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Published on August 13th, 2006 | by Greg


Sudoku Gridmaster, Magnetica Miss the Mark

Ack! We’ve got a whole set of reviews lined up for you, arranged in no particular order. We’ll start off with two Nintendo DS Games that don’t quite hit the level of previous Truly Obscure favorites (like, say, Brain Age).

Sudoku Gridmaster attempts to capitalize on the Sudoku craze, and there is nothing wrong with that- except that Brain Age did a better job in many ways, and gave you plenty more to do. Sure, there are 400 puzzles here, way more than in Brain Age. And you get four levels of difficulty. However, we found the handwriting recognition to be a little bit less accurate in Gridmaster, and the display a little less clear. Further, you have to erase prior guesses when you enter a final answer- minor, but annoying nonetheless. Basically, Gridmaster has more puzzles, but is less friendly- if you really need more Sudoku and for some reason can’t stand paper or pens, then go for it. Others, spend your gaming dollars ($20) elsewhere.

Magnetica doesn’t fall to any similar simple flaws- this puzzle game offers more options than you might want, and there aren’t any frustrating interface issues. However, it does get pretty repetitive, and the sound and soundtracks grow annoying quickly. For those in need of a kind of loopy Tetris, which requires quite a bit of concentration and some really fast hand-eye coordination, look no further. Simple to learn, easy to play (look, ma, no buttons!), Magnetica is a decent puzzle game that just can’t break through the fact that so many similar games are available free for the PC, and that it offers little more than a ($30) variation on a theme.

About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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