Sometimes $1.38 buys you a gem, other times you’ve thrown your money away. This week we’re showing you Kakuro for Dummies. It doesn’t really fall into either of these categories, it’s more of a diamond-in-the-rough.
The entire family enjoys a good Sudoku puzzle, so when we discovered this offering from University Games we were excited to give it a shot. Let me tell you, it is HARD. I’ll get into that in a moment.
First we needed to figure out the basic rules behind this type of puzzle. The instructions included were good and there are tutorials with easy game boards to teach you, but ultimately we resorted to reading up on it on Wikipedia.
Each row and column must add up to the number printed on the puzzle using single-digit numbers. Each number can only be used once per row.
Certain number combinations are easy to determine and those are your starting points. In the example above I needed a three using two squares. 1+2 are the only possible answers. The adjoining row sums up to five, which must be either a 1+4 or a 2+3. In order to complete the puzzle, no guessing should be necessary; there should always be a logical reason for your choices. For this photo I ‘guessed’ to show you the placement.
Each player becomes ‘responsible’ for a section of the puzzle and you race to fill in your squares. The first to complete their section correctly wins. As you’ve seen though, your answers may be predicated on someone else’s number selection, so while it looks right to you, if theirs is wrong yours will be too.
I see this being an extremely fun and challenging game for those already familiar with how Kakuro works, but for us it was just a bit too difficult out of the box. We did enjoy the puzzles so we downloaded a free app for our iOS devices that had hundreds of Kakuro puzzles of varying difficulties for us to practice on. There are also good app selections for Android devices as well.