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Sudoku Board Review by Rebekah Jackowitz and Heather Jackowitz

Timberdoodle Company
1510 E Spencer Lake Rd
Shelton, WA 98584

The Sudoku Board from Timberdoodle is a handsome wooden game board with wooden number tiles. You must try to arrange the tiles (numbered 1-9) so that every row, every column, and every 3x3 region includes all nine of the numbers.

You can solve any 9x9 Sudoku puzzle on this board. The booklet contains one hundred puzzle starters, as well as the answers and directions how to play. These puzzle starters are not labeled for difficulty. I easily solved the last puzzle in the book, but our entire family was unable to solve #75. As our family members solve the puzzles in the book, we are labeling them so that the younger children can be sure to attempt easy puzzles. The booklet also gives directions, but not strategies. You might want to search online for tips, especially when attempting that pesky #75.

Sudoku is not a math game; rather, it is a game of logic. The numbers are irrelevant; any nine different symbols or colors will do. The wooden tiles have numbers on both sides: red is for possible answers, and black is for definite. Small number tiles that fit four to a square are for multiple possible solutions. Colored plastic discs are included for younger players or for those who prefer not to work with numbers. My daughter tried playing with the color disks but found the number tiles easier to work with.

The wooden board is sturdy and attractive. A velvety bag with a drawstring keeps all the wooden tiles safe when not in use. I've never played Sudoku on paper, so I can't compare the paper-and-pencil method to the game board. I tend to like attractive wooden boards that sit out on the coffee table and invite impromptu play. However, the board would be a little cumbersome to set up and use in the car or doctor's office.

Sudoku can be played alone or in cooperative pairs. (More than two players might get a bit crowded.) My husband and I enjoy playing a game together over a Saturday morning cup of coffee, and my younger children like working together to solve a puzzle during school breaks. I was amazed at how quickly my six-year-old caught onto the game. It fascinates me how children can sometimes see things adults can't. Don't be surprised if your children end up helping you.

Buyer beware! Sudoku is an extremely addictive game!

-Product Review by Rebekah Jackowitz and Heather Jackowitz, Contributing Writer, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, August, 2006