Nurikabe Light


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Rating: 4.6/5 (89 votes)
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Classic Nurikabe LightArtbegottiEvery month for about half a year now, we've seen the fine folks at Conceptis Puzzles roll out a new sampler of puzzles in their Conceptis Light series. But did you know they've introduced a new puzzle type on their site? Enter Nurikabe Light, an appetizer-sized portion of an unusual logic puzzle challenge.

Unlike most of the number-based puzzles featured on Conceptis, the goal of Nurikabe is to make a network of connected black squares. You can mark a square as black by clicking on it, or marking it as empty (represented by a dot) by double-clicking. There are four basic rules to remember when solving these puzzles:

  1. All black squares must be orthagonally connected (not diagonally).
  2. The black squares cannot form a 2x2 block.
  3. A square with a number represents an "island" of empty squares, where the number indicates the area of the island.
  4. The islands are not orthagonally adjacent (diagonally is okay).
Nurikabe varies from most logic puzzles in that the end result is a very abstract construction, unlike the clear pictures that you might get from a Pic-a-Pix or Link-a-Pix puzzle. As such, Nurikabe requires a lot of attention to those four magic rules to get the correct formation. Also keep in mind that in this version, all that's required for a puzzle to be considered "complete" is that all the black boxes are in their proper locations; marking the empty boxes isn't necessary, though it helps. It might take a bit of fiddling to get a hang of the rules and develop some strategies, but once you do, this puzzle can be seriously habit-forming.

It's not your typical numbers-in-boxes challenge, but don't let that scare you away. Once you wrap your mind around the concept of using the empty boxes as the clues for filling in the black squares, you're on your way. This first batch of Nurikabe Light features a number of simpler, smaller puzzles to help you learn the ropes. Give them a shot, you might discover a new puzzle addiction!

Play Classic Nurikabe Light

Walkthrough Guide


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Nurikabe Tips and Tricks

Getting Started:

  • Look for numbered squares that are very close to one another. If only one square separates two numbered squares, black out the square between them, since leaving it empty would connect the two numbers. If two numbered squares are diagonally adjacent, black out the two squares they both border.

  • Look for 1s. Since they are going to be on an island that's only as large as the square they're in, you can immediately black out the four squares surrounding them.

General Tips:

  • Take advantage of large numbers, particularly when they're near the edge of the puzzle or surrounded by other numbers. If the path of a large number is limited in one direction, you can assume the island must continue in the other direction.

  • If there's a large open space in the grid, look for larger numbers that can reach that area. Since you can't have any 2x2 clusters of black squares, you can visualize which islands are necessary to fill in that area.

  • Pay attention to places where a path (either black or white) must continue. Since the black squares must all be connected, a string of black squares that have only one possible outlet must continue through that outlet. The same is true for white squares, except you must remember that the islands will have a limited size and might not continue through those outlets.

  • Watch for numbers in corners (both in the natural corner of the puzzle and corners made by black boxes). A 2 in a corner must connect one space either horizontally or vertically. In either case, the square diagonal to the 2 must be black (as the rule requiring a border on islands would force a black square there in both situations). Similarly, if you have a longer chain started that has only one square remaining, and it must branch off in one of two neighboring directions, you can black out the square between the two options.

  • Don't forget about good old trial-and-error! If you get stuck, try marking a square as empty or filled and see where the puzzle goes from there. If you have an unresolved 2 available, try starting your experiment there, as you can usually solve that island by proving one direction wrong.

  • For more solving tips and tricks, be sure to stop by Conceptis' Nurikabe page.

Classic Nurikabe Light Solutions

Level 1 (6x6)

Puzzle 1:

Puzzle 2:

Puzzle 3:

Puzzle 4:

Puzzle 5:

Puzzle 6:

Puzzle 7:

Puzzle 8:

Puzzle 9:

Puzzle 10:

Level 2 (8x8)

Puzzle 1:

Puzzle 2:

Puzzle 3:

Puzzle 4:

Puzzle 5:

Puzzle 6:

Puzzle 7:

Puzzle 8:

Puzzle 9:

Puzzle 10:

Level 3 (10x10)

Puzzle 1:

Puzzle 2:

Puzzle 3:

Puzzle 4:

Puzzle 5:

Puzzle 6:

Puzzle 7:

Puzzle 8:

Puzzle 9:

Puzzle 10:

17 Comments

SonicLover May 4, 2011 11:09 AM

Hey! A game like this turned up in a Mobile Monday a little ways back, didn't it?

Reply

Thanks for explaining the rules more clearly than the game does :)

I have a love/hate relationship with all these Conceptis puzzles. The puzzles themselves are great, but the interface they use is terrible. Every time you beat a level, it shouldn't take you four or five clicks (each followed by a slow animated transition) to get to the next puzzle.

Reply

Seems like there are multiple answers when you reach the 8x8 level...not very satisfying when you have a solution and it does not match the one they require.....

Reply
LuckyDee May 4, 2011 2:37 PM

Drat - It took me close to a month to finally complete fill-a-pix. My right hemisphere is going to kill me.

Reply

Good package here. As I said before on Hashi lite, the small grid size means that the puzzles never reach the more interesting levels of difficulty, but otherwise solid execution here. I especially like the way chains of black or white squares get highlighted so you can easily spot where they need to go through gaps - on another site with these puzzles I spend most of my time doing the same thing by eye, and it takes much longer.

Reply

I'd never done Nurikabe before, and this was a perfect introduction.

(When I see "Conceptis" in the title, I know it will be well done.)

Reply

Nurikabe is the shiz. I just ran out of Nurikabe puzzles, so I'm glad someone put up some online ones.

Reply
Buttons May 4, 2011 9:39 PM

@james: Nope, unique solutions all around. Check your answer again, because it probably breaks one of the rules.

Reply

I too thought that it looked like there was multiple solutions to some of the puzzles. In each situation I thought this, careful looking showed that I was wrong. I ended up solving them all with pure logic and no guess work so there can't be more than one solution for any of them.

Reply

I also thought the game was forcing me to have a certain solution.

The thing is, islands are NOT allowed to connect diagonally, except if both islands have their number in that position.

Reply

Ok I take my last comment back. I don't know what's going on :P

Reply
Anonymous May 6, 2011 10:41 PM

What's wrong with this? I don't know what rule(s) I'm breaking.

http://oi54.tinypic.com/2i8kdia.jpg

Reply

I was miss-reading the rules.

great game. I just wish there was a random level generator because I finished all the levels.

Reply
Marioman64 May 10, 2011 9:20 PM

@Tsuken: if you want more nurikabe puzzles Nikoli has been making them by hand for years now

as for the game, the puzzles don't feel handmade and the highest level is only 10x10. although i will say that the highlight-over-sections-to-count-them feature is really useful

Reply

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