Quadion Technologies’ NineGaps is in some ways like Sudoku, the number puzzler that bookkeepers, Mensa wannabes and violinists seem to enjoy more than everyone else. NineGaps is different than Sudoku in that you complete puzzles consisting of three rows and three columns. You have to figure out basic math problems to arrive at the right spot for each square (you can only use each number between 0 and 9 once).
Not many people have missed the fan wave for Sudoku-style puzzles, but in case you have, the idea is to place numbers in squares on a grid so they add up in all directions without your repeating any number. If you still don’t get it, do a search through a newspaper, magazine, Web site… Sudoku puzzles are everywhere.
Quadrion’s NineGaps’s interface clean and inviting, although the graphics echo those of colored-pencils drawings. You enter numbers, depicted as colorful paper cutouts, by dragging them to the appropriate square. You can change them by dragging another number over them.
You can reset a game with a button tap in NineGaps. It would have been cool to reset this game with motion control. Shake it, and away the numbers would go.
NineGaps comes in Easy to Hard flavors. In the Easy mode, for example, you have fewer numbers to deal with and some squares are already filled in. At the hardest level, you have to do all the “cypherin’ yerself” as Jethro says (he’s a character from The Beverly Hillbillies for you uncultured types).
If you enter a number into a square, and it’s the wrong place for it, NineGaps will give you a “wah-wah” to let you know you should try a different number.
If you get the hang of it well, you might want to play against the clock. Yawn.
I’m teasing. NineGaps will appeal to calculator punchers, I’m sure. It’s not my drink of choice but I’m more right than left brain. I gave it to my wife to play (an accounting manager) and she couldn’t put it down.