If you like sudoku and other pencil puzzles, you’re sure to love the new Nintendo 3DS game, Nikoli’s Pencil Puzzle! It will provide hours of fun entertainment, and boost your brain’s mathematical and puzzle-solving centers at the same time. There are over 600 puzzles spread across five entertaining games. Other games that you can play are Bridges, Boxes, and Museum. Besides these, you can unlock an exclusive puzzle game specifically created for the Nintendo 3DS. Who could ask for more from a handheld 3D puzzle game?
Who was Nikoli? Nikoli was the name of the Japanese publisher that helped popularise Sudoku. were also the company’s creations, and their Japanese names are Shikaku, Hashi and Akari.
Sudoku, for anyone who hasn’t played it before, is a game that requires you to fill in a 3×3 grid of blocks on a 9×9 board with the numbers 1-9. The catch is you cannot repeat any of the numbers in any block, row, or column.
In Shikaku, you also have a grid, but one with scattered numbers throughout it, and you’re supposed to draw boxes around them, the areas that match the contained digit. Also, you can have no gaps or overlapping sections.
With Hashi, you also lays out numbers on a grid. In this game, you have to connect them by the amount of bridges represented by the numeral. You are allowed to use one or two numerals per line, until there are no unconnected digits.
Akari has been described as being like a reverse Minesweeper game. Numbers are spread throughout a grid. You place the amount of bulbs represented by each numeral next to it. These bulbs then shine a beam horizontally and vertically until they are stopped by a barrier. You’re supposed to illuminate the board without two light paths crossing each other.
One good thing is that Nikoli’s Pencil Puzzle includes helpful tutorials for each as well. It’s the sort of game that anyone can play right out of the package, and the controls are easy to understand and use, but the individual games are hard to master.
That’s what I like about puzzle and logic games in general,and what makes them entertaining and fun: they exercise your mind, but they’re also easy to pick up, simple to learn but complex enough to make each round different from the last. Each is ingeniously designed, and you’re sure to be challenged with the range of logic and deductive reasoning puzzles contained in this Hudson product published by Konami.
Though there are 600 puzzles in all, you could say that one Con of Nikoli’s Pencil Puzzle is that there are not an equal number of puzzles for each individual game. There’s 300 Sudoku, 120 Akari, 110 Shikaku and 70 Hashi grids.
One cool aspect of the games included is that you can also earn different coloured crowns depending on how fast you complete each puzzle. The achievement requirements for Sudoku are somewhat difficult, though, so earning the colored crown for that game is not easy.
I briefly mentioned that the controls are easy to use, which they are. You can utilize two sets of controls using either the stylus or the control pad. You can manage your games, with the lower screen displaying the game and the upper screen displaying the pieces in 3D.
Personally, the games I liked playing the most were Sudoku, the Bridges game (Hashi), and the Boxes one (Shikaku). The Akiri game is, IMO, the most complicated of the three, and was more difficult for me to get into and enjoy playing. There are five levels of difficulty you can choose from, so you can progress from the easier puzzles to ones that are more challenging. Though the game is in 3D, since the games are traditional pencil games, there is probably no real reason to make them 3D other than to make them look more cool, and of course, to make the companies involved more money. Still, I found Nikoli’s Pencil Puzzle for the Nintendo 3DS to be a fun and entertaining way to pass a few hours. I’d recommend it to anyone who loves Sudoku and other logic games.