The team at Lightwood Games has released another compilation of word puzzles on the Playstation Vita and Playstation 4. Available as a cross-buy title, Word Sudoku by POWGI is out now – we played the Vita version for this review.
Of course, Lightwood is no stranger to the genre, as they previously released games like the excellent Pic-a-Pix Color and Word Search by POWGI for the Vita. Word Sudoku takes the familiar Sudoku concept but exchanged the numbers for letters – giving you a nine letter word and placing its letters inside 3×3 grids as though they were numbers. It’s essentially the same as the number-based version, though one of the nine rows (or columns) in the grid will spell out that nine letter word if you do it correctly.
On most puzzles, you can instantly see which row will have the word, giving you a few easy letters to place as you complete it. Otherwise, it’s a little less intuitive than when working with numbers as you’re trying to see what’s missing from a 3×3 grid, but Lightwood does offer a few visual hints. Selecting a letter on the grid will highlight all the other letters that are the same in other grids, making it a lot easier to see what’s missing. You can also check for errors, in case you get stuck but can’t remember where. And if you want, you can switch each puzzle to a numerical one if you’re more comfortable with a classic Sudoku puzzle.
Word Sudoku by POWGI features no less than 240 puzzles, neatly arranged according to how challenging each puzzle is (which is based on how many slots are pre-filled). Complete the right puzzles and you’ll also unlock trophies here and there – you’ll need to complete at least 50 puzzles to unlock everything, which is a lot better than a rather daunting 240.
I love doing these puzzles when I have five or ten minutes to spare, but my biggest issue with Word Sudoku is the lack of diversity in the package. The puzzles are fun to do, there are a ton of cute little puns all around (another Lightwood staple), but I wish that these POWGI titles came packaged inside some sort of compilation with a few different puzzle types to choose from. Even with just four puzzle types, you’d still be looking at 60 puzzles per type and the ability to switch between them when things get repetitive. As it stands, it’s mostly a case of how much you enjoy (word) Sudoku, and I wonder how many Vita owners will be getting anywhere close to completing 240 of them. If you’re thinking “me!”, then this is a no-brainer. For anyone else, this is worth picking up if you like having a few games on your Vita that you can boot up whenever you have a few minutes to spare for a small puzzle.