‘Good Sudoku’ for iOS by Zach Gage and Jack Schlesinger
There’s a distinct Gage-yness to a Zach Gage game, in the way that you know, say, a Stephen King novel or Martin Scorsese movie just by the feel of it.
—John Gruber, Daring Fireball
We love ourselves a good Zach Gage game around here on T&T, and his latest release, Good Sudoku — created in collaboration with designer Jack Schlesinger — is definitely one we’ll be playing for a long while. Unlike most of his titles, which typically involve a classic game with a silly twist, this is simply Sudoku done very well.
The main premise of Good Sudoku is that it strips out all the tedious aspects (aka busywork) of solving Sudoku puzzles, with a bunch of extra help being offered by an AI-powered hint system created just for this game. From the App Store description:
Most people don’t know this but Sudoku puzzles are actually generated by programatic Sudoku solvers. The fastest way to know how hard your puzzle is, or if it’s valid, is to write a solver that knows all the strategies that can try it. With Good Sudoku, we run our solver as you are playing, so if you get stuck, it can detect what you know by looking at your answers and your notes, and then help you find the next technique you need to solve the puzzle.
Andrew Webster of The Verge explains a bit more in depth:
Good Sudoku has a hint system powered by an AI that shows you the next most logical move and also gives brief lessons on high-level sudoku techniques in a way that’s easy to grasp.
Just as important, the game gives you the tools to utilize those techniques, with a robust note-taking system for keeping track of what numbers could go where. The challenge scales in a way that makes sense; when you choose to take on a new difficulty level, the game will tell you what skills you’ll need to complete the puzzles. Good Sudoku also eliminates some of the busywork inherent in the game — most notably, counting. When you have a row or grid that’s entirely complete except for one number, tapping on it will give you the only possible option, speeding things up quite a bit.
Whether you’re a Sudoku veteran looking for a challenge or a newbie who’s been put off by the lack of great puzzle solving tools, Good Sudoku is the cream of the crop that you should have in your collection.
Try it for free from the iOS App Store, with a $4 in-app unlock to access the full game once you’re hooked (which I’m sure you will be).