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116 of 116 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Newer model, easy to see and use
I bought this as a Christmas gift for my sister, who has difficulty seeing due to cataracts in both eyes. She is a Sudoku addict, and had been solving puzzles with pencil and paper until I gave her the electronic version. With the backlight feature, and different levels of contrast, I hoped that the handheld game would be easier for her to see.

Because of the...
Published on December 28, 2006 by S.Price

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57 of 59 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This model not recommended
Great idea but more tech development is needed for this version. Screen reflects too much outside light obfuscating the LED numbers. The numbers have low contrast and their improvement is not achieved by the technique suggested to where they can be easily seen. The lines between the groups of 9 square blocks are not prominent enough making block determination difficult...
Published on December 7, 2005 by Gary E. Hayman


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116 of 116 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Newer model, easy to see and use, December 28, 2006
By 
This review is from: Illuminated Touch Screen Sudoku Puzzle Game (Toy)
I bought this as a Christmas gift for my sister, who has difficulty seeing due to cataracts in both eyes. She is a Sudoku addict, and had been solving puzzles with pencil and paper until I gave her the electronic version. With the backlight feature, and different levels of contrast, I hoped that the handheld game would be easier for her to see.

Because of the mixed reviews I had seen, I asked her for feedback about this game. When buying, please note that there may be more than one model of this game available. Some of the reviews refer to older model(s). My comments refer to model 20720, Illuminated Sudoku Mega Screen. The unit measures about 4" wide by 5 1/2" long, with screen size of about 2 1/2" wide by 3 1/4 in" long.

My sister says the display is easy to see. The screen is fully illuminated, with orange backlighting, and 9 levels of contrast.

There are two modes of play, Beginner and Advanced. Each mode offers four difficulty levels, from 1 (easiest) to 4 (most difficult). So far my sister has been playing in Beginner mode, level 4. In this mode, if you put a number in the incorrect box, the number flashes to let you know that it is in the wrong place. To clear an entry, just touch the "C" at the top of the screen, then touch the box on the grid to be cleared.

My sister has been playing this game every night since Christmas, and she really likes it. It was worth every cent -- and then some!
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57 of 59 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This model not recommended, December 7, 2005
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Illuminated Touch Screen Sudoku Puzzle Game (Toy)
Great idea but more tech development is needed for this version. Screen reflects too much outside light obfuscating the LED numbers. The numbers have low contrast and their improvement is not achieved by the technique suggested to where they can be easily seen. The lines between the groups of 9 square blocks are not prominent enough making block determination difficult. The unit is actually hard to see clearly to be enjoyable to use. I would skip this model and investigate other manufacturers editions.
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113 of 123 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bad Screen Technology, December 6, 2005
= Durability:1.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:1.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:1.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Illuminated Touch Screen Sudoku Puzzle Game (Toy)
Being a big Sudoku fan, I couldn't wait to receive this as a gift, so I bought it for myself. There is not much difference between the conrast of the grid and numbers to that of the screen. The inability to read the handheld version makes it a waste of money. I promptly repacked mine and returned it to the store.

Sudoku puzzles are very Fun so I reccomened you skip the handheld version and buy yourself a book!
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87 of 94 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not a very good toy, December 7, 2005
= Durability:1.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:1.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Illuminated Touch Screen Sudoku Puzzle Game (Toy)
I addict to Sudoku. So when I saw this game, I could not resist. I was very disapppointed with the display. Difficult to see the numbers. You could see yourself in the display better than you could see the numbers. It could hurt your eyes if playing for a long time. It is not worth the money. I am going to return the game.
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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Take your play style to the next level, December 1, 2005
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Illuminated Touch Screen Sudoku Puzzle Game (Toy)
I was pleasantly surprised to see this one when a friend gifted me this. It is very attractive and looks cool. All my excitement to explore this toy kinda bit dampened the moment I got the this powered up. It's the display, lack of backlight to be specific. In other words, this won't work in dark. Without the backlight, reflection on the glass is very distracting. In addition, in playing mode, the digital background of the cell indicating the number for unfilled cell also can be distracting. That's why this item gets 3 stars. If one can ignore this inconvenience and get used to this gadget, it's very simple to play.

I like the intuitive interface. Stylus based operation is simple. Users can choose different levels for varied levels of difficulty. I found even the basic or level 1 to be not that easy .

I look forward to version with a backlight.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars get the larger model made by the same company, August 28, 2006
This review is from: Illuminated Touch Screen Sudoku Puzzle Game (Toy)
I originally bought this because it was the only one I could find. Amazon does not carry the newer, larger model. Amazon should.

This model is VERY difficult to play in daylight or in dim light because the numbers are so hard to read. With the larger model, there is a nice orange backlight that provides excellent contrast. This is essential. Also, the larger model allows you to save your incomplete puzzles while this one does not.

Both models are built fairly rugged and an extra stylus is provided in the blister package. Another feature that I think both have (the large one definitely has this) is the 'solve' mode. You can enter numbers from a puzzle in the newspaper and it will show you the solution. Both models feature sound effects and will play a chime when you've used up all of a given number.

I haven't tested any of the other touch-screen Sudoku games, but I would urge any potential buyer to stick with a touch-screen model like this over any of the button-navigation models. The interface is SO quick and elegant with the techno source-- you point to the number at the bottom of the screen, then you point at the box it should go in. You can also point to the letter 'c' in the corner and then point at any number you've entered to 'clear' it. All games are timed, so you can use this as a good gauge of your improving skills.

The ONLY thing I can think of that would be an improvement on the larger model is if it had a 2-player mode where you could solve a puzzle, then hand it to your friend and let her try to beat your time solving the SAME puzzle. At present, that is unavailable in either the small or large model.

