The Sudoku Number Puzzle Game's Origins

Posted on Aug 17, 2021
The Sudoku Number Puzzle Game's Origins


Sudoku is one of the most addicting number puzzle games that has appeared in the puzzle industry. Millions of individuals from all walks of life have been enamored with the Sudoku puzzle game in all of its forms and variations. People may play this by themselves or in a timed game versus another person.

So you have to wonder, what exactly is this Sudoku game?

Sudoku was created in 1979 by Howard Garnes, a 74–year–old retired architect who also worked as a freelance puzzle creator. It was a puzzle with a partly filled-in grid of numbers. The solver has to fill in the remaining squares with the correct number combination. Under the name Number Place, the game originally appeared in the New York magazine Dell Pencil Puzzles and Word Games.

The Nikoli business launched Number Place in Japan in April 1984 in their magazine, the Monthly Nikolist. Nikoli's president, Kaji Maki, called the game "Suuji wa dokushin ni kagiru," which means the number must be single or appear just once. The term was then shortened to Sudoku. Nikoli made two changes to the game in 1986: a) a maximum of 32 numbers will be provided in each problem; and b) the numbers will be placed in rotationally balanced squares.

Sudoku became extremely popular among puzzle solvers as a result of these developments. Though Sudoku is now published in virtually all major Japanese newspapers, such as the Asahi Shimbun, Nikoli owns the term Sudoku.

Sudoku was nicknamed "The 21st Century Rubik's Cube" because the reasoning behind it is similar to that of the famous Rubik's Cube. Digit Hunt, developed by Loadstar/Softdisk Publishing and launched on the Commodore 64 console platform in 1989, was the first computer version of Sudoku.

The Single Number, designed by Yoshimitsu Kanai, is another running version that still lives. A Single Number is a computer-generated puzzle generator that debuted in 1995 for the Apple Macintosh PC platform. A PDA version was released in 1996, while the most current version for Mac OS–X was released in 2005.

Number Place is still published by Dell Magazines. However, it has introduced two new Sudoku magazines: Original Sudoku, which has the original version of Number Place, and Extreme Sudoku, which is a more challenging version of the original game. In GAMES Magazine, Kappa publishing publishes the Nikoli Sudoku as Squared Away. Several American publications, including The Boston Globe, The Examiner, The New York Post, and USA Today, publish Squared Away puzzles on a regular basis.

Despite the fact that Sudoku was extremely popular in Japan and the United States, Europe had no clue the game existed. But, due to a former Hong Kong judge named Wayne Gould, Europe would get the Sudoku bug as well.

In 1997, Gould came upon a partly finished Sudoku puzzle in a Japanese bookshop. He purchased the book and developed a computer program that could produce puzzles quickly and simply at Pappocom, his software business, during a six-year period. Then, with knowledge of The Times's history of publishing puzzles, he pushed Sudoku to the British daily. The first Su Doku puzzle was presented to Britons on November 12, 2004. Since that day, The Times has been printing Pappocom's riddles on a regular basis.

Then, several British variations of Sudoku began to appear. There was The Daily Mail's version, Codenumber, which was based on Michael Mepham's puzzles and was originally published on January 19, 2005. The Daily Telegraph of Sydney published the first Sudoku problems on May 20, 2005. And when the British Telegraph began publishing Sudoku on its front pages on a regular basis on February 23, 2005, other British newspapers began to take an interest in the game. Because of the game's popularity, The Times produced the first Sudoku book in order to get an advantage over rivals. Sudoku was named the "fastest growing puzzle in the world" in 2005 because of its popularity.

Sudoku has not only dominated the print media, but also the broadcast and electronic media! In July 2005, Channel 4 launched the first TV Sudoku game by including daily Sudoku problems in its Teletext service. The BBC's program guide, The Radio Times, began offering Super Sudoku, a weekly puzzle game, on August 2, 2005. Last September 2005, Mobile Excellence International, a Dutch mobile phone firm, launched the first mobile phone version of Sudoku in Europe.

Sky One also created the first Sudoku television program, Sudoku Live, which debuted on July 1, 2005. Sudoku Live, hosted by Carol Vorderman, had 9 teams of 9 players each, representing various geographical areas, who had to solve the show's problem. Each squad had a celebrity and eight regular people. While the studio version was being shown, home viewers could engage with their own interactive version.

CBS began airing Sudoku-related stories on the Early Show in the summer of 2005, then on the CBS Evening News on October 26, 2005.

During the December 13, 2005 episode of the US television series HOUSE M.D., Dr. House was shown completing a Sudoku problem. Sudoku was prohibited on the set owing to its addictive nature, since the cast was continually playing it.

The Internet is already overflowing with millions of Sudoku variations, both online and offline, free and pay-to-play. With billions of distinct puzzles produced by computer programs, 2 to 4 websites will keep a Sudoku enthusiast entertained for quite some time.

Who would have guessed in 1979 that a simple numerical problem on paper would go on to rule the globe like the common cold?

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