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Chapter 7: Twiddle

Twiddle is a tile-rearrangement puzzle, visually similar to Sixteen (see chapter 6): you are given a grid of square tiles, each containing a number, and your aim is to arrange the numbers into ascending order.

In basic Twiddle, your move is to rotate a square group of four tiles about their common centre. (Orientation is not significant in the basic puzzle, although you can select it.) On more advanced settings, you can rotate a larger square group of tiles.

I first saw this type of puzzle in the GameCube game ‘Metroid Prime 2’. In the Main Gyro Chamber in that game, there is a puzzle you solve to unlock a door, which is a special case of Twiddle. I developed this game as a generalisation of that puzzle.

7.1 Twiddle controls

To play Twiddle, click the mouse in the centre of the square group you wish to rotate. In the basic mode, you rotate a 2×2 square, which means you have to click at a corner point where four tiles meet.

In more advanced modes you might be rotating 3×3 or even more at a time; if the size of the square is odd then you simply click in the centre tile of the square you want to rotate.

Clicking with the left mouse button rotates the group anticlockwise. Clicking with the right button rotates it clockwise.

You can also move an outline square around the grid with the cursor keys; the square is the size above (2×2 by default, or larger). Pressing the return key or space bar will rotate the current square anticlockwise or clockwise respectively.

(All the actions described in section 2.1 are also available.)

7.2 Twiddle parameters

Twiddle provides several configuration options via the ‘Custom’ option on the ‘Type’ menu:

[Simon Tatham's Portable Puzzle Collection, version 20240330.fd304c5]