Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Plug n Play Game Corner: Ultimate Sudoku TV Edition

Alright, we looked at one Sudoku game system, let's talk about the other one before we go back to something worth anyone's time. Here's the Ultimate Sudoku TV Edition game!

Name: Ultimate Sudoku TV Edition
Developer: Senario/All in 1 Products
Release Date: 2006
Genre: Puzzle

I already went over my thoughts about Sudoku in the last review, so let's just get into the game itself.

The console itself is actually quite nicely made, similarly to the previous game. It has a nice, smooth boomerang-like body, some calming colors, and it's pretty nice to hold.

It's bland, sure, but since it's designed to be a casual puzzle game, it sets the right tone. Plus the Sudoku logo on the front tells you all you need to know.

However, something that ruins the calming aesthetic and makes this needlessly complicated? TOO MANY BUTTONS! There are EIGHT different buttons for this game, not counting the Power button or directional pad! On the one hand, considering the rant I went on last time that they forced you to use computer controls in a console game, I'm glad that they included a good number of buttons each assigned their own function to hopefully speed the game along. ...On the other hand, most of these buttons are repetitive, if not outright unnecessary, as I'll soon explain.

Still, major points to the fact that not only does it use "AA" batteries, but it has a clip-on battery cover as opposed to the more common screw-on variety! You might argue that these just make losing or breaking the battery cover easier, but when I don't have to hunt down a screwdriver for once to play one of these, I'm willing to overlook any cons.

Now for a while, I had no idea what this thing was even called! The only information that flashes by when you boot up the console is a logo for the company "All in 1 Products Ltd."

And the only information I can find about them is... They exist. They have an address and they're based in London, but I can't find a site nor anything they made. The logo right when you turn on the game is the only sign that they've produced anything!

However, after doing a generic search for Plug n Play Sudoku consoles, I did eventually find a boxed version, which goes under the name "Ultimate Sudoku TV Edition", and gives the company name Senario.

Senario was a pretty prolific electronic game and gadget company in the early-to-mid 2000s. ...And that's all I'm going to go into about them here, since I want to get through the current console as quickly as possible and save a proper history until a game people will actually want to know more about.

I will mention that they did produce multiple versions of Sudoku under the name "Ultimate Sudoku", most of them electronic handheld games. Hence the distinction of "TV Edition" to set this game apart.

I'm only guessing that this console was made around 2006, since there's no actual copyright information on the console, box, or actual game. However, it has a manufacturing sticker of 29/07/2006(or 07/29/06 for us in USA land), so I'm assuming that's the year these systems were first produced. It's a year after Techno Source's attempt, so maybe they took their time to refine their version? ...Well, they didn't exactly have that high a hurdle to overcome...

Instead of the 6 games contained previously, this console only features 3, all of which basically variations of the same game:

Kids Sudoku

Sudoku has basically the same setup as Techno Source's attempt. There's a board in the center, a number selection below, and various game options on the right. It's just once again your standard version of Sudoku.

When you start it up, you get to choose your difficulty between Easy, Medium, Hard, or Input, meaning that you can actually create your own Sudoku puzzles with this system! Nice feature! ...For somebody, I guess, since I didn't use it...

IMMEDIATELY, you can notice the gameplay is a vast improvement over Techno Source's! Instead of that stupid pointer, the directional pad simply hovers a black box over the square. When you select it, it drops the box down to the number window, where you can then choose which number goes in which square. Then it returns you to the main board to select the next square.

And if you make a mistake, just highlight the square again and choose the right number! MUCH faster and easier than a slow as all get out mouse cursor...

Of course, you're still playing a pen-and-paper game with a clunky gamepad, so it takes a lot longer to solve than using a mouse or an actual pen would take, but it's still faster and much more precise than what we had last time. In fact, it was this mechanic that made all the difference in how much I could actually start enjoying this game! ...It's still Sudoku, a game I couldn't care less about, but it focused my attention in the right place at least...

