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Posted by r2d2 04/12/2009 @ 05:12

Tags : puzzles, games, leisure

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Digital TV switch puzzles viewers - The Detroit News
Detroit -- As the last of the nation's television stations turned off their analog signals Friday, households unprepared to capture the digital signal found themselves scrambling for converter boxes, antennas and how-to's....
If crosswords puzzle you, here's where to get help - Stockton Record
It's been almost three months since The Record changed its daily and Sunday crossword puzzles to the Los Angeles Times puzzle, primarily edited by Rich Norris. His puzzle replaced the Wayne Robert Williams puzzle that no longer was offered by the...
NOT SO PUZZLING PASSMASTER HANOVER CAPTURES $500000 NJ CLASSIC - Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – June 13, 2009 – Whatever puzzles Passmaster Hanover presented before the race, he answered some of them with a victory in the $500000 Anthony Abbatiello New Jersey Classic, part of a quartet of New Jersey-sired stakes offering...
Father's Day best Gift online store 2009 - MyFoxOrlando.com
It will be a traditional jigsaw puzzle, containing however many pieces you specified when you placed your order. A word to the wise - unless your Dad is a puzzle expert steer clear from the 1500-pc puzzles as they are the most difficult....
NineGaps 1.0 Released - Tricky puzzle game for iPhone and iPod touch - 7thSpace Interactive (press release)
Quadion releases NineGaps 1.0, a highly addictive tricky puzzle game for iPhone and iPod touch. The goal of the game is really simple. You have to use your wits to place numbers from 1 to 9 in the missing gaps, while matching the operations presented...
Shrinking star puzzles scientists - CNN International
"It's a puzzle." Betelgeuse, about 600 light-years away according to NASA, has lost in its radius a distance comparable to the orbit of Venus, according to Townes. Townes, who won the 1964 Nobel Prize in physics, began measuring the red giant 20 years...
Trend of sovereign credit default swaps puzzles insiders - SmartBrief
But an index of spreads on credit default swaps shows that risk is at half of what it was in February, before the state of public finances was fully revealed. Dave Klein of CDR, which maintains the index, acknowledged that the trend is puzzling....
Van Gundy's strategy 'puzzles' Mourning - Sun-Sentinel.com
"It sort of puzzles me with Stan because he was under the tutelage of Pat Riley, who is obviously a huge defensive advocate, that he wouldn't take a more aggressive approach, especially with the pick-and-roll play. I didn't understand his approach....
Five perfect puzzle games for the iPhone - CNET News
by Rick Broida Puzzle games and the iPhone and iPod Touch go together like peas and carrots (and they're nearly as good for you). They fit beautifully on the small screen, they have no awkward controls to master, and they're ideal when you have 5...
Mysterious supernova remnant puzzles astronomers - Newspost Online
Astronomers have been puzzled about the origin of a supernova remnant in space, which has a very different look. This object, known as SNR 0104-72.3 (SNR 0104 for short), is in the Small Magellanic Cloud, a small neighboring galaxy to the Milky Way,...

Combination puzzles

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Combination puzzles, also called sequential move puzzles, consist of a set of pieces which can be manipulated into different combinations by a group of operations. The puzzle consists of achieving a particular combination starting from a random (scrambled) combination. Often, the solution is required to be some recognisable pattern such as 'all like colours together' or 'all numbers in order'. The most famous of these puzzles is the original Rubik's Cube, a cubic puzzle in which each of the six faces can be independently rotated. Each of the six faces is a different colour, but each of the nine pieces on a face is identical in colour, in the solved condition. In the unsolved condition colours are randomly distributed amongst the pieces of the cube.

The mechanical construction of the puzzle will usually define the rules by which the combination of pieces can be altered. This leads to some limitations on what combinations are possible. For instance, in the case of the Rubiks Cube, there are a large number of combinations that can be achieved by randomly placing the coloured stickers on the cube, but not all of these can be achieved by manipulating the cube rotations. Similarly, not all the combinations that are mechanically possible from a disassembled cube are possible by manipulation of the puzzle. Since neither unpeeling the stickers nor disassembling the cube is an allowed operation, the possible operations of rotating various faces limit what can be achieved.

Typically, these puzzles are simple in concept but can be fiendishly difficult to solve. Their popularity lies in this very thing; everyone can understand what is required and the operations needed to achieve it, but few can actually do it. Also, a brightly coloured 'toy' is inherently more interesting than dry mathematical equations, even though they are equivalent.

