Nono Logix: An Addictive Nonogram Puzzler

Puzzle addicts will try to get their fix any way they can, even going so far as to hoard those fiendishly difficult but, let’s face it, terribly ugly puzzle books you find in the dollar store checkout lane. And then the addict hits the wall.

They can’t find anymore new puzzles, and honestly, paper just isn’t doing it for them anymore. Providing a fix for puzzle addicts, Nono Logix puts a twist on a conventional puzzle style. Will it hold the interest of power puzzlers or is it just a Sudoku clone?

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Just Say Nono

Nono Logix is a nonogram puzzler. That meant absolutely nothing to me; I’d never heard of nonograms. They’re also known as picross puzzles, which I’m at least aware of, but I still didn’t know what was up when I got into Nono Logix. The developer breaks it down as a cross between Sudoku and Minesweeper, which, I mean, mind blown, right? That still made no sense to me, but I at least know what both of those are, and after playing a lot — and I mean a lot — of Nono Logix, that’s probably the best description I could come up with, too. Before that, I was stuck on “Sudoku but with more math,” but that seemed to lack a certain something.

Yeah, it looks simple enough to start. It's not.

Yeah, it looks simple enough to start. It’s not.

Nonogram puzzles consist of grids, sometimes quite large grids. Each row and column comes with a clue to let you know how many of the squares should be filled in and how many should be left blank. A clue of “7 2” for a 10×10 grid would mean the first seven and last two squares are colored in with the eighth left blank. Easy enough because the blanks and filled in squares add up to ten. It gets more difficult when you’re given a clue like “1 1 2” on a large grid.

In a traditional nonogram puzzle, you’d really want to make sure you’re not filling in anything you shouldn’t be, because you’d be trying to make a picture. Any square out of place would ruin the final product. In Nono Logix, the disincentive to make errors works differently. If you try to fill in a square that doesn’t want filling, you get an ugly orange mistake symbol. It sits in the mistakenly tapped square for the rest of the puzzle, and you’ll get a tick in the mistakes counter. Not only that, but Nono Logix is timed, and every mistake you make adds minutes to the final duration.

You'll want to clear the nonogram in as little time as possible and open up more difficult puzzles.

You’ll want to clear the nonogram in as little time as possible and open up more difficult puzzles.

Luckily, you can darken any squares you know are going to stay blank and aren’t going to be of any use to you. If you know that square won’t get filled in, darken it with an X. This really helps eliminate squares and narrow down your choices, so you’re only filling in what needs to be filled in.

Get Your Fix

Nono Logix starts off really easy. You’re going to think you’re just so smart. You’re going to be all, “I should be in Mensa!” Then you’ll unlock the larger puzzles with the tiny clues that won’t fill up the grid, and Nono Logix is going to be all, “LOL, you’re dumb!” You might even agree.

Yeah, it's not easy, but it sure is a good time.

Yeah, it’s not easy, but it sure is a good time.

You’re not going to stop playing, though. Whereas the first puzzles only took thirty seconds or less to complete, you’ll be taking upwards of five minutes or more to get past some of the harder nonograms. When you finally finish each puzzle, though, you’ll feel such a sense of euphoria, you’ll have to move onto the next one. And the next and the next.

This is what’s meant by an addictive game. The challenge ramps up steadily but quickly, allowing you time to learn the mechanics of the game and develop your skills, hopefully picking up tricks to more easily solve the puzzles. By the time things really get difficult, you know what you’re doing, and it just feels so good to beat each puzzle and unlock the next set, it’s hard to put Nono Logix down.

Words to the Wise

The only flaw with Nono Logix on the iPhone is that the squares are so dang small. Sure, I don’t have tiny Smurf hands, but I like to think I have normal-sized fingers, and I still ended up smashing the wrong squares more than I would have liked. This got a lot worse as the grids got larger and the squares got smaller — I was making two or three errors on each puzzle, adding several minutes onto my final time.

As you complete more puzzles, you will unlock new puzzle packs.

As you complete more puzzles, you will unlock new puzzle packs.

Fans of nonograms and picross puzzles will soon realize these aren’t traditional nonograms. A nonogram should reveal a picture, and these don’t. If they do, it’s some sort of modernist, abstract, nonrepresentational picture. Like a Jackson Pollock painting on graph paper. Which is fine by me. I’m here for puzzles, not to look at pictures, and I think if I started revealing an image halfway through, it would make it too easy to solve the rest.

Final Thoughts

Nono Logix is a fantastic puzzle app. It’s slick and modern and is a nice introduction to nonograms. If you like Sudoku or really any number puzzle, you’ll absolutely find something to love in Nono Logix. That said, gameplay is different enough from other types of puzzlers that you won’t feel like it’s more of the same.

It’s challenging enough to make puzzle completion really rewarding, and it’s exactly that feeling of accomplishment that makes Nono Logix such a compelling game. It’s truly difficult to put down and fun to play, even in the torment of nonogram confusion, making it well worth a download.


This is a slick nonogram puzzle app and a great puzzle game for lovers of Sudoku.