I’ve recently reviewed Word Sudoku by POWGI which was an interesting spin on the classic puzzle in that you completed the various stages by using 9-letter words instead of your usual numbers. Today I’ve been playing Puzlogic from Eduardo Barreto which is yet another rather innovative puzzle game which takes inspiration from Sudoku and Kakuro and twists it into a new fun way to play.
Originally an Early Access title, today marks it’s official release as it updates to version 1.0 after a short period of taking customer feedback and changing a few things around. So, how does this game work and what makes it so original? Let’s find out.
*Disclosure: These images are from the press pack as you can’t use F12 to take screenshots for Puzlogic in Steam for some reason*
What’s the one thing in common with every Sudoku puzzle, be it words or numbers? It’s presented in a 9×9 grid in order to work with the standard rules of no duplicate characters in a block of 9 or in the same row or column. Puzlogic changes that up by taking away the 9×9 grid and instead it gives us floating self-contained segments to work with. As you can see by the above image, you have a few small segments with numbers already placed within certain squares and you must find out where the numbers in blue, at the bottom, fit so that they follow these rules:
• No duplicate numbers in the same column.
• No duplicate numbers in the same row.
• If there is a number at the side, all numbers of that colour in that row or column must add up to that amount.
• If there is a number in a circle, all numbers of that colour in that segment add up to that amount.
The game starts off nice and easy and then slowly begins to become harder as more mechanics and ‘values’ are given. It does ease you in gently though, with a tutorial for each new type of puzzle as well as a few easy ones before they start getting more and more tricky. The later levels are sure to test anyone’s brain as you have multiple segments with values attached to them, which you can’t go over or under on. Seriously, if you like puzzle games and think Sudoku is too easy, you need to try this out and see how you get on.
In the options menu, there are two hints you can enable or disable based on your skill level. Having either or both enabled with stop you from earning a ‘no hints’ star at the end of a level, but they really do help. They are:
• Show column/row errors – this will let you know if you’ve put the number in the wrong place so you can remove it and try again.
• Auto fade correct sums – similar to the above, if you’ve put the correct numbers in a row which has a value then the value will dim away. For example, you may have the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 with three squares and the value of 10. Technically, you could use 6, 3, 1 or 5, 3, 2 in order to solve the value part of the puzzle. However, with this hint on, it will only dim if you use the correct combination of numbers, not just the correct value.
I personally had both of these turned off because I like to collect the stars. If you do disable them, you can still manually dim the numeric value criteria by right-clicking on it, so you can still keep track of it if you’re 100% sure you’re correct. The second star you can earn is if you make no mistakes when placing down the numbers into the open slots.
Being a flip on the Sudoku formula, there is another process the game offers you for help, which doesn’t affect any achievements – pencil marks. The pencil marks are basically notes within Puzlogic. You hold the right mouse button and drag a number into a square you ‘think’ it may be applicable to (not in the same row or column) and it will place a small note in there. The downside – you can only have up to 4 notes in each square, whereas in Sudoku you can have all nine numbers as a pencil mark if you wish. However, I’ve not found any puzzle where I’ve needed more than four so far. Also, you can press the Space Bar whilst dragging the note to change it to grey – this is useful because later on, you have both white and blue numbers to place on the grid.
To help you from getting frustrated, confused, or rage quitting, Puzlogic has a really nice mellow soundtrack which plays softly in the background as you think away. It’s not distracting or off-putting, it makes the game more relaxing and casual to play if that makes sense? It also incorporates quite a few ambient sounds such as bird chirps and the sound of waves/the wind. Seriously, the soundtrack is really calm. I live on the edge of a field and I actually thought the birds were making a lot of noise outside, then I realised it was the game! Also, and I know this will sound silly, but the general sound effects as you plop down the numbers or click on options is also rather soothing with it’s ‘mechanical keyboard’ clicky sounds.
Another thing the game does really well is its colour scheme. The background colour seems to be random (as restarting a level will change it) and they are all washed out colours which are really easy on the eyes and pleasant to look at in any level of light. You may even catch a glimpse of leaves floating around in the background as you play. It’s just an overall very casual and relaxing game, even on the much more difficult levels which you unlock later on.
I would like to personally thank the developer, Eduardo Barreto, for contacting me and sending through a copy of his game to try out. I’d never heard of it before and a lot of games on steam are lost due to the sheer amount which comes out on a daily basis. However, I really enjoyed playing Puzlogic as I love my puzzle games and I’m always on the lookout for something new and different to what I’ve played before. I was hooked from the first puzzle and the music is so relaxing – I know I keep going on about it but I’ve had it on in the background whilst writing this as well!
It’s also such a low price (£2.09). I have no trouble recommending this to each and every one of you who is reading this review. It’s less than the price of a sandwich in most places in the UK! Is there anything I would recommend or like to see? I would love the developer to bring out some kind of level editor, maybe in this game or a sequel, where people can simply create their own puzzles and share them with each other – a bit like how Hexologic did with their game.
Other than that, I guess the obligatory request that it comes to consoles so more people can enjoy it. Maybe team up with Lightwood Games and bring a version with 200+ puzzles to the PS4, PS Vita and Nintendo Switch? I know a lot of people who would love this kind of puzzle to play on their platform of choice.
Me playing a few levels:
Puzlogic is a very relaxing puzzle game based on Sudoku and Kakuro mechanics with some simple arithmetic. For such a cheap game you really do get your money’s worth with its 64 puzzles to work your way through. As the puzzles become more advanced with the various colours and the values of each row, column or segment you have to abide by – you’ll be scratching your head as you try and figure out what goes where. If you’re a puzzle fan and own any type of Windows, MacOS or even Linux computer, you need to pick up Puzlogic today and give it a shot.
If you wish to try the game out first, you can play an early demo of the game online, via the link below. The game is pretty much the same in terms of the mechanics but there are some features missing from the online demo.
**Puzlogic has now released on iOS and Android devices. The game is identical to the PC version above, yet fully optimised for touch-screen operation. I’ve been working my way through the 64 puzzles and they are just as fresh as they were when I did them on the PC, only now I can do them on the go! So, if you want to experience some really interesting and cryptic puzzles, but you don’t want to do them on your PC, pick up Puzlogic on mobile and tablet devices today!**
- The puzzles are all cleverly done
- Really relaxing music with lots of ambient sounds (all adjustable)
- Clever use of both Sudoku and Kakuro mechanics
- Hint options for people to enable if they need more help
- Very, very cheap price
- Can't do more than four 'notes' in a square at a time
- No way to enable the hints without quitting to the menu first