When you open up a newspaper or periodical to the back, if you find any kind of puzzles, you're bound to find a few standard ones. Typically there may be a crossword, perhaps a word search, maybe even a sudoku puzzle.
For that sudoku puzzle, it's probably a 9x9 grid with a few numbers filled in it. Perhaps there's even a posted difficulty level. For many, this represents the outer limit of one's puzzle knowledge.
Specifically with regards to sudoku, did you know that there's much more out there? Colors, different configurations of cages, words, and images make for puzzles that in some ways can be even more of a logical challenge than the typical 9x9.
If you're ready for a challenge, here are six different types that should cover the gamut from easy to extremely difficult, creative to more tedious.
Different Grid Sized Sudoku (4x4, 6x6, 16x16, etc.)
When most people think of Sudoku, they think of a number puzzle with a whole bunch of squares. Whether they know the number or not, they probably visualize it as a 9x9 grid. Many more variations involving different grid sizes have come about that change up the game.
Generally, grids exist in the form of x2 where x is the number of squares vertically or horizontally in a square cage (also sometimes called a house):
- 4x4 (2x2 in a cage)
- 9x9 (3x3 in a cage)
- 16x16 (4x4 in a cage)
- 25x25 (5x5 in cage)
There are also grid layouts that do not conform to this standard though, such as 6x6.
Smaller grid sizes like 4x4 and 6x6 tend to make for an easier game, while larger grids like 16x16 and 25x25 exist for a real challenge.
Take the numbers you're used to seeing and now assign each one to a specific color. The concept behind solving each sudoku puzzle is the same, but the change from numbers to colors makes for an interesting variant.
Where you may have been able to take simple notes like "Possibly 1, 2, or 3;" now you have to make note of colors. This simple change means that more information needs to be processed, making for an oftentimes more difficult game to play.
Another twist with color is using it to define a cage, or places in which all of the specific numbers need to be utilized.
Image or Symbol Sudoku
Instead of colors or numbers images are used as inputs in this version of sudoku (from time to time symbols may also be used as inputs). This provides yet another interesting experience as now instead of numbers or colors, players have to worry about potentially even more details.
Images where there are very slight variations, like the one above, create for very difficult games. On the other hand though, apparent differences in images may help make playing sudoku easier. When paired up with smaller grid sizes, solving sudoku puzzles can become a breeze. This pairing is pretty common when it comes to puzzles dedicated towards younger sudoku players.
Because of the nature of these puzzles, it maybe hard to find physical versions of them. Numbers, and colors even, are much easier to input on paper than drawing out or cutting and placing images on a grid.
There are a couple of variations out there that combine letters with sudoku. Generally speaking, simply replace the standard numbers with letters to understand this version.
Because the use of letters allows for words to be spelled, you may occasionally find hidden words within puzzles. These words will often be as long as the puzzle grid is wide or tall. For instance, in a 9x9 grid, you may have to use the letters AYEMRHCIN--later discovering that the hidden word is MACHINERY.
In all of the previously mentioned sudoku puzzles, the cages have been squares. In jigsaw sudoku, this standardization is thrown out the door with cages in various configurations.
The configurations themselves are often so interlocking that they look like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. This also allows for some pretty interesting puzzle designs, though. When colored in, jigsaw sudoku puzzles can become particularly exciting to both look at and play.
Because most sudoku tips and tricks are dependent on the cages being rectangles or square, jigsaw sudoku is more difficult to master and solve.
All of these puzzles too easy for you? You might like Samurai Sudoku then.
In Samurai Sudoku, combine five overlapping 9x9 grids for a huge challenge.
The overlapping parts, respect the normal rules of sudoku, while the rest of each board plays off of those overlapping parts. It's essentially like playing five different games of sudoku at the same time, except four corners of the outer puzzles are the same as the corners on the middle puzzle.
As with the variation in grid sizes, you may find larger puzzles like the one above. If you do attempt these, good luck!
Sudoku Tips and Tricks to Get You Up to Speed
Tarasquirrel from Azores on June 01, 2017:
I actually love playing samurai sudoku. The standard 9x9 doesn't do it for me anymore unless it is dificult. Yet i find samurai much more challenging and more exciting to play.
darkrai on January 28, 2016: