Wednesday, June 20

A battle version of Sudoku for iPhone and Facebook



There's a new application on iPhone and Facebook allowing two people to battle over a game of Sudoku at the same time. This beats the current tradition of one person holding a pencil while the other one tells them they've made a mistake.

The new application, called Challenger Sudoku, became available for the iPhone last December and has just recently gone live on Facebook. The game requires friends to challenge (or be challenged by) friends to a game of Sudoku and allows them to play head-to-head in real time.

As you solve each row or main square (consisting of nine single squares) the field highlights in your home color of blue. If your opponent solves a field first, the field becomes red.There are also various bonuses along the way, even one for the first to 777 points. Making mistakes will also take points away and transfer them to your opponents score. With the real-time spinoff, Challenger Sudoku can be very unnerving, especially if you are watching the puzzle light up red as someone solves it faster than you.

Through winning against opponents of your level or higher, you can raise your own level from Student, Senpai, Sensei, Grandmaster, and, highest of all, Sudoku Samurai. These aren't levels you can just relax at, though. If you lose too much or remain inactive you will drop a level.

If you ask a native Japanese speaker to play "Sudoku", you'll likely get an odd stare. In Japan, they generally refer to Sudoku as nampure (short for "number place"). In fact, the game was only recently titled Sudoku by a Japanese game company and later becoming an game of international popularity in 2005 (source). The Japanese had most likely appropriated it from the French, who apparently have had a thing for number puzzles.

Well, anyone up for a challenge?

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You should probably engage in some conversation.