the game on airplanes. Not only is it convenient, but it comes with four different types of gameplay (Flash, Easy, Medium, Hard, and Expert). At first only Flash and Easy are unlocked, but to advance to the next level of difficulty you simply beat the unlocked puzzles with three errors or fewer two or three times in a row.

After that you’re given access to a whole gambit of puzzles. You can turn off the auto select green highlight to prevent the iPad version of the game from pointing out like numbers (increasing difficulty), change the melody and effects volume, and auto remove notes in the options panel on the main menu. You can also compare scores in OpenFeint and check out your performance in the stats screen.

All said and done, this is a great adaptation of a classic game for the iPad. It’s easy to pick up, fun to play, and more social feeling than the original Sudoku without seeming unfaithful to the original. It would be great to see iPod music integration for the game though, as well as multiple player profiles that allowed you to start a new game without losing the puzzle in progress.

Bottom Line: Sudoku 2 HD Pro is a slick Sudoku puzzle game with a game show type soundtrack and clear gameplay. This definitely beats carrying sudoku books everywhere you go.

Sudoku


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