7 Challenging Puzzle Games Like Sudoku

Hello there, puzzle enthusiast! 😊 Are you looking for some new and exciting puzzle games to challenge your skills and keep your mind sharp? If you love the logic and strategy of games like Sudoku, but crave something a little different, then you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll introduce you to 7 puzzle games that are just as challenging and addictive as Sudoku, but with unique twists that will help expand your problem-solving abilities.

7 Challenging Puzzle Games Like Sudoku

From number-based puzzles to visual brain teasers, these games will push you to think outside the box and test your cognitive abilities. Whether you’re a seasoned puzzle pro or just starting on your brain training journey, there’s sure to be something here that will intrigue and entertain you. So, without further ado, let’s check out some of the best puzzle games like Sudoku out there! 👀



If you love Sudoku and want to challenge yourself with a math-based puzzle game, KenKen is an excellent alternative. This puzzle game involves filling in a grid with numbers while applying math operations, including addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

Developed by a Japanese Teacher

Developed by a Japanese Teacher

KenKen was developed by a Japanese teacher named Tetsuya Miyamoto to help his students improve their arithmetic skills. The game caught on quickly and became popular in Japan before spreading to other parts of the world.

Available in Different Sizes and Difficulty Levels

Available in Different Sizes and Difficulty Levels

KenKen comes in various sizes and difficulty levels, making it suitable for puzzlers of all ages and skills. The most common grid size is 4×4, but you can also find larger sizes, such as 6×6, 8×8, and even 9×9. Each grid has a unique solution, and you can choose the difficulty level that suits you best.


Kakuro Puzzle

If you love Sudoku and are looking for a new challenge, then Kakuro is the perfect puzzle game for you. With a similar layout to Sudoku, Kakuro involves filling a grid with numbers while solving clues. This game might seem easy at first, but as you progress, it becomes more challenging and addictive.

A Puzzle with Number Crosswords

Kakuro, also known as Cross Sums, is a crossword puzzle with numbers, where you need to fill the empty spaces of each row and column with numbers. Each empty space has a small number in it, and that number indicates the sum of consecutive numbers you need to enter in that space. For example, an empty space with a number 9 means that you need to insert two or more numbers, which will add up to 9 in total. You cannot repeat the same number in one sum, which makes it more complex.

Simple Rules with Endless Possibilities

Kakuro has simple rules and a straightforward goal – fill the grid with numbers. Yet, the beauty of this puzzle lies in the fact that there are endless possibilities to reach that goal. Every Kakuro puzzle has a unique solution, but there are many ways to approach each puzzle. Logical reasoning and deduction skills are essential to solve Kakuro. To master this game, you need to think out of the box, be creative, and use your logical abilities to their best.

Improve Math and Logical Reasoning Skills

Kakuro puzzles do not only provide hours of entertainment, but they can also improve your math and logical reasoning skills. By solving Kakuro, you improve your ability to add and subtract numbers quickly. Additionally, you will develop analytical and deduction skills necessary for math, problem-solving, and other real-life situations. Kakuro is an ideal exercise for your brain, as it challenges you to think critically and logically, keeping your mind sharp and active.

If you are a fan of number puzzles, you might enjoy games like Sudoku. These games, similar to Sudoku in their logic-based gameplay, can provide hours of entertainment.



Nonograms are a type of visual puzzle that requires logical reasoning and deduction to reveal a hidden image. Also known as Picross or Griddlers, these puzzles are becoming increasingly popular among puzzle enthusiasts worldwide.

Create Pictures with Number Clues

To solve a Nonogram, you must fill in a grid using numerical clues that correspond to each row and column. These clues represent the number of consecutive shaded squares in each row or column. By using the clues and applying logical reasoning, players can reveal a hidden image.

Also Known as Picross or Griddlers

Nonograms are often referred to by other names, such as Picross or Griddlers. These puzzles originated in Japan and have been popular in many countries for several decades. They come in various sizes, shapes, and difficulty levels, so players of all skill levels can enjoy them.

Boosts Creativity and Problem-Solving Skills

Solving Nonograms is not only fun but also beneficial for your brain. It can improve your cognitive abilities, such as creativity and problem-solving skills. The process of revealing the hidden image requires thinking outside the box and applying logical reasoning, which can help exercise your brain and enhance your mental agility.


Hanjie Puzzle Game

Hanjie is a unique puzzle game that combines logic puzzles with artistic Japanese illustrations. The objective of the game is to create a picture by filling in a grid using numerical clues. Players must uncover the image hidden within the grid by filling in the correct squares, while also making sure to avoid filling in the wrong ones. This can be a challenging task, but the end result is a beautiful picture that provides a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.

An Artistic Puzzle Game

The unique aspect of Hanjie is its integration of Japanese art and logical puzzle-solving. Players can enjoy the beauty of traditional Japanese illustrations while also engaging in a mentally stimulating activity. The puzzles are designed to be challenging but also rewarding, as players can see the image taking shape with each correct move. It’s a perfect puzzle game for those who enjoy traditional Japanese art or want a fun, artistic way to exercise their brain.

