For more than two years, Sudoku puzzles have thrilled the minds of numerous solvers around the world. They solve them while having breakfast, on a train to their work or, most likely, at work!
To be honest, I haven't fallen so much into the trap of solving Sudoku puzzles. However, I have become addicted to another aspect of Sudoku puzzles: I enjoy creating them. Actually, I focus on its variants that have mushroomed after the initial success of the original "number-place" puzzles.
It is difficult to keep track of all the different variants that have been invented in the past two years. Two of the most successful ones are surely Killer Sudoku and Samurai Sudoku. They extend the original puzzle in two different ways. While Samurai demand even more patience because of its size, Killer Sudoku asks that you use some basic arithmetics in order to solve a puzzle.
But that is not all; there are many variants that impose additional restrictions on the placement of numbers in a puzzle: diagonal, consecutive, odd/even, or greater/less than Sudoku, to name a few. Then there are jigsaw Sudoku puzzles. Some authors even combine a couple of these extra rules into one puzzle.
And then, once you've become familiar with the family of Sudoku puzzles, you learn that there are other logic brain teasers that ask from you to play with the numbers. Kakuro is a hybrid between Killer Sudoku and good old crosswords; Hanjie puzzles (which also go under different names: griddlers, nonograms, pic-a-pix, or paint-by-numbers) reveal interesting images after you solve them; to extend your Japanese vocabulary, you learn about Hashi, Masyu, or Hitori puzzles.
It is my intention to write a series of articles here at Blogcritics and introduce some of these puzzles to you. I hope that you, dear reader, will also become addicted to these magnificent mind-benders!