‘Nonograms Katana’ for iPhone & iPad

Ever since I was a kid (I wanna say starting around 6th grade?), I’ve had a thing for logic puzzles. My parents used to buy me logic puzzle books to occupy me on long road trips, which now that I think back on it, was a brilliant move on their part.

Something about using the process of elimination to successfully deduce the solutions to these puzzles tickles my brain in a satisfying way I can’t quite describe.

Anyway, as I’ve gotten older, that fascination has translated into a liking for nonogram puzzles (aka “picross”, etc). It’s the same kind of thing, but instead of piecing together clues from a short story and whatnot, it’s just pure numbers on a grid, with the completed solution often revealing a pixel-style image, paint-by-numbers style.

I prefer to do these kinds of puzzles on a mobile device rather than pencil-and-paper, mostly because it’s easier to go back and fix errors when I make them. (Which I do a lot; I don’t claim to be a genius, folks.) I used to play with the Nonograms CrossMe app, and it’s fine, but lately I’ve been rather enjoying my time with Nonograms Katana.

What I like about Katana is that it gives you a ton of UI/gameplay customization options. You have various toggles for the level of assistance you want the game to give you as you go, you can change the board to display “landmarks” of sorts for easier parsing, there’s a left-handed mode, you can enable a special onscreen cursor for more accurate control…the list goes on and on.

On top of that, there are a whole bunch of puzzles available to solve, ranging from the easy 5×5 grids all the way up to wicked hard 80×80 behemoths that I haven’t dared tackle yet (I’m currently working through 25×25 ones as I write this). The bigger puzzles essentially feel like (re)creating works of art:


You can work with black-and-white puzzles alone, try your hand at colored nonograms, access thousands upon thousands of user-made puzzles from their online database, and of course create your own puzzles.

Nonograms Katana is really the ultimate nonogram experience on mobile. You can download and play it for free from the iOS App Store. However, you may opt for the $3 “VIP” in-app purchase to remove ads, gain extra per-puzzle hints, and unlock the ability to view puzzle answers if you simply get too stuck to proceed.