Integrating Puzzle-Solving and Relaxation

In addition to being mentally challenging, Hanjie can also help one relax. The game requires concentration and attention to detail, which can help calm the mind and reduce stress. It’s a great puzzle game for those who want to unwind after a long day or want to take a break from work or other activities. The combination of puzzle-solving and relaxation makes Hanjie a unique and enjoyable game for players of all skill levels.

Combines Japanese Art and Logic Puzzles

Hanjie originated in Japan and is known for combining traditional Japanese illustrations with logical puzzles. The game is also known as “Picross” or “Nonogram” in other countries and has a global following. The blend of Japanese art and logic puzzles is what makes Hanjie a truly unique game, as it allows players to appreciate art while also engaging in a challenging puzzle-solving activity. It’s a perfect game for those who enjoy both logic puzzles and traditional Japanese art forms.



Nurikabe is a Japanese puzzle game that requires players to create an island with specific conditions based on numerical clues. The game is also known as “island building,” and it is named after a mythical creature in Japanese folklore that resembles a wall. The goal of the game is to isolate land masses with walls, and players must use logic and spatial reasoning skills to solve the puzzles.

Puzzling with an Island Theme

The gameplay of Nurikabe involves placing black and white tiles on a grid that represents an ocean. The tiles represent land and water, and players must create an island by filling in the white tiles while isolating the black tiles with walls. The numerical clues provided on the grid indicate how many white tiles must be included in each region of the island. The game becomes progressively more challenging as players advance to higher levels.

Named After a Mythical Creature

Nurikabe is a unique game that has garnered a lot of attention due to its name’s origin. The game’s mythical namesake is a yokai, a type of supernatural creature in Japanese folklore. The Nurikabe is said to be a spirit that manifests as a wall, blocking people’s paths and confusing travelers in the night. Thus, the game’s objective of isolating landmasses with walls is directly inspired by the creature’s mystical ability.

Challenges Logical and Spatial Reasoning Skills

Solving Nurikabe puzzles requires a combination of logical and spatial reasoning skills. Players must use deductive reasoning to figure out the correct sequence of moves to create the island while considering the surrounding environment. As the game progresses, players must develop the ability to visualize the multiple solutions to various puzzles accurately. The game’s challenges can help players develop problem-solving skills that can be applied to other areas of their lives.

If you enjoy games that challenge your mind, you might also enjoy games like Candy Crush or games like 2048. These games require quick thinking and strategy, much like Sudoku.


Hidato Puzzle Game

Hidato is a puzzle game that involves filling in a grid with numbers from 1 to 81 while forming a path with consecutive numbers.

Flexible Difficulty Levels

Hidato puzzles can come in various sizes and difficulty levels, making it suitable for beginners and seasoned puzzlers alike. The game typically starts with a few numbers already filled in the grid, and the player’s objective is to solve the puzzle by placing the remaining numbers in the correct sequence.

The puzzles can range from easy to very challenging, with larger grids and more numbers to fill in making the puzzles more complex. However, the game’s flexibility allows players to choose puzzles that they feel comfortable solving, making it an accessible game for all levels of expertise.

Improves Memory and Problem-Solving Skills

Solving Hidato puzzles can enhance one’s memory and problem-solving skills, as the game requires concentration and logical deduction. The game’s objective is to form a path using consecutive numbers without skipping any numbers in the sequence. This sequence builds on itself, forcing players to maintain a mental image of the grid and the numbers already filled in.

Additionally, the game’s flexible difficulty levels allow players to challenge themselves and improve their problem-solving skills. By selecting more challenging puzzles, players can push themselves to think more critically and analytically, which has been shown to improve memory and problem-solving skills over time.

Looking for something similar to Sudoku? Check out our pillar article on the best puzzle games for Android and iOS devices.


Shikaku Puzzle

Shikaku, also known as Rectangles, is a puzzle game that involves dividing a grid with adjacent rectangles based on numerical clues. In each puzzle, a grid of squares is presented, and the player must divide the grid into rectangles such that each rectangle contains only one number and the area of the rectangle equals the value of the number. The rectangular shapes must not overlap, but must be adjacent to another rectangle either horizontally or vertically.

Solving Puzzles with Rectangles

Solving Shikaku puzzles requires careful attention to the numerical clues provided in the grids. The player must use logic and mathematical reasoning to determine the exact location and size of each rectangle in the grid. The clues provided in the puzzles are essential to solving them, and the player must use them to calculate the size and location of each rectangle accurately.

Develops Analytical and Math Skills

Shikaku puzzles can be a great way to improve analytical and math skills. The game requires the player to use critical thinking and precise calculation skills in determining the correct dimensions of each rectangle, which improves cognitive function and analytical reasoning abilities. The puzzles can also be an excellent tool for kids to develop their math skills.

Educational and Fun

Shikaku puzzles can be both educational and enjoyable. The game is a challenging puzzle that can test and improve practical skills needed in everyday life, such as logical thinking, analytical reasoning, and mathematical calculation. The game can be played by people of all ages and can be an excellent mental exercise that is both fun and engaging.

Thank You For Joining The Puzzle Craze

We hope that you’ve found some new puzzle games to play and enjoy after reading this article. Don’t forget to share your thoughts and experiences with us in the comment section below. Keep visiting our website for more engaging articles and updates on the newest puzzle games. Happy puzzling!

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