The last time Conceptis introduced a new logic puzzle was late February 2015, when they introduced Cross-a-Pix (which has become one of my favorites, if not my absolute favorite). Now, in 2016, yet another new form of puzzle is introduced: Block-a-Pix. Unfortunately, due to…well, everything that’s happened since the beginning of freaking May, I couldn’t put together a blog post as close to this release date as I could with that of Cross-a-Pix; instead, I had to do so more than a month after the introduction of the new puzzle format (which was early May). Still, better late than never.
Block-a-Pix, at a glance, seems a lot like Link-a-Pix. Comes in B/W or color, numbers littered all over the board… The difference, however, lies in what happens to those numbers as the puzzle progresses towards its solution. Instead of having to connect two numbers with a link that covers a certain number of squares, the number is surrounded by a rectangular formation with an area equivalent to the number. Also, unlike Link-a-Pix, you shouldn’t have any blank squares whatsoever once the puzzle is completed.
Let’s look at an example:
First off, these sorts of puzzles normally have “dead giveaway” clues, and Block-a-Pix is no exception. What I mean is that we can go ahead and fill in all the 1s, because doing so would create a 1-square formation around the 1, just as the rules dictate.
Now, here’s an important point to consider: if a number is prime (i.e., can only be divided evenly by itself and 1), then it must be surrounded by a Nx1 or 1xN rectangle, where N is the number in question. For instance, the 5 in the top-right corner must be surrounded by a 5×1 or 1×5 rectangle. (For non-prime numbers, however, you have to consider the possible factors; e.g., hypothetically speaking, a rectangular region surrounding the number 24 could be 24×1, 12×2, 8×3, 6×4, 4×6, 3×8, 2×12, or 1×24.)
Something else to consider: when surrounding a number by a rectangular region, the other numbers become obstacles. For instance, a rectangular region surrounding the 15 on the far right cannot extend beyond the 15th column because of the 2s to the immediate left of the 15. Additionally, the 3 in the top-left corner can only be surrounded by a rectangular region extended downward, because the 2 to its right is too close to the 3.
Keeping this sort of dead-end logic in mind, you should end up with something like this (or something more complete if you’re like me and like to work ahead):
I mentioned before that there should be no blank squares on the board, which brings me to my next point: if there are blank spaces that can only be filled with one particular number, use that number to fill that space. Here are a few examples I can think of:
- row 2 column 2 covered by the nearby 2
- row 1 column 6 covered by the gray 5 to the right
- row 1 column 12 covered by the 2 below
- row 3 column 14 covered by the 6 above
- row 4 column 2 covered by the gray 4 to the right
- row 10 column 13 covered by the gray 2 to the right
- rows 14-15 column 12 covered by the 8 to the left
Keeping that in mind, the board should end up looking like this:
I trust that this explanation will suffice for solving the rest of the puzzle.
Here is what the puzzle should look like once it has been completed: https://i.gyazo.com/f42be22a4e5a6ae577034d41b5b23663.png
That takes care of my explanation of this new puzzle format. It is quite fun, especially more so than Link-a-Pix. I hope this post has been of use somehow, and y’all have fun solving puzzles!