Although a mechanical realisation of the puzzle is usual, it is not actually necessary. It is only necessary that the rules for the operations are defined. The puzzle can be realised entirely in virtual space or as a set of mathematical statements. In fact, there are some puzzles that can only be realised in virtual space. An example is the 4-dimensional 3×3×3×3 tesseract puzzle, simulated by the MagicCube4D software.

There have been many different shapes of Rubik type puzzles constructed. As well as cubes, all of the regular polyhedra and many of the semi-regular and stellated polyhedra have been made. It seems, in fact, that solid geometry is hard pressed to come up with a shape that cannot be made into a combination puzzle.

A cuboid is a rectilinear polyhedron. That is, all its edges form right angles. Or in other words (in the majority of cases), a box shape. A regular cuboid, in the context of this article, is a cuboid puzzle where all the pieces are the same size in edge length.

There are many puzzles which are mechanically identical to the regular cuboids listed above but have variations in the pattern and colour of design. Some of these are custom made in very small numbers, sometimes for promotional events. It would be impossible, and probably pointless, to list every model that has ever been. The ones listed in the table below are included because the pattern in some way affects the difficulty of the solution or is notable in some other way.

An irregular cuboid, in the context of this article, is a cuboid puzzle where not all the pieces are the same size in edge length. This category of puzzle is often made by taking a larger regular cuboid puzzle and fusing together some of the pieces to make larger pieces. In the formulae for piece configuration, the configuration of the fused pieces is given in brackets. Thus, (as a simple regular cuboid example) a 2(2,2)x2(2,2)x2(2,2) is a 2×2×2 puzzle, but it was made by fusing a 4×4×4 puzzle. Puzzles which are constructed in this way are often called "bandaged" cubes. However, there are many irregular cuboids that have not (and often could not) be made by bandaging.

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A puzzle is a problem or enigma that tests the ingenuity of the solver. In a basic puzzle one is intended to piece together objects (puzzle pieces) in a logical way in order to come up with the desired shape, picture or solution. Puzzles are often contrived as a form of entertainment, but they can also stem from serious mathematical or logistical problems — in such cases, their successful resolution can be a significant contribution to mathematical research .

Solutions to puzzles may require recognizing patterns and creating a particular order. People with a high inductive reasoning aptitude may be better at solving these puzzles than others. Puzzles based on the process of inquiry and discovery to complete may be solved faster by those with good deduction skills.

The first jigsaw puzzle was made around 1760, when John Spilsbury, a British engraver and mapmaker, mounted a map on a sheet of wood that he then sawed around each individual country. Spilsbury used the product to aid in teaching geography. After catching on with the wider public, this remained the primary use of jigsaw puzzles until about 1820.

By the early 20th century, magazines and newspapers found that they could increase their daily subscriptions by publishing puzzle contests.

A puzzle undone, which forms a cube.

Puzzle cube; a type of puzzle.

Rubik's Cube.

An example of a British-style crossword puzzle.

A sample of notable puzzle authors includes Sam Loyd, Henry Dudeney, Boris Kordemsky and, more recently, David J. Bodycombe, Will Shortz and Martin Gardner.

There are organizations and events catering puzzle enthusiasts such as the International Puzzle Party, the World Puzzle Championship and the National Puzzlers' League. There are also Puzzlehunts like Maze of Games.

The Rubik's Cube and other combination puzzles are toys based on puzzles that can be stimulating toys for kids and are a recreational activity for adults. Puzzles can be used to hide or obscure objects. A good example is a puzzle box used to hide jewelry.

Games are often based on a puzzle. For example there are thousands of computer puzzle games and many letter games, word games and mathematical games which require solutions to puzzles as part of the gameplay. One of the most popular puzzle games is Tetris.

A chess problem is a puzzle that uses chess pieces on a chess board.

The large number of puzzles that have been created can be divided into categories, for example a maze is a type of tour puzzle. Other categories include construction puzzles, stick puzzles, tiling puzzles, transport puzzles, disentanglement puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, lock puzzles, folding puzzles, combination puzzles and mechanical puzzles.

A meta-puzzle is a puzzle which unites or incorporates elements of other puzzles. It is often found in puzzlehunts.

The 1989 edition of the Oxford English Dictionary dates the word puzzle (as a verb) to the end of the 16th century. That first documented use comes from a book called The Voyage of Robert Dudley...to the West Indies, 1594-95, narrated by Capt. Wyatt, by himself, and by Abram Kendall, master (published circa 1595).

