Solve Hashiwokakero puzzles on Android with ‘Build Bridges’
In May 1980 at the popular horse race ‘Irish 2,000 Guineas’ a jockey by the name of Christy Roche won with the help of his horse Nikoli. Three months later Maki Kaji, a Japanese entrepreneur fond of horse-racing, started Nikoli (nikori) Co., Ltd., a company that would start publishing without interruption the first puzzle magazine in Japan.
For 33 years, they have been publishing a quarterly logic puzzle magazine called Nikoli (its actual full name is Puzzle Communication Nikoli) and to date have released more than 80 different types of puzzles. A logic puzzle relies on the ingenuity of the person who’s solving it to put together elements in such a manner that the end-result will solve a particular enigma.
Nikoli became world-renowned in 2005 as they were the first company to publish a Sudoku puzzle. And Sudoku isn’t the only popular thing they’ve published, other ones such as Connect the dots, Crossword or Ripple Effect are also part of their puzzle inventory.
Hashiwokakero (‘Hashi o kakero’ that in Japanese means literally “build bridges”) is a type of logic puzzle published by Nikoli and what better way to play a puzzle than on your Android Device. ‘Build Bridges’ Hashiwokakero puzzle game for Android developed by Jan Rychtar (if you know him it’s because we’ve covered other apps from this developer such as Quick Call Widget, GeoTrain Flags & Capitals and Entangled).
In ‘Build Bridges’ you are the king of all the islands in the game (it was developed by a Japanese, that’s why the island analogy) and you have to help all your people to be able to travel between the islands (depicted in the game by circles). Thus you have to build bridges that connect the islands, marked in the game by straight lines between the circles. Island sizes don’t vary, but each has a number from 1 to 8 that shows how many bridges it needs. An island (circle) with number 8 on it will need 8 bridges to connect it, one with 2 on it will need 2 bridges and so on. A maximum of 8 bridges can connect an island.
As with previous games from this developer, the one thing that gets your attention is how fast you can start and play a game. No need to pre-configure the app, no settings to adjust, you just start it and have the options of starting a new game or resume an existing one (if you’ve stopped it before). Then, it’s down to figuring out how to solve the existing problem. The quick video presentation below shows how to play ‘Build Bridges’:
It’s important to know the rules of Hashiwokakero to understand how it works, so here’s a guide for playing this game:
- Choose a size. On the first screen of the game you can start reading the ‘Game Rules’, choose ‘New game’ or ‘Resume game’ if this is not the first time you’ve played it. On the next screen you choose how difficult the puzzle you want to be with 4 sizes to select: Small, Medium, Large and Extra Large. This is not like the size of the pizza you’ve ordered last week, it’s how many islands (i.e. circles in this case) will be shown on your screen. Thus start small and evolve as you understand the game.
- Build bridges. As mentioned above, each of the islands has to be connected with other islands by a number of bridges. That number is mentioned inside each of the islands, from 1 to 8 (maximum). All bridges must start and end on distinct islands, and all have to be straight lines. The bridges may only run at 90 degrees, so no diagonal bridges or other geometric forms. The bridges cannot be crossed with each other and there cannot be more than 2 bridges connecting 2 islands.
- Follow the guides. ‘Build Bridges’ guides you through the game in an intelligent visual way. At the beginning all islands have an yellow color. When you’ve completed all the bridges for a particular island, its color becomes white. When you’ve done more bridges than needed for an island, its color changes to red. Finally, when a move is valid, the color of the islands is green. I say move, because in order to connect 2 islands you have to tap on the one to start from, hold and drag the bridge to the one you want to connect to and release. Incredibly simple.
- Undo, redo, reset moves. You cannot create more than 2 bridges between 2 islands. If you try to create a third bridge, the previous 2 will be removed. This is enforced by the rules of the puzzle. ‘Build Bridges’ also gives you the option to undo a move (bottom left corner of your puzzle screen) or redo the previous one. If you feel like you’ve messed everything up, you can reset the game and remove all existing bridges (bottom right corner of the screen).
- Final rule. The last rule of Hashiwokakero is you do not talk about Hashiwokakero. I’m just kidding, the final rule is that in order to complete a level you must have all the islands connected with bridges (the exact number mentioned in each circle) as a whole. This means that all islands must be connected as a single group, none left out.
‘Build Bridges’ is a fun brain puzzle for those that like this genre. It’s free and simply shows some ads above the playing area, so nothing obtrusive and you can download it directly from Google Play: Download Build Bridges