Numbrix for iPhone review

Numbrix is a cool £1.79 puzzle game from Parade. The game was created by Marilyn vos Savant, Parade magazine’s resident genius and advice columnist. But for a few fixable faults, the game is perfection.

You’re presented with a 9-by-9 grid. Some numbers between 1 and 81 are already placed for you in the grid - the more difficult the puzzle, the fewer numbers you start with. Your job is to fill in the empty spots, sticking to one rule: Each number must touch the number immediately before and immediately after it, either on the vertical or horizontal axis - not diagonally. Once you’ve finished a puzzle, you should be able to trace a path from 1 to 81 without lifting your finger.

Like Sudoku, Numbrix requires no math. For some reason, I find that I can do the “Hard” puzzles faster than I can do the easier puzzles. Regardless, I’m pleased with the level of challenge the game presents, and I feel smart while I play it.

You can compare your best times for each puzzle against the online scoreboards (but good luck- the best times are phenomenal). The game comes preloaded with 150 puzzles, and Parade promises more free puzzles are on the way.

But as I mentioned, the game does exhibit a few flaws. When you enter numbers, the number pad that appears obscures part of the grid. When you’re entering numbers on the bottom rows, more than a third of the puzzle goes off the screen.

You can’t drag it to adjust the view; you must dismiss the number pad, and then immediately bring it up again when you’re ready to enter another number.

It’s just plain dopey, and I hope Parade can come up with a fix. I’d also love if duplicate numbers could be highlighted somehow, since I sometimes mis-tap when entering lots of numbers in sequence, and then suffer the mis-numbered consequences.

Numbrix is compatible with any iPhone or iPod touch running the iPhone 2.2.1 software update.

[Lex Friedman will write a bio after one more Numbrix puzzle.]


Even with those negatives, Numbrix is an engaging puzzler, and I expect to lose too many hours to it.

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