Seven years ago when I started collaborating with Dave Green and Conceptis, the company had just this one picture logic puzzle type they called Pic-a-Pix and it only came with black and white pictures. It was year 2000 but in the west no one had a clue what we were talking about when we showed him our samples. It was a long way from that point to nowadays when eleven puzzle families, dozens of variants and hundreds of different puzzle models are published in more than 30 countries across the world. This includes Japan, where Pic-a-Pix and other other picture logics as Link-a-Pix and Fill-a-Pix are published by G-Mode (Japan's leading mobile phone game provider).
As opposed to Japan, In the west picture logic puzzles are still a rare product when it comes to mobile but, along with Sudoku becoming the world's most popular puzzle, even this is starting to change and people become much more familiar with other language independent puzzle types. It seems that the way for the world to realize Sudoku is a very boring game comparing to some other logic puzzles is getting shorter every day. Take Hands-On Mobile, for example, a developer of connected games and applications that released a mobile game package earlier this week dedicated to what they refer to as "Japanese Puzzles".
Following-up on their claimed to be successful Sudoku Garden game from 2006, the new mobile puzzle package includes both Sudoku and Kakuro puzzles as well as some Paint-by-Number puzzles, also known as Pic-a-Pix, Nonograms, Griddlers and in this case referred to as "Tenpenki".
Hands-On Mobile's Japanese Puzzles seem to be a feature rich application and claimed to support:
- Multi-player puzzling of up to four players competing against each other wirelessly.
- Up to nine pencil marks
- Hint lookup
- Beginner tutorial mode
- Back statistics for skill improvement monitoring
- Save solution status and reload later
- Voyage mode allows players to take on all three games and unlock more content
- Access to additional content by downloading new puzzles every day and by competing for the fastest time against other puzzle fans from around the world.
According to Eric Hobson, President and General Manager EMEA, Hands-On Mobile “the puzzle sector is a vast market, and one where demand still exceeds supply.” I agree with that claim and, even though you might say Mr. Hobson and myself are in a way competitors in the market, I would like to wish him success with his new game. Picture logic puzzles as his Japanese Puzzles Tenpenki are on their way to consensus and mainstream entertainment and there will be enough business for everyone.