Bare-bones sudoku

Don't expect even basic features from this stripped-down game.

We've reviewed our share of sudoku games before, and most of them are quite similar, with subtle variations in interface and features. Power Sudoku 2009 stands out for being among the most bare-bones versions of the popular number puzzle that we've come across. The game is playable, but it really supplies the bare minimum of sudoku features.

The program's interface is quite plain, just a gray rectangle with the traditional sudoku grid. Four buttons allow users to start a new game, submit their completed puzzles, reveal the answers, or quit. When we tell you there aren't any other features, we mean it: there are no difficulty levels to choose from, no hints, no penciling in numbers you're not quite sure about, nothing. The program doesn't even have a Help file. We have no idea if the puzzles are all of the same approximate difficulty or if they vary. And the game has a curious habit of disappearing when it's not the active window, so forget about trying to complete your sudoku game while checking your e-mail, chatting with someone, or finishing that report your boss wanted two hours ago; there's no multitasking allowed. Overall, although Power Sudoku 2009 does indeed allow you to play sudoku, it doesn't come with any of the fairly standard features that make electronic sudoku enjoyable.

Power Sudoku 2009 comes as a ZIP file. It installs and uninstalls without issues. We recommend this program with reservations.

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