Game Review: Kakuro Mania
Release: November 26, 2009 (Update)
Developer: Boyan Kolev
Available Platforms: iPhone and iPod Touch
ESRB Rating: N/A
Kokuro is the sibling of Sodoku just like Don Swayze is the brother of Patrick Swayze. Not many people have heard of Don, but that doesn’t mean he’s not a good guy and a decent actor. Kokuro is a puzzle game that challenges you to fill in a grid of cells with the numbers from 1-9. Like Sodoku, you can only use each digit once per line. Each line must add up to the clue on the end. There is only one solution per puzzle. It is simple concept that doesn’t require a degree in mathematics to grasp. That’s a good thing for me, since I’m not very good with the numbers.
Kakuro Mania features four levels of difficulty. This allows for a good learning curve to develop as well as gives you complete control over your progress. You can change the difficulty and the grid sizes whenever you want. Kakuro is a great app for being on the go, especially during the holidays when you may be standing in a line for 15 minutes or more and need something to pass the time and you don’t want to be twisting, shaking, and rubbing your device furiously.
One of the really nice features of this app is the save feature. The puzzle you are working on is automatically saved, so you never have to worry about losing your work. In addition to that, the hint system in this game is rather robust. You can ask for it to reveal an individual cell, check for errors, and to show you the unique combination’s for the puzzle you are working on. It can make the difference between frustration and success.
If you are someone that enjoys this type of puzzle game, I can see where this could really satisfy that craving. Unfortunately, I am not a numbers man, and therefore feel like most of this game is lost on me. I will never try the hard or expert difficulty. That’s not a negative point against the game. It is merely an observation.
The one feature that I did not really understand is the pen/pencil button. I did not see any advantage to using one over the other. The pencil simply allows you to put all 9 digits into one cell. The pen is one big number, but you can change it as much as you want. It may be for people that solve puzzles differently, but I did not see a need for it.
All in all, Kakuro Mania is a fully featured app with a lot of replay value. It will definitely make you feel smarter, but it doesn’t punish you for not being a genius. If you’re a fan of Sodoku, you will love this, and even if you aren’t, it is still a good way to exercise that portion of your brain.