Discover the truth about Sudoku Works ™! I downloaded this Sudoku Game, I played it, and now I can tell you what you need to know. Read this critical review and then decide if this Sudoku game is right for you.

If you are like me, you probably would like to know the facts before downloading or buying a software program. It can save you money, frustration, or more!

Sudoku Works™ is developed and maintained by Oak Systems Leisure Software. This software is available on a free 7 day trial evaluation. So I grabbed the opportunity to download Sudoku Works 3 Game and Solver. (This program is no longer available.)

My overall impression is very favorable. Sudoku Works™ has an attractive, well-designed interface.

Like all good Sudoku software programs, it allows you to create more puzzles than you can solve in a lifetime.

This game lets you play against the clock without the aid of automatic pencil marks. An honor roll is maintained for each difficulty level.

Difficulty Levels

The difficulty ranges from Very Easy to Devious in five possible levels.

Sudoku Works™ is designed, in my opinion, for beginner to intermediate level players. Out of about 20 9×9 games that I solved, only one game was a “challenge”.

In that game I found patterns such as singles, pairs, triples, both types of locked candidates, and XY-Wing. Advanced solving techniques included solving with colors, and multiple colors.

Most puzzles I found could be solved using basic logic, scanning, and elimination techniques. Rarely did I see anything more difficult than a pair, triple, or locked candidates even on the Devious setting.

It appears, according to their help file, that they consider a harder puzzle to solve as having less givens. Actually in my opinion, a difficult puzzle is determined by the relationship of the cells or in other words the patterns that are formed.

I’m convinced the software can develop some challenging puzzles, but just not too frequently. If you are looking for a very difficult game that generates dependable X-Wing, Swordfish, and other difficult patterns, look for another program.

Grid Options

You have nine possible grid options with this program. They are 4×4, 6×6, 8×8, 9×9, 10×10, 12×12, 14×14, 15×15, and 16×16 Sudoku.

The 4×4, and 6×6 grid sizes are excellent for children and newbies.

The larger grid options didn’t seem to add to the challenge much. They do make reading ability for candidates difficult.

Symbols

You have the option to substitute letters in place of the traditional numbers 1-9 used in Sudoku. In grid sizes of 12×12 or larger, numbers and letters or letters will be used.

Sudoku Works™ comes with four (4) color themes or skins. You may also customize the grid, setting color for grid lines, pencil marks, highlight, digits, errors, givens, and other numbers. Fonts may be changed also.

Cell Entry

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.

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™ 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. Upon completion of the game you will be able to add your name to the “roll of honor”. This is the slow and time consuming method.

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.

Hints

All good computer Sudoku games will give you a hint when the player asks. Sudoku Works™ 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.

Validity Checks

Sudoku Works™ 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. This program 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

Cloaking is not available in this game. 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 on company time. 😉

Filtering

Filtering is possible. 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.

Tutorials

This game does not have any tutorials to teach you Sudoku. It’s help file is basic also.

Conclusion

Overall Sudoku Works™ is a very nice Sudoku program. I would recommend buying this program without any reservations if it was still available.

It will appeal to players from beginner through advance skill levels. I only wish that they didn’t use color skins with patterns. I like a white background so the numbers are more easily seen.

Sudoku Works™ is a popular Sudoku game. Oak Systems claims over 500,000 people have purchased a copy. Can 500,000 people be wrong? Download Sudoku Works™ and then decide.