Mastiff Aims to Make Sudoku More Popular Than Santa Claus
Company: Mastiff
SAN FRANCISCO, CA December 21, 2005 Video game publisher Mastiff wants to make the international numbers puzzle phenomenon, Sudoku, more popular than Santa Claus. The company will be releasing the first video game version of Sudoku, "Dr. Sudoku" for the Game Boy® Advance in February 2006.

According to the December 6, 2005, edition of the Wordtracker report, "Sudoku" ranks 132nd among the most searched terms on the web - only two spots behind "Santa Claus." Of course, St. Nick is experiencing an obvious popularity boost from children desperately searching for his address so they can mail him their laundry lists of Xmas must haves. The Wordtracker Report, a leading keyword research tool, periodically compiles a database of over 330 million search terms and is updated weekly from the major metacrawlers - Dogpile and Metacrawler.

"Once we release Dr. Sudoku for the Game Boy Advance, the Fat Man better watch out!" asserted Bill Swartz, Head Woof at Mastiff. "Sure, he's riding high now, with his reindeer, television specials, and elves, but December has to end some time - and that's when Sudoku fever will take over!"

While not as popular as Santa Claus in the early December Wordtracker report, Sudoku has already vaulted over such popular internet search terms as "tattoos (150)," "snow (171)" and "Pam Anderson (151)."

Dr. Sudoku for the Game Boy® Advance handheld video game system will be the first of a series of Sudoku products that Mastiff will be bringing to game systems. Sudoku is the puzzle phenomenon that is sweeping the nation. The Sudoku video game features 1,000 hand created puzzles, Original Mode, which lets you create you own Sudoku puzzles, a tutorial mode, help for those moments when you really are stuck, the ability to "pencil in" possible solutions, and a puzzle problem creation mode.

Sudoku is the international puzzle craze that shows no signs of slowing down. The New York Times remarks, "no puzzle has had such a fast introduction in newspapers since the crossword craze of 1924-25," and USA Today says Sudoku has "become the morning brain breakfast for millions of commuters." The Economist magazine calls it a "puzzling global phenomenon."

Sudoku looks like a math problem, but it's not. The rules are simple: start with a grid consisting of nine three-by-three squares in which some of the numbers are already supplied. Fill in the blank squares so that each column, row, and three-by-three grid contains a number from 1 to 9 with none repeated.

About Mastiff
Mastiff is a publisher of interactive entertainment with offices in Tokyo, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Recent titles from Mastiff include Pump It Up: Exceed, which received a "Buy or Die" award from the top PlayStation 2 publication, PSM, and La Pucelle: Tactics, which was awarded an Editor's Choice Award from leading gaming website, IGN.com. Other recent releases include Pump It Up: Exceed, Gungrave: Overdose, Technic Beat and Top Gun: Combat Zones. Please visit www.mastiff-games.com for more information.

About The Developer
Dr. Sudoku's one thousand original puzzles are hand crafted by Skynet Corporation, a leading creator of Sudoku puzzles. Success Corporation, a major Japanese developer of interactive entertainment, is responsible for sound, graphics, interface and the underlying computer code.

About Santa Claus
Santa Claus, AKA St Nicholas, St Nick, and Kris Kringle, is a jolly, white-bearded fat man who shows up every December, promising gifts to children of all ages and then delivers such presents on Christmas. He is usually accompanied by numerous reindeer and pointy-eared elves. Believed to live at the North Pole but known to spend tremendous amount of time hanging around shopping centers and department stores.

About Pam Anderson
Pam Anderson was born in Ladysmith, British Columbia, in July 1967. She is best known for her excellent voice work as Pebbles in "The Flintstones Little Big League," as well as her appearance in the 1984 film, "Crimes of Passion." Her first feature film, 1996's "Barb Wire," earned her a Razzie Award for Worst New Star. This could explain why Sudoku has a higher Wordtracker search rating than she does.
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Game: Dr. Sudoku (GBA)
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