History of Hitori

The history of Hitori

Are you having fun playing Hitori puzzles with Hitori Conquest? We don’t blame you—it’s a classic gem of a game that almost everyone can play regardless of age and skill level, just like classic card games. While little is known about its entire development history, Hitori still has a discernible origin and trackable progress that you can learn more about.

History of Hitori

Japanese Roots

Hitori is a logic puzzle game that was invented around the year 1990 by the Japanese game publisher, Nikoli Co., Ltd., and first appeared as an original puzzle in their publication Puzzle Communication Nikoli (commonly shortened to Nikoli). The same company, headed by logic game figurehead Maki Kaji, also put out other famous titles like Sudoku and Shikaku.

Hitori, or ひとり in Japanese, literally translates to “alone”, and its full Japanese name is Hitori ni shite kure (ひとりにしてくれ)—meaning “leave me alone”. It first gained popularity through Nikoli publication issue #29 and was shortly released under their magazine after the initial releases of other puzzle games like Kakuro and Sudoku.

Achieving success in the quarterly releases of Puzzle Communication Nikoli, Hitori would grow to become a classic logic game enjoyed worldwide. Since 1999, there have been three Hitori pocketbooks officially published under them, with each having 99 Hitori puzzles of varying difficulty.

Recognized Classic

The Hitori puzzle game board
Hitori Conquest game

After its invention and success, it found a dedicated community of logic game enthusiasts worldwide and has been customized to varying puzzle sizes and difficulty levels. There are still many magazines in different countries that include Hitori in their publications, and there are multiple online versions that people can play online—especially Hitori Conquest! While the original is still the Nikoli paper sheet puzzles, Hitori is now accessible to many countries worldwide and continues its traditional yet exciting puzzle system.

5 Reasons Why People Love Hitori

Hitori History

Modern gaming has evolved a lot, but there is still a very strong community continuously playing Hitori puzzles. As long as you can write and read the numbers, it can be played by people of all ages of skill levels, and there is always an abundance of Hitori puzzles waiting to be solved. Aside from its accessibility, here are five other reasons why people love playing Hitori:

1. It fills you with pride and satisfaction - Successfully solving a Hitori puzzle can give a great sense of accomplishment, regardless if it’s your first or your hundredth. The feeling of overcoming a difficult puzzle and finding the correct solution brings a feeling of satisfaction and boosts self-esteem, which works wonders for mental health.

2. It’s very accessible - Unlike modern games which require consoles, computers or other devices, Hitori puzzles can be easily accessed and played almost anywhere. They are available in puzzle books, self-printed sheets, newspapers and online platforms like Hitori Conquest. The simplicity of the rules and the fact that they don't require any special equipment make them convenient and portable for people to enjoy during breaks, while traveling or in their free time.

3. It’s engaging and challenging - Hitori puzzles provide a mentally stimulating challenge. They require logical reasoning, deduction and problem-solving skills, which are very helpful in improving the mind. The process of uncovering the correct solution can be satisfying and engaging, especially for puzzle enthusiasts.

4. It helps calm the mind - Solving Hitori puzzles can be a form of relaxation and mindfulness. It offers a focused activity that allows people to temporarily escape from the stresses of everyday life. Just like its namesake, “leave me alone”, it’s the puzzle of choice for people who want to relax and unwind by calmly solving the game at their own pace.

5. There’s always a new puzzle to solve - Hitori puzzles come in various sizes and difficulty levels, offering a wide range of challenges. This variability keeps the puzzles interesting and prevents them from becoming monotonous. Additionally, solving Hitori puzzles can involve creative thinking and coming up with unique strategies to eliminate numbers based on the given clues. The dedicated Hitori community has also made many general strategies to adopt for beginners and those struggling to solve their puzzles.