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I bought this puzzle book because I'm a big fan of puzzles but fancied a variation on the Sudoku theme, as this was getting repetitive. I have to say 'Beyond Sudoku' has started me onto several new addictions, including the Japanese 'Hanjie' puzzle and 'Mosaic', which both result in pictures with more and more detail, depending on the size of the grid. If you're going on holiday and will have to spend several hours in an airport / on a plane, then I highly recommend 'Beyond Sudoku', as it's easy to get lost in the puzzles. The only downside is that if you make a mistake, just like with basic Sudoku puzzles, most of the puzzles in the magazine are unforgiving, and you don't get a second chance. However, the Japanese have always been brilliant at inventing highly addictive logic problems, and 'Beyond Sudoku' gives you a taste of a wide range of them. So if you too are bored of plain Sudokus or even Killer Sudokus, then this book's for you! But remember, you'll need a decent pencil for shading in the squares.
Beyond Sudoku is an unusual puzzle magazine that's published every two months, and is only available from WH Smith. It's printed by Puzzler Magazines and currently costs £3.30 per issue, which I think is quite expensive for a puzzle magazine; but I still treat myself occasionally as I enjoy it so much more than the other puzzle magazines available. When sudoku puzzles first started appearing in this country in around 2005, I got quite obsessed with them, like many other people. After a while, though, I got a bit bored with the same old style of puzzle, so I was very pleased when I found the magazine Beyond Sudoku. As well as a few sudoku grids, this magazine contains a mixture of other Japanese puzzles, all of which are challenging and very enjoyable. Like sudoku, they tend to require some sort of logical thinking, and they all involve numbers in some way. You don't need to be good at maths to solve them, though. The magazine is divided up into sections, with one section for each puzzle type. The current issue contains 13 sections. Within each section, it starts off with easier puzzles and leads onto harder ones of the same type. There are around 6 of each puzzle type in the magazine. Personally I would prefer it if they could fit in a few more of each puzzle, considering the cover price. Having said that, this magazine lasts me a lot longer than other more traditional puzzling publications, as most of the puzzles take a bit longer than for example a wordsearch. This just makes it all the more satisfying to solve them. The beginning of each section contains a detailed description of how to solve the puzzles for those who haven't come across them before. Here are some of the puzzles you can find in Beyond Sudoku: ~Sudoku~ As well as some standard sudoku grids, there are some variations such as Killer Sudoku, sudoku using letters instead of numbers, extra large grids and so on. ~Hanjie~ This is one of the few puzzles that is also available in its own dedicated magazine from WH Smith. You start off with a blank grid, with numbers showing how many squares are to be filled in or left blank in each row and column. Once you have filled in the correct squares, a picture will be produced in the grid. ~Kakuro~ This is another puzzle that's also available in a separate magazine. You must fill an irregular grid with numbers that add up to the amounts shown at the side of each block, without repeating any numbers in each section. ~Mosaic~ Produce a picture by shading in squares on a grid according to numbers that show how many shaded squares surround them. ~Hashi~ This is one of my favourites; you need to connect 'islands' with 'bridges' according to the numbers shown on the islands, which show how many bridges can connect to each one. ~Slitherlink~ Another favourite of mine: connect dots on a grid to form a continuous loop. Numbers in the grid tell you how many lines surround them. ~Battleships~ Based on the game of Battleships, you start off with an empty or partially filled grid and must find out where the Battleships have been placed using the numbers that show you how many Battleship sections are in each row and column. If you've never done any of these puzzles before, it may be hard to imagine what they're like as they're quite difficult to describe in a few words; the best way to find out about them is to get the magazine! Recommended for anyone who likes sudoku or logic puzzles.