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Brains: Japanese Garden

Brains: Japanischer Garten (Japanese Garden) is a single-player game brain-teaser, if we’re being honest, from Reiner Knizia. With Knizia’s name on it, it’d be easy to assume that it’s actually some sort of solo game, but really it’s a simple set of puzzles based on this theme of a Japanese garden. If anything, it reminds me of those ThinkFun puzzles with the chunky plastic pieces, except this uses seven cardboard tiles and a stack of paper containing the puzzles.

Game-in-a-post: Dim Corridor

I’ve been playing with some ideas lately for positionally-based toggle puzzles, similar in concept to the classic ‘Lights Out’ game, though I’ve primarily been thinking about one-dimensional puzzles. My first attempt was far too simplistic and easily beaten, though I have carried some of the ideas along into this little puzzler, which I call the ‘Dim Corridor’. This is a work in progress, but as of this version, the rules are as follows:

• Spaces have three states: lit (), dim (), and unlit ().
• Your goal is to make every space unlit.
• Clicking a space affects both it and its two nearest neighbors: ordinarily this means one space to the left and the right, but either edge affects two spaces toward the inside instead.
• If the clicked space is lit or unlit, it simply toggles to the other
• If the clicked space is dim, it takes on the state of lit or unlit only if exactly one of those two states is represented by the two neighbors. Two dims or one lit and one unlit will keep the clicked space dim.
• If a neighbor space is lit or unlit, it becomes dim.
• If a neighbor space is dim, it becomes whatever the clicked space is. Note that the clicked space is decided first – if it changes, the new state is what the neighbor becomes.