Don't Download or Buy Sudoku Dragon ™ Until You Read My Critical Review!
Discover the truth about Sudoku Dragon™! I downloaded this Sudoku Game, I played it, and now I can tell you what I liked and disliked about it. Read this critical review and then decide if this Sudoku game is right for you.
I don't know about you, but I like to know the truth before downloading or buying a software program. It can save you hours or days of frustration. Most of all the truth can save you money!
Sudoku Dragon™ is developed and maintained by Silurian Software. This software is available on a free 22 day trial evaluation. So I grabbed the opportunity to download Sudoku Dragon (http://www.sudokudragon.com/download.htm).
My overall impression, is very favorable. Sudoku Dragon™ is an attractive, well design interface. The 3D tiles are a nice cosmetic touch.
See screenshot (64k)
Sudoku Dragon™ is designed for every skill level, beginner to expert.
The first window that opens when you initiate the program is one that allows you to set the difficulty level and the grid size.
The difficulty ranges from Gentle to Challenging in five possible settings.
You will find very easy Sudoku puzzles to some very difficult Sudoku puzzles. Something for every skill level.
I found patterns such as singles, pairs, triples, X-wing, XY-Wing, colors, multiple colors, and locked candidates.
You have lots of possible grid options with this program. They are 4x4, 6x6, 8x8, 9x9, 10x10, 12x12, 14x14, 15x15, 16x16, and 20x20 Sudoku.
The 4x4, and 6x6 grid sizes make an excellent Sudoku for kids program.
The other grid options can make for some very challenging games for adults.
For the larger grid sizes above 14x14, you may need a larger monitor (greater than 17") and adjust your monitor's resolution in order to see the candidates.
If you don't use candidates or pencil in markups, then you should be able to still see the cell values even on a 20x20 grid.
Sudoku Dragon™ gives you the option to substitute letters in place of the traditional numbers 1-9 used in Sudoku. In grid sizes of 12x12 or larger, number and letters will be used.
Look and Feel Adjustments
You have the option to choose from fifteen (15) color themes. You also can create your own design, setting color, fonts, grid thickness, tile appearance, and more. I counted twenty two (22) user defined options. Get creative!
Cursor to the cell you want to make an entry by using the arrow keys or by just clicking on the desired cell. All entries are made by typing in your number or letter (not case sensitive).
Pencil In Markups
Sudoku Dragon™ is a little different in this area from other programs I have reviewed. You have several options.
First of all you can double click any cell using your mouse. You can then enter your tentative markups by checking the check box of the letter or number desired. You can also enter some notes if desired.
In addition to pencilling in your candidates, you have the option of the program showing you all the possibilities for each cell in different ways.
First, you have the option of the program not showing you any of the possibilities for any cells.
Second, you can have the program only show you the possibilities for the currently selected cell.
Third, you have the option to only show you the possibilities for the selected square and only the groups the cell is in. (i,e, row, column, or region.) This is nice way to remove the clutter of other cells that don't have any bearing on the cell you are trying to solve.
Fourth, you also have the option to show all possibilities for all cells.
Fifth, you also have the option to exclude user tentative possibilities from possibilities shown the program. This is the way to exclude candidates from each cell.
All good computer Sudoku games will give you a hint when the player asks. Sudoku Dragon™ does too. When you click the "Give a Hint" light bulb icon, you will be prompted with a menu of six hint options.
You can have the software:
In addition to these hints, you have several options that effect the displaying of the candidates. In addition to displaying the candidates for the cells in part or whole, you can have the program highlight candidates that are excluded by other groups or sub-groups for example.
These candidates are highlighted in color making it easy to identify hidden singles, pairs, etc. This option can be turned off if you prefer to find your own candidates without the computer helping you.
Beginner Sudoku solvers will love all the possible hints.
Sudoku Dragon™ will not only prompt you with an error message when you enter the wrong value into a cell, but it will also give you the reason why the entry is wrong. I like that!
Another feature this program has that I have not seen in any other Sudoku program, is Grid Square Details window. This window will open when you press the F11 key or from a menu option.
On the Grid Square Details window you will see a comment about every possible entry. You will be informed on why certain numbers or values can not be enter into the cell selected.
If multiple numbers are possible, it will not reveal the correct answer. This is just another tool to help Sudoku players solve their puzzle.
Importing Sudoku Puzzles
The ability to enter a puzzle from your newspaper or book is a "must have" feature. Sudoku Dragon™ allows you to enter a puzzle into a blank grid. Once you entered your puzzle, saved the game, and you enter into playing mode.
With this option you can use the software build in tools to help you solve most any puzzle.
Cloaking is not available in Sudoku Dragon™. 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 is possible with Sudoku Dragon™. If you wanted to see where all the possibilities for ones are, you only need to click the 1 button on your tool bar.
Each cell that has a one in it will be displayed. It is an easy way to find hidden or naked singles.
Sudoku Dragon™ provides thirteen (13) tutorials that will help you learn or improve your Sudoku solving skills. Here are the tutorials you will find in this software:
These tutorials take you step by step, explaining the logic behind the more complex solving techniques. Unfortunately, there isn't a Sudoku swordfish tutorial.
Sudoku Dragon™ is an excellent Sudoku program. It will appeal to players of all skill levels beginner through expert. Sudoku Dragon will show you how to solve any standard Sudoku puzzle except Sudoku swordfish.
I was impressed with the quality of the software. It is attractive, and most of all, it can generate some difficult puzzles to appeal to the more skilled player.
One annoying characteristic of this program, is that it may take the fun out of playing Sudoku if you turn on all the available options. But you can control that.
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