Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Posted by Jon Westfall in "SOFTWARE" @ 08:00 AM
Kakuro is also choc full of nifty features, many the same features found in SuDoku. Additionally, Mastersoft provides you with a cheat-sheet of combinations and a full combination calculator that can quickly provide you the possible combinations for a given value. You simply provide it with the target sum and how many spaces you have to find it, and some of the mental strain is lifted!
Figure 13: No more nightmares in math land with this calculator!
One lacking feature that I think Mastersoft might want to attempt adding would be the ability to navigate the screen and play the game using one hand. While I generally only play when I have time to sit down, take out the stylus and work, I can see others potentially playing while standing in a subway car or glancing at their game in 2 - 3 min. of downtime (I find that when I'm really stuck, closing the game and coming back later really helps me find my sticking point). So, perhaps one-handed operation would be a plus in future releases, however, don't mistake me - I wouldn't want the sacrifices needed to ensure one-handed operation be made at the expense of the current method of play, just as another option if users chose to switch to it.
I've used a Pocket PC for a few years now, and can tell you that while I own licenses for a good number of games, I rarely install them while setting up a unit after a hard reset (in other words, they don't make my "must have" list). SuDoku (and quickly growing on me, Kakuro) is on the list, however, beating off titles that I know are quite a bit more popular and diverse. Why? Well it's probably obvious after reading the review: Solving a SuDoku or Kakuro is immensely rewarding after spending time debating your moves, improving your skills, and exercising your mind. The implementations by Mastersoft are clean, easy to use, and do the job. My only suggestions would be what I've listed as Cons: the install size is a bit big, it would be nice to have an always-on-screen number entry area option, and one-handed operation would probably be a plus to most users (although I doubt I'd use it much). If you're looking to start mentally exercising or just to find something to kill the time you spend idle with your Pocket PC, I highly recommend Mastersoft SuDoku and Kakuro.
Jon Westfall is a lot of things to a lot of different audiences. Full-time graduate student, part-time system admin, and all-the-time Pocket PC enthusiast, he can normally be found in the evenings relaxing at home, stealing his cat's beanbag chair, playing SuDoku and putting off going to bed!