Rolling Block Mazes
Rolling block mazes were invented by Richard Tucker in 1998. (For an excellent page on
rolling block mazes, see Robert Abbott's Logic Mazes site.)
In each maze, a block of a given dimension is placed on a grid, and then can be moved only by tipping
it over, or "rolling" it, to a new position. The rolling is repeated until you get the block to the
designated ending position. The block is not allowed to rest on any greyed out squares in the grid
at any time.
For example, the puzzle below uses a 2x1x1 block.
The block starts standing up on the square marked Start. From that position, the only legal move is
to flip it to the south so it's on its side resting on the squares marked a. (It's not legal to flip
it to the east because it would come to rest partly on the grey square.)
From a, there are two legal moves. Either roll the block to the east to rest on the squares marked
b, or flip it up on its end to the south to land on the square marked c.
In the maze above, it's possible to get the block on its end on the square marked Finish in 18 moves.
Some Computer Generated Rolling Block Puzzles
Below is a sample of rolling block puzzles generated by a Java program. To work these puzzles,
you'll need to print them out and construct a block of the given dimensions. For the small blocks
it may work to tape dice together for your block. For the larger blocks, it's easiest to construct
the block out of stiff paper or cardboard
And for something a little different:
More information on how PuzzleBeast puzzles are created.
Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
Puzzles copyright 2002 by James W. Stephens
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