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Puzzle survey

96% of Britons are puzzlers, according to Nintendo, who handily publish Professor Layton games.

96% of adults in Britain regularly play puzzles of some kind from crosswords and Sudoku in their newspaper to electronic puzzles on handheld devices, according to new research.   

More people are puzzling now because of a wider choice of games, more space devoted to puzzles in the media and the ability now to puzzle electronically.  

That is the headline finding of a piece of research commissioned by Nintendo to mark the UK launch of the latest game in the Professor Layton series which has ready sold more than 1.5 million copies in the UK alone. Professor Layton and the Lost Future launches today and includes over 165 new riddles, brain teasers and logic puzzles to engage and delight  puzzle lovers of all ages. The research also identified six different types of puzzler:

The Challenger Puzzler treats every puzzle as an intellectual exercise and does puzzles to test themselves and stay ‘mentally sharp’. 

The Intuitive Puzzler can be headstrong and rush into decisions but will always instinctively go for the answer that “feels right”.

The Social Puzzler is in it largely for fun and loves to share the experience and ask friends or family for clues or assistance and to share in the experience of solving a tricky puzzle. 

The Secret Puzzler sees it as a guilty pleasure and uses “me time” to do the puzzler on their own, not asking for help or telling anyone they have solved it.

The Compulsive Puzzle r cannot put a puzzle down until they’ve cracked it. They’ve started so they must finish, often oblivious to the world around them.

The Dipping Puzzler is quite happy to dip in and out as the mood takes them, often making a puzzle last all day, or even revisiting a puzzle days later.   

A nationwide study of people between the age of 18 and 80 found the most common type of puzzler in the UK is the Challenger, making up 41% of the puzzling population. Compulsive Puzzlers, the smallest group, are just 7% of the UK population. 

Men are twice as likely to be Social Puzzlers while women are twice as likely to be Secret Puzzlers, confounding gender stereotypes of chatty ladies and unsociable gents.

James Honeywell from Nintendo UK said: “Britain is clearly a nation of puzzlers. The Professor Layton series of puzzle games perform better here in the UK than any other territory because Brits clearly love to test themselves with logic games, riddles, word play and number games. We’re seeing serious demand for games such as the Professor Layton titles because people realise it’s now possible to get their daily dose of puzzling on one device and it’s amazing how that demand spans all ages.”

The vast majority of Compulsive puzzlers, who won’t put a puzzle down until they have cracked it, are women (81%) while the highest proportion of dippers were those over the age of 65, perhaps with the time to spin out the puzzle all day and without the deadline of a daily commute.

The majority of Challenger Puzzlers describe their reason for puzzling as staying mentally sharp rather than just for fun. Secret Puzzlers are the most likely to do it just for fun, with 73% giving this as their main reason for puzzling. 

Respondents under the age of 24 were far more likely (68%) to say they puzzle for fun, but this reduced to just 36% of the over 65s, of whom 64% say they do it to remain mentally sharp.

Married respondents are more likely to be Dippers in response to the greater demands on their leisure time. 

Social Puzzlers tend to be younger, with our puzzling sociability peaking between the age of 25 and 29 when many people are at their most sociable in real life too and may be keen to show off their intelligence as well as bond relationships over a puzzle.

Puzzlers in London and the South East are most likely to be Secretive.


For further information, photography, footage, or to request interviews, please contact:

Nintendo Press Office Team at Bell Pottinger

T: 0207 861 2868


About Nintendo:

The worldwide pioneer in the creation of interactive entertainment, Nintendo Co., Ltd., of Kyoto, Japan, manufactures and markets hardware and software for its Wii™ home console and Nintendo DS™ family of portable systems. Since 1983, when it launched the Nintendo Entertainment System™, Nintendo has sold more than 3.4 billion video games and more than 565 million hardware units globally, including the current-generation Wii, Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi™ and Nintendo DSi™ XL, as well as the Game Boy™, Game Boy Advance, Super NES™, Nintendo 64™ and Nintendo GameCube™ systems.  It has also created industry icons that have become well-known, household names such as Mario™, Donkey Kong™, Metroid™, Zelda™ and Pokémon™. A wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of Europe, based in Grossostheim, Germany, was established in 1990 and serves as headquarters for Nintendo's operations in Europe. 

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