What Makes Kakuro Different From Other Puzzles?

Kakuro is a relatively unknown puzzle for the average person in Canada or the USA. After all, there are many similar-looking number puzzles worldwide, and at first glance, Kakuro looks like a weird-looking crossword puzzle. However, just like its sibling puzzle, Sudoku, Kakuro has something more to offer than a sheet full of blank boxes. Like how a jersey has the same form as the other ones, but has different features in it that sets it apart.

If you’re not familiar with Kakuro, it’s a classic puzzle that shares several rules with Sudoku—namely, you fill out the blank cells with numbers 1 to 9 (depending on what you need) and the non-repetition of numbers within the same row and column. However, the similarities end there. There’s no sequencing nor do you need to complete the whole range of numbers from 1 to 9, and Kakuro needs basic math to be solved.

The main goal of Kakuro is to fill out all the blank white cells and achieve the sum displayed on the grey or black cells near them. These are called “number clues” and to play online Kakuro puzzles, you’ll have to line numbers up in their row or column in such a way that there are no repetitions in those specific rows and columns to avoid errors.

Sounds simple, right? So what makes it different from other number puzzles? Continue reading to learn more.

Kakuro Conquest Focuses on Logic and Addition

Unlike other number puzzles of its kind, like Hitori puzzles or Sudoku, Kakuro emphasizes the use of addition to complete its main goal. While all number puzzles work on logic, some require formulae or have different arithmetic processes to them, while Kakuro just uses addition. This makes Kakuro puzzles ideal for young children learning how to get sums and increase their critical thinking skills. For adults, it poses a simple enough challenge to keep you engaged while not being too much of a headache to play.

Uses Number Clues for Easier Completion

The number clues on the sides of rows and columns are what makes puzzle enthusiasts fondly refer to Kakuro as a “crossword Sudoku”. While Sudoku has its givens, a beginner would have a hard time starting because of the many blank cells in its grid, making it intimidating at first glance.

Kakuro on the other hand, already has all the goals laid out for you. You can start anywhere as long as you understand the basic rules—just pick out a number clue and line up numbers between 1 to 9, get the sum and branch out from there!

Appealing Grid Structure

Kakuro’s grid structure is one of its most defining features. Unlike other grid-based number puzzles, which have fixed grid sizes like 9x9 or 16x16, the grid in Kakuro works more like a symmetrical crossword puzzle due to how the game works. This makes it easier on the eyes and is less intimidating compared to the blank grid of Sudoku.

Can Be More Engaging Than Other Number-Based Puzzles

Sure, Sudoku is the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to number puzzles. But it can get boring to solve once you’ve mastered the patterns, techniques and sequences. On the other hand, Kakuro takes the backbone of Sudoku and adds a more challenging twist to it with the number clues and addition. Not only that but solving those number clues one by one also makes it feel like you’re actually progressing in the puzzle, whereas Sudoku needs to be filled out with candidate digits first to start the main challenge of elimination and solving.

Can Be Easier for a Beginner Than to Play Online Sudoku Puzzles

While having the addition aspect makes basic math a necessity to play Kakuro, its easy puzzles are a lot more beginner-friendly than other number puzzles like Sudoku or KenKen, which is known to be quite the data crunch in higher difficulties, especially the algebra-based ones, like those with "x powered by" type of problems.

For reference, the easiest puzzles in Sudoku are still in a 9x9 grid with just more givens or a more discernible pattern. This large size and many blank cells can be a turn-off for many people starting to explore the domain of number puzzles. Kakuro, fortunately, can have smaller grids for people wanting to test out whether the puzzle game is for them or not.

Is Typically Free Online and Has a Fast Load Time

Many classic puzzle games are becoming more accessible to users all around the world due to more people finding out about them and creating their own free versions. There are many Kakuro games hosted from server to server, with different difficulty levels and designs. Most of them don't even require a fast internet connection, as the puzzles are loaded up in one go (unlike most modern online games which require low ping statistics and are prone to errors and bugs).

If you're looking for a website with free Kakuro puzzles, then look no further than! We have a wide range of difficulty settings and grid sizes for you to choose from.