Another bonus it has over Techno Source, which I unfortunately can't show here, is that there's actual background music! A very nice loop of some sort of a faux-Eastern meditation tune that sets the right tone for the game. ...It's just 10 seconds and the only music on here, but it's a nice, calming melody that takes a long while to get tired of. Besides, if I ever do get tired of it, I can mute the TV, so no problems there.

The game has an array of options that can be selected while playing, most self-explanatory: Solve, Hint, Autodel(which I couldn't tell did anything), High Scores, Options(which actually starts a new game after selecting a difficulty), and Pause. ...And really, this should be all you need, but they decided to overcomplicate things with the amount of buttons on the controller!

As I've shown, there are 8 buttons on the face of the console, including buttons with the Pause, Question Mark, and Enter symbols on them. You'd think that each button controls a different function, presumably what each symbol usually stands for, but half of them don't do a thing! I've mashed each button several times while playing these games and only rarely have I gotten a response, usually Pause or Reset Puzzle. Maybe my console is old and faulty, but there really shouldn't be that many buttons on this console in the first place!

The only buttons you'll need are the directional pad and the checkmark in the center. ...Yes, they put what amounts to an "A" button on most controllers right in the middle of the console. Since the options are readily available and easy to select on the right side of the screen, everything else here is redundant... Just keep your fingers on the directional pad and checkmark and ignore everything else the same way it ignores you.

 One major problem both this game and Techno Source's(as well as most, if not all other electronic versions of Sudoku) share is that you can't assign more than one number to a square, so you're unable to write in and eliminate possibilities as you can with pen-and-paper... Once again, this game forces you to memorize sequences and possibilities that you shouldn't have to and makes solving an already difficult puzzle all the harder...

Oh, the box SAYS it has the option to input "draft numbers", but I sure as heck couldn't find any way to do it! Maybe I need to push down 6 or 7 of the buttons on the controller simultaneously while licking the battery compartment to get it to respond!

I think Larry the Cable Guy said it best: "Why don't they make a button that says 'Frickin Pass'?!"

Unlike the Techno Source game, it doesn't instantly tell you if you've put the correct numbers in or not. Instead, after filling out the board, it analyzes the puzzle and tells you how many errors are present. ...Then good luck hunting down each and every one, rewriting the puzzle as you go! ...Seriously, if there are enough mistakes made, it's faster and easier to just start the puzzle over again.

By this point, I was so burned out and bored by Sudoku, that I just hit Solve and finished the bleeding thing... I apologize to all the purists offended by my shortcut, but if I was going to get to actually reviewing this thing anytime soon, I had to stop at some point. This was the point.

And this is once again a console where the menu can only be accessed by turning the power button off and back on. ...How is it so hard to program a freaking Menu option?

The other two games on here are Kids Sudoku, which I actually managed to complete(a stunning victory, I know...)

And Kakuro, which is some sort of addition puzzle game which I couldn't figure out. Once again, the Solve button proved a worthy ally...

And that's Senario's attempt at Sudoku. ...Which you still can't concentrate on because your family is screaming at you to let them use the TV you're hogging up. Still no match for pen-and-paper.


Design: While it's not the flashiest of consoles, it does have a nice "air" about it. It's sleek, it's smooth, it has a wonderful color mixture of black and silver, it's just nice to hold and reflects the casual, calming puzzle it contains. The Sudoku logo on the front is all they need to get the console's point across. ...What is it about these stupid puzzle games and having nice console designs...?

Controls: All the controls needed to be were a directional pad and a selection button. That's it. So why did they include SIX buttons on the right side and two more in the center?! Most of them don't do anything or have their purpose unclear, so even if you do remember which button does what, there's no point to continually looking down to make sure you're pushing the right one. And the only one that clearly does anything is right in the middle of the console, so you need to continually reach over and push it... However, once you've adjusted yourself to this awkward setup, movement is fluid and it's easy to figure out (most)of the options in the game. Heck, extra points for NOT having a computer mouse pointer!

