AppStore User Rating:
Sudoku Junior is the perfect way to teach beginners how to solve Sudoku puzzles. With options from four by four grids through the traditional nine by nine grids, even the youngest players can be successful.
- 3 grid sizes with 3 levels of difficulty each
- 2 age categories
- Choice of numbers or pictures in 24 categories
- Pop-up facts about many pictures
- Tutorial video
Sudoku Junior is easy to use and loads of fun for all ages. The app includes clear instructions and a helpful tutorial video that even the youngest children can enjoy. Everything works smoothly, and the interface is relatively intuitive. The one feature that seems to be missing that other traditional Sudoku apps have is the ability to put possible numbers into the squares (small numbers to remind the user which numbers MIGHT fit into the space). The app does offer a “Hints” feature that adds a number to the puzzle, but it seems to be at random, so may not give a hint to the area where the player is having trouble.
Educators know the main value of Sudoku is in the logic and observation skills nurtured by the game. Makers of this app have taken that several steps farther. By offering grids as small as four by four, they have made the game accessible to users who are inexperienced or very young. The addition of categorized pictures is also a big plus; many kids are visual learners, so the pictures are easier to use than the traditional numbers. Furthermore, the pictures are grouped into 24 categories, including things like famous monuments, insects and winter. There are many geographical categories, as well, including Mexico, India and East Asia. Some categories, like fruits and vegetables, display the printed name for the symbol. Others display a trivia fact about the symbol, such as “The Statue of Liberty is 305 feet tall.” It’s entertaining and interesting.
Anyone who enjoys Sudoku puzzles will have fun with this app. In addition, the app will allow young or inexperienced users to experience that all-important feeling of success. On its easiest setting (4 by 4 grid, easy level, user age 4-10 years), there is always an obvious answer to serve as a beginning, such as a row or column with three of the four items already filled in. It’s perfect for the very young or any player that needs a boost in confidence. On the other end of scale of difficulty (9 by 9 grid, challenging level, user age 10+ years), the puzzles are on par with some of the easier adult puzzles. Finding a place to begin is a two- or three-step process requiring a bit of planning. The app makes a nice tool to teach users how to eventually tackle the kinds of puzzles that are published in other venues such as newspapers.
This app is an exceptionally good value. It can be used by such a range of ability levels that it is perfect for families or classrooms with an array of students, such as special needs settings. It caters to different learning styles and the addition of the facts makes it entertaining even beyond the puzzle itself.
This app is extremely child-friendly. There are no outside advertisements, no in-app purchases, and no connections to the internet, social media, email or even the App Store. It would perhaps help younger users or those with reading, sensory or processing disabilities if the tutorial video were narrated, because as it is set up, users must either read directions or be able to see the animated demonstrations of how to use the software.