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Puzzle Codename: Nibbler

Username: Tcarr
Additional contact info: on Midnight as Lordkalvan, otherwhen@frontiernet.net
Project forum thread: Nibbler forum thread
Gcpp big logo.png A game gardens puzzle is available for this proposal.
Play it and help as a tester!

Quick start how to play: Select a fruit, then click a location. Placing a cracker gives a hint. Incorrect placements leave permanent holes. Finish a row or column for bonus points.


Game concept

Arrange items on a 6x6 grid to fit the clues, with a goal of completing a full row or column for a bonus. There will be exactly two of each of three items in each row and each column. You are given incomplete information, and the solution changes due to various triggers. This is similar to Parfait and Feasting, already on GameGardens.


Primary objective is to harvest filled rows and columns. Increasing points for each correct consecutive placement, bonus points for each row or column filled.


How to Play Basics

Click a fruit at the bottom, so that the green box is around that fruit. Click a location on the grid to try to place the fruit there. Use the clues above and to the left to determine placements. If you want a hint, click a cracker and then place it on a location on the grid.

Consecutive correct placements and completing a row or column score points. Gems are wild cards and double the score for a row or column.

Click a clue to translate it into Pirate English.

Right clicking on a tile will allow you to make notes about that location. The left third of the tile is for the leftmost fruit at the bottom, the right third of the tile is for the rightmost, and the center is for the middle fruit. Right clicking will cycle through a red nary indicator (not this fruit), the initial of the fruit (I'm pretty sure this is the fruit that goes here, but I'm not placing it yet), and blank (this fruit might go here).

In cooperative play, when another player completes a row or column, the matching row or column will be marked on your board until your next move. If your next move completes a row or column, both players will score cooperation points. The more closely the two completions match, the bigger the bonus.

GamePlay Details

(needs updating to cooperative version) When the game starts, the grid is empty. Pictorial clues are given, one for each row, one for each column. The vast majority of the time, these clues do *not* form a full solution to the puzzle. At the start of the game there are (difficulty specific number of) crackers (hint tokens) on the board. Using the clues, hints, and guessing, place one item at a time on the board. If it is a correct placement, you score. In cooperative mode, when another player fills a row or column, that area is highlighted on your own board. If your next placement fills a row or column, both players score a cooperation bonus based on how closely the two fills match.

There are three triggers that cause the board solution to reset. When this happens, any correctly placed items on the board stay on the board (in correct places for the new solution) but will likely move to new positions. Any booch tiles remain in the same position. The clues are changed to fit the new solution. The consecutive correct placement counter is zeroed.

Triggers for board reset: 1. Making an incorrect placement. One cracker is lost, a permanent hole is made in the board in that location, and the board is reset.

2. Finishing a row or column. Bonus is scored, one cracker is lost, the tiles in the finished row/column are removed from the board, the board is reset.

3. Total of (difficulty specific number) of correct placements made to the board, including hints. No bonus scored, one cracker is lost, no tiles removed, the board is reset.

Using a cracker (hint token) places an item on the board for you in the position where you place the cracker, without scoring any points but without resetting the board. The consecutive placement counter is reset to zero.

Each time you finish a row/column, there is a chance that one of the items on the board will be replaced by a gem. Gems act as wild cards in finishing rows/columns, and multiply the bonus points for finishing by 2.



A crew lands on an uninhabited island. They scatter, looking for forageables, and make piles when they find them. Everybody knows how heavy those crates of fruit can get, so they meet back at the ship to plan how to get the stuff back. There's a cart that one person can use to move up to 6 cratefuls at a time, alone, but the dern thing just won't steer when it has anything in it. He can push the cart straight across the island to the beach on the other side, picking up forageables as he goes, and then make a pile on the beach. When everybody is finished, the ship will circle the island and pick up all the piles on the beach. If two or more pirates also found items in the same straight line, they can both push the cart and manage even more loot, by working together.


Several players decide to play Nibbler. In the lobby, they set the difficulty at 2, and number of rounds to 4. Rylla (Renowned) and Lordkalvan (Legendary) are very good at Nibbler, but Delmkorval is still Able.

Delmkorval says "But I'm lousy at this... I'll hurt your scores if I play with you!"

Rylla replies "No you won't. We will help you. Just wait for our advice."

Each player gets a different set of clues, for a board that has a different solution and probably different fruits as well. They study their boards, making notes of where they can determine fruits but not placing any just yet.

Rylla tells Delmkorval to study the hints for his board, but not to put any fruits on yet or use any hints yet. "You can click the hint to get a Pirate translation of it, and click it again to get English."

After studying her own board, Rylla says "If I use one hint, I can fill row B. I can fill two spots in column 3 without using hints."

Lordkalvan looks at his board, and sees that he can fill row F, and three spots in column 3. He asks Rylla which spots in column 3 she can cover. Rylla can fill B3 and A3, Lordkalvan F3, A3, and D3. Since they are playing for 4 rounds, they want to conserve their hints.

Rylla and Lordkalvan agree that Rylla should fill row B, the two spots in column 3, and as many other positions as she can deduce without hints. Lordkalvan will fill row F, D3, and as many other positions as he can deduce without hints, leaving A3 to last (only if he has a move left on the board). As Rylla and Lordkalvan place fruits, + signs appear on the other boards indicating that a team member has a fruit there.

