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antstream
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Critic Reviews

MobyRanks are listed below. You can read here for more information about MobyRank.
92
Game Vortex (Jul, 2007)
Overall, there are just a very few things I would have liked to see in Zendoku. One of them is the "pencil in" option that I mentioned earlier. I would also like to be able to go back and play against any of the previous characters that I beat in a quest as the character that I'm currently playing, basically replay any stage of the quest. But all that aside, I will admit to being addicted to these quests. I even took my DS to work to play, which I've never done before! For anyone who loves Sudoku and especially anyone who likes to compete in puzzle games, I would definitely recommend Zendoku.
85
There is a lot of game here for such a simple concept. Zendoku features a well-rounded game, with near perfect execution. This is one of those few games that work in both short bursts, and long stretches. The addictive game-play rivals that of the most well designed puzzle games, and elevates this title above a novelty. Even if you aren't a fan of sudoku, this is worth at least one or two tries.
85
Game Chronicles (Jul 02, 2007)
If you have a DS and enjoy solving Sudoku puzzles, particularly if you’re looking for some mild cartoon violence injected into your Sudoku, you’ll probably like Zendoku. Some Sudoku players may find it challenging to adapt to the symbols used in place of numbers, at least at first, but it’s not very difficult to get used to, and you can always revert to playing the classic Sudoku mode if you like it better. All in all, it’s a fun little game with cute graphics that ought to keep Sudoku fans happy.
80
GamingExcellence (Jul 30, 2007)
If you don't like Sudoku, first; why did you read this far down? Secondly, this game won't change your opinion of Sudoku one way or another. If you're looking for a cheesy alternative to the pen and paper version, Zendoku isn't a bad way to go at all. I personally prefer the touch screen over the pen and paper version. If you're jonesing for some goofy Sudoku action for your DS, you've definitely come to the right place. Zendoku has made me a believer in the power of Sudoku, and you can count me among the millions who now enjoy a quick Sudoku puzzle on their commute to work. Odds are Zendoku will do the same for you, crazy fad or not.
80
GamersHell.com (Sep 18, 2007)
Overall, Zendoku is an interesting and amusing take on a Puzzle Fighter-style game. Between comical mini-games, fast-paced play and an interesting core puzzle game, this scores quite well as a casual multiplayer game – perfect for various waiting times (as long as you don't mind blowing on your DS in public). The single player game lacks the sparks of amusing that come from good-natured competition, but it does a fine job of what it set out to do. If you enjoy Sudoku it is well worth a look.
77
GameZone (Jun 26, 2007)
Zendoku is worth picking up if you’ve got buds that will play with you. Fun multiplayer kinda makes up for a lackluster single player experience.
70
Jeuxvideo.com (Apr 20, 2007)
Pour un titre vendu à moins de 30 euros, Zendoku est une très bonne surprise. Le soft relance complètement le principe du sudoku en lui greffant des règles supplémentaires destinées à favoriser les parties en versus, et ça marche parfaitement bien. Pour une fois qu'un titre du genre propose un concept qui n'est pas qu'une bête conversion de ce qu'on peut faire avec une grille papier, on peut applaudir l'initiative. D'autant que ce système, basé sur la prise de risque et l'agressivité, est vraiment idéal pour progresser.
70
Eurogamer.net (UK) (Apr 27, 2007)
Nevertheless, with a whole orthodox Sudoku mode as well as the main head-to-head Zendoku attraction, this is a generous package that injects some freshness and urgency into an otherwise stale puzzle game that's already adequately represented on the DS. Thanks to the game's fundamental competitive structure, in two-player mode it shines and the charming art style, which ably mimics Japanese fighting game aesthetics, lends the package character sorely missing from its DS Sudoku rivals.
70
Pocket Gamer UK (May 01, 2007)
Combined with its funky presentation, it all makes for a much more interesting package than the numerous other versions of sudoku that are available on DS. Still, Zendoku isn't an addictive puzzler like Zoo Keeper, nor does it offer the longevity of games like Tetris DS or Lumines. If you don't like sudoku, it probably isn't the game for you. But if you're a competitive player with a DS-owning mate, Zendoku fills all the boxes.