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American Video Entertainment

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American Video Entertainment was a California–based software development company that developed unlicensed video games for the Nintendo Entertainment System. The company developed two games on its own, Krazy Kreatures and Trolls on Treasure Island in 1990, and published 19 games altogether for the NES.

Blackjack was developed by Odyssey Software and published by American Video Entertainment. The game features blackjack action and a deal who deals from 1-3 card decks. After winning a certain amount of money or losing it all, the game automatically ends.

Cue Stick was a cancelled game originally developed by Odyssey Software and to be published by American Video Entertainment.

Deathbots was developed by Odyssey Software and published by American Video Entertainment. In Deathbots, the Mutech Corporation created a base on Alcatraz Island, where attempts to create superior computer intelligence has backfired, as the robots they've created has taken over the computer systems and is threatening the world. Deep in the fortress is an atomic bomb–like device called the Gamma Bomb, which one lone robot must destroy. The game is played from an overhead perspective.

Double Strike was developed and published in Taiwan by Sachen (original name: 双鷹), in North America by American Video Entertainment, and in Australia by HES. It is a shoot 'em up game in which the player must save a group of islands from terrorists.

F–15 City War is a 3–D shoot 'em up game developed by Idea-tek and published in North America by American Video Entertainment and in Australia by HES. In this game, the player must defend a city under siege by tanks, helicopters, enemy fighter jets, boats, and robots.

Impossible Mission–II is a platform game developed by Novotrade for Epyx and published in North America by American Video Entertainment; it was published in Australia by HES. It is the sequel to the Commodore 64 hit Impossible Mission and features similar gameplay as its predecessor.

Krazy Kreatures is a puzzle game developed and published by American Video Entertainment. The player must clear various animals off the screen by arranging them into rows of three or more before the time runs out.

Maxivision 15–in–1 (Maxi 15) is a multicart published in North America by American Video Entertainment and in Australia by HES. It was the last game to be published by AVE, and it featured games published by AVE, American Game Cartridges, and Color Dreams. The 15 games on the multicart are Chiller, Deathbots, Double Strike, Dudes with Attitude, F-15 City Wars, Krazy Kreatures, Menace Beach, Puzzle, Pyramid, Rad Racket: Deluxe Tennis II, Shock Wave, Solitaire, Stakk M, Tiles of Fate, and Venice Beach Volleyball.

Mermaids of Atlantis is a puzzle game published by AVE as a clean version of the pornographic NES game Bubble Bath Babes aka Soap Panic originally developed by Taiwanese developer Computer & Entertainment. The original pornographic version was also published in the United States by Panesian and in Japan by Hacker International. The object is to clear groups of colored bubbles as they float to the top of the screen.

Puzzle is a sliding puzzle video game developed by Idea-tek and published by AVE. The game consists of 10 different 4–by–4 sliding puzzles in which the player must solve in a limited amount of time. Players can receive limited help if they are stuck at any point during a puzzle.

Pyramid is a puzzle game developed by Sachen and published in Taiwan by Sachen and in North America by AVE. It is similar to Tetris, except that the blocks are triangle–shaped instead of square.

Rad Racket is a tennis game developed by Idea-tek and published by AVE in 1991.

Solitaire was developed by Odyssey Software and released by AVE; it is based on Microsoft Solitaire and the card game of the same name.

Tiles of Fate is a puzzle game developed by Taiwanese developer Computer & Entertainment (original title: 戰國四川省) and published in the United States by AVE. The player must restore order in Ancient China by matching similar tiles used by Ancient Kings. Similar to the game Mahjong, the player must clear tiles from the screen by matching them side–by–side in pairs.

Trolls on Treasure Island was developed and published by AVE in 1994. The game is exactly the same as Dudes with Attitude but player controls a troll instead of a face, and the puzzles are slightly different.

Ultimate League Soccer is a soccer game developed by Taiwanese developer Computer & Entertainment. Apart from the United States and Taiwan, it was also published in Australia by HES and in Brazil by Milmar (under the name "Futebol"). A version with pornographic content added was published in Japan by Hacker International.

Venice Beach Volleyball is a volleyball game developed by Idea-Tek and published in the United States by AVE. The player is in the semifinals of the Venice Beach Open volleyball tournament, with two of the teams consisting of men and the other two consisting of women.

