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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 21 May 2024

An addictive logic game

Name: Nonogram.com by Easybrain, Genre: Logic, Puzzle, Platforms: Android, iOS

Pruthvi Das Published 31.07.23, 06:50 AM

As shameful as it is for me to admit, I discovered Nonogram only recently, after bingeing pen-and-paper games for a bit. And it’s quite lovely!

Nonogram.com is the same game digitised for the modern world. Contrary to what its name suggests, the website will redirect you to the smartphone apps themselves. Nonogram is a mix between Sudoku and Mined-Out or Minesweeper. Like Sudoku, you’re presented with grids, and numbers on the outside. The goal is to colour all the appropriate boxes within the grid to form a picture. But there’s a catch — you don’t know which boxes in particular you must colour. And colouring the wrong box removes one life. You have three lives in total, and losing all ends the game. You win the level when you colour all the right boxes, and a picture forms, unlocking the next new level. You can switch between Colour Mode and Cross Mode, according to convenience.

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The latter is no different from the flagging you do in Minesweeper. You mark boxes you believe shouldn’t be coloured, protecting you from that penalty. The numbers outside
the grid — both for rows and columns — indicate a sequence. So let’s say you’re colouring a row with the numbers (1, 4), and there are 10 columns. The row’s numbers tell you that: (1) There are 5 boxes in the row to colour, and (2) You must leave 5 empty columns between the first coloured box and the remaining coloured boxes.

The same logic applies when you’re looking at the numbers on the columns. This is how you can piece together what boxes in particular you must colour. Gameplay events and daily challenges offer the game longevity. Since the game’s only in-app purchase is to remove ads, there are no incentives or resources; you can choose to play them whenever you want at no cost. With so many games adding intentional incentives for players in the name of retention, this was refreshing to see. One bit of frustration I faced was how restrictive the game made playing levels. As in, you cannot advance to new levels without solving the one you’re on. Generally, I often move on to solve other levels as a break from the current one because I don’t want to stop playing, like in Snakebird. So running into this issue, to me, felt like it discourages exploration. Or worse, it encourages churn. (You can still play earlier levels, though.)

VERDICT: If you’re looking for a niche pen-and-paper game to spend time with, I highly recommend Nonogram.com. Be warned that the ads can seem unwelcoming sometimes. I rate it a strong eight out of 10.

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