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Wriggle collection

This page introduces all the clickmazes puzzles that feature the 'wriggle' rule. The wriggle rule is related to the restricted sliding-block rule (where all blocks are one-unit width and can only slide in the direction defined by their longest edge). Perhaps the best known version of this is the very successful Rush Hour range of puzzles invented by renowned Japanese puzzle inventor Nob Yoshigahara and published by ThinkFun. Read more below.

Original wriggle: This puzzle is a real can of worms. Can you detangle them?

Colour-wriggle mazes: Juggle the colours while you wriggle.

TJ-wriggle: The now definitive wriggle variant. Co-developed with Tom Jolly.

Extreme TJ-wriggle: Maximising complexity in the smallest possible space.

Observations on wriggle puzzles

The wriggle-rule relaxes the classic Rush-Hour rule just a little, by allowing the blocks to bend (and thus wriggle). You still cannot drag an object side-ways, only backwards or forwards, from one end or the other. It turns out this modest modification to the rule has a big impact on the puzzle behaviour. Most notably very long wriggles are possible and many more states are reachable, which in turn means even more complexity and variety can be packed into a small area.

For almost 10 years there was no methodical search of the wriggle-rule puzzle space so exactly was was achievable on the smaller grid (such as 5x5) was an unknown. During 2010 Bob Henderson (USA) decided it was time to find out and discovered that there was a huge wealth of untapped complexity, even on the 4x4 grid. These puzzles truly reset the bar for puzzle complexity on a small grid. Explore Bob's amazing results on the Extreme TJ-wriggle page.

© Andrea Gilbert - 1998-2020