Thrift Treasure: Kakuro for Dummies

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. 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 may only exist 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. 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.

Kakuro for Dummies - Stuck

You continue filling up the board until all the spaces are filled, thus completing the puzzle. But this is just how the puzzle is completed, not how this game plays!

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. Your answers may depend upon 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 enjoyed 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.

Dare to try it yourself? Find it on Amazon for well under $10! Be sure to check out other offers from University Games on their website or by following them on Twitter.

Kakuro for Dummies - Pinterest

18 thoughts on “Thrift Treasure: Kakuro for Dummies

  1. I got lost somewhere among the numbers. (LOL) Agree, these games sure are a challenge… an even extra challenge for me that is. You have introduced me to the term Kakuro though. Before this I only knew of Soduko.

  2. It always great to learn something new. I’ve never heard of this game but will share with my kids as they love games…

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