Word Sudoku by POWGI Logo 1

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Content Type: Gaming Reviews
Date: January 4, 2019

Word Sudoku by POWGI is a word sudoku puzzle game available for download from the PlayStation Store for the PS4 and Vita. Lightwood Games are specialists in puzzle games involving word searches, sudoku, picross and more besides. Can Lightwood Games deliver an entertaining word and number sudoku puzzle game in the form of Word Sudoku by POWGI?

There are eight sets of word sudoku puzzles that are ever increasing in difficulty with 30 puzzles within every set of puzzles totalling to 240 word sudoku puzzles. Word Sudoku’s rules are outlined in a single small page of text that is quite easy to follow after a few puzzles worth of practice. Each letter from the nine letters available in each puzzle can only be used once per row, column or 3×3 box resulting in one row or column spelling the nine letter word as depicted by the nine letters available at the side of the respective word sudoku puzzle.

Word Sudoku by POWGI supports cross-buy between the PS4 and Vita, although it unfortunately does not support cross-save, so you will not be able to continue from your previous progression on the Vita version when playing the PS4 version and vice versa. Cross-buy presents a superb amount of value as it means that you will be purchasing the PS4 and Vita versions of the game with just a single purchase.

The controls are appropriately mapped to both the Vita and DualShock 4 controller as the Vita version has an impressively accurate touch screen control scheme in which the player can tap on the square they want to position a letter before tapping on the letter, while tapping on instructions presents a few paragraphs on the rules of Sudoku; tapping on the pause icon displays the pause menu; and tapping on the check icon shows any letters that are entered into the incorrect squares. However, there are other methods of entering a letter within a square on Vita and the DualShock 4 controller by moving a light blue square with the d-pad or left analogue stick before pressing X to then choose the letter you would prefer to enter; pressing select on Vita or R3 on the DualShock 4 controller to display the instructions; simultaneously pressing L and R on Vita or L1 and R1 on the DualShock 4 controller to check for any incorrectly positioned letters; and pressing start on Vita or the options button on the DualShock 4 controller to display the pause menu. Meanwhile, there is no touch pad implementation, despite Vita’s alternative touch screen control scheme, alongside no vibration that could have vibrated to indicate an incorrectly selected word. There is no light bar support that could have produced a light blue in relation to the light blue highlighting a letter or flashing light blue when a group of letters have been completed.

Graphically, Word Sudoku by POWGI does what anyone experienced in word sudoku would expect as it focuses on the puzzle itself with bold letters highlighted in grey to signify the current row and column and are momentarily highlighted in light blue when a group of letters or a word has been constructed using the available letters instead of any unnecessary flair, although a dog provides some fun puns and play on words styled one-liners when pausing a puzzle or at the end of each puzzle.

Word Sudoku’s presentation is solid with a great touch screen based user interface across various menus on Vita such as the puzzle category menus, options menu and various gameplay menus with support for navigation via the left analogue stick, directional pad and face buttons on Vita and DualShock 4, although it does not include support for navigation via the right analogue stick on either, rear touch pad on Vita or the touch pad on DualShock 4. Menu backgrounds are simply related to the subject matter involving finely outlined graph paper.

Sound effects include a positive ringing effect to show that a grouping of letters or a word had been successfully constructed, while the music is light in tone in the same vibe as Word Search by POWGI. There is no DualShock 4 speaker implementation that could have produced the sound effect upon constructing a grouping of letters or a word.

The trophy list includes 28 trophies with 10 bronze trophies, 11 silver trophies, 6 gold trophies and 1 platinum trophy, while the Vita and PS4 versions have their own individual trophy list resulting in the player earning the same trophies for two separate playthroughs between both platforms. Every trophy is related to completing one puzzle for a bronze trophy, two puzzles for a silver trophy and three puzzles for a gold trophy with every trophy highlighting the exact words that the respective puzzles are based around, so the player will not take long to find the corresponding puzzles that are required to earn two platinum trophies. It is estimated that depending upon skill and a good trophy guide to provide some helpful tips that it would take around 5 to 10 hours to platinum the trophy list.

There are technically five difficulty levels related to the difficulty mentioned within the title of each puzzle category including beginner, easy, medium, hard and fiendish puzzles. However, the check button with the ability to remove errors before trying again to place a letter in the correct square definitely offers a chance to the player to have the difficulty curve of their own choice, although a lot of thought and concentration is still required to complete each puzzle.

Word Sudoku by POWGI’s replayability stems from 240 word sudoku puzzles spanning five difficulty levels and the ability to play every puzzle in numbers instead of letters. However, unlike Word Search by POWGI; Word Sudoku by POWGI does not feature local multiplayer on PS4.

Analysis
• Title: Word Sudoku by POWGI
• Developer: Lightwood Games
• Publisher: Lightwood Games
• System: PS4/PS Vita
• Format: PSN Download
• Cross-Buy: Yes (PS4 and PS Vita)
• Cross-Play: No
• Players: 1 (PS4 and PS Vita)
• Hard Drive Space Required: 100.7MB/Vita Memory Card Space Required: 138MB

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