Ever since I bought the large model, I quit playing the newspaper sudoku or printing them from the internet. This is my only sudoku sanctuary.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great interface outweighs display quirks, July 8, 2007
By 
Nathaniel C. Moffat "Nat" (Bethesda, MD United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Illuminated Touch Screen Sudoku Puzzle Game (Toy)
Sudoku is a number puzzle with few rules, and "easy" examples can be solved mainly by visual scanning. This makes it an accessible game for beginners, including children and word-search devotees. At intermediate levels, a Sudoku puzzle still requires scanning, but leans more on logical thought. Advanced or "hard" puzzles yield their answer only after a mental toolkit of solving strategies is brought to bear. As a puzzle that requires choosing the right strategy at the right time, Sudoku is ultimately more rewarding than games where harder just means more tedious.

This battery-powered, handheld Sudoku game gives you two ways to play. Beginner mode corrects you immediately when you input a wrong number, which keeps children or people with short attention spans from getting frustrated before they have given the game a chance. The "advanced" mode, where most people will quickly find themselves, simply does away with that feature. This device offers four levels; level one has 40 of the 81 needed numbers filled in, while levels two, three, and four have 36, 30, and 26, respectively. Since what those numbers are and where they appear on the grid can matter as much as the initial tally, you won't be surprised to learn that not all puzzles at a given level are equally challenging.

The intuitive LCD touch-screen allows you to select a number with one tap of the included stylus (which stows onboard) and then place it with a second tap. To clear a number, you simply tap "C" and then tap the number you want to delete. A notes feature allows you to store possible numbers, but it's faster to memorize. Overall, the stylus-based interface is a world better than distracting handhelds that drive up solving time by requiring you to steer a blinking cursor and tap at a numeric keypad.

The display quality lags in two areas: When the backlight is off, the dark gray-over-gray display has low contrast and is difficult to read. This is easily fixed by flipping the orange-hued LED backlight switch to "on" and forgetting it (despite adequate luminance, battery life remains good). Second, vertical viewing angle is about as narrow as you'll see on an LCD screen (horizontal viewing angle is beyond reproach). Move the device too close to vertical and the display quickly washes out; hold it too flat and all the un-activated crystal pops into view.

There's another quirk that might offend purists: When you have all nine of a given digit placed correctly on the grid, the machine sounds a tone and ceremoniously removes the number from the pick list at the lower edge of the screen. As the game keeps patting you on the back, you know you're rolling to victory instead of storming to a dead end, which makes you lose interest too soon. Call it another victory for special effects over suspense.

CONCLUSION
Even with a few minor quirks costing it a star, this Sudoku implementation is worthwhile for its intuitive interface. Yes, the screen visibility issues are annoying, but if you can get past them, the game play is far superior to any cursor-based handheld I've seen.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars More than one answer to a puzzle!, May 13, 2006
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Illuminated Touch Screen Sudoku Puzzle Game (Toy)
Yeah, the screen contrast isn't great. Yeah, there's no backlight. Yeah, there's no way to save instead of just pausing, or fill in mini numbers as guesses, or clear a puzzle and start over easily. But all of that I could get around, especially for something that looks this cool, with such a simple interface, that lets you carry around thousands of sudoku puzzles for fifteen bucks.

The major, huge problem with this game: There can be more than one right answer.

It's not just that you have to use guessing instead of pure logic. If you think about it the right way, following an educated guess to the correct solution (or to a proof that you picked the wrong option for your educated guess) really IS logic. It's just like in math classes where you do a proof by assuming the proposition is NOT true and then following the trail that presents until you come to an obviously untrue result.

But that's not what's going on with this game. You can get to a point where you realize there is no one correct answer. The game knows which answer it THINKS is right, but logically there's no reason one is better than the other because if you follow either trail to its end, you don't come up with any contradictions. Either would work.

This is incredibly frustrating, and that is not what a sudoku puzzle is. Sudokus by definition must have exactly one solution, not just a solution randomly picked by the game to be correct out of many possible correct answers. Once I got a puzzle from it with four possible correct answers. And you don't know if this is the case with the puzzle you're playing until you are almost done with it.

The instruction sheet discloses this, but there's nothing about it on the outside of the packaging, and if I had known that before I bought it, I would not have gotten this game. I still play it on the train during my commute, but part of the fun now is seeing how many possible correct answers I'll have when I get to the "end".

** UPDATE: **
The company has a new version of this product that does not give puzzles with multiple solutions. If you have a version that does this, write to them from their website.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Techno Source Sudoku Touch Screen, October 19, 2006
By 
V. Queior "fast knitter" (Waco, TX United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Illuminated Touch Screen Sudoku Puzzle Game (Toy)
I agree with all that Seth Johnson wrote. It comes with an extra stylus and it is an easy touch screen. It does have a back light that can be turned off and on. I didn't have any problem seeing the numbers on the screen. I wasn't sure which one to buy at Walmart, but this one had the back light and also has a solve on it where you can enter a puzzle from somewhere else for you to play and save. I like the idea of so many puzzles all ready programmed, but you can also add your own. I highly recommend this handheld toy.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good..., August 11, 2006
By 
A. R. Unruh (Portland, OR USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Illuminated Touch Screen Sudoku Puzzle Game (Toy)
...but make sure you buy the larger version (about 4" x 6") of the two that are made. The larger version is backlit and easier to read. You can pause the game and it will auto turn off after 4 mins, you can pick right back up where you left off in the game. You can also change the contrast on the larger version. The manufacturer claims it can create over 2 million puzzles, so there's no chance of ever getting the same puzzle twice. There's a beginner setting with 4 levels and an advanced setting with 4 levels.
My girlfriend is crazy for Sudoku and loves the touch screen game. [...]
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Illuminated Touch Screen Sudoku Puzzle Game
$14.99 $14.80
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