You know those movies where the guy goes to Europe, meets the girl, and they fall in love? I had a similar experience this summer, except replace the girl with a magazine.
In an airport in Venice, I happened to stumble across a magazine loaded with picross puzzles and other sorts of logic puzzles. I had never seen some of the puzzles before, and quickly fell in love with these new variants on one of my favorite pastimes. Upon arriving back at home, I searched the Web and found all these logical delights and more can be found at Conceptis Puzzles.Previously featured in a Link Dump Friday, Conceptis offers a variety of logical challenges to all who come. Just click on the My Conceptis link at the top of any page to get started. Eleven different puzzles await the intrepid solver, including familiar puzzles like Sudoku, Picross (here called "Pic-a-Pix"), Kakuro, Slitherlink, and even dot-to-dot puzzles. Some puzzles that might be new to solvers include:
- Link-a-Pix: My favorite variant (pictured above), pictures are solved by drawing lines to connect matching numbers. The numbers you join represent the number of spaces in the connecting line.
- Fill-a-Pix: Another picture puzzle, in which you black out squares like you would if you were playing Minesweeper.
- Hitori: Black out the numbers so that no number appears more than once in a row or column. Also, darkened squares can't touch each other, and the undarkened squares must form one undivided shape.
- Battleships: A puzzle similar to Picross, where you must determine the location of the fleet using the digits along the borders.
- Hashi: Connect the numbered islands so that each island has the corresponding number of bridges on it. You can place up to two bridges on each island, and all of the islands will be connected in one network.
- Maze-a-Pix: Find your way through the maze, then fill in your path to reveal a picture.
All of the puzzles come with difficulty ratings, ranging from very easy to very hard. Some puzzles also throw in a splash of color for variety and a change of difficulty.
There are just a few snags to this system. First, registration is required with the website to view new puzzles. Luckily, the registration is painless, and you'll be puzzling away after a few quick fields. All puzzles are printable, however, not all are playable online. For those that are playable online, you can save your completed and started puzzles to resume later.
Finally, the last snag is the kicker: Despite having eleven types of puzzles to tackle, only 4-8 of each are online at any given time. These puzzles are then swapped out for new ones weekly. Some die-hard picross fans are probably screaming at me right now, but I assure you it's not as bad as it sounds. Particularly if you're the sort of person who's on a busy schedule and can't afford to lose hours a day to relentlessly solving puzzles, the limitations on this website are actually a plus. You can still get your fill of logic puzzles for the week, and get out for a walk in the park. This "logic diet" gives you enough to satisfy your needs with a friendly website designed with the casual puzzler in mind.
So grab your pencil, and get ready...
Yay! I love Conceptis! I first discovered these types of puzzles in Games Magazine's World of Puzzles, which they were publishing from Puzzle Japan, I think. I used to look forward to them in print, but was thrilled to find Conceptis a few years ago. Anyway, I'm inclined to agree that all-you-can-eat Conceptis would probably ruin my productivity forever...
Most of the puzzles on the Conceptis website can be found in British logic puzzle magazines. I often tend to go down to the railway station and buy the two different magazines they have here.
All of those puzzles are rather addicting, too.
Okay. I'm evidently having a stupid day, but I can't access any of the actual puzzles on the site. I can go to the pages for every puzzle, but nothing's clickable. I've tried My Conceptis as well, and again, nothing's clickable. I've tried every puzzle on the site, so I know it's not a matter of some puzzles not being available this week.
(Also, I can't remember my Casual Gameplay username, let alone the password, which is just on the "annoying" end of the "having a stupid day" spectrum.)
HopefulNebula - I've sent some information about your Casual Gameplay account to the email address you used to create it with. Look for it, and let me know if you need more help with it.
About the Conceptis site, they use pop-up windows to display the puzzles, so maybe you have disabled pop-ups? Try enabling them for the Conceptis site.