Wally Bear and the NO! Gang is a platform game developed by American Game Cartridges and published by AVE. It is a game designed to teach children to say no to drugs. The game was designed in cooperation with the American Medical Association and the National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information. It also featured a toll–free number, 1–800–HI–WALLY, that was running for more than 20 years.

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Puzzle video game

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Puzzle video games are a genre of video games that emphasize puzzle solving. The types of puzzles to be solved can test many problem solving skills including logic, strategy, pattern recognition, sequence solving, and word completion.

These games involve a variety of logical and conceptual challenges, although occasionally the games add time-pressure or other action-elements.

Some puzzle games feed the player a random assortment of blocks or pieces that they must organize in the correct manner, such as Tetris, Klax and Lumines. Tetris, designed in 1985, is considered one of the most important video puzzle games and has spawned many sequels, variations and clones of the "falling block" variety. Others present a preset game board and/or pieces and challenge the player to solve the puzzle by achieving a goal (Bomberman, The Incredible Machine). Some of the games in the former category have a mode that plays like the latter. For example, in both Tetrisphere and Tetris Attack, there is an actual "puzzle mode" in which the player must clear a pre-defined board within a certain amount of moves. Another type of puzzle game requires you to build systems out of supplied parts, these games include Microsoft Tinker, Crazy Machines and Crazy Machines 2.

Many adventure games and action-adventure games contain puzzle elements. For example, Resident Evil, Silent Hill and The Legend of Zelda series.

Because puzzle games are often so abstract, the term is sometimes used as a blanket term for games with unique and otherwise indescribable gameplay. Every Extend Extra is an example of this.

Puzzle games are often easy to develop and adapt: from dedicated arcade units, to home video game consoles, to personal digital assistants and mobile phones.

The game Minesweeper is notable because of the large installed user base (the game comes bundled with the Microsoft Windows operating system and with some Palm OS operating system older variants).

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Example of a nonogram puzzle being solved. The steps of the process are grouped together a bit.

Nonograms or Paint by Numbers are picture logic puzzles in which cells in a grid have to be colored or left blank according to numbers given at the side of the grid to reveal a hidden picture. In this puzzle type, the numbers measure how many unbroken lines of filled-in squares there are in any given row or column. For example, a clue of "4 8 3" would mean there are sets of four, eight, and three filled squares, in that order, with at least one blank square between successive groups.

These puzzles are often black and white but can also have some colors. If they are colored, the number clues will also be colored in order to indicate the color of the squares. Two differently colored numbers may or may not have a space in between them. For example, a black four followed by a red two could mean four black spaces, some empty spaces, and two red spaces, or it could simply mean four black spaces followed immediately by two red ones.

There are no theoretical limits on the size of a nonogram, and they are also not restricted to square layouts.

Nonograms are also known by many other names, including Paint by Numbers, Griddlers, Pic-a-Pix, Picross, Pixel Puzzles, Crucipixel, Edel, FigurePic, gameLO, Grafilogika, Hanjie, Illust-Logic, Japanese Crosswords, Japanese Puzzles, Kare Karala!, Logic Art, Logic Square, Logicolor, Logik-Puzzles, Logimage, Obrazki logiczne, Zakódované obrázky, Maľované krížovky, Oekaki Logic, Oekaki-Mate, Paint Logic, Shchor Uftor, Gobelini, and Tsunamii. They have also been called Paint by Sudoku and Binary Coloring Books, although these names are entirely inaccurate.

In 1987, Non Ishida, a Japanese graphics editor, won a competition in Tokyo by designing grid pictures using skyscraper lights which are turned on or off. At the same time and with no connection, a professional Japanese puzzler named Tetsuya Nishio invented the same puzzles.

Paint by numbers puzzles started appearing in Japanese puzzle magazines. Nintendo picked up on this puzzle fad and in 1995 released two "Picross" (Picture Crossword) titles for the Game Boy and nine for the Super Famicom (eight of which were released in two-month intervals for the Nintendo Power Super Famicom Cartridge Writer as the "NP Picross" series) in Japan. Only one of these, Mario's Picross for the Game Boy, was released outside of Japan.

In 1988, Non Ishida published three picture grid puzzles in Japan under the name of "Window Art Puzzles".

In 1990, James Dalgety in the UK invented the name Nonograms after Non Ishida, and The Sunday Telegraph started publishing them on a weekly basis.

