SquarO


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Rating: 4.3/5 (118 votes)
| Comments (27) | Views (851)

JaySquare-OSquarO is a logic puzzle that is reminiscent of Minesweeper, and is simple enough to pick-up and play immediately due to its similarity to other puzzles like it. And yet it feels like a fresh new puzzle all its own.

The objective is to fill all the correct circles based on the information given in each of the squares. The squares tell how many circles around it are filled. Using your ninja powers of deduction, fill in all the right squares to win. It doesn't get any simpler than that.

A variety of puzzle sizes and difficulty levels are available to tailor your game play experience to match your own personal comfort level. It's a no-frills design that minimizes the superfluous to maximize what it does well: classic puzzle gameplay.

Play SquarO

Update: The game's author just updated SquarO by adding support for "negative markers" (for when you know a circle should not be filled. To mark circles in this way, use CTRL-Click (on Mac, use Command-Click). Very nice! :)

Cheers to Tryss for suggesting this one. =)

27 Comments

Kirkpad March 5, 2008 3:59 PM

Great find jay, I like how your screenshot there shows a completed puzzle to immediately understand the concept.

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ElliotM March 5, 2008 4:02 PM

This is a nice puzzle game, a good find.

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It's good, but I think there should be a way to be able to mark a circle if you know it shouldn't be filled.

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muddgirl March 5, 2008 5:04 PM

At first, I thought that a NOT FILLED mark would be useful, but I think the fact that there isn't one adds an extra dimension. It becomes a visual puzzle, as well as a logic puzzle.

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monkeyhouse March 5, 2008 6:22 PM

This game is great. I caught on in a matter of no time at all and solved my first puzzle in 45s. Not sure I'd be able to handle the "Evil" levels, but that's just fine with me. The thought of a "not filled" mark never even crossed my mind, and I'm not sure I'd even use it if there was one. The black and white scheme of a completed puzzle is neat and clean, and I think any other addition would make it a little more confusing.

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Like this one a lot, clean and lean!

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I didn't miss the 'not filled' mark until I tried the Evil levels. Those could use one.

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The game is interesting, but the lack of a NOT FILLED option is a huge drawback. It's the sort of logic puzzle that demands such an option - if it were on paper this wouldn't be a problem, it's purely a fault of the presentation as an on-screen puzzle.

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dotcomlarry March 5, 2008 10:09 PM

I think that having a 'not filled' circle might make one subconsciously overlook some a potentially 'correct' circle. Maybe I'm not as smart as you guys, but early on, I *knew* that some circles were wrong... but by the end, those were the ones that ended up being the 'correct' circles. Having a not filled option would only serve to hinder the solution.

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Right, Dotcomlarry, I know if I marked a circle as "Not Filled", then screwed up, I'd think of myself as stuck, rather than try again with a new idea or perspective.

This is a fun little logic game, better than Minesweeper because it doesn't kill you for the random guesswork you will almost certainly have to try at least once; SquarO doesn't even make guessing so critical. I can finish Easy puzzles, but not Medium, probably because I haven't really tried yet. To concur, great find.

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CatFurnace March 6, 2008 4:28 AM

Excellent! Really enjoyed this. Good find.

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Impossible to play hard or evil consistently without a negative marker. For those of you who don't think that works, you need to go look into any of the many Japanese games (for example, on http://www.puzzle-nurikabe.com) that successfully use such things to make difficult puzzles more possible.

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I disagree - I also think a negative mark would hinder me. With no real way to logic out a solution without planning the whole thing I was forced to resort to logical guesswork and fixing, fixing, fixing, fixing, fixing, oh, and did I mention fixing? I think a negative mark would be just another option I'd have to click through without actually using. Anyway, just going for it seems to work. I beat evil on my first (ish, I refreshed the puzzle a couple of times...) try in only 6:13. Okay, I know eventually that will be far from only, but I just had to do a little gloating... I think the game is perfect.

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And it's 5x5 for future reference.

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I really think the game could use a "not filled" marker. If you're guessing, then yeah, it's probably a drawback, but if you're NOT guessing, it's really a necessity. And it's not like the addition would make the game any worse; you could just not use it.

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Too easy?

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I guess that I'm looking for stronger negative feedback. Any impossible puzzle I queue up I can solve in between 1:15 and 1:45, because all you have to do is pick a spot, work from it, and if you have en error, go to that problem spot and start pushing out from there.

Perhaps if the game had (a) harder puzzles or (b) some kind of points system where you lost something tangible each time you clicked, or each time a black number turned back to red?

What if you started with 5 points for every square and lost 1 point each time a number TURNED red?

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Sorry, I said impossible when I meant to say evil. They are kind of fun, but they feel like an exercise in route manipulation, picking a spot, randomly deciding how to proceed from there, and working my way to the 'free' spots in the corners.

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Merricat March 7, 2008 10:08 PM

Very nice. Just the thing to come home to after a long day. Not too hard (unless you want it), but still a nice, satisfying little puzzle.

BTW, Jay, I'd like to thank you for all the work you put into this site. I haven't had much time to visit lately, but I always know I can find the best games and reviews here. Your work is very much appreciated. :)

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Hi, I'm the inventor of this game .
Thanks a lot for all your comments. I ve just had the possibility to add negative marker. Enjoy!!

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The negative marker is a very useful addition; thanks.

That said, I've found all of the available size/level combinations quite easy on account of the fact that

once you know how three corners of an (axis-aligned) rectangle of any size are filled, you can immediately deduce the fourth.
For example, take a 3 by 4 rectangle

w-o-o-o-x
|A|B|C|D|
o-o-o-o-o
|E|F|G|H|
o-o-o-o-o
|I|J|K|L|
y-o-o-o-z

Think of each corner as worth 0 or 1 (or 2, in Evil) according to whether it's filled, so that each number in a square is the sum of the four circles around it. Then the alternating sum A-B+C-D -E+F-G+H +I-J+K-L = w-x+y-z depends only on the outside corners, and this gives you the fourth one once you have any three.

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There IS an unmarked feature! Ctrl+Click! It's said on the bottom of the page! People can be ignorant sometimes


[Edit: That feature was added after our review was published. If you look through the comments above you will see one from the game creator announcing this fact. Now who is the ignorant one? :p -Jay]

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