Let’s be honest: Sudoku is a decidedly solo pursuit. There’s nothing worse than a friend peering over your shoulder and telling you where to put a ‘3’, or tutting loudly as you make the mistake that will ultimately leave you stumped and tearful.
However, a new game for iPhone and iPad is looking to change that, turning Sudoku into a properly multiplayer experience. It’s called Social Sudoku, and it’s the work of Cluemaster, which devises the Sudoku puzzles for newspapers including the Daily Telegraph and LA Times.
For solo players, it offers several puzzle types, including Classic, Killer or Jigsaw Sudoku, as well as Kakuro, Mini Sudoku and Sudoku X. But what’s got us excited is its use of Apple’s Game Center community for live head-to-head multiplayer over the network.
How? You challenge a friend, and both get served up the same puzzle. You then set about filling in numbers – every time you get one right, it shows up on the other player’s screen, blocking them out and scoring you points. Get one wrong, and you’re ‘sin binned’ for 10 seconds, while they carry on.
It’s an excellent idea, and one that’s got potential to be a Words With Friends-style success on iOS. That said, it would be nice if a future update included a more asynchronous option, where you could take turns with a friend to collaboratively solve a puzzle, rather than having to be online at the same time.