The game Sudoku is a number strategy game that has become wildly popular over the last few years. It is now published in many newspapers alongside the crossword puzzles and comics that have inhabited the pages of papers for so long. It has truly become a phenomenon in the individual strategy game. Here is a brief history to let you know more about Sudoku and where it comes from.
Sudoku is a game that has been derived over the years by many people from different cultures and that has successfully blended these ideas into a puzzle that so many people enjoy. The word Sudoku means single place or number in Japanese referring to the way the game is played. Each number has a specific and only one place on the board. The name also indicates that the game is only played by one person; it is a number solitaire game. Although the name Sudoku is Japanese, the game is of European and American development and origin.
The games origin can be traced back to the 18th century and the Swiss mathematician, Leonhard Euler, who developed a concept called Latin Squares. Numbers appeared only once in a grid horizontally and vertically. But the game didn’t develop its modern appeal until the late 1970s. This is when Dell Magazines began publishing a puzzle that they called “Number Place”, which was based on the concept of Euler and the parent of our modern Sudoku. It was developed by a puzzle maker named Howard Garnes and its popularity has continued to grow.
Then in the 1980s a Japanese puzzle company named Nikoli began publishing the game. Nikoli disbursed it throughout the country and it became a huge success. They gave it the name we now have – Sudoku. They made the game more attractive by limiting the number of answers that were given to help solve the puzzle and made the patterns of the puzzle symmetrical to be more appealing to the player. The popularity of the puzzle in Japan increased and it become a common puzzle in magazines and newspapers.
Several years later the puzzle became more popular and widespread in other nations like the UK and the USA from the development of a software program to automatically generate the puzzles by Wayne Gould. He found a puzzle in a small shop in Japan and was so fascinated with the idea that he spent years developing a computer program that would make the puzzles automatically. It is after the automation of the puzzle that it became more popular in American and European newspapers and periodicals. It was easier to generate and was also very popular. By the summer of 2005, major American newspapers were offering the game of Sudoku alongside the ever popular cross word puzzles that had graced their pages for years. It was its use in newspapers that has contributed so much to the spread of the popularity of Sudoku today.
No one knows what will happen with the Sudoku puzzle in the future, but it is still gaining in popularity and commonplace appearance and more and more people are asking what it is, where it comes from, and how to play it. The 9×9 puzzle is the most common and popular but there are many variations available and there are countless possibilities. Hopefully the popularity of Sudoku will continue to grow and develop and the people will be able to do the puzzle wherever and whenever they want. There are now versions that are available on handheld devices and cell phones that allow people to think and play while on the go or waiting in line. Let us hope that the world will become just a little smarter and maybe even a little wiser from this great little game called Sudoku.