When Nintendo first revealed details of its remote for the Wii, then dubbed "Revolution," focus fell on the idea of gaming with what essentially looked like a TV remote. Now, services like Yahoo TV Widgets have turned actual TV remotes into gaming devices. Funspot, which releases casual games for interactive TVs, has three games released for the platform so far that range from somewhat enjoyable to somewhat terrible.
All three games, Sudoku, QuizzMaster, and Texas Hold 'Em, are available on Samsung and LG sets with Yahoo TV Widgets. Like some other widgets we've tested, all three strain the definition of "widget" as they open up full-screen. This really limits the utility of these games. None of them are particularly good on their own, but could have been if they were playable in a window as a way to pass the time during commercials. If you're going to go through the often slow process of launching a game and have to play it in full-screen, you're ultimately better off with a real gaming console.
The most solid of all the games, the Sudoku widget is exactly what you would expect. The controls are responsive and intuitive. You control which box you want to select with the control pad, enter numbers with the number pad, and clear a box with the OK or enter button.
Holding down one of the directional buttons causes you to move toward boxes faster, which somewhat makes up for the lack of board wrapping. The game is level-based and increases slightly in difficulty as you go along, with hints available for the first three levels. You can pick up on whatever level you left off with level codes, but you can't save your progress mid-game. If you can get past some minor issues and the kitsch background, the Sudoku widget is a pleasant time-waster.… Read more