Battle Sudoku Against Friends review
The rather clunkily-titled Battle Sudoku Against Friends is a new iOS game from 6waves. It’s available now as a free download from the App Store.
Battle Sudoku Against Friends is an asynchronous round-based two-player game based loosely on the rules of the popular Sudoku logic puzzles. Players are presented with a completed Sudoku grid which is partially covered by opaque tiles. During a single (timed) round, players may reveal three tiles, and score points according to the total of the numbers they reveal. Sixes are “mines” and cause the player to lose six points. Using the logic of Sudoku, it is usually possible to make an educated guess as to where the high-scoring numbers are, though there is still a small element of chance involved. After five rounds, scores are totalled up and a winner declared.
To supplement the simple scoring, a number of poker-style “suites” also provide the potential for bonus scoring. Revealing three of a kind, a sequence of consecutive numbers or three prime numbers provides players with the ability to earn additional points. Revealing three mines provides players with an 80-point bonus, encouraging risk-taking and allowing players the opportunity to mitigate the score damage otherwise done by mines.
The game monetizes through sales of an in-game currency that gradually replenishes over time, or which may be immediately topped up via in-app purchases. A Tapjoy offer wall is also available. Coins are used to start new games and purchase powerups that extend the player’s time, allow them to “X-ray” tiles before revealing them or automatically reveal two of the same number. This is a similar approach to that seen in Zynga’s Scramble With Friends.
Social features for the game are a little limited. It requires that players log in to Facebook in order to play, meaning that there is no way to compete against those who don’t use Facebook. There is also no “pass and play” functionality for local multiplayer, and no in-game chat facility. It provides the bare minimum in the way of connectivity for an asynchronous multiplayer game, in short — but despite this, it’s an entertaining, fun and original game.
Battle Sudoku Against Friends will live or die depending on whether or not its community sticks with it. Its core gameplay is solid, but a big part of the attraction for Zynga’s “With Friends” series — an obvious rival for this title — is the surrounding social functionality such as being able to talk to your opponent. The fact that the With Friends series also allows players to compete against one another using a proprietary account rather than relying on Facebook also helps broaden its appeal, because although Facebook is incredibly widely-used, there are still plenty of mobile users out there who choose not to have an account. Cutting them off completely from playing a game for not using Facebook is a somewhat short-sighted decision that 6waves should probably reconsider, particularly as the App Store description makes no mention of the fact that an account with the social network is required to play.
Battle Sudoku Against Friends does not appear to be listed on the App Store leaderboards at the time of writing. Check back shortly to follow its progress with AppData, our tracking service for mobile and social apps and developers.
A good asynchronous game, but one that needs to improve its social features and ideally break away from the shackles of Facebook to be truly universally appealing.