Can’t get enough of Japanese puzzles? Well, seems like Mastersoft is hooked, too. Only months after the release of Mastersoft Sudoku, Mastersoft releases the new Mastersoft Kakuro. The object of the game is still the same as with the traditional kakuro puzzles, only this time, players solve the puzzles on a cooler interface. Mastersoft designed the game for Microsoft-equipped mobile phones such as the Windows Mobile and Pocket PC. A desktop version of the interactive kakuro puzzles are also released. This is quite a bonus for kakuro fans who own the mobile versions; they simply have to select the “Upgrade” option and download the program on their desktop.
Mastersoft Kakuro offers six levels. Each level features kakuro puzzles from “simple” to “master”. The simple puzzles are, obviously, the easiest to do and complete. They usually come in smaller boxes. Master-level puzzles are very difficult which take hours to finish. But Mastersoft provides some neat features and options which make solving the mind-boggling puzzles a wee bit easier and fun. A warning, though: if you think that sudoku is addictive, well, Mastersoft Kakuro is more addicting. This is a game that not only fills up your free time, but eats your time as well, if you don’t take care.
The design and features of Mastersoft Kakuro echoes that of Mastersoft Sudoku. However, these features are improved and enhanced to help players tread the more difficult way of being a kakuro master. The game provides an unlimited number of kakuro puzzles. The appearance of the playing area or grid looks much like a traditional kakuro puzzle. A crossword-like box with white and dark spaces with some numbers on it greets players at the start. To remind everyone, the object of the game is to fill out the boxes with the numbers one to nine to get the number or numbers on the dark boxes as sums. The numbers on the upper right of the boxes correspond to the row, while the numbers on the bottom left refer to the column. The challenge is to position the numbers in the proper boxes without repeating a number within a solution. Like with the traditional puzzles, this interactive version preserves the need for cognitive skills and mathematical ability.
Features of the game include a timing system which you can customize. You can hide the timer if you get easily distracted by time. If the game skin bothers you, it is perfectly changeable with several other available skins installed with the game. The sound option is also open for modifications to suit your preferences. Though keeping score is not a feature of traditional kakuro puzzles, this Mastersoft version carries one. Scores are based on how fast you solve the puzzles and the number of mistakes you incurred. If you get panicky with your low score, you can opt to hide it.
To give your game more personality or to reflect your personal style in your kakuro puzzles, the game includes the option of color-coding your answers. Multiple possible answers can be written in a single box with the Tap n Hold One Click Candidates option. Players can use their mouse to select their answers from the number box, or to key in their answers from their keyboards. With helpful tools such as these, advancing and being a Kakuro Master is not an impossibility. However, after completing the required number of puzzles for a certain level, players advance to more difficult puzzles. But there is no need to fret; the tools also get more advance to adapt to the difficulty of the game. Pop-up matrices show you possible answers. At the same time, clicking on the “Hint” button shows you the wrong answers and the possible replacements. There is also a bookmarking option which allows you to mark certain answers that you doubt. No wonder Mastersoft Kakuro is considered as the most advanced and powerful kakuro puzzle game for Windows Mobile and Pocket PCs.
Despite its high-tech appeal, Mastersoft Kakuro is based on the designs of a hundred kakuro puzzles enthusiasts. The makers reviewed the game’s prototype and Mastersoft modified the game based on their suggestions. For on-the-go kakuro puzzles, Mastersoft Kakuro is your best bet.