In 1993, First book of Nonograms was published by Non Ishida in Japan. The Sunday Telegraph published a dedicated puzzle book titled the "Book of Nonograms". Nonograms were also published in Sweden, United States, South Africa and other countries.

In 1995, paint by numbers started appearing on hand held electronic toys such as Game Boy and on other plastic puzzle toys. Increased popularity in Japan launched new publishers and by now there were several monthly magazines, some of which contained up to 100 puzzles.

In 1996, the Japanese arcade game Logic Pro was released by Deniam Corp, with a sequel released the following year.

In 1998, The Sunday Telegraph ran a competition to choose a new name for their puzzles. Griddlers was the winning name that readers chose.

In 1999, Paint by numbers were published by Sanoma Uitgevers in Holland, Puzzler Media (formerly British European Associated Publishers) in the UK and Nikui Rosh Puzzles in Israel.

In 2007, Nintendo released another version of Picross, this time for their Nintendo DS console.

Today, magazines with nonogram puzzles are published in the USA, UK, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, Hungary, Finland and many other countries.

In order to solve a puzzle, one needs to determine which cells are going to be boxes and which are going to be empty. Determining which cells are to be empty (called spaces) is as important as determining which are to be filled (called boxes). Later in the solving process, the spaces help to determine where a clue (continuing block of boxes and a number in the legend) may spread. Solvers usually use a dot or a cross to mark cells that are spaces for sure.

It is also important never to guess. Only cells that can be determined by logic should be filled. If guessing, a single error can spread over the entire field and completely ruin the solution. It usually comes to the surface only after a while, when it is very difficult to correct the puzzle. Usually, only advanced and experienced solvers are able to fix it completely and finish such ruined puzzles.

The hidden picture plays no part in the solving process. Even if it is obvious from the picture that a cell will be a box, it is usually treacherous to rely on it. The picture, however, may help find and eliminate an error.

Simpler puzzles can usually be solved by a reasoning on a single row only (or a single column) at each given time, to determine as many boxes and spaces on that row as possible. Then trying another row (or column), until there are rows that contain undetermined cells.

Some more difficult puzzles may also require several types of "what if?" reasoning that include more than one row (or column). This works on searching for contradictions: When a cell cannot be a box, because some other cell would produce an error, it will definitely be a space. And vice versa. Advanced solvers are sometimes able to search even deeper than into the first "what if?" reasoning. It takes, however, a lot of time to get some progress.

In result, the block will spread for sure through the conjunction in the middle.

Consequently, the first block of four boxes definitely includes the third and fourth cells, while the second block of three boxes definitely includes the eighth cell. Boxes can therefore be placed in the third, fourth and eighth cells. Important note: When determining boxes in this way, boxes can be placed in cells only when the same block overlaps; in this example, although two blocks overlap in the sixth cell, they are different blocks, and so it cannot yet be said whether or not the sixth cell will contain a box.

This method consists of determining spaces by searching for cells that are out of range of any possible blocks of boxes. For example, considering a row of ten cells with boxes in the fourth and ninth cell and with clues of 3 and 1, the block bound to the clue 3 will spread through the fourth cell and clue 1 will be at the ninth cell.

First, the clue 1 is complete and there will be a space at each side of the bound block.

Second, the clue 3 can only spread somewhere between the second cell and the sixth cell, because it always has to include the fourth cell; however, this may leave cells that may not be boxes in any case, i.e. the first and the seventh.

Note: In this example all blocks are accounted for; this is not always the case. The player must be careful for there may be clues or blocks that are not bound to each other yet.

In this method, the significance of the spaces will be shown. A space placed somewhere in the middle of an uncompleted row may force a large block to one side or the other. Also, a gap that is too small for any possible block may be filled with spaces.

Sometimes, there is a box near the border that is not farther from the border than the length of the first clue. In this case, the first clue will spread through that box and will be forced to the right by the border.

For example, considering a row of ten cells with a box in the third cell and with a clue of 5, the clue of 5 will spread through the third cell and will continue to the fifth cell because of the border.

Note: This method may also work in the middle of a row, further away from the borders.

To solve the puzzle, it is usually also very important to enclose each bound and/or completed block of boxes immediately by separating spaces as described in Simple spaces method. Precise punctuating usually leads to more Forcing and may be vital for finishing the puzzle. Note: The examples above did not do that only to remain simple.

Mercury is a special case of Simple spaces technique. Its name comes from the way mercury pulls back from the sides of a container.

