In an airport in Venice, I happened to stumble across a magazine loaded with picross puzzles and other sorts of logic puzzles. I had never seen some of the puzzles before, and quickly fell in love with these new variants on one of my favorite pastimes. Upon arriving back at home, I searched the Web and found all these logical delights and more can be found at Conceptis Puzzles.Previously featured in a Link Dump Friday, Conceptis offers a variety of logical challenges to all who come. Just click on the My Conceptis link at the top of any page to get started. Eleven different puzzles await the intrepid solver, including familiar puzzles like Sudoku, Picross (here called "Pic-a-Pix"), Kakuro, Slitherlink, and even dot-to-dot puzzles. Some puzzles that might be new to solvers include:
- Link-a-Pix: My favorite variant (pictured above), pictures are solved by drawing lines to connect matching numbers. The numbers you join represent the number of spaces in the connecting line.
- Fill-a-Pix: Another picture puzzle, in which you black out squares like you would if you were playing Minesweeper.
- Hitori: Black out the numbers so that no number appears more than once in a row or column. Also, darkened squares can't touch each other, and the undarkened squares must form one undivided shape.
- Battleships: A puzzle similar to Picross, where you must determine the location of the fleet using the digits along the borders.
- Hashi: Connect the numbered islands so that each island has the corresponding number of bridges on it. You can place up to two bridges on each island, and all of the islands will be connected in one network.
- Maze-a-Pix: Find your way through the maze, then fill in your path to reveal a picture.
All of the puzzles come with difficulty ratings, ranging from very easy to very hard. Some puzzles also throw in a splash of color for variety and a change of difficulty.
There are just a few snags to this system. First, registration is required with the website to view new puzzles. Luckily, the registration is painless, and you'll be puzzling away after a few quick fields. All puzzles are printable, however, not all are playable online. For those that are playable online, you can save your completed and started puzzles to resume later.
Finally, the last snag is the kicker: Despite having eleven types of puzzles to tackle, only 4-8 of each are online at any given time. These puzzles are then swapped out for new ones weekly. Some die-hard picross fans are probably screaming at me right now, but I assure you it's not as bad as it sounds. Particularly if you're the sort of person who's on a busy schedule and can't afford to lose hours a day to relentlessly solving puzzles, the limitations on this website are actually a plus. You can still get your fill of logic puzzles for the week, and get out for a walk in the park. This "logic diet" gives you enough to satisfy your needs with a friendly website designed with the casual puzzler in mind.
So grab your pencil, and get ready...