Christmas Sudoku Review: Santa Came Early for Christmas

Christmas is just a classic holiday, and while most adults are all about giving, you have to admit that receiving feels good also.  Movies galore emphasize the season of giving, but Christmas Sudoku has changed that to the season of receiving.

Sudoku is quite a simple puzzle; there aren’t many modifications you can make to it to make it different from the rest of the sudoku puzzles.  We’ve seen Electronic Arts release their own, official version of Sudoku onto the iPhone, and others have just designed it differently and price it cheaper.

Christmas Sudoku, to my surprise, has changed both game design and price to offer a cheap yet surprisingly different experience than the traditional sudoku.  Being a fan of this puzzle myself, I couldn’t help but smile at this little twist to such a simple genre.


Not Just Sudoku: Christmas advertising usually starts during the beginning of November, some starting as early as October.  These advertisements definitely do their job with getting a person into the festive mood, and Christmas Sudoku seems to accomplish that job quite well also.  You have the ability to design your own Christmas tree, then send it to your friends or family through email, providing some sort of rest from the actual game itself.  I thought the idea was creative in and of itself, and there’s really no reason to buy another Christmas tree application for $0.99.

Twist: Instead of numbers, Christmas Sudoku uses the symbols most dear to Christmas, including snowmen, candy cane, and gingerbread men.  I thought this was very creative, and it really differentiates the game from other sudoku games.

Artwork and Design: The first ever game I’ve ever played from 99Games was WordsWorth.  It was supposed to be some sort of Bookworm knockoff, but I never was satisfied with the design.  The dissatisfaction with the design ultimately lead to stop playing the game, but from then on, 99Games has produced quality-looking title after quality-looking title.  It first started with Wordulous, then moved on into Chess Elite and finally to Christmas Sudoku.  The user interface is clean, smooth, and is well designed to fit the surrounding theme.


Wrong: The game doesn’t have much of a “wrong detection” type of thing in which you are prompted when you are wrong.  When you check your answers and receive an “incorrect solution” popup, it would be nice if the game showed you what was wrong instead of leaving you in the dark.  When you get something wrong in sudoku, it’s definitely frustrating to start everything over, and on top of that find where you got it wrong in the first place.

Christmas Sudoku isn’t perfect, but then again, there’s nothing else that truly matches its level of festivity.  I could hear myself singing to the Christmas carols and imagining all the presents under the Christmas tree, and the atmosphere was just great.  If you’re looking for a holiday game and sudoku at the same time, I believe you have found your match.


Christmas Sudoku was developed by 99Games, and I played through version 1.0 on my iPhone 3GS.  The price is $1.99.



About Daniel

I have been an iPhone game addict ever since the NES emulator came out on the 1.1.4 iPhone 2G. After 2.0 and the App Store came out, my iPhone homescreen has never been the same. Other than writing reviews for App Store games, I play soccer/football, American football, volleyball, and golf. I love going to the beach and fishing on the pier. Some games not available on iPhone/iPod Touch that I truly love are the Call of Duty series, Guitar Hero III, Madden NFL 09, and PGR: Gotham Racing.

One thought on “Christmas Sudoku Review: Santa Came Early for Christmas

  1. Great review Daniel! Thanks a lot for it! 🙂 Christmas Sudoku does have a unique design. The 3 Christmas themes bring pleasantness into the game and get you into the holiday spirit while the option of playing with Christmas goodies add complexity to the game. The bonus would definitely be the Greeting card section ‘Hug-a-friend’ which lets you send cards so now you don’t have to buy a separate Christmas tree application. Hoping that Christmas Sudoku succeeds in spreading some holiday cheer!

    Merry Christmas!!!

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