Sliding puzzles are composed of several tiles which lay in a defined geometric shape and which are only moved by sliding. The objective is to rearrange the tiles or to move one or several tiles to a specific position. Normally you only slide one tile at a moment. Most sliding puzzles are plain, but this is not a necessity. The geometric shape itself as well as the geometric shape and its tiles can be three-dimensional. The geometric shape of the puzzle can be for example cylindric, spheric or cubic. Left and right Almost done, Never right. Sliding Puzzles with square tilesa.) With square geometric The most famous sliding puzzle is the 15 Puzzle. The puzzle was invented by Noys Palmer Chapman in 1880.
The idea is to slide the stones to order them from 1 to 15 starting by any initial random order. In 1880 the puzzle became very popular in the USA and in many countries of the world. Puzzle poems are very rare. But there are many poems about the 15 puzzle. Here are several examples:
b.) With letters
c.) Magic SquaresThe pieces have to slide in such a way that in every row and column as well as in both main diagonals is a different colour.
d.) With some other geometric shapes
Most maze sliding puzzles have a ball and sliding tiles in a closed box. They have also two markers for the start and the end position.
e.) Combined with mazesThe goal is to maneuver the ball from the start to the end position with use of the sliding tiles. Very often, this puzzle type is also a dexterity puzzle. The ball can easily fall down from a sliding tile and you have to start from the beginning.
f.) With square geometry, but where several tiles are blocking
g.) With square geometric, but several tiles can also rotate
h.) special movements
i.) frame can also be slidedThis kind of sliding puzzle allows the frame also to be slided. The goal is to move the frame from one side of the board to the other side. In order to achieve this, pieces have to be slided appropriately. The difficulty thereby is that the movement of the pieces is constrained. This is either realised by the immobilisation of some stones or by the presence of some pins on the board so that certain pieces can only be slided to certain positions.
j.) other
k.) Ton DelsingMany of Ton Delsings puzzle designs are sliding puzzles with square tiles. Most of them look very simple to solve, but are very difficult.
l.) Serhiy Grabarchuk
m.) Hans van der Zon
n.) Vladimir Krasnoukhov
Sliding Puzzles with rectuangular tiles
Sliding Puzzles with square and rectuangular tilesa.) from various designers:
b.) Serhiy Grabarchuk
c.) Herman Witteveen
Sliding Puzzles with square, rectuangular and L-shape tilesa.) from various designers:
b.) Diniar Namdarian Sliding Chess The purpose of sliding chess is to mate the opposing king by sliding from an existing mate position. Thereby, it has to be considered that the existing pattern of the chess board is maintained.
Sliding puzzles with triangle tiles
Sliding puzzles with hexagonal tiles
Sliding puzzles with other tile shapesa.) from various designers:
Grabarchuk is apart from Minoru Abe one of the most important sliding puzzles designers.b.) Serhiy Grabarchuk He has already designed more than 120 different sliding puzzles (partly together with his children) with big differences in their functionality. Various elements such as material, frames, cubes or the board show their advantage in his sliding designs. The sliding pieces in many of his sliding puzzles differ from many other designers. Thus, he likes to use pieces which consist of two layers. His most popular sliding designs are: Slant Slide, The Super Fan Puzzle, Sliding Stones, Two Sliding Squares and The 9 Puzzle
c.) Minoru Abe
A mathematical object, which is a set of nodes and edges, is called a graph. Two nodes can be connected by an edge.
Sliding beads on a graphIf you interpret a position as a node, where a bean can lay, and the edge as a path, where a bean can move to the next position.
Soko or Warehouse puzzles
Designing Slidingpuzzles
A beautiful sliding puzzle is not only defined by its geometry, but also by its design. The design should be optically appealing and at the same time show quickly the task. Here are two examples:
There are two possibilities of inventing a new sliding puzzle: First possibility:You invent first the design and think afterwards of how the pieces could be geometrically arranged. Example:Design idea: We like to go from a black checkmate position in chess by sliding into a white checkmate position. As an 8 x 8 board is too big, I restrict myself to a 4 x 4 board. Design: Here are both chess positions: If we depicted each field with a sliding piece, then we would get an ordinary 1 -15 puzzle. Therefore for an interesting sliding game, it makes sense that some sliding pieces consist of two or three fields. Some chess figures are in one of both positions near the border or next to another figure. Therefore, there is a strong restriction which fields can be put together. We see on this example that the design has a strong influence on the geometrical position of the sliding pieces. With this approach, the sliding pieces have neither at the beginning nor at the end a beautiful symmetrical position. Second possibility:First, you think of the position of the pieces and then you look for an appropriate design. Of course it is possible to take any possible geometrical order, but who will remember its solution?
A symmetrical order at the beginning and at the end has the charm that the solution stays in the focus. The design should not only be aesthetically, but also show quickly what needs to be done. Example:We choose two L ï¿½ pieces and place them on the opposite side of a 3 x 6 field. We put 1 x 1 pieces on the additional fields, whereby we leave both central fields empty. Can the pieces above be exchanged with the pieces below? As they can be relatively quickly exchanged, we make the puzzle more difficult by substituting two 1 x 1 sliding pieces with a 1 x 2 sliding piece. The result is the following: Design: If we interpret above as heaven and below as earth, then we get the following picture: Several design tips:A puzzle design should neither look complicated nor confusing. In most cases, one or two little changes are sufficient to design the puzzle in an easier and more appealing way. Many sliding puzzles use numbers and letters. However, numbers remind very much of the school days and seem to be complicated. Especially girls are scared by such sliding puzzles. If numbers are used in a sliding puzzle, then only an ascending or a descending sort of the sliding pieces is possible. If numbers are substituted by figures, then the puzzle gets more appealing. More problem situations are also very often possible. Difficulty:In general, the more moves are necessary for the shortest solution (number of the minimal steps), the more difficult is the sliding puzzle. The number of the pieces is no indicator for the difficulty of the puzzle. In general:
Main Designers
Minoru Abe Ton Delsing Serhiy Grabarchuk Diniar Namdarian
Literature
Jantine Bloemhof Schuif puzzelsSerhiy Grabarchuk NEO SLIDING BLOCK PUZZLESSerhiy Grabarchuk NEO SLIDING BLOCK PUZZLES Part 2Serhiy Grabarchuk, Jr. UniSlidersEdward Hordern Sliding Piece PuzzlesJerry Slocum The 15 Puzzle book
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