Friday, January 21, 2022

When a game is literally a puzzle

 The first entry I tried from the 2022 In Hand Contest was a game called 3 Triangle. Because I just had to.

The consists of three double-sided triangular cards. The sides of the cards have different actions symbols that let you flip, rotate and rearrange the cards. The goal is to arrange the points in different arrangements. White triangles numbered 1-2-3, stuff like that.

I mean, seriously, how could I not try that?

This is at least the third time I’ve seen what amounts to a Rubiks cube as a card game. The other two times are Simple Card (whose rules I’m still not sure I’ve figured out) and Thin Cube. I have a feeling that there are more but those are the first ones that came to mind.

There’s a thin line between a lot of solitaire games and puzzles. But all three of these examples fall solidly into the puzzle side of the line.

I have come to this amazingly original and cunning definition of a puzzle. A game is actually a puzzle if doing the exact same thing always has the exact same result. I regularly play Take It Easy as a solitaire. And it’s constantly different. Thin Cube, on the other hand, has set solutions.

3 Triangles may not yet be finalized so it’s not ready for a proper review. And while it can be randomized beyond the six built-in puzzles, I suspect it has limited replay. But since it consists of three low-ink cards, that’s not a big deal. It has made me realize I like puzzles more when they have game elements.

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