70
Overall, Zendoku is a game that takes a wildly popular (and rather overdone) game, tweaks it, and repackages it with character and color. The gameplay is solid, if a bit gimmicky at first, and the theme is cute and well executed throughout. With that said, Zendoku is not for everyone – it lacks the “pick up and play” accessibility of many other puzzle titles, due to the very features that set it apart from the pack. It’s a quirky title, highly recommended for fans of puzzles and twitch gameplay, but not necessarily to the average gamer.
70
Not much to say for graphics. It’s a puzzle game, and I imagine you know what Sudoku looks like. It’s more colorful, I guess. The characters are pretty dumb, but unimportant; just there to add a little comedy and there are quite a few things to laugh at which is good. This music is one short track on repeat that is an Eastern kick, sounds nice, but will probably get on your nerves after a bit. So, for all the Sudoku fanatics out there, I’d say buy it but you probably already have. For everyone else, if you need something quick to do in between your Mario Kart racing, this might be worth it. It’s fun and the bits of minigame add a nice touch of quirkiness to this bourgeoning puzzle game to make it worth getting.
61
Zendoku is a brave attempt at standing out from the sudoku crowd, but its confusing grids and random mini-games make it more frustrating than refreshing. One for multiplayer only.
60
Despite that mechanic, Zendoku is a faithful and stale reproduction of the puzzle sensation - even when it's using shapes instead of numbers. If you only buy one sudoku game this year, maybe you should reconsider and buy zero.
54
Digital Chumps (Mar 18, 2008)
Ultimately Zendoku is going to turn any non-Sudoku player into one, so it will really only appeal to Sudoku players, who already have a lot of DS games to choose from and may or may not be interested in the battle system in Zendoku. It’s not really a bad Sudoku game, and if you’re hooked on Sudoku you might give this one a rental to see if Secret Stash Games’ approach interests you.
50
JeuxVideoPC.com (Apr 26, 2007)
Reprenant le concept du sudoku en l’enrobant dans un design manga assez drôle, Zendoku remplit son office de manière convenable. Doté d’un mode solo un peu court contrebalancé par un mode multi fun jouable à une seule cartouche, le jeu est honnête mais trop répétitif sur la durée. A 30 euros, les amateurs pourront se laisser tenter par l’expérience.
50
IGN (Jun 14, 2007)
Perhaps it's Sudoku burn-out. But mostly it's just that a Battle version of Sudoku isn't as fun as the packaging would lead you to believe. It's definitely different compared to the rest of the DS sudoku lot -- it's not aiming to be the straight-forward Sudoku winner, and it would never win that fight. You want the real puzzle deal, grab Brain Age. If you have a bunch of friends ready to waste a bunch of time competing in head-to-head grid challenge, well, then this one's your game.
50
Video Game Talk (Aug 23, 2007)
If you're in the market for a childish version of Sudoku that is mildly entertaining then Zendoku is a decent option. It's a good way to introduce kids to the game and it will certainly stimulate their minds while providing some entertainment. It's not as quite as dry as Brain Age in terms of presentation but compared to other titles there's nothing very groundbreaking here. The battles can be fun though blowing into the microphone gets old quickly and the Classic version of the game just doesn't hold its own. Zendoku is worth a rental but there's not enough substance here to warrant a purchase.
40
Gamekult (Apr 25, 2007)
Finalement proche, sans doute trop, d'un jeu de Sudoku conventionnel, dont il embarque les défauts structurels - rythme mollasson, forcément très répétitif - mais aussi son côté addictif, Zendoku n'a en fait pour lui que son ambiance manga pour tirer son épingle du jeu dans la jungle des logiciels cérébraux. Car il faut bien avouer que le mode multijoueur à deux, les petits défis tactiles sans grand intérêt (qui reprennent les gages évoqués à l'instant), ou la présence d'un mode "Sudoku classique" ne font guère illusion : le titre de Zoonami a beau se prétendre d'une originalité folle, il n'aura paradoxalement d'intérêt que pour les férus absolus de grilles de Sudoku. A 30 € la cartouche, l'ironie aura peut-être un goût amer.


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