White lock

 Standard Masyu puzzle. I wonder whether the wrap-up is legible. Play

Getting over oligarch shaders: examining the Islands of Insights test.

I don't think Islands of Insight has a market. The casual puzzlers are on phones and tablets. Unless I'm forgetting something, all PC puzzle games that sold well this century can run on integrated Intel chipsets. If you're reaching, as heavily implied, outside the bubble to social gamers, whether on CoD, WoW or Satisfactory, their games offer at least one of

  1. monumental tasks to achieve, or
  2. emergence/chaos to keep things fresh and requiring assistance.

Puzzle Pirates, which seems to be the closest value proposition out there, mostly rides on vs and shipbuilding as I understand from the outside. It's very unclear what you're to do with your friend once you rope them in. I do have to acknowledge Internet comments are much more enthusiastic, and the accounts I checked seemed genuine, so I may end up looking very stupid about this.

Wrt to puzzles themselves, the 2D, gridded ones seem like a labour of love. They're elegant designs with ideas to convey, and are presented pretty well. The 3D ones feel incredibly repetitive. Each genre is very similar to each other, and every puzzle in the style is near indistinguishable to each other. There is potential in some variations, but I don't see either forward nor carceral lateral development of the ideas themselves. There's no sign of any greater mysteries to uncover either; of the various attempts at multiplayer puzzlers over the years, the ones that failed less - like Uru or Perplexity - had something to work as a community on, and that maintained engagement for the part of the audience that cares enough to make a wiki for a game.

You could prebake 85% of each level into a single object, and no interactivity would be lost. You can work for an hour, turn back, and nothing would look different. You haven't so much as opened a door, not even cleared your view from puzzle detritus. I find it incredibly disheartening. It doesn't help that the world is incidental, lolrandom. There's a couple of movement tutorial areas, some puzzles put the geometry there is to use, and it's hard to get stuck, but that's the limit of sense. The puzzles are extrinsic, you can't put your understanding of humans, physics, geography, history or architecture to work, and neither can you apply your understanding of symbols, language and art. You spend your time in asset flip noise.

Finally, movement lives in a dead man's land. That matters because it's most of your play time. For players of Cyan games or the Witness, the speed, complexity and occasional need of precision are deal breakers, as are the menu systems, infinite notifications and the occasional need to change cameras. For the average computer gamer, the movement looks and feels janky, and it's not novel, expressive or amenable to much mastery. I don't think the middle ground the game is on right now is very populated.

I wish the developers the best of luck. Somebody has to take a chance on something that's not a variant Sokoban or Portal but dull, and uncharted waters might just hide hungry dragons. This is written in the spirit of not being eaten. 



 This is a Hinge puzzle. Shade some cells to form blocks connected by sides. Each block is contained in exactly two regions. Each block is mirror symmetric, and the axis of symmetry goes over the region border. Clues in some of the regions count the shaded cells in that region. Play online . I might have overdone the thinking in symmetry bit.

Hinge 01

Service Interruption

 Google does what it does best and is nuking the integrated image hosting. I will be providing a file archive when Google finishes with extraction, and linking to it here. Any interactive links should still work, and you can also ask me to rifle through it if you're looking for something in particular. I will make different arrangements for future posts. Thank you for your patience.

Archive link


Enter a number from 1 to 9 in every cell. Numbers don't repeat in any row, column or outlined box. Numbers along the body of an arrow add up to the number in the circle. Numbers along a line ending in two circles are all larger than the number in one of two circles, and also all smaller than the number in the other. Click for web interface.

Arrow Between Sudoku

That's not how you cut a pie, you monster



 Wagiri rules: Draw a diagonal in every cell. Point clues count the diagonals meeting at the point. The busier cell clue belongs on a loop, the other does not.



Cyberpunk 2021

 I was introduced to the gene shop through the dark web. I went through the gap between the buildings, took the elevator down. The fluorescent starter and motion sensor failed to light the hall until after I exited to the car park. The electrical closets were buzzing, and bad music from the business above was echoing. The plain white cab was in the shadows of the furthest corner.

 She came out from behind the car masked, suited from head to toe. I flashed her my cell. She opened a bag, and I dropped the agreed cash in. She picked up the probe from the car hood, and I took a deep breath of basement fumes. She looked up at my face through her screen, and quickly jammed the probe up my nose. It wriggled, and I felt pain in a new place.

 The probe was just as quickly removed, and I noticed a lady in her forties to our side. She tried to look put together, forcing herself to keep a discreet distance. Most didn't want to be known as a customer, and I respected that. I moved away from them both. Now all I had to do was wait.


Easy Aqre puzzle.

Rules of Aqre

Shade one orthogonally connected group of cells so that all 1x4 / 4x1 rectangles of cells are partially shaded. Clues count the shaded cells in the containing region.

EDIT: FIXED Thanks to IHNN for reporting

Aqre 1 


 This is a Thermo, X-Sums, Little killer sudoku.

On Oct 28, 1940 the Italian ultimatum was declined (" Όχι "), and Greece entered WWII. It is now a national holiday.


Horrors of Hiroimono

Rules of Goishi

Start by picking up any stone. Continue by picking up one of the closest on any of the four cardinal directions to the most recent picked spot, and repeat until no stones are left. Consecutive picks can't be on opposite directions. If a stone is numbered with N, then it is the Nth stone picked.

 The addition of indexes makes this the GP, not the standard formulation. The automated solver won't impose the restriction.



Break fruit

A hitori and a masyu scribbled during work lulls:

Hitori 6

Masyu 12


Stostone rules. Difficulty varies, not to order.










Rules of Heyawake.


Moar Minarism


Minarism: Put a number between 1 and the square's dimension in every cell. Numbers do not repeat in rows nor columns. Some pairs of adjoining cells are compared with inequality signs. For some pairs, their difference is circled between them.

Difficulty: Vanilla




Fill all questionmarks and some empty cells with numbers, such that all numbers are orthogonally connected into one shape. Same numbers do not share cell sides. A number sums the empty cells in its row and column directly visible from its position without going over another number.

Troll entry

Rules of Nurikabe. Difficulty: trolling, obviously.



Rules of Yajilin. There's a flood of average Yajilin on the internet, let's contribute. Slightly above easy.



Rules of Scrin: Shade cells to form rectangles. Rectangles don't share any cell side, but each rectangle shares corners with exactly two other rectangles. In this manner, rectangles enclose a single orthogonally connected unshaded area. All clues must be covered by rectangles, but no rectangle may cover multiple clues. Clue numbers indicate the area of its covering rectangle in cells.

Written to familiarise me with the genre, I don't really think it's a pleasant solve.

Scrin 01