Problematic problem solver | Download Product Review - CNET

Problematic problem solver

This simple puzzle completer works, but not entirely.

Sudoku is a fun and challenging number puzzle, but sometimes it's a little too challenging. When you're stuck on a puzzle and feel that you can't rest until you solve it, you might want to try Free Sudoku Solver. Although the program does have a few functional problems, it still works fine for solving perplexing sudoku puzzles.

The program's interface is plain, just an empty sudoku grid and four buttons. Users enter the known numbers from the original puzzle into the grid using a drop-down menu (a strange and slightly inefficient way to accomplish this task), click Solve, and the puzzle fills in the blanks. We tried this on a puzzle we found online that was listed as "evil" in terms of difficulty, and Free Sudoku Solver made short work of it. Unfortunately, although this feature of Free Sudoku Solver works great, the program is not without its problems. The publisher's description of the program states that users can save and reload games, but both the Load and Save buttons gave us error messages. We tried to give the program the benefit of the doubt and uninstalled, redownloaded, and reinstalled it, but the errors remained. Free Sudoku Solver also loses points for not having a Help file of any sort. We do still think it's a valuable tool for solving stubborn sudoku puzzles, but users who are interested in its other features, which are sparse to begin with, are bound to be disappointed.

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

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