Spontaneous Saturday 6/14: Conceptis puzzles

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Conceptis puzzles is my go-to website for passing time, teasing my brain, and having fun with logic puzzles. The website (which can be accessed by clicking on the header image) provides some starter puzzles and releases new puzzles weekly, one per category for free and several more per category (some higher in difficulty) that can be bought. You can’t go wrong with free-to-play, and that is why I am a frequent visitor to the site.

There are 16 different puzzles to choose from, but three of them I just completely don’t bother with: Sym-a-pix, Dot-a-pix, and Maze-a-pix. Those puzzles are so self-explanatory that a child could do them and have no fun factor to them whatsoever. As a matter of fact, I say these hardly qualify as logic puzzles; rather, they seem more like preschooler activities.

4/11/15 EDIT: This was a shallow judgement on my part. Refer to: http://wp.me/p4GI1b-6c

Rant aside, there are 13 puzzles I play regularly, but I will only cover 5 due to the tedium of having to explain all 13.

7/12 EDIT: I cover 5 more in my most recent Spontaneous Saturday, viewed here: https://vouivreview.wordpress.com/2014/07/12/spontaneous-saturday-conceptis-puzzles-part-2/.

Yes, the logic puzzle we all know and love: Sudoku. The aim of the game is to fill squares in with numbers 1-9, but not in a completely haphazard manner; only one of a certain number can be in any row, column, or box. Notice the illegality of the placement of the brown 3 (two in the same row), 8 (two in the same column), and 1 (two in the same box) in the image below.
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Variants include Mini Sudoku (smaller boxes), Mega Sudoku (bigger boxes), Irregular Sudoku (oddly shaped boxes), Diagonal Sudoku (only one of a number 1-9 can be in any diagonal line of symmetry), Multi Sudoku (multiple Sudoku grids overlapping each other), Sum Sudoku (there are fields within the board which specify a required sum of numbers), OddEven Sudoku (certain tiles are restricted to either even or odd numbers), and Chain Sudoku (like Irregular Sudoku but with more freedom in shaping). Unfortunately, only regular Sudoku offers free-to-play puzzles every week.

 

These puzzles are what got me into Conceptis in the first place (I was a OneMoreLevel frequenter before I became a Conceptis frequenter). You could say it’s kinda like Sum Sudoku but not. There are no boxes to be factored in, but the “no duplicate numbers in any columns or rows” restriction still applies. However, there are fields that specify a number and an operation. The numbers within the field must be able to equal the number when the operation is applied. For example, a field labeled 45x with three empty spaces would require two 3s and a 5 (5 * 3 * 3 = 45), while a field labeled 3- with two empty spaces could either contain 2 and 5 or 1 and 4 (5 – 2 = 3, 4 – 1 = 3). Puzzles are distinguished in the following types: SingleOp (only one operation; operation label omitted for obvious reasons), DualOp (Addition+Subtraction or Multiplication+Division), or QuadOp (all four operations).

 

Kakuro is a puzzle with a board shape much like that of a crossword puzzle, with a sum specified for each “Across” or “Down” field instead of a clue. The aim is to fill in those fields with numbers that add up to equal the sum without repeating numbers. It’s much easier for me to teach with a visual aid, so here’s an image of an already solved puzzle.
Screen Shot 2014-06-14 at 1.59.44 AM

 

I’m sure you are familiar with the board game Battleship, where you pick a tile and the opponent says “Hit” or “Miss” depending on whether you hit one of the opponent’s ships, and there are multiple lengths of ships. Well, this puzzle is a single-player spinoff of the game. The first thing you may notice is the numbers on the right and bottom, which specify how many of the tiles in the corresponding row or column are part of a battleship. You are also given already-filled tiles (sometimes), the ships that are hiding in the water (so to speak), and the restriction that ships cannot be adjacent to each other (even diagonally). Below is an unsolved Battleships puzzle, along with its solution.
Puzzle: Screen Shot 2014-06-14 at 2.08.20 AM  Solution: Screen Shot 2014-06-14 at 2.08.08 AM

 

Skyscrapers is a really hard-to-get puzzle at a glance, but thankfully, Conceptis does provide rules for their logic puzzles, and within the Skyscrapers rules, I found the following helpful image:

Looking at this image, you may or may not notice that the number in front of the person is how many of the towers on the grid they see. That’s the point of the game: you have to imagine that the numbers on the grid each have a certain height and that higher numbers can obscure lower numbers from an arrow’s vision. Also, this puzzle does have the “no duplicate numbers in any columns or rows” restriction involved in Sudoku and Calcudoku.

 

Overall website rating: 9/10. The only thing I could ask for Conceptis to change is to either set Sound to “Off” by default or to allow account-based defaults so that they apply no matter the device used (my computer’s data got wiped once and I had to turn the sound off again for every single puzzle). Also, more free-to-play puzzles would be nice. (Come on, just one per category per week?)

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