If you have not played the game before, this page aims to get you started as quickly as possible. The object of the game is to work out, from the clues provided, where each tile should be positioned in its particular row and column.
You do this by using the clues to help you eliminate certain tiles from certain positions until you are left with only one possibility – the correct solution.
There are two types of clues – horizontal and vertical. Horizontal clues deal with the relationship of tiles across the playing area. Vertical clues deal with tiles on a per-column basis.
Please read the following “interface” section to become comfortable with the layout of the game area. After that you’re ready to move onto Mastering the Game.
Below is a picture of the complete game screen. The window is sizable so you can scale it to a size and shape you’re comfortable with. Please note that when you are playing the more complex levels, with more tiles, you will probably need to maximize the window so you can see the images more clearly.
You can also resize the Horizontal and Vertical clue areas – simply click on the splitter bars and drag them until the layout is to your liking.
The main tile area is split into a grid of tiles, based on the size of the puzzle you have selected. The example shown here is from the simplest puzzle size, 4 x 4. As you can see the area shows each tile several times, as part of multiple small blocks. The aim of the game is to now work out which tiles belong in each of the columns.
This grid consists of rows and columns, each containing tiles. In this diagram you can see that there are 4 rows and 4 columns:
Below is a game which is in progress. As you can see, a few tile positions are now known, and several other tiles have been removed from blocks where they do not belong:
If you are sure a tile is not present in a particular block, simply right click on it with the mouse, and it will be removed. If you decide you may have made a mistake and need to replace the tile, right click again on the empty space and it will be restored.
During the game you will often find that you have eliminated all tiles except one from a particular column. In this case the program will automatically expand the tile to show that you have solved that tile’s location.
If you make a mistake the program will not allow you to remove the tile and will briefly show you a warning message. If you have sound enabled you’ll also hear a brief noise to alert you!
Depending on your difficulty level (see “Options”) you will also have a few seconds added onto your game time as a penalty.
On the other hand, if you are sure you know that a particular tile should be present in a certain block, left click on it. The tile will zoom to fill the block space, and all other instances of that tile will be automatically removed fro the rest of the positions in the row.
Again, if you make a mistake with selecting a tile, you’ll be shown a message and hear a warning noise.
Now let’s look at how you decide which tiles should be removed or selected:
There are three types of Horizontal Clue: the “Is Between” clue, the “Is To The Left Of” clue and the “Is Not Next To” clue. These clues are described below:
This clue tells you that the tile in the middle of the clue is directly in between the other two tiles. Note that these tiles can be in different rows, but are in adjacent columns. Note also that the two outer tiles may be swapped over, so the clue shown here may mean this result:
…but may also mean this result, where as you can see the ‘2’ and the ‘frown’ are reversed but still one on each side, and right next to, the lion:
So be careful when trying to work out where those tiles may be!
The following may be deduced from this type of clue:
• The center tile cannot be on either edge of the board.
• The two outer tiles are exactly one column apart from each other.
• Both outer tiles are always next to the center tile, one on each side.
This clue tells you that the tile on the left of the clue is in a column somewhere to the left of the clue on the right – at least one column, or maybe more.
The following may therefore be deduced from this type of clue:
• These two tiles are not in the same column.
• The left tile is not in the rightmost column of the screen.
• The right tile is not in the leftmost column of the screen.
• The left tile is always at least one column to the left of the right tile.
• The right tile is always at least one column to the right of the left tile!
This clue tells you that the two tiles shown are not in adjacent columns in the grid. This clue can only be used once you have found the location of one of the two tiles.
The following may be deduced from this type of clue:
• Both of these files may be in the same column.
• If you know the location of one of the tiles, the other tile is not on the column directly to the left or to the right of it.
There is only one type of Vertical Clue: the “Is In The Same Column” clue.
This clue tells you that the two (or three) tiles shown are all in exactly the same column.
A further level of help is available to you if you are really stuck: click on the
button on the toolbar to have the program analyze one clue for you and show you a valid deduction you can make at this point :
The row and column affected by the change is also indicated so you can see what the effect of using this clue has been on the puzzle itself.
The first couple of times you play, why not use this feature as a tutorial until you get the hang of how the clues work?
Note you will be penalized for using this option, if you are playing in Timed Mode, since it is possible to use this technique to have the whole puzzle solved for you automatically, step by step! The game will add several seconds to your overall time each time you use this function. The exact number of seconds added will vary depending on the difficulty level you are playing at.