Visual Skins

Doku is essentially a logic puzzle, but it has both the visual and the logical elements. To acquire its ultimate mastery depends on how far one can stretch his visual cognitive capability and interface it successfully with inner layers of one's gray matter. At the beginning, the "serial" property of the numbers-skin is a very useful feature as most sudoku players know. It is useful to memorize what is missing where through the internal counting process. At some point, the digits become nothing more than an element of visual symbol.

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Our research finds that many sudoku players tend to have hard time giving up the numbers-skin that they are used to. Given the same puzzle in different skins, they solve it slower than in the familiar sudoku-format. It is a natural response, but eventually, it becomes a barrier in harnessing the visual pattern recognition skills into the arsenal. With some training, the "parallel" visual pattern recognition channel can be utilized for an instant grasping of a hidden or very complex pattern in the puzzle in progress.

Changing the visual skin in the middle of solving a puzzle has the pleasant side-effect of resetting/refreshing mind, often leading to a breakthrough move.


Doku comes with a set of carefully designed visual skins. They range from color panels inspired by the great artist Rothko to gemstones and the icons symbolizing the signatures of Jobs.

The player will unlock each of them as he progresses. To some, it is mysterious that some people voluntarily choose to torture themselves with hard puzzles. As a Doku player, you are among the supreme such beings. Why not further stretch your visual cognition by master it using various skins?

Maturity and Avatars

As each player progresses in the quest to the highest level of mastery, Doku varies the visual avatars in a subtle way according to the maturity of the player in a given difficulty level. In the Stats view, a typical progression is like the following:


Original Artwork Commissioned from global network of graphic artists

Visual aesthetics is a significant design point for Doku. It features original artwork commissioned from graphic/Anime artists around the world.

From what were in the developer's mind:

sketch of the girl a-woman-private-eye

to the final renditions by the artists:

Jennifer A (France)

Marlon M (Phillippine)