Arts & Culture News

Island Time: Get Hooked on Hashi Online

Welcome to another edition of Geek-Offs , where you'll find the perfect distractions to help you muddle your way through hump day each week.

Bless the Japanese. That sweet little island nation half a world away has given us some pretty awesome stuff. From tasty treats to creepy horror flicks , it seems the Japanese can do it all, but there's one export that makes them truly rule: masterful logic puzzles.

Sure, we've been familiar with wacky numbers games for years, but it wasn't until puzzle company Nikoli hit the streets with Sudoku in the '80s that we were able to put a name to one of the top productivity killers of all time.

This week's Geek-Off is a simple browser version of another popular Japanese numbers game, Hashiwokakero . On each game board, you are given a series of numbered "islands," and each island's number tells you how many bridges connect it to its surrounding neighbors. Bridges can run horizontally or vertically, but not diagonally, and bridges can't cross each other, so be cautious where you click lest you find yourself stranded on a deserted island.

There's an easy-peasy Japanesey version, Hashi Light Vol. 1 , available from Conceptis Puzzles, as well as the more difficult Hashi Light Vol. 2 for those who fancy themselves skilled puzzlers. You might want to wait and cross that bridge when you -- nevermind.

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Jennifer Medina