Graphics: As this is a casual puzzle game, graphics aren't a huge issue here. ...That said, these are a HUNDRED times better than Techno Source's! The colors, the shading, the resolution, all much more defined and beautiful than whatever garbage heap of ugly sprites and backgrounds made up the other game! I especially like that you actually play Sudoku on a scroll that can roll and unroll when paused/unpaused. It's those little details that make even minimal graphics stand out. So while there's not much on screen, what IS on screen looks nice and like they actually took advantage of the technology of the time instead of relying on the hottest trends of 1989...

Music & Sound: The only music is a 10 second loop of some sort of Oriental riff that repeats endlessly. ...However, it's not a BAD track, and it does set a calming atmosphere that matches the laid back tone of the puzzle. I found myself paying more attention to the puzzle than the music, so it didn't bother me as much as it should have and it would probably have taken a while to get tired of it. The sound effects sound like they were taken from a game meant for a more powerful system, then heavily bit-crunched. You have a variety of beeps and clicks for choosing numbers, clicking on squares, choosing an option, etc, and they all sound much more cartoonish and low-quality than you'd expect from how this game looks and plays. They're not terrible, but they are distracting and can get annoying after a while. So points for effort, but none for not stopping for a second and thinking if these needed to be added.

Gameplay: It's Sudoku. With the same problems Techno Source's version had. You have to slowly select each square with a directional pad, you can't input multiple numbers into a space, there's no way to save it for later, and it's faster to just do the puzzle over than go back and find the errors. However, I like that they DO tell you if there are errors, and they've included Hint and Solve options in case you want to be done with that puzzle and move on. I'm also a little more forgiving of the games on here since they're all single-player puzzles, so you're not forced to play a multiplayer game only against a computer. ...Still, there's just no reason to play Sudoku on one of these things, period.

Replay Value: Again, since they're puzzle games, you can play a near infinite amount of different puzzles. ...But you most likely wouldn't want to.


It's slightly nicer than Techno Source's attempt, with better graphics, controls, and sound, but it's still a puzzle game that has no business being on a console you plug into a TV. All you get from buying this is a much slower version of a pen-and-paper puzzle that you have to hog the family TV to play, so it's much more likely you'll be surrounded by screaming kids wanting to play their Xbox One then getting a little peace and relaxation with a casual puzzle... I once again recommend ignoring this thing and buying a Sudoku puzzle book. And that can be applied to any electronic version of Sudoku you come across...

Monday, September 25, 2017

Plug n Play Game Corner: Techno Source Sudoku TV Gaming System

Hey, remember the Sudoku craze of the mid-2000s? ...Well, I'm about to unearth those terrible memories and remind you of that dark puzzle period with TWO Sudoku game consoles! Starting with Techno Source's Sudoku TV Gaming System. ...You can tell I'm going to give it high points for creativity...

Game: Sudoku TV Gaming System
Developer: Techno Source
Release Date: 2005
Genre: Puzzle

In case you didn't catch my venom at the start, I was never a Sudoku guy. ...In fact, I understand that a lot of people aren't. It's a very dividing puzzle craze, even back when it was all the rage. You either loved it or hated it, there was no middle ground. My mom was the former, I was the latter.

 Basically, it was the puzzle-equivalent of Twilight.

I'm not going to go into the full history of Sudoku. About how the modern version has been around since about 1979 but really took off in 2004 when it was printed in newspapers. About how many versions have been created that use different symbols than numbers. About how numerous TV game shows dedicated to the puzzle have been created. Nor about how it's so popular, juries have had to have been dismissed since they were so busy playing it, they ignored all evidence. You'll see none of that here.

 However, I will state the obvious and tell you that since its sudden popularity, Sudoku has seen a release in countless incarnations. We have newspaper Sudoku puzzles, puzzle books solely based around Sudoku, little electronic Sudoku games, DVD bonus features(such as the Disney's Peter Pan Platinum Edition), and inclusions in puzzle game compilations that people wouldn't have bought otherwise(such as the DS Brain Age game pictured.)

