Sudoku Works 4 Kids ™ is a computer Sudoku program for kids. This program is ideal for children to learn logic skills while playing a fun game of Sudoku. This game is intended to be educational too.
It is a derivative of the popular Sudoku Works™ program for adults.
This kid Sudoku program is developed and maintained by Oak Systems Leisure Software. This software was available on a free 7-day trial evaluation. So I grabbed the opportunity to download Sudoku Works 4 Kids™ game and solver.
The first thing I noticed that sets Sudoku Works 4 Kids ™ apart as a kid Sudoku software program is the skins or themes.
Look and Feel Adjustments
Sudoku Works 4 Kids™ gives you the option to choose from seven (7) themes or skins. The colorful background changes for each theme.
Each theme has colorful symbols such as colors, faces, flags, food, funky girl, or shapes that you can use in the place of the traditional numbers 1-9. If you prefer using numbers you can. It is called the action theme.
Each symbol is numbered to make it easier to play Sudoku.
In a children’s version of Sudoku, I don’t expect to see very difficult puzzles. Basic logic should be the highest skill level needed to solve a puzzle.
Sudoku Works 4 Kids ™ doesn’t disappoint in this area. First of all, only four (4) levels of difficulty can be selected for each grid size. They are labeled easy, medium, hard, and devious.
To make things even easier, more “givens” are displayed at the start of each game for the easier difficulty settings. On a 9×9 grid at an easy difficulty setting, I had 49 givens. At a devious setting I had 26 givens.
You have four possible grid options to choose from. They are 4×4, 6×6, 8×8, and 9×9. With these grid sizes even a very young child may play a game of Sudoku and learn basic logic.
With this program you must first click your mouse button to select a number or letter from the menu, and then click the cell you want the value to appear in.
Clicking the left mouse button enters the selected value, whereas clicking the right mouse button enters the value as a candidate. Candidates are displayed as numbers only.
You may also click a candidate with the left mouse button to enter the candidate as the chosen value for the cell.
This program does not use the keyboard/keypad as other programs do.
Pencil In Markups
Sudoku Works 4 Kids ™ is a little different in this area from other programs I have reviewed. You have several options.
You have the choice of either entering your own candidates for every cell in “regular game” mode. This means you can add and remove candidates at will. This is the slow and time consuming method. Upon completion of the game you will be able to add your name to the “roll of honor”.
You may also allow the software to automatically add and remove your candidates. However, this is considered “practice mode”. This means you will not be able to add your name in the “honor roll” of fastest times. Nor will you be able to deselect candidates at will as you would like to do when eliminating candidates from consideration. Bummer.
All good computer Sudoku games will give you a hint when the player asks. Sudoku Works 4 Kids ™ does too. When you click the “?” button, you will be given a hint if possible.
A hint might be the cell highlighted “has one possible value” or “the value is incorrect” if an error occurs in some cell. I do think the hints are few.
This program allows you to enter wrong values into a cell just as you might on a paper grid. It will however, highlight the cells that are wrong when you click the “Show Mistakes” button.
A hint, as mentioned above, may also reveal a cell that has an error in it.
Importing Sudoku Puzzles
The ability to enter a puzzle from your newspaper or book is a “must have” feature. Sudoku Works 4 Kids ™ allows you to enter a puzzle into a blank grid.
Once you entered your puzzle, you need to click the “Solve” button. The software will then check for a solution.
You will then be given an option to search for other solutions. If no other solutions are found, or in other words, the puzzle has one unique solution, you will then be able to solve the puzzle.
Cloaking is not available in Sudoku Works 4 Kids ™. What is cloaking? It is the ability to disguise your game as some other program, say a spreadsheet.
So, be safe. Don’t play this game during class. 😉
Filtering is possible with Sudoku Works 4 Kids ™. If you wanted to see where all the ones are, you only need to click the 1 button on your menu.
Each cell that has a one in it will be highlighted. Candidates and solved cells are both highlighted in your chosen color. This is a great way to find hidden singles.
Sudoku Works 4 Kids ™ does not have any tutorials to teach you Sudoku. Its help file is basic also. They do however have a “Fact File” associated with some themes.
The fact file is intended to be educational. For instance, for the flag theme, a table displays flags and the name of the country the flag is associated with.
Overall Sudoku Works 4 Kids ™ is an ideal kid Sudoku program. Children from a very young age to high school can find a game to satisfy them.
I did however experience some problems that may affect your buying decision.
I experienced times when the software “crashed”. This occurred when I “minimized” the main window, and then attempted to re-open it. However, this does not happen all the time. Nor did it ever “crash” while I was solving a puzzle.
It is possible, that some other programs such as fire walls, or anti-virus programs that I run on my PC were interfering with Sudoku Works 4 Kids ™. I sometimes have problems with other applications on my PC. So I would give Sudoku Works 4 Kids ™ the benefit of the doubt just in case the problems are caused by my PC.
As far as I know, this software is no longer available. I recommend Simple Sudoku . It is free and you can select easy Sudoku puzzles for your kids.