My daughter is a huge Sudoku fan. If you’re not familiar with Sudoku, basically it’s a math game that has you figuring out what numbers go in what boxes to have unique digits in every row, column, and larger square. Think of it sort of like a crossword for numbers. To me, this sounds like the most cruel sort of punishment that exists on the earth. However, my daughter quite contentedly spends hours engrossed in moving numbers around a little square.
With that in mind, when I saw Icosoku, I knew this was something she’d want to try. Icosoku is basically a 3D version of a Sudoku game and is offered by Recent Toys. They specialize in producing innovative, mentally stimulating brainteasers for children and adults.
Icosoku is a hand held sized ball that holds movable number buttons and triangular tiles. The round yellow number buttons range from one to twelve. There are twenty white triangular tiles that contain different numbers of dots in each corner. The idea is for you to match the white, triangular tiles so that their corner numbers add up to the round yellow number buttons that they surround. Each round yellow number button will be surrounded by five different triangle corners. Some of the corners are blank to make the number additions possible.
Regardless of where you place the little yellow round buttons, the puzzle can be solved which means there are thousands of combinations of game play. It’s all in where you place the white triangular tiles. The ball is about five inches across and is the perfect size to hold in your hand comfortably. The tiles and buttons go in and out easily and stay in the ball securely once you snap them in.
The game uses math and logic skills which makes it ideal for both public schools and homeschoolers. It’s fun to play and much more difficult than it sounds. It’s totally addicting and I keep picking it up to play just a few more minutes to see if I can solve the puzzle. I routinely manage to get almost to the end of the puzzle before realizing that the tiles are not in the correct places because there are no more tiles whose numbers add up properly. Icosoku is meant for ages 7 to 99 although I would think that a younger child might be frustrated in their attempts to solve the puzzle. It retails for $19.95 and is available from a variety of stores and online retailers including Amazon.