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Puzzle Codename: Knightfish

Username: Aenor
Additional contact info: Skovran (Cobalt) - Programmer
Project forum thread: forum thread
Gcpp big logo.png A game gardens puzzle is available for this proposal.
Play it and help as a tester!

Game concept

The concept is a craftsman hammering a hot piece of iron as it cools.

It is based upon logic mazes, one of my favorite types of puzzles. They’re a ton of fun and are unlike any existing puzzle in the game. A bunch of different kinds of logic mazes can be found at the appropriately named http://www.logicmazes.com but don’t click that link unless you have a few hours to kill, because you will get addicted. My idea also owes a debt of gratitude to chess and to Q-Bert, one of the great puzzle-inspired video games of all time.



Move from square to square, “hammering” each one as you visit. The rules for how you move depend upon which symbol is on the square you just hammered. Once a square has been hammered three times it is finished and cannot be hammered any more. Get as many squares as possible to this state before you find yourself on a square from which there are no possible moves.


The puzzle board is a 6x6 grid. Each square contains either a number or a rook, bishop or knight. In addition, each square has a color state, beginning with light red. After a square is hammered, it turns dark red, then black, then finally to the finished state of a nice gleaming silver. The object of the puzzle is to get as many of the squares to that state as possible.

To begin, the player chooses the first square to hammer. It cycles from light red to dark red. Also, I think it would be cool to have an animation and/or a sound accompanying each hammer strike, but it could get annoying so there should be an option to turn it off. From there, the player has a limited number of squares he can go to next, based on which symbol or number is on the square that was just hammered.

1 – The next square must be one square away, horizontally, vertically or diagonally.

2 – The next square must be two squares away.

3 – The next square must be three squares away.

Knight – The next square must be a knight’s move away.

Bishop – The next square must be at the end of a diagonal line.

Rook – The next square must be at the end of a horizontal or vertical line.

At higher difficulty settings, 4 and 5 are added to the mix, as well as a Queen, which just as in chess can move as a rook or a bishop.

Regarding the rook and bishop, the line must continue in the same direction until you reach the edge, unlike a real bishop or rook’s movement which can stop after any number of squares. Without this restriction, these pieces become too easy to use.

After you leave a square, the symbol upon it changes to a new randomly selected one. However, after you have visited the same square 3 times, it is finished and no symbol appears on it. That square is “done”. The puzzle ends when a player is left with no possible moves from his current square.


Each piece hammered is worth a small number of points, depending upon the piece. 5's are worth more than 1's, for example. When each square has been hammered at least once, there is a bonus awarded, and then when each square has been hammered at least twice, a larger bonus. If all squares are hammered three times, an insanely large bonus is awarded.

There are three kinds of combos you can use to increase the value of an individual strike. Chains, Sets, and Runs.

A Chain means the same symbol is struck on consecutive moves. The longer the chain, the higher the multiplier.

A Set means that three or more different types of the same "class" of symbol (meaning either numbers or chess pieces) are stuck in consecurive order. This is a relatively small bonus. Chess Sets are worth more than Number Sets.

A Run means three or more consecutive numbers in either ascending or descending order. The longer the run, the greater increase to each piece's value.

The Run and Set bonuses only apply to the third, fourth, or fifth symbols in the combo, however, they can overlap. If two or more possible combo bonuses overlap, the higher one is applied.

Given combos of the same length, Runs are worth the most, followed by Chess Sets, then Chains, then Number Sets.

In addition, on the Hard difficulty setting only, in addition to the bonus points for striking all squares at least once, and then at least twice, a "Wild Card" symbol will appear. It's not worth a lot of points, but you can move to any other square on the board, and it will not reset any combos in progress.


The puzzle is not solvable, since the new symbol that appears after each hammer strike is randomly selected.

End criteria

The puzzle ends when no moves are possible from the just hammered square.

Difficulty scaling

As a player’s ranking goes, up, a 4 and a 5 are added to the tile set, but obviously logic must be put in to prevent 4’s from showing up in the center 4 squares and to keep 5’s only along the border. This makes things more difficult, but the 4 and 5 potentially make your combos a lot more valuable.

Also, on the hard difficulty setting, in addition to the bonuses for hammering each square at least once and then twice, the most recently hammered square becomes a Wild Card, from which you can go to any other square on the board.

Crafting type

Ironworking, could also be used for tailoring or weaving.

Known problems

Introducing this puzzle to the game may increase players' expectations that the actual game of chess is going to be / should be implemented as a carousing game.


I think that a limit of five to ten seconds per move ought to be sufficient, to keep it as relaxing as the other crafting puzzles. This can be refined during play-testing should my proposal be deemed worthy of getting that far. If a move is not selected, as with Treasure Drop, a square is randomly selected from the presently available choices.

With regard to Nemo’s risk/rewards issue, the presence of combos nicely achieves this. If you play to make lots of combos, you can very quickly find yourself with very few options and a lot hammering still to do. If you don’t play for combos very much, you can pretty easily get almost every square to the final state, but you’ll probably not get excellents and incredibles that way.