## Monday, June 1, 2015

### More About that game Dots Tails......from 2 Loyal Blog Followers. Also, watch this PUZZLE video 3 times!

Loyal Blog Follower Shy Hong Konger wrote probably the lengthiest and best comment in the past 6 months.  It deserves its own blog entry.

Tom,

I tried out your game based on your recommendation. I found 2 solutions for Level 98 (the level you are stuck on). Here is a screenshot showing one of the solutions (the other solution is just a trivial variant):

http://postimg.org/image/m31q0qlk7/

I agree with you that the game itself is not very engaging. The puzzles seem derivative, lack cleverness, and require excessive trial and error. A reason for the derivativeness is that it is trivial to generate extremely complicated puzzles because both the values of all of the numbered tiles and the starting values of all of the chains are entirely arbitrary. Consequently, you can simply start with an arbitrary layout of numbered tiles, draw out arbitrary paths for an arbitrary number of chains, sum up the values of the numbered tiles each chain crosses, and then set the starting value for each chain to each sum. The design of this game mirrors many design properties of Sokoban. It is trivial to work "backward" to derive the initial layout of the puzzle once you have a solution in mind, but it is not trivial to work from the initial layout to discover the solution.

Andrew Juell  also chimed in via email: Thought I should let you know this appears to be a blatant clone of 'Sum Tracks' which I first saw on kongregate some months ago.

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Watch this puzzle video 3 times!  Michael Karas made it. He's a serious juggler. About 3 years ago I saw him in a juggling show with Jen Slaw, another fine juggler. The show was called Perfect Catch.

One more thing about the video: it didn't work on my ipad, but did work on my laptop.