And, of course, we have a number of Plug n Play games, including these two.

Apparently, these aren't the only two consoles dedicated to Sudoku. There are quite a few Sudoku TV games out there, including several licensed by The New York Times. Well, from what I understand, Sudoku is public domain(or at least on the border of it), so why not have a billion dedicated consoles?

And that's not counting all these multi-game packs that also include Sudoku.

Maybe if I come across another Plug n Play game dedicated to Sudoku, and if I need another filler review, I'll feature those too. ...But even if they were instead dedicated to a game I liked, there's not a whole lot to say about a console dedicated solely to one puzzle, so expect the next few reviews to be shorter than usual...

So first, we're featuring the more "official" of these games: The Sudoku TV Gaming System. ...Which I've had to prop up in order to get a good view of the box and the flap on the top.

And look at that, it's another game still in packaging! And quite good packaging for what it is as well.

The front and back of the box has a Sudoku pattern for a background, already making it stand out from countless packages that rely on solid color backgrounds to get noticed.

 The color scheme they chose for the images in the foreground is actually REALLY good. It's a nice combination of a soft orange and dark blue against an off-white, with text outlines alternating between those colors. I don't know what it is about those colors, but they somehow manage to mix a modern and retro feel, making shapes including them timeless.

Almost makes me overlook the fact that it's just called "Sudoku TV Gaming System." ...Even "Sudoku Family Game Collection" would have shown SOME thought...

At least it promises "Over 1 Million Computer Generated Puzzles." ...Well, it doesn't say they all have to be solvable.

And it also doesn't say "Sudoku Puzzles", so it's possible the million differences may be spread out across the six games included...

"Plug In For TV Play." ...That phrasing sort of suggests that it's not TV-exclusive. Perhaps you can also plug it into a toaster for "Toaster Play?" Let me know how that works out!

The back has this enormous oval blurb stating all the features of the Sudoku game. ...Just the Sudoku game, not any of the other games they included. Methinks the rest was just an afterthought.

But it boasts such features as "Beginner and Advanced modes with four difficulty levels" and "No math required" and "No more erasing through your newspaper." ...So basically the features it boasts are either standard features of any Sudoku game or things that are NOT required. Hmmm... Maybe I should try that.

Watch my stop-motion building brick videos! They include brick sets and you don't have to put them together yourself! ...I stand out now!

In a smaller blurb, they tell us that we can play Sudoku right on our own televisions! Now we can take TV time away from everyone else who wanted to watch it to play something that could easily be played with pen and paper! Which could also be stored "neatly in a cabinet or drawer when you are done" and probably take up less space! ...They're not selling me the idea of a Sudoku TV game is what I'm saying...

My favorite part is this quote at the top that's taken completely out of context: "It's a global sensation!" USA Today. ...Note that they left out anything that specifies if they were talking about the Sudoku craze in general or this game in particular. That's the way to advertise! Find a random quote that has nothing to do with you and make it so general that it MUST be referring to you! ...Well, they're the masters. Let me try.


"...A great addition to any collection."
-Allen "Tormentalous" Tran. The Brick Fan

Sure, that quote came from a completely different review, but it can easily apply to the above set as well, so can't complain!

And, as is common with stuff on this blog, they include the "0-3" logo

But 5+ on the front of the box. ...However, this isn't a brick set, so I'm not making that joke here.

Look at that! We have another brand new game for this blog, still in its plastic casing and the cord wrapped with a twist tie! Well, we'll soon spoil that, won't we?

 The console is also molded in the orange and blue colors from the box, which again really makes it stand out and keeps it from that tacky cheap look a lot of other consoles have. Plus the shape isn't that generic, having a sort of textured "portable TV" look to it, complete with roundish light blue sticker on the front that resembles a screen. ...Sort of makes me wonder why they didn't make this a portable console with an LCD screen. Maybe that would have been too expensive for the mid-2000s, but it would have made it really stand out.

