There’s no denying the popularity of Sudoku. The popular number puzzle game is pretty much everywhere in sight. From the puzzle section of the daily newspaper or adorning the middle sections of magazine shop shelves. Sudoku has been welcomed and integrated into the daily life of society. Whether to take a break from the stresses of a hard day, it’s place cannot be denied with a great deal of attention firmly cemented on the daily commute to and from work and office lunch breaks to the brief and welcomed periods of respite from domestic chores.
For those unfamiliar with the puzzle. A standard game usually consists of a 9 x 9 grid where the player is requested to enter the numbers 1-9 into each square. No numbers can be repeated horizontally or vertically though and players are required to use their skills of logic and deduction to enter the right numbers in the right place. Each puzzle’s difficulty is thus determined by the size of the grid and how many pre-installed numbers are given to you to start you off.
I must say that I’m a fan of Sudoku and especially its transition to digital format like laptops and mobile phones. Its main attraction is mainly the fact that digital versions automatically pick up mistakes straight away and do away with the pains of pen to paper mistakes and having to backtrack to get to the point of working out where you went wrong. I appreciate some people out there prefer to do that but I like the more clinical and abrupt correction and to just get on with solving.
So with that in mind, I was interested to see a title called Sudocats from Silesia Games. A novel and unique take on the standard format but with the numbers 1-9 replaced by..well cats!
It piqued my curiosity… hopefully without killing the cat!
For a large part, Sudocats is a massive success. It’s variation on the popular puzzle game transitions comfortably with players carefully introduced to the game in a simple 3 x 3 grid for the first six puzzles.
Players highlight an empty square by moving a pointer cat foot and by pressing the A button, a small box appears with each available cat requiring you to highlight the cat you want to choose then A to place it in the grid.
For your $3 asking price there’s some 39 puzzles in total with puzzles varying in size and difficulty as you progress.
A big and welcomed part of the game is the general message of adopting a cat rather than buying. Each section of puzzles completed unlocks general husbandry tips on looking after cats in the home and a novel and surprising twist. Each cat in the game as a real life counterpart that comes complete with an unlockable biography. It’s a nice warming touch and clearly demonstrates the developers love for cats and their message for anyone wanting to own one.
The only downside and the most irritating and obvious point of note is the background music. Whilst there’s a very jolly piano tune that perfectly depicts the curiosity and inquisitive nature of cats throughout the sub menus. I’m baffled by the complete downbeat drone that accompanies you when you’re actually playing the puzzles. It’s a depressing horn infused piece that wouldn’t be out of place at a Moroccan funeral service and more akin to what would happen if your cat unsuccessfully tried to cross a busy road. I really don’t understand why it is here and on top of that it grates horribly!
Overall though, we have a very surprising and engrossing puzzle game here that largely hits the mark. The price tag gives decent value with a good deal of attention probably aimed at the younger adult market.
I would certainly encourage the developers to develop and expand the idea in the future with possibly dogs and cats and more puzzles in a future package perhaps? Just change that gameplay tune !
Thanks to Silesia Games for the code