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Study Finds Playing 'Sudoku' Is Healthy

by Rainier on Jan. 18, 2006 @ 2:53 p.m. PST

Mastiff hopes to increase the longevity of GBA owners' lives with their upcoming release of "Dr. Sudoku." According to a recent study conducted at the University of Edinburgh, games such as Sudoku can awaken 'survival genes' that lay dormant in the human brain. These survival genes make the brain cells live longer and resist disease, strokes and the effects of drugs.

"When brain cells are highly stimulated, many unused genes are suddenly reactivated. We have found that a group of these genes can make the active brain cells far healthier than lazy, inactive cells, and more likely to live a long life," said Giles Hardingham of the University of Edinburgh at the annual meeting for the Society of Neuroscience in Washington.

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. BusinessWeek.com recently said that Dr. Sudoku "could be the next Tetris."

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.

Mastiff will be releasing "Dr. Sudoku" for the Game Boy Advance in March 2006.

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