The texture doesn't wrap around to the back, making the rest of the console smooth plastic. Fair enough, since I don't want to clutch a grooved pattern for a long period of time. Feels like little needles sticking in your fingertips after a while...

 The controls are your basic A, B, and Directional Pad, with a Start button to pause the action.

Though they split the Pause/Menu function of most Plug n Play games by assigning the "Menu" to a button on the top right next to the power switch. Reason? I have no idea. It's redundant.

In case the title didn't clue you in enough, this comes to use from Techno Source, the same creators of the Elmo's World and Disney Cars Coloring Book games. Nothing else to add about them that I didn't already address in those two games, so check out those entries for more company information.

 But even if they didn't include their company information, I could probably tell this was a Techno Source game by what seems to be their trademark: FOUR TRIPLE "A"s NEEDED! And the screw for the battery cover is unbelievably small, meaning you'd need something similar to a jeweler's screwdriver or an eyeglass repair kit just to get in!  ...Have I worn out the rant about how nobody has triple "A"s? ...I probably have. Moving on.

And since this is a new game out of the box, we have a rarity for this blog: An instruction book!

Basically, it just tells you how to plug it into the TV(if you're especially incompetent) and instructions for each of the games it features. Don't worry, I'm not going to bore you with each game's section. I'm boring enough already.

Immediately upon turning it on, all the goodwill I gave this console for its high quality build and timeless feel goes right out the window! ...Just... LOOK at this title screen! Talk about the saddest shade of barf green you've ever seen complimented by a dull yellow Old English font straight from an old medieval-themed DOS game! Not to mention the depressing-as-all-get-out bit tune theme in the background that sounds like an Oriental riff ripped from some other budget game. They couldn't even be bothered to show any logos before the title screen, nor any logos at all! The only thing we get is one Techno Source text on top of another, showing that they REALLY want you to know this was their creation... This is the screen that greets you every time you turn it on or restart...

As said on the box, this console features 6 different games:

Chinese Checkers

Let's start with the main feature: Sudoku. I chose the Beginner Level 1 stage just to test it out.

Anyone with just the slightest knowledge of Sudoku probably knows how this is played. Fill in rows of numbers so each column, row, and square has the numbers 1-9 without repeating a number in each of said columns, rows, or squares. As with all popular puzzle games, the mechanics are simple, but actually doing it can be hair-tearingly frustrating...

And that's just what we have here. Select a number from the bottom, put it in the square it belongs in, lather, rinse, repeat. If you're smart or very lucky, you'll complete the puzzle eventually.

Unfortunately, this console commits one of the cardinal sins of console gaming: Using a cursor to perform onscreen actions!

This isn't the first time we've seen this on this blog, as a section of the Grand Puzzleventure game also involved moving a cursor with a joystick. ...But here, it's even more pointless and tedious!

Normally, game controllers involve simplified movement and actions, everything mapped to its own button that triggers an onscreen response under the right circumstances. This is to keep things fast and flowing in the more action-oriented console game market, which is also why things like puzzle and RTS games aren't very popular on consoles.

Pointers are designed for computer mice(and the Wii or occasional system that also had a mouse accessory), as it's much easier to move them on screen with a fluid, responsive mouse than a more clunky and slow joystick. Having something that responds to any wrist movement allows for much more precise and faster coordination, so puzzles, RTSs, and other games that require a lot of repetitive actions like clicking, scrolling, etc are often PC games.

With a gamepad, having to use a pointer can turn any game into a slow, clunky mess. Since it's much harder to pinpoint an area using a gamepad, they've slowed down the movement of the pointer to an agonizing crawl, meaning that every time you want to place a number, you need to guide the pointer down to the options, find the number you think is right, then guide it back up and place it where it needs to go!

And if you're wrong, you get to scroll down again, pick a different number, and try it all over again! This can more than DOUBLE the time it takes to get through ONE puzzle!

