Developer: James Thomson
Price: free Download on the App Store
CatDoku - Cat Sudoku, created by James Thomson and presented by ELogicPuzzles, is exactly what you think it is: a version of the popular logic game Sudoku, using cats instead of numbers.
In case you've somehow missed out on Sudoku, the concept is fairly simple. You begin with a field of squares — nine large squares, each of which is subdivided into nine smaller squares (with is also how CatDoku is designed). In each of the larger squares, the digits 1-9 appear, with no repeats. Additionally, the digits 1-9 appear in every row and column, also without repeating. Puzzles can be more or less difficult, depending on how many numbers are provided at the start.
The difference, of course, is that while Sudoku uses numbers, CatDoku uses photos of cats. Nine of them, obviously, to replace the digits 1-9. So, instead of using logic to correctly place numbers, you are instead charged with correctly placing images of cats, with each larger square holding photos of all nine cats, and each row and column also having all nine cats in it. CatDoku is easy to understand, whether you've played Sudoku before or not.
The problem with CatDoku, however, is that while everyone knows the numbers 1-9, not everyone is intimately acquainted with the kitties in question. The photos of the cats are, by necessity, small, and when you've got a square with seven cats filled in, it's really not that easy to figure out which are missing. I found myself going "OK, I have the black cat. Now...what else? Do I have that one awkward-looking cat? There he is. No, that's a different one. Is it the kind of mousey-looking cat I'm missing? Or what about the one who looks kind of like an Ewok?" It got old really fast. Maybe if there were numbers in addition to the cats, it might work better. Or even if they had names on them, so I could know I needed "Cookie" and "Doctor" as opposed to "the sort of smushy-looking one."
The graphics in CatDoku are also pretty basic. The splash screen is downright ugly, with a really poorly Photoshopped cat face and some vaguely blurry text. On the plus side, the game works well, and once you complete a puzzle, you can choose to have your score uploaded and compared against other players'.
Overall, CatDoku is a cute idea (I love cats as much as the next girl) that doesn't quite cut it. As a free app, it might be worth checking out, but I'm not sure it's worth $0.99. Stick with regular Sudoku get your kitty fix elsewhere.