It's not a matter of disabling popups -- I've disabled popups, Adblock and Greasemonkey with no effect. I'm just not getting the thumbnails of the puzzles with the red "Play!" link that they describe.
And thanks for the e-mail. :)
Aaaah, never mind. I read the FAQ page again, and noticed that they don't mention supporting Firefox on the Mac. Safari works fine. Sorry for the trouble. (And thanks again for the username help!
I love this site, great selection of games. One thing that irks me though is that the thumbnails for every puzzle shows the final solution. This is especially annoying for the puzzles where the solution is a picture.
The thumbnails really bothered me, too. Fortunately it seems they don't show thumbnails for the weekly puzzles (available after you register).
HUGE COLOURED LINK-A-PIX
It took me an HOUR but I did it!
Just to clarify, the puzzles that are linked directly from the front page do have their solutions showing and never change, as they are their "sample" puzzles. To get to the new content, click on the "My Conceptis" link at the top of the page (which looks like a can of pencils).
I'm using firefox 3 on Leopard, and the puzzles work for me.
Also, this is a DS game of many of these puzzles for those who prefer them for internetless times. I think it's European though. 400 puzzles for four types of puzzles I believe.
Oh my! This is mind-boggling but fun. This, in my opinion, is one of the best games I have ever played.
Really Mordecai? What is the title?
Not working for me, either, Windows XP SP 2, Firefox 3.0.1, all blockers turned off, Flash 9.0.124. Does work in Safari and IE 6 on the same machine. The entire rest of the web works in my FF as usual, so I think they probably are doing something weird in their Flash that breaks in some Firefox setups.
So I guess if it doesn't work for you, try a different browser.
Oh Link-a-Pix is fun! After I started getting good at it, I noticed I was thinking in ways that I had developed for Globule, posted a few before this on the JIG page. I prefer this quite a bit over Globule though because the sense of accomplishment after finishing a whole, pretty picture is much more. Sigh, time to add it to my scrolling list of bookmarks (note to self: put all games in one folder).
Thanks so much for posting this link!! I am addicted to picture logic puzzles but can never find enough on American newsstands to quench my thirst! Now I'll never do my homework... Seriously, this is great. I am a dork.
UGH! I really wish I hadn't seen this at 9 pm. I've been doing the link-a-pix puzzles for the past three hours! I'm completely hooked! I'm currently working on the b&w mega beatles pic. Absolutely wonderful. Thanks for reviewing - but next time, warn me that I'm not going to want to do anything else for a super long time! :)
I have been obsessed with conceptis ever since i bought a book that had one of their puzzles in an airport...i got home and googled it immediately. I love the free weekly puzzles and encourage everyone to become members. The mega pic a pix are also really good if you want something you can come back to whenever you have a few spare minutes
Woah! You've had me addicted to these puzzles for nearly 2 hours now. Certainly something new to me and very odd, I've got to get back to puzzling now...
Am I the only one that finds it annoying that you have the answer to every puzzle (excluding sudoku) before you start it? Where's the fun in that?
@tedweird: I was annoyed at the previews myself, but when I clicked around a read a little, I found out that if you sign up with their website (no charge, and no spam yet one day later), the weekly puzzles don't have previews. For those, you get a preview of the unsolved puzzle, and if you save your partial progress, your progress appears in the preview picture. Then of course you get rewarded with the full pic in that spot when you finish. The ones you see before you sign up are a set that probably doesn't change often, and they are just there as teasers for the ongoing account.
First, let me say I've been a member of Conceptis for several years and still no spam - so don't worry on that account!
I didn't spend much time on line until I found Conceptis in GAMES magazine! I still prefer to solve most puzzles on paper than online, but I'm very invovled in their forums. Which led me to all sorts of other web surfing! (I found your website & already bookmarked it!) :)
Thanks for such a great review of my favorite puzzle site!
Thanks for a wonderful review!