There's NO reason why they chose this control scheme for a gamepad-based console. Puzzle games have been ported to systems that use a directional pad, such as the above Bejeweled for the original Xbox, but the controls have been changed to accommodate for the different scheme. In this case, they inserted a cursor that hovers over possible choices and assigned other actions to different buttons. This keeps the gameplay fluid and action-based, so anyone accustomed to faster controls can still enjoy a casual game.

Here, I hope you like counting the seconds of your life ticking away, because you're going to be spending a lot of time staring at the timer and waiting for the cursor to move into place...

Anyway, aside from the agonizingly slow and clunky control scheme, it's just your average game of Sudoku. Find the right number, put it where it goes, and move on.

 In the Beginner levels, the numbers incorrectly placed are shown in red, while anything blue is correct, meaning that you can easily just place random numbers and see if the game accepts them or not. ...But they are Beginner levels, so we'll accept that.

However, this does bring up the other major problem with playing Sudoku on a console: The lack of being able to write possible answers in each box. While playing Sudoku, there are a number of times where we're not entirely sure which number goes in which box, so we write possible numbers in each corner and, through elimination, eventually find which one fits. Without that option, you have to remember which numbers may work or continually reevaluate each row and column! Again, this adds a LOT more trouble to what's already a time-consuming puzzle!

So after a scant 11 minutes, I finally got the correct number in each box and, after having to hit "Submit" for some reason despite the game clearly showing I got everything right, completed the puzzle. I wasn't interested in spending ANOTHER 11 minutes on a new puzzle, so I moved on.

And since I just told you basically everything this console has to offer, I'm just going to speed through the next few games.

Next was Chinese Checkers. Just get all the balls to the opponent's side of the board before they do. All while using the same stupid cursor function...

And I hope you enjoy the sound of white noise and background buzzing, because, on top of there being no music for any of these games, the one sound in this certain game only occurs when you or the opponent gets their first piece in the opposite side of the board. ...This makes the Elmo's World game sound like the Sydney Opera House...

For some reason, even when the opponent has clearly won, you STILL need to move all your pieces to the other side before you can progress. ...Yeah. No. Moving on.

Checkers might be the best game on this console. For one, it's a game I actually managed to win. ...Probably by luck, since I'm terrible at Chess and Checkers...

For two, and most importantly, it's actually a game that uses a gamepad-friendly control scheme! The small cursor hovers over a space you can interact with and the A button selects a piece and a square for it to hop over to! No stupid mouse pointer-mechanics. Just scroll, click, and select! You have no idea how much of a difference that made, as I felt I could actually enjoy this game! ...Of course, the game's still bland and boring, so there wasn't a whole lot of difference all things considered...

It also would have been nice to SEE these games. The footage probably looks alright to you, but plugged into my TV, it, for some reason, constantly lost focus and jittered out of control for split seconds. I've never had a game that did this to my TV and not the recorded footage! ...Admittedly, I'm happy that the footage came out fine, but it's odd that the signal kept getting dropped when I've never had that problem before...

Next was Reversi. Or Othello. Or Go. Or whatever else this game or its dozen of variations have been called somewhere in the world. Whatever you call it, it's a simple game of surrounding the opponent's pieces, flipping them to your color, and having the most on the board when it's full. I didn't win this one, but since my goal here is just to show these games off, winning was only secondary.

And speaking of showing off, the graphics in this game are terrible. Once again, Techno Source has reverted to its ugly library of pinks, blues, greens, browns, and yellows that just hurt the eyes after a while. It's admittedly not AS bad as their Elmo's World game, since there are more recognizable patterns and details, but at the same time, given what they were able to accomplish with their Cars Coloring Book and how other Plug n Play games looked like at the time, these are some REALLY low quality graphics that have no excuse to look this bad...

Then we had Backgammon. ...I don't know Backgammon, I don't CARE about Backgammon, I left this game as quickly as possible.

