Here are a few of our ideas for why playing Sudoku is such an enjoyable pastime:
It’s fun to use your brain. Sudoku is a “brain game” that requires a variety of cognitive skills, such as quick decision making, spotting patterns, and applying logical reasoning. Sudoku gives us a chance to flex our mental muscles in a variety of ways. Every time you place a new number on the Sudoku grid, you are utilizing different parts of your brain. Sudoku is fun for so many different people because it rewards so many different styles of thinking – some people are more methodical with solving Sudoku puzzles, searching across the rows and columns for easily identifiable numbers to place. Other people like to use more of a random approach, and scan the grid for opportunities wherever they might arise. No matter how your brain works best, chances are you can apply your thinking skills to Sudoku.
Sudoku is a game of momentum. One of the fun aspects of playing Sudoku is that every single number that you place on the grid helps make it easier to solve the rest of the puzzle – the game reveals itself as you go on. Every Sudoku game is different and there are millions of possible combinations of numbers on the grid, so the variety of the game is endless – but Sudoku games have in common an aspect of “cracking open” the puzzle. If you can get enough numbers placed on the grid, even if it’s slow going at first, eventually you can reach a tipping point where the rest of the Sudoku puzzle will quickly start to fall into place. When you’re on a roll and placing one number after another in the blank squares on the grid, Sudoku is a highly satisfying game.
Sudoku helps us create order. One of the underrated aspects of solving Sudoku puzzles is that it is a game of creating order and solving a puzzle, in a way that has clear expectations and rules, and leads to a satisfying result. In our daily lives, we often are confronted by clutter and chaos. This is another reason why Sudoku is fun to play – the game presents us with one single “solvable” problem that we can quietly think about and attack with our brains. Sudoku is a nice escape from the little challenges of daily life – we can solve a Sudoku puzzle and point to it as a tangible example of what we can achieve with our minds.