04-Jan-2014

Tantrix

Over this past holiday season, I learned about Tantrix which is a game or puzzle involving hexagonal tiles. Tantrix can be enjoyed as a multi-player game or as a solo Tantrix puzzle. I was introduced to a Tantrix puzzle involving 10 tiles. I took a picture of the tiles along with a picture of the tile backs for reference. As the tile backs indicate, the puzzle is to form a closed loop of a given color for 3 through 10 tiles. All touching tile edges must match in color.

View larger image    View larger image

I manually solved up to 7 tiles, pretty much by trial and error without trying to formulate an algorithm or method. I decided it would be more interesting to write software to solve this Tantrix puzzle.

The software took a couple of days to write. It displays the connected hexagons with color edges shown. From there, I assembled the solution into a more meaningful display with tile graphics. The solutions are not necessarily unique - the software stops after finding the first solution.


3 tiles yellow

      

4 tiles red

      

5 tiles red

      

6 tiles blue

      

7 tiles red

      

8 tiles blue

      

9 tiles yellow

      

10 tiles blue

      

Depending on whose rules one goes by, it could be challenged that this is not a solution because of the unused cell position in the middle, but I rather like it.


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