I bought Pappocom Sudoku, I played it, and now I can tell you all about it. Read this review and then decide if this Sudoku game is for you.

Pappocom Sudoku is the creation of Wayne Gould, the man who made Sudoku popular. (Read the article “History Of Sudoku” for more details.)

This sudoku game software is designed for Windows® PCs. My overall impression is very favorable. Retailing at $14.95 USD it is a bargain compared to the years of work that it took to create it.

Difficulty Levels

Easy, Medium, and Hard are the normal grades easily selected by pressing an icon button and then selecting New from the file menu. However you can create special grades using the CTRL key + NEW resulting in grades from Very Easy to Very Hard or ANON. (Anonymous – you don’t know what grade you will get.)

Grid Options

If you want to play a Sudoku game with different Sudoku grid sizes, you will like this feature. Pappocom Sudoku allows you to not only play on the classic 9×9 grid, but you can select the grid size from 4×4, 6×6, 8×8, 10×10, 12×12, 14×14, and 16×16.


Sudoku does not require that you use numbers. You could use any symbol or color that you choose. Pappocom Sudoku allows you to choose between numbers, letters, hex, and patches (color discs).

Look and Feel Adjustments

Some folks like to customize the look and feel interface of a program. This program allows you to change colors, line weights and fonts.

Cell Entry

Pappocom Sudoku allows you to type in cell values or use your mouse, but not both at the same. A game option requires you to make a choice. This is a little annoying to me. I like flexibility.

To use the mouse, Pappocom Sudoku requires you to first select the number button with your mouse (button or wheel) and then click the cell with the left mouse button to enter that number into the cell. Forget the first step and you will enter the wrong number into a cell.

To correct your mistake, you will need to click the eraser and then the cell.

Pencil In Markups

Solving hard Sudoku puzzles will require the ability to pencil in possible cell candidates for most people. You have three Pencil mark entry styles to choose from. Auto re-order, append to list, and freestyle.

To pencil in a cell candidate, you left click your mouse button on the desired number button and then click the right mouse button when you are over the desired cell. If you choose to use the key entry option, you will not be able to enter cell candidates.

Make a mistake penciling in a candidate? Just click the undo button. Do not click the eraser unless you want to erase all of your pencil marks.

Sorry, if you want a game to automatically enter and remove cell candidates, then this program is not for you. You must manually enter them and remove them yourself.

The advantage of manually entering candidates, is you can choose which cells to pencil in and only the candidates you wish to enter. This means less confusion to some folks.


Beginners may want to turn on the hints option. This option is on the Hall of Fame tab of the Game Options window. Choosing this option disables you from entering your name into the Hall of Fame, a record of the best times and players for the different game difficulty levels.

Hints are the most basic in this game. It will solve the cell you have selected or a random cell if a cell isn’t selected first. Taking a hint may not solve your problem. It does not teach you to recognize cell candidate patterns, or how to use any techniques to solve the puzzle.

Validity Checks

Some folks learning Sudoku like the aid of automatic validity checks. Pappocom Sudoku has a game option to flag wrong cell entries. Errors appear in bright red.

Importing Sudoku Puzzles

If you like to import a Sudoku puzzle you found in a book, newspaper, or Sudoku Essentials website into this game, you can.

The term used is dubbing. You are given a blank grid. You manually enter the given numbers the same way as if you are playing a game. All the numbers appear in red.

After you have entered your puzzle, click the Verify button. It will tell you if it thinks the puzzle you entered is a valid puzzle.

But beware! This program does not recognize some legitimate Sudoku puzzle patterns. So it will tell you that the puzzle you entered is invalid. My fiendish puzzles fall into this category. In my opinion, my fiendish puzzles are not invalid.

If you enter one of my Very Hard puzzles which have patterns like X-Wing, XY-Wing, Swordfish, etc., then you will get the message that it rates the puzzle as very hard and unfair.

Pappocom Sudoku does not create the most difficult puzzles. If you want very difficult puzzles, choose another Sudoku game.


Here is a feature I don’t recommend using. Cloaking allows you, the user, to disguise this program as some other program.

For instance, if you set the option to be, say, Microsoft Excel®, when you pause the program, it will minimize the window showing the text you selected and the Excel® icon.

The purpose of cloaking is to hide your game playing from the boss. Now is that the right thing to do?


Pappocom Sudoku is an excellent Sudoku game. This program is worthy of your consideration if this game provides the features you desire.

However, solving a puzzle will take more time if you need to pencil in all the candidates for each cell. I prefer other programs.

These are the facts, you decide!