Having bought a Nintendo Wii last year, we have been slowly acquiring a collection of games to play on it - some better than others I have to say. Being a bit of a fan of Sudoku and having a liking for solving puzzles, I was attracted to Sudoku Ball Detective which looked like it might be fun as well as giving my brain a bit of a workout!
This game is currently available on Amazon for just over £16 reduced from £24 (February 2011) and it is also available for the Nintendo DS. The description tells you that you take on the role of a detective in a small town where a murder has been committed. Bizarrely, in order to solve the murder you have to solve lots of Sudoku puzzles. It sounded like it could be worth a go so I put it on my wish list and my husband bought if for me for my birthday. Full of anticipation, I started playing the game but I was soon disappointed as unfortunately it did not live up to my expectations at all! I will attempt to explain why I didn't like it that much.
When you start you have to choose your language and as soon as you start you are struck by the appalling background music. It sounds like something from a bad sixties detective series and it does not take long before this music really starts to grate. You then thankfully can click on options and alter the music and sound levels and mercifully you don't have to hear it any more. Unfortunately I did not realise that the first few times I played!
When you start playing you discover that the story is set in a rather upper class mansion with a whole host of snooty characters. I think that the graphics depicting these are pretty awful and not what you would expect with all the twenty first century technology that is available. There are just a series of badly drawn pictures with no voices and you have to read the story and the things that people say. After the character is murdered you are supposed to visit various different people's houses to solve clues. This does not really happen though because all you do is go and play Sudoku and this has nothing to do with the mystery. You then get some unrelated clues but it is so hard to keep track of these and truth be told it is all pretty tedious.
The Sudoku grids that you have to solve are found on a ball that swivels round. It is a bit hard to control with the Wii remote control until you get used to it. Some of the games are timed but the majority are not. Playing the medium level does not present a huge challenge although you can alter the level of difficulty. Also, I think it would be better if more rounds were timed and that the time allowed would get shorter to make it that bit more competitive. The time allowed is always probably twice as long as you would need and we have never ever thought that we could not solve the puzzle in time.
There is an option of just playing Sudoku on the Wii using this and not bothering with the pointless clues and things that try to make up the story. However, I feel sure that if you did just want to play Sudoku there are many games that you could download from the internet (or even buy a book) so I don't think that you would really want to bother with this.
I have to confess that we gave up on the Sudoku Ball Detective before getting to the end of the game so I never did find out who was the murderer! Thankfully I don't really care as it all felt totally pointless!
Overall, even though the description of the game was quite appealing, I can't think of anything to say to recommend this game. It is very disappointing and especially it is not worth £16. All that I can say is not to bother!