If there is a box in a row that is in the same distance from the border as the length of the first clue, the first cell will be a space. This is because the first clue would not fit to the left of the box. It will have to spread through that box, leaving the first cell behind. Furthermore, when the box is actually a block of more boxes to the right, there will be more spaces at the beginning of the row, determined by using this method several times.

In this example a box is tried in the first row, which leads to a space at the beginning of that row. The space then forces a box in the first column, which glues to a block of three boxes in the fourth row. However, that is wrong because the third column does not allow any boxes there, which leads to a conclusion that the tried cell must not be a box, so it must be a space.

Some puzzles may require to go deeper with searching for the contradictions. This is, however, not possible simply by a pen and pencil, because of the many possibilities that need to be searched.

In some cases, reasoning over a set of rows may also lead to the next step of the solution even without contradictions and deeper recursion. However, finding such sets is usually as difficult as finding contradictions.

There are puzzles that have several feasible solutions (one such is a picture of a simple chessboard). In these puzzles, all solutions are correct by the definition, but not all must give a reasonable picture.

Solving nonogram puzzles is an NP-complete problem. This means that there is no polynomial time algorithm that solves all nonogram puzzles unless P = NP.

This computational complexity is usually not an issue for published puzzles. Published puzzles are constructed and verified, so that they are solvable by humans. Any puzzle a human can be expected to solve in a reasonable amount of time can also be solved by a computer.

In addition, certain classes of puzzles, such as those in which each row or column has only one block of cells and all cells are connected, may be solved in polynomial time by transforming the problem into an instance of 2-satisfiability.

Triddlers are an offshoot that uses triangle shapes instead of squares.

Fill-a-Pix also uses a grid with numbers within. In this format, each number indicates how many of the squares immediately surrounding it, and itself, will be filled. A square marked "9," for example, will have all 8 surrounding squares and itself filled. If it is marked "0" those squares are all blank.

Maze-a-Pix uses a maze in a standard grid. When the single correct route from beginning to end is located, each 'square' of the solution is filled in (alternatively, all non-solution squares are filled in) to create the picture.

Tile Paint is another type of picture logic puzzle by Nikoli. It works like regular nonograms except that it only specifies the total number of squares in each row or column that will be filled in and irregular sections within the grid have borders around them that indicate that, if one of the squares within it is filled in, all of them must be filled in.

As noted above, the Game Boy saw its own version, titled Mario's Picross. The game was initially released in Japan on March 14, 1995 to decent success. However, the game failed to become a hit in the U.S. market, despite a heavy ad campaign by Nintendo. The game is of an escalating difficulty, with successive puzzle levels containing larger puzzles. Each puzzle has a limited amount of time to be cleared. Hints (line clears) may be requested at a time penalty, and mistakes made earn time penalties as well (the amount increasing for each mistake). Mario's Picross 2 was released later for Game Boy and Mario's Super Picross for the Super Famicom, neither of which were translated for the U.S. market (Mario's Super Picross was, however, later released on the Wii Virtual Console's PAL service on September 14, 2007, as part of its Hanabi Festival). Both games introduced Wario's Picross as well, featuring Mario's nemesis in the role. These rounds vary by removing the hint function, and mistakes are not penalized — at the price that mistakes are not even revealed. These rounds can only be cleared when all correct boxes are marked, with no mistakes. The time limit was also removed. Nintendo also released eight Nintendo Power Picross volumes over the Japanese Satellaview system in Japan, each a new set of puzzles without the Mario characters.

More recently, Nintendo has released Picross DS for the Nintendo DS portable system. It contains several stages of varying difficulty, from 5x5 grids to 25x20 grids. Normal mode will tell you if you made an error (with a time penalty) and free mode will not tell you whether you made an error. A hint is available before starting the puzzle in all modes; the game reveals a complete row and column at random. Additional puzzles are available through Nintendo's Wi-Fi server; some of the original Mario Picross puzzles are available. Nintendo has been making new releases available bi-weekly. Picross DS was released in Europe and Australia on 11 May 2007 and in the United States on July 30, 2007 and has been received well by critics, labelling the game "Addictive".. A 3D version of the game was also released for the DS called Rittai Picross in Japan.

Several books of nonogram puzzles have been published in the US since 2006, to tie in with the sudoku craze. Titles include Paint-doku, O'ekaki: Paint by Sudoku, The Essential Book of Hanjie and Crosspix.

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Source : Wikipedia