Zendoku

Zendoku

Zendoku

Shouldoku points for the name.

Pseudoku? That's what you might be thinking when you first spot Eidos' irreverent replacement of Sudoku's traditional numbers for seemingly arbitrary eastern symbols. But rest assured, this is the same orthodox pen and pencil puzzle game that depressingly saved British newspaper sales in all but name and face.

Of course, the recently ubiquitous Japanese puzzle loved by commuters and evangelised by Carol Vorderman has never had anything much to do with numbers anyway - it's a pure logic puzzle. Played on a 9x9 square grid, the aim of the game to fill every row, column and 3x3 sub-box with one of each number from one to nine. There can be no repeats and only logic (no guesswork) can be used to fill the grid. Manage to slot everything in its right place and the panic will go away for a little bit and maybe you'll sleep at night believing you really are in control of your life.

Of course, as each number simply represents a different type of object, one could use nine elements from the periodic table or nine different positions from the Karma Sutra for the game's symbols and it would still play in exactly the same way. In a sense then, that Zendoku doesn't share Sudoku's staid, black and white numerical presentation is irrelevant - underneath the new icons and kung-fu themed textures, it's basically the same game.

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Eidos unveils Zendoku

Eidos unveils Zendoku

Sudoku-inspired puzzler.

Eidos has announced plans to publish Zendoku - a Sudoku-based puzzle game for DS and PSP, currently in development at UK-based Zoonami.

Zendoku apparently "blends exciting puzzle battle action with addictive Sudoku gameplay", although those worried about some sort of superficial cross between Shadow Warrior and Carol Vorderman need only look at the PSP and DS screenshot galleries to realise it's not.

Instead it looks quite, quite peculiar, and the DS version clearly involves a bit of the old microphone and stylus action for mini-games, while both are based around the idea of battling a computer-controlled or wirelessly connected real-life opponent for control of the board. Eidos promises character-driven head-to-head challenges as well as against-the-clock levels and a range of other gameplay modes.

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