Sudoku on Linux in days past

Here's another "from the archives" post that's been sitting in my drafts folder since March 27, 2007.  At the time I'd been getting into playing Sudoku and was running Kubuntu on my home desktop and laptop.  All I wanted to do was play Sudoku on my computer.  And apparently it didn't go very well.  At the time I wrote:

Why is it that there don't seem to be any good desktop sudoku games for Linux? At least, I haven't found any that meet my requirements. The three in Ubuntu's repositories sure don't.

My requirements for a sudoku game are pretty simple. Beyond the basics of creating a new puzzle and telling me if I'm right when I complete it, I only want one thing: notes. I just want an easy way to add notes to unfilled squares so that I can quickly reference the possibilities.

You wouldn't think that would be such a tall order. However, of the three sudoku games in the Ubuntu repositories, none of them do this. Gnusudoku doesn't even claim to support notes. GNOME-sudoku claims to support them "simply" by clicking at the corner of a box. However, it doesn't work. Maybe you have to run it under GNOME?

And last but not least, we have ksudoku. This one does support notes, and they do work, but they suffer from the same problem as the rest of this app: the user interface makes absolutely no freaking sense at all. Even this might be forgivable if there were a manual or even some kind of guide on the website, but there isn't. The status bar does flash back and forth between "helpful" tips, one of which says to use "RMB" to make notes, but that's it. It took me a few minutes and some experimentation to figures out that "RMB" is supposed to be an abbreviation for "Right Mouse Button". But even with that, I still can't figure out how the hell notes are supposed to work. I can't seem to get more than one number into a note and things disappear if I right-click too many times.

I assume those problems have probably been fixed by now.  I mean, it's been almost 13 years, so either they're fixed or the project is dead.  But I seem to recall this being sort of emblematic of open-source games at the time: there weren't that many of them and even fewer were any good.

By now, I'm sure that the situation is much better, if only because enough time has passed for more games to mature.  But, unfortunately, I don't really care anymore.  These days I don't want to sit down in front of a computer just to play video games.  I just don't have that kind of time.  If I'm going to play a game, it's the kind that runs on my phone and which can be dropped at a moment's notice.

Coincidentally, one such game that I just downloaded the other day is Open Sudoku, which is actually pretty nice as Android Sudoku apps go.  It's open-source and you can find it on F-Droid as well as in the Play store.  Like most open-source games, it doesn't have a lot of frills or fancy graphics, but it's easy to play and does the job.

You can reply to this entry by leaving a comment below. You can send TrackBack pings to this URL. This entry accepts Pingbacks from other blogs. You can follow comments on this entry by subscribing to the RSS feed.

Add your comments #

A comment body is required. No HTML code allowed. URLs starting with http:// or ftp:// will be automatically converted to hyperlinks.