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How Playing Sudoku Benefits Our Brain

Updated on December 19, 2017
viryabo profile image

Viryabo, always a games buff for over five decades. From snakes & ladders at a young age, chess as an adult, and now to video and e-games...

The most popular of all known number puzzle games that can be described as positively addictive games of logic is Sudoku.

Sudoku means 'number allotted' or 'the number that is single' in Japanese. It was first featured in a magazine called 'Nikoli' in Japan in the late 1980s, having previously been published in the late 1970s by the New York puzzle magazine 'Math Problems and Logic Puzzles' published by Dell, under the title "Number Place"

A subtly deceptive game, Sudoku surprisingly is easy to learn but highly challenging. Of all number puzzle games, Sudoku is really a 'brain bending' game of numbers and logic. People have been captivated by this game and its easy to get addicted to Sudoku.

Sudoku doesn't require any special math skills or high level calculations abilities. It's really just a simple, captivating and fun game which has a unique solution that can be reached logically without guessing. And all that's needed is brains and concentration.

Sudoku Game Configuration

This number puzzle game's board is a grid of squares with sub-squares called regions and a few numbers pre-placed. These pre-placed numbers cannot be changed. The Sudoku player's goal is to fill in the empty squares until all are filled.

Numbers can appear in any order but diagonals are not allowed.

How To Play Sudoku & Solve The Number Puzzle Game

Enter digits from 1 to 9 into the blank spaces called grid cells. Every row must contain one of each digit. So must every column, as must every 3x3 squares, so that these numbers, 1 to 9, occur exactly once in each row, column, and 3 by 3 box.

There are nine 3 by 3 boxes with each of the boxes split into nine squares. Sudoku broken down simply:

  1. fill the other empty cells with numbers between 1 and 9 (a number only in each 3 x 3 cell)
  2. Number can appear only once on each row
  3. Number can appear only once on each column
  4. Number can appear only once on each region

A summary of these guidelines would be that a number should appear only once in each row, column and a 3 x 3 cell.

Sudoku numbers puzzle is solved by logic and reasoning alone as there are no requirement to be either symmetrical or asymmetrical.

Because the puzzles changes as you solve, this renders any symmetrical layout obsolete, unlike what you find in crosswords.

Sudoku Tips for Beginners

Variations Of Sudoku Numbers Game

There are other variants of Sudoku apart from the popular standard 3 x3 block Sudoku puzzle mentioned above. The following are a few examples of Sudoku types:

Samurai Sudoku - 5 grid 3 x 3 variant

Within each of the five 9×9 Sudoku, every row, column and three-by-three box contains the digits 1 to 9. You need to solve the puzzle as a whole, you cannot just solve each Sudoku individually.

Super Sudoku - 4 x 4 block variant

You have to complete the grid so that every row, column and every four-by-four box contains all the digits 0 to 9 and the letters A to F. Solving this puzzle is by logic and reasoning only.

Godoku, 3 x 3 blocks with hidden words

Complete the grid so that every row, column and every three-by-three box contains the nine different letters. Solve the puzzle by logic and reasoning alone.

Killer Sudoku 3 x 3 blocks with sums as clues

Complete the grid so that every row, column and every three-by-three box contains the digits 1 to 9. Each "cage" (region outlined by a dashed line) has a cage total of all numbers within that cage. Numbers may not be repeated within a cage.

The History Behind Sudoku Puzzles

Benefits to the Elderly

Identifying symmetrical patterns draws on the addictive nature of the brain, and number puzzle games such as Sudoku offers a challenge to the brain that encourages logical thought processes utilising the short-term memory.

And as many believe that Sudoku helps prevent the advance of Alzheimer's, playing the game consistently as one ages offers some comfort because of therapeutic effects of the thought patterns it elicits whilst playing.

Sudoku Enhances Problem Solving Skills In Children

The advantages of teaching number puzzle games, especially Sudoku to children are many. A child will use logical reasoning appropriate to his or her age level in solving the puzzle.

This can be accomplished by putting in more clues to make the numbers puzzles easier. Sudoku puzzles constructed with various degrees of difficulty allows a child to develop at his or her own pace.

This is where logic puzzle games are beneficial to brain development in young children. In fact Great Britain's government has recommended Sudoku puzzles be used in the classroom as brain exercises.

A Review Of The Sudoku (Free) iPhone App

Sudoku TV Game

Sudoku games is not a game of mathematics, but of logic. Sudoku is an 81-square grid, broken into nine blocks of nine squares. The goal is to fill each square with a number so that each column, each row, and each three-by-three grid of nine squares contains the numbers one to nine. No column, row, or grid can have two of the same number.

SUDOKU TV game with Gun and Additional 48 Built-in Games has 48 additional built-in games. It includes 1 main joystick unit, 1 additional joystick and 1 Gun.

No gaming console needed as it plugs directly Into Your TV. Includes English Instructions sheet. The sudoku tv game requires 3 AA batteries for main joysticks.


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© 2009 viryabo

Your Comments Are Welcome

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    • viryabo profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Hi Mansu, playing Sudoku is a fantastic decision you took and you will definitely see positive results eventually, and i can attest to that because a family member benefited by keeping at it constantly and we now see albeit slow, but visible positive results.

      I wish you all the best Mansu.


    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Hi all fellow Sudokuist. I got ill and lost about 10 years of memory. But now I've been introduced to Sudoku, and I'm hoping that its helping my brain to build up its functioning again. Currently, I usually do about 25 puzzels a day. But Shhh, keep it quiet as some family members think I'm a bit addicted and they'll try and take it away from me. So for now I'll complete my daily sudoku quota in complete secrecy, until one day I'll become smarter than them :)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Sudoku change the way of living, It Rocks. My Day begins with sudoku. It is shaping my mind.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      this is an exciting mind game....

      Every one interested for developing their mental skills can try this for atleast 10 days or try to solve atleast 15 sudoku's ....this can do it better....

    • profile image

      sudoku tips 

      7 years ago

      great hub, nice tips. I love Sudoku it's a great brain exercise and is fun too! thanks

    • viryabo profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Hello pratyusha, you are so right.

      Sudoku is a great game that sharpens the mind and as a number game it hones ones thinking and analysing abilities.

      Thanks for visiting and leaving a nice comment.

      Cheers praty.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      hi every one who love sudoku,

      sudoku is a real useful game where we use our brains with out straing it and enjoy solving it. I love sudoku b'coz it improves my reasoning and thinking abilities

    • viryabo profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      sudoku, thats great! its good excercise for the brain and it sharpens the mind.

      i used to play it every morning until i started to get too busy writing articles online.

      Thanks for visiting.


    • profile image


      8 years ago

      i love to play sudoku, i am kind of addicted of it. it is relaxing and i dont think of any problem when playin it

    • viryabo profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Hi sudokusolver, thanks for the visit. Must check out the site. I'm sure my sudoku playing readers will enjoy it.



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