#095: Gravel

Today, I am very excited to finally publish Gravel. I created this genre (or an earlier version of it) exactly one year ago. But because none of the online tools support tilted grids, I never felt comfortable publishing it officially. Now Pedro was so kind to implement Gravel in the Kudamono Editor, which makes both constructing and solving Gravel a lot more enjoyable.

Of course, designing a genre not really supported by any tools was really my own fault. I specifically wanted to design a genre for which it would make sense (and be required) to have a rotated square grid instead of a regular one. The actual rules were loosely inspired by the game Mixolumia.

Over the past year I made a whole bunch of Gravels, some of which I’m publishing here today (check the next few posts as well) and a few more are on the Kudamono page. Overall, I’m really fond of this genre. It has a small uniqueness problem with small squares (mostly 1x1s) often fitting inside otherwise unclued “holes”, but numberless circle clues and circleless number clues usually make it possible to disambiguate these without introducing too much of a shortcut.

Here’s a small introductory puzzle. Enjoy!

Rules: Shade some cells and divide the remaining cells into squares. Each unshaded square must touch at least one other square or the edge of the grid on each of its lower sides. Squares of the same side-length cannot touch. Cells with black or white circle clues must be shaded or unshaded, respectively. Number clues inside shaded regions indicate the total area of the region. Number clues inside unshaded squares indicate the side-length of the square.