21 Feb 2005 Ohayou   » (Apprentice)

Today's addictive game encounter (pointed out by Jesse Ruderman): Net by Pāvils Jurjāns. It's one of these really good basic, well designed mind games where you have a complete overview of the board, and set it straight in as few turns (and, I presume, as little time) as possible, to the set of logic rules dictated by the game. I'm not yet sure if it's as addictive as Minesweeper which, despite suffering from the misfeature of occasionally forcing the element of chance on your completion of a stage, through similarly basic rules, comes out a great time sink. Or, as might be argued, that may well be what makes Minesweeper so compelling to some.

Either way, I started out trying to find the rules, to soon be puzzled finding my optimal solutions were a few turns more than the reported minimum required amount of turns. As it turns out, the turn count was not how many times a tile had been rotated 90 degrees, but how many turns a tile had been rotated any angle you well please. (Okay, so let's not make necessary partial rotations until we know for sure just which rotation is the correct configuration of every tile.) Results crept down to suggested figures. Until I suddenly found myself having completed a minimum 44 turn stage in 43 turns. (Yay! :-) Wish I'd had a screenshot of it before I started, too, but I suppose I'll bug report it, either way. Not that it matters much to game play, but the author might want to know (assuming he isn't already aware of the issue).

Maybe this bug actually adds to the game more than had it not been there in the first place; it's very rewarding to not only complete a game, but to actually beat it. I'll feel much better leaving the game in a mental state of victory over leaving it after a lengthy session of having just played it successfully, beating my time scores for as many times as that remains interesting. In a free game, this might be a feature indeed, whereas it would probably be an economic set-back in a pay per play time arcade or internet game.

(Seems it can be off by more than one turn, too; I just completed a nine by nine board in 55 turns of 58. :-)

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