Daily Illuminator

January 12, 2011: Cryptoku

Jackie Hamilton, aka Kira, has been coding for us for years and years. She wrote the code that displays the Daily Illuminator for you. She wrote the Munchkin Level Counter app. She completely re-coded UltraCorps into Perl from its original crufty Microsoft-serverness, and she added some great play features while she was at it. On her own, she created the Holiday Bells app that's been one of Apple's Christmastime features two years in a row. And now she's written a very neat and original game. This is not a SJ Games release. It's a Kira thing. And it's good!

Cryptoku is an iPhone app. As the name suggests, it's inspired by Sudoku. You start with a few key numbers and try to fill in the rest . . . but you've got to work with digits that fall from the top of the screen and mutate as they fall. Grab each one when it hits a value you want to lose. Don't let them drop. As you go through the levels, some of them start decrementing as they fall, rather than incrementing . . . and some of them are /tmp numbers that decay after you get them into the grid. Let's not even talk about the rotating keys and the viruses . . . Plus: soundtrack by Tom Smith!

I really enjoyed Cryptoku in playtest, and I think she might have a hit here. Check it out. The page at www.cryptoku.com links to a free Lite version, but the full-featured game is only 99 cents.

-- Steve Jackson

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