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Puzzle Mania with Nikoli

Do you ever Sudoku? Chances are high that you do! This brain ticklingly challenging game was first dubbed ‘sudoku’  by Japanese pencil puzzle company Nikoli in the eighties. It is under this name that the game has gone on to gain a huge international cult following, and it’s easy to see why.In fact, we think there’s not much that beats sitting down at the end of a tough day and escaping into a challenging puzzle, so we thought we’d ask Nikoli to bring some of their best games to introduce to us all at HYPER JAPAN!

If you’ve never played Sudoku before, here’s a quick introduction. The word ‘Sudoku’ itself translates as ‘single number,’ and players must rearrange figures in a 9×9 grid, split into 9 boxes, so that each box contains a consecutive run from one to nine. Sounds simple, but as any devoted player will tell you, sometimes the most fiendishly difficult games can draw you in for hours. There are countless variants of the game, and even mega tough international competitions.

The publishers of the first puzzle magazine ever in Japan, Nikoli aren’t just responsible for helping to popularize this addictive game- the company delights in creating hundreds of new progressive puzzles that can be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of language or culture, every year. Their smash hit games include Kakuro, Slitherlink, and Shikaku. And they’ve kept up with the times, developing their games for computers and smart phones so that we can enjoy playing in the pencil free age. Fans are constantly pestering the company to find out what the latest releases will be.

Nikoli’s challenges can range from quick coffee break puzzles to mammoth year long projects, and none require any special training or equipment other than a pencil. All give a great mental workout, and have been credited with helping to keep brains agile and memories sharp right into old age. However, our biggest reason for loving Nikoli’s games is that they are super fun- but don’t blame us if you find you can’t stop playing!