(3DS eShop)

Kakuro by Nikoli (3DS eShop)

Game Review

Kakuro by Nikoli Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Jon Wahlgren

4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42

There's certainly no shortage of number puzzles lurking around the dark, damp corners of the eShop. Sudoku is a prime culprit, and we wouldn't be at all surprised if there was a degree of puzzle overlap between them all, however mathematically unlikely that may be.

Kakuro, on the other hand, is much less of a bruised dead horse — with only one other eShop presence, one might say it's not even been thwacked yet. With a similar approach to numerical diversity as sudoku and the presentation of a crossword puzzle, each "word" is a number that you must add up to using the numbers 1-9. For example, if you have three boxes to add up to 12, you can't spam the boxes with 4-4-4. Instead, you'll have to use a combination that doesn't include duplicates in the sequence, like 2-4-6. As in sudoku, you can't use numbers that are already in use on intersecting lines, and it all has to add up everywhere and oh god the math.

Much like Sudoku by Nikoli, Kakuro by Nikoli includes 50 puzzles that unlock as you go, as well as a local multiplayer race-type mode and a random puzzle selector, not generator.

This being a different type of puzzle than sudoku, HAMSTER has included a few niceties to make your kakuro playing a touch easier. One handy shortcut allows you to tap the "question" number — i.e. the one that you have to add up to — to see which numbers actually add up to make the answer, listed in numerical order rather than sequential so as not to solve the puzzle for you. A menu tucked in the pause menu also lists all possible combinations for certain numbers to help you feel less overwhelmed when anything over 10 appears on the grid.

And that's about it, really. The "check" option is still rather useless as it doesn't actually let you know whether something is wrong, leading to a lot of messed-up backtracking that can just about kill any momentum you had if something goes horribly wrong late in the puzzle. You can save your puzzle progress but only for one at a time. It's about as vanilla a puzzle experience as can be, and 50 puzzles for $4.99 doesn't seem like that much of a bargain.


Kakuro by Nikoli is straightforward almost to a fault, and value-neutral novelties like local multiplayer make it difficult to justify its asking price. Considering there is only one other kakuro title on the eShop — the rather excellent and more diverse Telegraph Sudoku & Kakuro — Kakuro by Nikoli is by default a decent next step for more of this type of puzzle. However, if this is your first kakuro rodeo then you're better off grabbing Telegraph's less expensive and more expansive offering.

From the web

User Comments (23)



candymonster said:

I really enjoyed this game. I am a great fan of this kind of puzzle, and Nikoli's handmade puzzles are a blast to solve. Even telegraph games dont have the same puzzle "design" quality. I dont think its expensive, just compare to the paper version of Nikolis puzzle and you see they have similar puzzle cost value. I always read nintendolife and agree with reviews, but this time i had to creat a account and say my opinion.



C-Olimar said:

So for 100 Sudoku and Kakuro Puzzles it costs $10. You get 200-300 puzzles in Telegraph Sudoku+Kakuro for $2. More people should buy that game, it's great!



Marioman64 said:

its a shame that nikoli is getting bashed like this, their puzzles are the highest quality logic puzzles ever. also, the thing i dont like about telegraph is their puzzles feel like a computer generated them. i like my puzzles handmade by nikoli. im also glad to see slitherlink (aka: loopy) and akari (aka: light-up, aka: museum) are on the coming soon list in the eshop. im hoping they make hitori next

again let me emphasize, quality over quantity. telegraph may offer more puzzles, but when they're not carefully crafted the overall puzzling experience is crap



C-Olimar said:

@Marioman64 When it comes to Sudoku and Kakuro, I don't think the puzzle quality varies greatly - as long as it's possible to solve it then comes down to difficulty. Therefore your game should come down to value and presentation. Telegraph is amazing value and has decent presentation, Nikoli has good presentation but shockingly little value. I would take 1,250 puzzles (I think that's how many are in 5 Telegraph S+K) for $10 than 100 puzzles for $10.



C-Olimar said:

Sorry, Telegraph actually has 500 puzzles. You would have to spend $50 to get that many Nikoli puzzles. And I still don't understand how Sudoku and Kakuro puzzles can really vary that much in quality. No sudoku puzzle in the world is worth $0.10.



sinalefa said:

I am not into number puzzles, with the exception of Picross, so I am not picking this up.

I would like to congratulate Jon for pointing out the other, more interesting game. Something that pisses me off is when reviewers say "there are more worthy, attractive options in the genre than this one" and they always fail to mention at least one of those options.



Marioman64 said:

all i know is a puzzle book from nikoli's website is $8+shipping for 100 puzzles, and the amount of enjoyment I get from each book is perfect for that value.
that said, 50 puzzles for $5+no shipping is extremely good value. as soon as I get some money I'm getting all of nikoli's puzzles in the eshop except sudoku, because I have their $15 3ds game already that has 300 sudokus and about 100 akari's, 100 hasi(wakakero)s, and 100 shikaku



Marioman64 said:

okay so i bought the game. the controls take some getting used to but theres so many ways to enter numbers its easy to find one that works for you. i navigate the board with the control pad and double tap a number on the right to put it in that square
also, there are 50 puzzles displayed, but i have a feeling that if you beat them all more unlock because the difficulty stops at medium on puzzle 50 and nikoli usually offers the full range of easy to hard. i'll post back here if I unlock more than 50



Marioman64 said:

by the way, i can already feel the quality of these puzzles are geniune Nikoli amazingness. because of the lack of clues however, I would give this game a 7/10, as that is a key element of pencil paper puzzle solving.
and one more thing before i stop ranting about this, good puzzles have multiple starting points that branch out, show patterns, and promote diverse stretegic thinking for the puzzler (remember none of the puzzles require any guessing, ever). I have telegraph's game as well, and there is usually one starting point that is only found through a confusing string of "well if this is a 5 then this would have to be a 1 making this a 7" that isn't enjoyable at all. it's not obvious with sudoku and kakuro, but when slitherlink and akari come out (and hopefully nurikabe and hitori and yajlin and masyu and etc.), you'll see

that's enough from me, sorry for all the posts, but when a company I feel is underappreciated is about to bring puzzles over to this country which may make my favorite types like hitori and nurikabe popular and easy to find in a bookstore by me instead of waiting 4 weeks shipping to get them from japan... you get the point



LittleIrves said:

marioman64, keep preaching the good word! Too many people see an unknown name and think "shovelware." But they're just unfamiliar with their stuff. I, too, wasn't sure what this sudden infusion of Nikoli puzzle games was all about, but if you're right, I'm happy to try something new.

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