Puzzles, puzzles, everywhere! If you’ve taken a trip to your local big box retailer’s Nintendo DS section, you’d be hard pressed to find less than twenty puzzle games calling your name.
So what’s a puzzle junkie to do when yet another title like Sudoku Ball Detective hits the shelves?! Well, hopefully read this review, in addition to many others, and educate yourselves!
Simply put, Sudoku Ball Detective is a faux mystery game with sudoku puzzles in it. The mystery is simply the backdrop of the game, not the core focus. When you actually start working through the game’s 240 puzzles – unlike the Professor Layton series – they won’t have anything to do with the mysteries themselves.
The only interaction you’ll have with the story is picking up the occasional clue after solving a section of the “ball”, which feels extremely repetitive. While the game could have had its “picking locks” and “analyzing evidence” sections set up as completely different puzzles, they’re just the same old sudoku mechanic as the “gathering clues” section. Because of this repetition, sometimes you’ll even forget you’re solving a murder mystery at all.
Cracking codes and maneuvering around the hub world could have been much more expansive. As it stands, all your really doing is solving puzzle after puzzle: similar to the PSN’s Mahjong Tales: Ancient Wisdom, but without the bells and whistles, multiplayer, or other gameplay modes. It’s a bit fun to scroll the “globe” world around, but you won’t actually do much exploring on it. Junkies will also be disappointed to hear that some of the puzzles are also quite lengthy, with no option to save mid-puzzle.
The actual mystery sections, while short, are only really engaging if you’re a fan of English mystery novels, of which the stories are based off. The main problem lies with the characters: none are particularly exciting or engaging, resulting in a detachment from the story, and an almost zombie-like completion of the puzzles, if only so the game will end. The dialogue also leaves much to be desired.
The main problem with Sudoku Ball Detective is that once you finish all the game’s puzzles, you’re done. There’s no multiplayer solution mode, nor are there any additional cases to crack. All in all, 240 puzzles is a bit of a disapointment given the hundreds of thousands found in other similar titles on the market.
Unfortunately, the “ball” novelty isn’t enough to differentiate this title from the myriad of other sudoku puzzle games on the market. Plain and simple: you’re paying for 240 puzzles, which isn’t that impressive of a number when compared to the thousands offered in most DS sudoku packages. Unless you’re both a die hard English detective fanatic and a desperate sudoku enthusiast, stay away from this one.
Reviewer’s note: The Nintendo DS version was tested for this review
While the visuals are crisp, they do little to garner your interest.
|How does our scoring system work?|
Do you sudoku? Because that's all you're really getting.
The sound effects are about as standard as you'd expect from an early DS release, and you'll no doubt get sick of the same "scooby doo mystery" tune.
Sudoku Ball Detective has 240 puzzles. Ultimate Puzzle Games: Sudoku Edition has a random generator that creates millions of unique puzzles. Puzzler Collection: Sudoku has 2,000 puzzles. You do the math.
All in all, in the flooded market of Sudoku DS games, there are a myraid of superior titles out there.