Though I will mention another problem with this console. It's a little hard to detect in the footage since my capture device normally skips over static and other signal losses, but instead of having a Menu option like most games, this console has a Reset button, which hard resets the console back to the title screen. It's a minor problem at best, I guess, but I've NEVER liked consoles that do this. I always fear that constantly resetting the console this way will eventually wipe its memory or short circuit it or some other technical problem that will render it unusable...

Finally, there's Dominoes. We've all played this when we were 5-years-old. Match the numbers on your dominoes to the previous ones placed on the ground and don't be the one who can't make a match. It's one of the most simplistic games known to man, but it plays fine here, so it's another of the minor victories this console has scored.

And that's the console. A collection of board games and puzzles you could just as easily get from a dollar store for a buck each all put on something you need to hog the family TV in order to play. That might not sound too bad, since these are games that are usually played with others. ...Except for one more glaring flaw that could have been so easily fixed but has resulted in the console again beaten by its pen-and-paper counterparts:



Design: The design of the console shows a bit of promise. A nice color scheme, a portable TV-like body, easily accessible button controls, and a high-res sticker that proudly displays the console's name. It's simplistic, but, with its high-quality build, it promises a lot. ...It doesn't deliver on any of those promises, but for someone Sudoku-crazy who's looking for another way to play their favorite game, it would stand out and appeal to the curious.

Controls: The controls are ridiculous. The physical buttons work fine, I guess, and are within reach, but WHY ARE THERE MOUSE-STYLE CONTROLS FOR A GAMEPAD?! They're not even consistent, since only the first two games have mouse-style movement, while the remaining four games all use the standard move-and-select scheme usually associated with console games. But no matter what scheme they use, it's slow, tedious, often inaccurate, and takes more than double the time to move the cursor than it should.

Graphics: The graphics remind me of a few similar card and puzzle games I played as a kid. ...IN 1995 ON A FLOPPY! There's no reason for the graphics and color schemes to look this unappealing in 2005 on a Plug n Play console! The only game that doesn't have a color scheme that makes me want to claw my eyes out after 5 minutes is the Sudoku game, since it's given a few nice shades of blue for the background and the pattern is recognizable. ...In fact, with how much nicer it looks from all the other games on this console, I'm almost convinced they designed the other games much earlier and this is a rerelease with their version of Sudoku. ...It's a theory, but it would explain the huge color difference and how it was probably easier to design the Sudoku game a few years after the other games. ...But I digress. Most everything in this console is ugly to look at and very low-res, so I wouldn't recommend playing anything for long periods... Also, why did the signal keep dropping to my TV but not my capture device?

Music & Sound: The only music on the console is the title screen, and even that sounds like a track from Aladdin on the NES with a bunch of notes missing... Besides that, most of the noise is comprised solely of various blips whenever a piece is moved and a short victory jingle when the game is over. ...And even that's inconsistent, since Chinese Checkers only plays a sound when a piece makes it to the other end of the board. In short, this game takes a lot of its sound from the Museum of Silence.

Gameplay: All games on here play the exact same way as their physical counterparts, except with even less detail! At least with a pen-and-paper Sudoku, you can write possible numbers in the corners. And everything is much easier to select and move with a real life variation than using these controls... But even if you'd rather play these games electronically, you can't play what are supposed to be multiplayer games, since there's no two-player option! So really, there's no point in playing any of these games since they can be easily replicated with dollar-store versions that you can move into an environment of your choice and play with a friend.

Replay Value: Well, since they're board and puzzle games, there is essentially limitless gameplay, but why you'd want to replay these inferior ports of already existing games is beyond me.


It's a very low grade and overly simplistic collection of games you can find anywhere. It not only doesn't include any improvements, but takes away features that you'd find in any real version of these games! They're ugly, pointless, take up more space than a regular game, and can't be played with others or taken anywhere. I can't recommend this console to anyone. If you want to get your Sudoku on, just go buy a puzzle book.