I was recently asked by KMS Software to review their latest MCE product, MCE Sudoku. This was an interesting prospect for me, because I was unaware that anyone even made games on top of the Windows Media Center platform. On their product page, KMS describes the product as:
Join the craze. Play the world’s most popular logic and reasoning puzzle. It's fun, challenging and addictive.
- Four different playing levels (easy, medium, hard, expert)
- Customise the appearance of your software with different graphics settings
- On-screen pencil mark view allow you to see your calculations
- Automatic save function (exit and resume game at a later date)
- Unique puzzle with every new game
- Unlimited number of puzzles to play
I haven't, however, played very much Sudoku and so I have a limited understanding of how Sudoku is played. Intrigued, I took them up on their offer, downloaded the game, and tried it out. After installing the game, I entered the activation code using the funky phone-like input interface and I was ready to go. Since my MCE isn't directly connected to my TV, I powered up my Xbox 360 and extended the application to my TV, it worked! It's pretty cool conceptually that publishers can release MCE games, and that those games can then be extended to the 360, I wonder if anyone will ever make a game oriented to that sort of gameplay... Anyways, the game starts up and you can essentially perform the same operations that one would perform to play pencil and paper Sudoku, except the game is interfaced on top of the MCE API -- pretty clever! The game offers three difficulty settings, each different setting will lay out a more difficult game for the player. Upon finishing the grid, the game will let you know if you have satisfied the Sudoku rules, and, I'm assuming, since I'm not good enough at Sudoku to even finish an easy game, it lets you know when you have won.
I found this simple game to be a clever use of the MCE API, and I'd imagine that it's a great MCE toy for avid Sudoku fans who want to play from their living room on their tv. I am not sure how much this would appeal to people who don't know Sudoku, as the game is pretty cerebral and picking up the game from the MCE interface is difficult. If you have an MCE and like to play Sudoku, check out MCE Sudoku and let me know what happens when you win ^_^