Saturday, May 18, 2013

Review: Takuzu for iPhone and iPad

Takuzu is a fake Japanese sounding name for a puzzle that has often been described as "binary Sudoku" (even if it's quite different from Sudoku). Indeed, it is also known as Binairo, or simply as Binary Puzzle.

It is played on a square grid of variable size; the iPhone version supports from 4x4 to 8x8, while the iPad version from 6x6 to 12x12.
The rules are:
1) Each row and column must contain the same number of 0s and 1s
2) There can be no more than two consecutive 0s or 1s.
3) There cannot be two identical rows or columns.

Rule 3) is not intuitive and is often unnecessary.

I didn't find the puzzles particularly enjoyable. The easiest ones felt like mechanical applications of the basic tips, which are trivial corollaries of the rules. In the harder ones, I got often stuck with no apparent way to proceed through logic deductions, the only way forward being to make a guess.

Of course I might have missed something, however it doesn't look like this puzzle has enough depth to provide lasting appeal.

The game generates the puzzles randomly; when you want to add a new one to the list, you select the size and difficulty (from 3 levels). Puzzles in progress are diligently stored and you can go back to them at any time.
I don't like the random generation. In this kind of games, random generation usually doesn't provide enjoyable puzzles; a careful selection process is needed to pick only the interesting puzzles.

The first 50 puzzles are free, so give this one a try if you think the mechanics are interesting.


Logical Reasoning★★★☆☆
User Interface★★★☆☆
Loading Time★★★☆☆
Saves Partial Progress
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