After filling the row, Rylla places a cart on row B, and Lordkalvan does the same for row F. On all three boards, green check marks appear on all the positions for the two rows that have carts on them.

Now they ask Delmkorval if he has deduced anything. DK grumpily replies "Nay." They as if he has a mirror clue. "Aye, one mirror on column 2." Wonderful! Rylla tells DK to use two hints, on locations A2 and B2, and explains what a mirror clue means, so that DK can finish filling that column correctly and put a cart on it.

"Do you have any crackers left, DK?" Yes, he has 2 left. Rylla asks DK to please use a cracker on C3 and E3. This uses up all of DK's crackers, but now between the three of them there are plus signs on all of column 3. Now all three players put a cart on column 3. When the third one places the cart, the column gets green check marks.

After one last check, they agree that it is time to end the round. Rylla clicks the lock icon to lock her board. After Lordkalvan locks his board, Delmkorval's locks automatically, and the scores are calculated.

Each player gets a "full cart" for the row or column he/she filled on his own board. The team as a whole covered four: Rylla's row B, Lordkalvan's row F, Delmkorval's column 2, and the shared column 3. This gives the team a Bingo. The team points are divvied between the three players.

All the fruits in the rows and columns marked with carts are cleared, new puzzles are generated, and the boards unlocked. Rylla and Delmkorval each notice a gem on their boards. Gems are wild cards, and worth an extra 10 points each when part of a full row or column.

Rylla growls. "If I use one hint, I'll have column 6, but I don't see anything for row D or column 3, to help with the gem." Lordkalvan replies "Don't worry, I can cover row D if I use one hint. DK, where is your gem? And do you have any mirrors this time?"

DK: "No mirrors. The gem is in A2."

They decide that DK should just save his gem and his hints this round. Rylla and Lordkalvan each get a "full cart", and the team gets a double, with row D's score doubled. Rylla and Lordkalvan divvy the team points; DK doesn't get team points because he didn't place any carts.

For round 3, Lordkalvan gets a gem, and DK's gem is still there. DK still doesn't have any mirror clues, and he's still stumped by the other clues. Since it is round 3, and DK has already used 4 hints, he only has 2 hints left for the rest of the game. All the boards are really rough this round. The players decide to just pass on this round. Lordkalvan and Rylla place a few fruits but no carts, then lock their boards.

Round 4 is the last one. DK has a gem on his board. Lordkalvan has a gem and two fruits from round 3. Rylla has no gem, and 3 fruits from round 3. Now they go for broke. It's the last round, so they might as well use all their hints. They manage to cover two columns and a row, with DK's gem being on both the row and one of the columns, so the team gets a Triple (with gem bonuses), and they divvy the points.


Placement score: *No* points for correct placement of fruits.

Full cart! (Filling one row/col) 10 points. Double! (Two row/col on same board) 25 points. Triple! (Three row/col on same board) 40 points. Bingo! (Four) 55 points. Vegas! (Five) 70 points. each additional: extra 15 points.

Each gem in a fill is worth 10 extra points.

Players who fill a row/col completely on their own board get points as explained above. After these individual points are credited, the team as a whole is credited with the number of full carts from all the boards (but if two players each cover row B, then only one credit for the team for row B is allowed). In addition to the row/col fill points, teams can score piggyback points.

Piggyback points: 1 point for each fruit in a row or column over and above the six needed to fill the row or column. These are only "team" points, not individual points.

At this point, the number of fruits used in fills by each team member is noted, and the total team points is then divvied in proportion to the number of fruits used.

There is no direct penalty for a booch, but the booched tile can never be used in a row or column fill, and no cart can be placed on that row or column. Other players can use that row or column, but the player with the booch can't place a cart there to help fill a team row/col.


Each puzzle is generated randomly. Some are a lot easier than others. Gems are generated at random places on the board, randomly. See difficulty scaling.

End criteria

Each round ends when a majority of the active players' boards are locked. The number of rounds is set in the lobby.

Difficulty scaling

"Chance of gem" refers to the probability that a gem will appear at a random location on the next board reset. This probability is per row/column filled, so if you fill both a row and column at once, it is doubled.

(needs editing to new #hints, #actions) Level 1: Chance of gem 0%, booch only hurts the booch location. 10 hints, 10 actions before board is locked.

Level 2: Chance of gem 10%, booch removes one existing tile from the board, if there are any. 9 hints, 9 actions before board is locked.

Level 3: Chance of gem 20%, booch clears any non-booch tiles from the board. 8 hints, 8 actions before board is locked.

Level 4: Chance of gem 30%, booch clears any non-booch tiles from the board. 7 hints, 7 actions before board is locked.

Crafting type

any, but currently optimized for foraging. Can be customized to any craft by change of graphics and the text translation of the clues. Tailoring might be a good choice.

Known problems


Similar to Parfait and Feasting. Is not machine solvable because the clues do not usually give perfect information, and the solution changes many times during the game.

Extra controls: Middle-click or Alt+click will place the currently selected fruit into the location clicked. Right-click or Ctrl+click cycles the initials. If time permits, keyboard controls could be added as well, using arrows to move around the grid and typing 1, 2, 3, or H to place a fruit or cracker.

Right click a clue to hide it; right click the empty clue position and it reappears.


GCPP-Nibbler-tiles-48.PNG GCPP-Nibbler-initials.PNG GCPP-Nibbler-cart.PNG GCPP-Nibbler-quickstart.PNG

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