Nikoli's Pencil Puzzle - Review

Nikoli's Pencil Puzzle
Rating: E - Everyone

This puzzle from Nikoli, published by Konami, contains 600 puzzles. They are of four types:

The in-game instructions and tutorials are good, and each of the four puzzle types have Intro, Easy, Normal and Hard sets. The puzzles themselves are very good as are the controls. Sudoku gives you the option of placing 4 trial answers in each empty square. Shikaku and Hashi let you use three different colors for setting the squares or bridges, and Akari provides a temporary light setting for trying different solutions.

If you finish the puzzle correctly, that is announced and I think you get additional points which count towards hints. There is a check option which can show you what part of the array does not satisfy the game, and hints are available. All in all a very satisfying set of puzzles.

Oddly, this game cartridge is for the 3DS only. The upper screen can be set to show little 3D animations as you work the puzzles, but I found these to be useless at best and quite annoying at worst (the motion in the image can be quite distracting). Setting the puzzle to 2D gives you a complete view of the puzzle board, which can have more squares than are shown in the view in the active touch screen. Since the puzzles themselves are completely 2D, I tried to use this cartridge in a normal DS, and discovered that it wouldn't go in - there is an extra tab at the top of the cartridge which fits into the slightly wider slot in the 3DS but prevents it from being inserted in a DS. I cut this tab off, and the cartridge did then go into regular DS machines, but those machines refused to recognize its existence and reported "There is nothing inserted in the Game Card slot".

The paper manual has contents in 3 languages (English, French, Spanish) - 7 pages each, of which 5 pages are legal disclaimers. Clearly no expense was spared nor expended in creating this document.

Fun Factor: Great set of puzzles. Hours of play.
Player Friendly: Good in-game instructions and tutorials

Reviewed by: Lou - Dec/11

  • Nikoli's Pencil Puzzle
  • Author: Nikoli
  • © Konami
  • Platform(s): 3DS
  • To Order: 3DS $25.33