Star Battle is a pure logic puzzle that takes seconds to learn, but can become surprisingly tricky as the difficulty level increases.
The puzzle is played on a square grid which is divided into various regions, delimited by bold lines.
Here is an example of a Star Battle grid:
The objective of te puzzle is to place stars into the cells such that every row, column, and grid contains exactly the same number of stars. Stars cannot be placed in adjacent cells (ie stars cannot be in cells that touch horizontally, vertically, or diagonally). Every region must contain one star when the puzzle is complete.
Here’s what the earlier example grid looks like once it’s been solved:
Start with Smallest Regions. If a region is particularly small or has a unique shape, it might have limited options for star placements. Begin there.
Mark Forbidden Cells. Once you place a star, mark all adjacent cells as forbidden for star placement. This will help you visualise where stars can't go, which often reveals where they should go. You can use a dot, a small x, or shade these cells lightly to indicate they're off-limits for stars.
Use Pencil Marks. If you're unsure about a star's placement, mark it lightly or use a different symbol. If it doesn't lead to any contradictions, it might be a valid placement.
Look for Forced Moves. Sometimes, the configuration of a region or the placement of stars nearby will force a star into a specific cell. Look out for these as they can give quick progress.
Want to try your hand at Star Battle? We sometimes include this puzzle in our free Puzzle Weekly magazine – you should totally sign up for that if you haven’t already, as it puts 28 brand new puzzles in your inbox every week.
You can also find four levels of the puzzle in our Jumbo Adult Puzzle Book – which happens to include more than 500 puzzles of 20 different varieties.