I have been a member for 3.5 years and an end to this addiction is nowhere to be seen. Over these years Conceptis has increased the number of their puzzles with 7 new types and basically I try to solve all the types. I never run out of puzzles since there is not enough time for all the puzzles in one week.
Conceptis is developing new online puzzles all the time and eventually all the puzzles be also playable online.
Nintendo DS has the game Pic Pic with 400 Link-A-Pix, 400 Maze-A-pix and 400 Fill-A-Pix games (All the games are made by Conceptis). The version does not matter, the game is region-independent. I even started with the Japanese version of the game, because I did not want to wait for the European version.
The site got a major update a while ago. Among other things, a "save" feature was finally added.
Pic-a-pix is my favorite, followed by fill-a-pix.
I like Link-a-pix. Too fun, even if trying to undo a line is a little annoying - I keep leaving grey dotted lines everywhere and having to click them all over again because I can't drag a line through them.
Can't play Dot-A-Pix or Maze-a-Pix due to lack of printer, Pic-A-Pix is a decent version of Picross, and Fill-a-Pix is, well, incomprehensible to my tiny brain.
No, seriously. I finally grasped that even the numbers can be colored in or x-ed out, and I cross out all the 0 squares, and then I'm completely stumped. And this is the basic puzzle.
Pic Pic sounds like a good game, but I searched Ebay and only found one copy, at 32 bucks and 9 bucks shipping. Ouch.
@ fctd - if you register then the thumbnails don't show the solution before you play.
well i enjoyed battleships, i want more of them! but hashi (bridge the islands) is really doing my head in!
Morigale, a few steps to get started with Fill-A-Pix:
- Besides looking for 0s, look for 9s as well as 6s on the side and 4s in the corners. If you find any like those, you can fill the numbers and their surrounding squares out with black.
- Once you have done that, you will usually have a couple of places that can be filled out because of some of the squares surrounding it are filled out. For instance, you have an 8, and of the 9 squares that it uses, one of them is crossed out. This of course means that the other 8 squares must be filled out with black. Same thing if you have a 5 and 5 of the squares are filled with black, then the remaining 4 must be crossed out.
I absolutely love this game.
I just can't stop making those colorful puzzles over and over again. Conceptis aims complete addict at Productivity and knocks it out for the next 9567284 turns. Ouch.
My favorite one is link-a-pix, followed by maze-a-pix, followed by pic-a-pix.
I found something to waste my time on again. Whee. I'll better learn Productivity a healing move so he ain't so battered.
You know... I really am I fan of puzzle type games... but still, sitting here forever doing a puzzle is... making my head tired... *yawn* I'm gonna take a nap. I really do like a game like this... but I just... finished a mega puzzle.. *yawn*
This has replaced griddlers as my favorite logic puzzle sites. Even though the puzzles aren't free, the weekly discounted packages are affordable enough and there's enough of them in each package to last for quite a long time.
One thing I dislike however is even though the presentation and interfaces are clean, functional and very pleasing to the eye, each puzzle interface is ever so slightly flawed, and those flaws are something that is very easy to correct. For example, Conceptis insists on mouse-only interface, opting for an awkward multiclicking scheme while a simple addition of shift-clicks and control-clicks would flow much more easily and would be less prone to mislicks. This is especially apparent with "sim-a-pix" where it's extremely easy to place a line instead of a temporary "X" mark and introduce a mistake one may not notice until hours later, at which time the only option will be to spoil the puzzle by pressing the "check solution" button. Also, some puzzles needlessly force you to "fill" the empty squares too, which may get rather annoying with larger puzzles. Finally, there is an option to print out the puzzles, but the interface doesn't allow printing multiple puzzles at the same time (for example a few smaller puzzles on one piece of paper), which is also frustrating (especially since those puzzles are payed for).
But overall, this site is still very much a must for everyone who likes logic puzzles and isn't against spending a few bucks to get some high quality.