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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
This game teaches players to use their mind and, at times, think in outside-the-box ways. It is good, straightforward puzzle-solving, presented in a way that's fun and rewarding for players.
Ease of Play
The concepts are easy to grasp, but the design of some of the puzzles make them challenging. Each of the five different puzzles in this game is centered around numbers. There is a Sudoku mini-game along with more obscure puzzles, but none of them requires players to know anything other than basic mathematical skills. For example, one puzzle asks players to draw a rectangle around a bunch of jumbled numbers so that the numbers in the rectangle equal a certain amount.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Nikoli's Pencil Puzzle is a collection of five number-themed puzzle challenges. In addition to Sudoku, there are puzzles that get players to add and subtract numbers in creative and mind-bending ways. The puzzles are designed to hone players' aptitude and critical thinking rather than any knowledge of complex mathematical functions. As such, the game should be accessible to most players with only the most basic math skills, but it can end up being a challenge for any age.
Is It Any Good?
Nikoli's Pencil Puzzle stands strongly as a fun, creative puzzle game. The puzzles presented to players are not the typical fare, and as such provide a fun and captivating experience to even the most veteran puzzle gamers. That being said, the selection of puzzles is limited and because many of them have specific and distinct solutions, once the puzzles are done, they're done.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.