I am a new member to this forum and want to introduce myself by sharing a puzzle that I designed. I have not yet found an exciting name for it, so for now it goes under the boring name "Tile Swap Puzzle". The puzzle itself is interesting though.
The puzzle has recently been published in the Cubism For Fun magazine of the NKC, so some of you may already be familiar with it. For those that have read the article, just a short update. The puzzle is now available at my Shapeways shop
. Furthermore, I created a Flash version of the puzzle
that enables you to try solving the puzzle without having to buy it first.
For those not yet familiar with the puzzle, here's first of all a photo:
File comment: The 3D-printed puzzle
TileSwapPuzzle.jpg [ 70.82 KiB | Viewed 550 times ]
The aim of the puzzle is to rearrange the tiles to get to from a given start position to a given end position. There are multiple challenges. Tiles can be moved by swapping pairs of them. Not all tile pairs can be swapped though. There is a simple rule that determines which tiles can be swapped. I will not give the swapping rule here, as I think discovering it is an interesting part of the puzzle. You can have a go at discovering the rule using the online Flash version of the puzzle
. The rule is described at my Shapeways shop
, so do not go there if you want to first try discovering it yourself!
The swapping rule gives each tile unique movement constraints. Some tiles are much easier to move around than others. Because of these tile-specific movement constraints, there are no general recipes for changing the position of two or more tiles. Although there are no recipes you can resort to, the puzzle can be solved by planning ahead. Mindless trial and error will not get you very far.
The puzzle itself is not as simple as you might think. For example, only two tiles need to change position in the challenge below. Somewhat surprisingly maybe, this requires 31 moves.
File comment: A deceptively difficult challenge
TileSwapPuzzle-HardSwap.png [ 52.27 KiB | Viewed 550 times ]
I am interested in hearing anyone's experiences with this puzzle. Did you try to discover the swapping rule? If so, did you manage and how long did it take you? Would you say that having to discover the rule adds to the overall puzzle experience or not? To not spoil it for anyone, I propose to not discuss the swapping rule itself in this thread. Create a new, spoiler, thread if you wish. Any other comments about the puzzle are, however, very much welcome here, including suggestions for a better name.