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MindTrainer (15 Puzzle Revisited)
- by Cristinel Mateis, Ph.D. - 
Copyright (c) 2010



Introduction
Target Audience
Children Special
Quick Start
Tips and Tricks
Assistance

Demo

Download

Introduction

MindTrainer extends the classic 15 Puzzle - the sliding puzzle which drove the entire world crazy already in the 19th century - by adding flexibility in shaping the target configuration to be reached. You can configure:

  • the size of the puzzle matrix (i.e. the number of rows and columns),
  • a number of tiles which are fixed and cannot be moved,
  • the type of content displayed on the tiles (numbers, lowercase letters, or uppercase letters),
  • the range of the values displayed on the tiles (e.g. {11,...,26}, {C,...,R}, {a,...,i}),
  • the sequencing style.

MindTrainer runs on all generations of iPhone / iPod Touch / iPad devices.

Bobby Fischer, one of the greatest chess players of all time, demonstrated in front of the public to be able to solve the 15 Puzzle (4x4 size) in the record time of 25 seconds. With MindTrainer you can beat this record thanks to the highly reactive touch screen of your device, guaranteed! The competition is open: who will be the first to beat the record? Game Center will show it…

Please note that you can fix a number of tiles which cannot be moved. This is an important innovation with respect to the classic 15 Puzzle which renders MindTrainer even more challenging and exciting. The more tiles you fix, the more difficult it is to solve the puzzle.

If you like brain teasers and problem solving in general then you will love MindTrainer!


Target Audience

MindTrainer is suitable for all ages. It aims to improve a variety of core cognitive skills like attention, memory, speed and flexibility of thinking.


Children Special

Although configurations with low numbers of rows and columns are clearly trivial for adults, they are suitable for children to learn numbers, alphabet letters and their order.

You can set a small size (e.g. 2x2) and hence small sets of numbers (e.g. first {1,2,3,4}, then {5,6,7,8}, etc) or letters (e.g. first {A,B,C,D}, then {E,F,G,H}, etc) for progressive learning. The pronunciation option makes the numbers and letters learning even more effective for your kids. (Pronunciation of numbers and letters is currently provided only in English but other languages can be supported in future releases if demanded.)


Quick Start

Playing is simple:

  • Define your target configuration in the section "Settings" that you can reach from the main page.
  • Press "Play" on the main page and shake the device or tap any tile. The tiles are shuffled and the timer starts.
  • Move the tiles by sliding or tapping in order to restore the defined target configuration. You can move a single tile or a block of tiles at once. The moves are counted.
  • Two ranking lists - one with the five best times and one with the five best numbers of moves - are recorded, so try to play fast and avoid useless moves :-)
  • MindTrainer supports Game Center. Leaderboards and achievements have been defined for the following puzzle sizes: 4x4, 5x5, 6x6 and 7x7. If your device supports Game Center and you log in, then your scores will be also submitted to the Game Center. If you don't want to submit your scores to the Game Center, just make sure that you log out from the Game Center before starting MindTrainer.

Tips and Tricks

  • You are given 99 minutes and 59 seconds (99:59) and at most 999 moves to restore the target configuration. If one of these limits is exceeded the current game will abort.
  • If the monocolor option is off, a tile is colored green only when it is in its target position. The tile is colored yellow/orange/red if it is one/two/three or more place(s) away either horizontally, vertically or diagonally from its target position, respectively.
  • If the pronunciation option is on and you tap once a tile, the audio with the pronunciation of the content of the tile is played. The tile is not moved. In order to move the tile, provided that it is a legal move, you need to double tap the tile.
  • If the pronunciation option is off you just need to tap once a tile in order to move it, provided that it is a legal move.
  • Switch the pronunciation option off if you don't use it. This will enable you to move the tiles by tapping once and greatly improve the speed.
  • Press the help button from the bottom left corner to visualize your target configuration while you are playing. The target configuration will be showed on top of the current configuration as long as you keep the help button pressed.
  • The number of tiles which have been fixed for a configuration is showed in the detailed view of the ranking lists after the achieved number of moves separated by a "/".
  • If you don't have an Internet connection while playing and you want to submit your best scores to Game Center, you can do that when you are online again from the section "Settings" if you visualize the ranking list of the corresponding configuration and click on the symbol of the Game Center.

Assistance

If something does not work as you expect or if you have any suggestions for improvement please send a note to MindTrainer.iOS@gmail.com.


Demo

  • Demo 1 (2:18 play time) => 4x4 puzzle with 3 fixed tiles, numbers, classic ordering, pronunciation off

  • Demo 2 (2:41 play time) => 4x4 puzzle, numbers, spiral ordering, pronunciation off

  • Demo 3 (2:36 play time) => 3x3 puzzle, uppercase letters, classic ordering, pronunciation on (use case for children)

Note: If the reproduction of the screencast recording does not flow smoothly this can only be related to external causes (e.g. your internet connection, the server hosting the screencast, etc) and not to the app itself. Please replay the screencast recording if you experience problems during the first reproduction.