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Details about the program

We welcome all fans and solvers of Sudoku.

 

Our primary goal was to create such a solving program which could do everything what each solver might need and at the same time, it would be well-arranged as much as possible - a program which is user-friendly and can be used by everyone. In addition, owing to the help on the techniques for Sudoku solving which is a part of the program, even a complete beginner can understand the basics of solving.

A very unique possibility is the use of the guessing technique which is created especially for this program and in addition to other helps on the next step it certainly facilitates the solution of more difficult tasks. 

There is also created a unique communication with a solver. The group of naughty emoticons reacts to the solver´s successes and failures via texts in bubbles and they do not hesitate to incite the solver when his solution lasts too long or to praise him for achieving a good result.

The “Hall of Fame” plays a role of the competitive element in the program and it is accessible for each of the 2012 Sudoku included in the program, and it saves the achieved times with the solvers´ names. It offers the possibility to compare your solving skills with your relatives. All this and even more creates from this logical solving game a fun game for the whole family.

And now something more to be added to the program and solving aids:

Welcoming Screen

After starting the program and subsequently entering the menu you have the possibility to familiarize yourself with some solving techniques, the use of the program or you can start playing via the help. All important buttons and control elements also have their own floating help which can be displayed at any time during the game by holding the mouse cursor on the element you are interested in.

Introduction

You start playing by pressing the option “Start to play!“ from the Welcoming Screen or “New Sudoku” in the Main Menu. Subsequently, you will be called for selection of one of the five difficulty levels. Those are represented by emoticons. Except for their comments they will also tell you the number of incomplete Sudokus of the relevant difficulty level. Select the most suitable difficulty level and start solving. The emoticons will accompany you with their humorous comments in bubbles over the entire game. E.g. when you use little help, the emoticon will be disappointed that you were not able to solve it without help and will inform you about your penalty. You will see several similar comments during the game.

As soon as you select one cell, the virtual numerical keyboard activates. You can use this keyboard for both entering the values and pencil marks (for this a relevant switch is placed above the virtual keyboard). When solving Sudoku, the changes in pencil marks are very simple. You can only mark the relevant cell and then place the same number which you want to remove – the number will be deleted. By using the relevant button the pencil marks could be also deleted all at once. Pencil marks can be also coloured, which is suitable e.g. for marking the hidden pairs. In “Enter Values” mode the pencil marks rewrite themselves to the given value without being previously deleted. When marking the cell with the value entered in advance it becomes highlighted by a frame and it cannot be changed. In the program, a function enabling a placement of all pencil marks at once is placed and its use increases the time by 10 seconds.

Swindle

Apart from the guessing technique you can facilitate your solving by using different types of help. Also “Little Advice” might be helpful when revealing a box, row or column in which another number waits to be placed (or error), “Great Advice” shows specific cells for a possible placement (or error) and “Swindle” serves as a direct help for placing another number. All these helps can be used without restrictions and their use is penalized by several seconds added to the total time.

Other assistance is a continuous check for duplicate numbers in the box, row or a column, which gives a warning when you have missed an incorrectly placed number. Apart from this the program offers the check for correctness of existing solution – “Check” function. This help is not penalized when at the moment of its use the solution is correct.  On the contrary, the cells filled in incorrectly starts pulsing red and penalty is the same as when the help “Swindle” is used.  At any time during your solving, each task can be returned to the beginning and play again with the reset timer. With help of settings accessible from the Main Menu it is possible to hide or display emoticons and the timer at any time. In settings, it is possible to change boldness of numbers, shade of the task, colour of diagonals/central boxes, active cell and error colour, and shade of pencil marks.  

When you go through the game and get suddenly stuck, apart from the Help, the regular Guessing can be also helpful. After clicking on “Start Guessing” you can use up to four different guessing sequences distinguished by colour. When your guess is wrong, you can delete the individual sequences by using the button “Delete” (completely) or you delete the first bold guessing number.

Guessing

At any time, the game might be paused by pressing the button next to the timer. By clicking on it again you can continue playing. When the game pauses, most control elements are not active but it is possible to use all options of the Main Menu as opening the Help where you learn a lot of information about the program and its control, or information about different solving techniques. It is also possible to print out Sudoku in progress or to save it to the Library, or finish it or go to the new task.

If you stopped displaying the introduction table after starting the program, the last task in progress displays straight away, including the time achieved for now (that is why we suggest its hiding). For viewing the correct solution of Sudoku click on “Solve All”. After using this option the eventual errors will be removed from their cells of which boundaries will be marked in red. In addition, the best time achieved when solving each Sudoku is permanently displayed on the welcoming screen.   The list of the best times remains in the memory even after restoring the Sudoku task.  (in section In progress, function “Return to the Task”).

After filling the last free cell the following option will be offered – final check for solution and eventual correction of incorrect numbers. In case you are not sure, click on “No” and you can change your procedure. If you are happy about the result, click on “Check” or press the “Enter” key.

If your solution went wrong, you will see a table with an unhappy emoticon which means that the time will not be recorded and Sudoku will be integrated into the new tasks. You can continue immediately by pressing “Play Again”. If you prefer to try another Sudoku, then select the option “New Game” which selects other available Sudoku of your difficulty level or it simply selects another Sudoku from the library which you can enter by using the button “Download”. The “OK” button finishes the table.

Win

If your solution was correct, you will see a table with a happy dancing emoticon and you will be enabled to enter your name in the Hall of Fame where it will be saved with the time of completion. This way it is possible to record up to seven best times and names. Correctly completed Sudoku, including the achieved times, you can find under the option “Completed” from now on.

Library

Overview of all new, in progress and completed Sudoku you will find in the library which you can enter via the “Library” button in the Main Menu. First of all, it is necessary to select type of Sudoku which should be displayed – new, in progress or completed. After this selection the option for the difficulty levels will open. Completed Sudokus are displayed in the basic entered form. It is possible to search for Sudoku using a search engine. Each Sudoku has its unique number. It is possible to start playing Sudoku again and improve your achieved time, or if you would like to transfer some completed Sudokus back to the section New, click on “Return to the Task”.

Print

It is possible to print out the entered Sudoku from any categories – new, in progress or completed (up to six tasks per one page). Via contextual menu set up the required number of Sudoku on the page – this way the number of printed pages is also adjusted. Owing to this function you can print out new Sudoku or Sudoku in progress and finish them on a piece of paper.

You can find detailed information about using the program and individual functions in the Help of the program.

Self-generated Sudoku can be solved logically with one final solution. With difficult tasks it might be hard to find next steps. It is optimal to fill in the pencil marks and try guessing or simply use some of many helps.

 

Have a fun when solving Sudoku.

 

© A. Suchánek, Prague, Czech Republic, March 2012

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