Improvements to a Sudoku game

I am a Sudoku fan. I have been addicted since about winter of 2005. In summer of 2006, I was at FAO Schwarz with friends in New York City. I saw this plastic version and was intrigued. I bought it to try it out. It worked okay - one could set it up with the puzzles from the daily newspaper or Sudoku books. There were some problems, however.

Problems
• There were individual pieces with each of the 1 through 9 numbers on them. The numbers were color coded which is a really nice clarification when playing the game. But the numbers on the pieces were hard to see. On one side of each piece, the numbers were raised, making it quite easy to darken them with a felt tip pen. Much better.
• The back of each piece had a slight ridge to help it stay firmly in place in a slot in the gameboard. That ridge, however, made it tough to remove the pieces. I had to remove each by hand, exerting slight pressure to overcome the tightness caused by the ridge. I solved that by filing off the ridges on the backs of all the pieces. That allowed me to turn the game over when I was done and all the pieces fell easily into the clear plastic top of the game. They stayed in that tray ready for the next game.
• The notation of the 3x3 grids was created by a slightly larger width in the black plastic grid - I sanded those to lighten their color and create a greater contrast.
• The title, Rubik's SuDoku, was highlighted in silver and was a bit too corporate and distracting. I also blackened it with a pen.


Improvements
• Black numbers on pieces make them easier to read.
• Filed off ridge on back of piece allow easy removal, spilling into the tray top.
• Lightened 3x3 section notations for easier clarity.
• Blackened Rubik's Sudoku title lessens visual corporate dominance.


Dates
Purchase Rubik's Sudoku: July, 2006
Revisions: about 2 days after purchase

www.jamesrobertwatson.com/sudoku.html