# I shall call it... NAWNCO.April 11, 2011 1:39 PM   Subscribe

A logic puzzle called NAWNCO.
posted by lemuring (63 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite

Um, maybe some instructions would be good?
posted by Malor at 1:44 PM on April 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

I think the point is to work out what the rules are for yourself. Some puzzles work that way.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 1:46 PM on April 11, 2011 [2 favorites]

Okay, so I can pick a square of four thingies, which makes a new thingie on the right. I have three "lives" with which I can make new thingies. The four thingies define what the new thingie will be. If I select four thingies which make a thingie I have already made, I lose a life. If I lose all my lives, then I have to restart, but the new thingies get added to the pool from which I can make thingies. And if I manage to make eight new thingies without losing a life... I have to restart, and make new thingies.

I don't get it.
posted by mightygodking at 1:48 PM on April 11, 2011 [2 favorites]

I think I've got the rules down, but i'm still not sure what the end goal is. Get everything to the same shape?
posted by yeoz at 1:48 PM on April 11, 2011

I have figured it out, and I have winned it.

Thanks, this was neat.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:49 PM on April 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

mightygodking: the tiles you create are reused in the next iteration. since you have control over what gets created, presumably you can eventually reach an end state.
posted by yeoz at 1:49 PM on April 11, 2011

I can explain the goal, but I think figuring out the goal was maybe the best part.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:50 PM on April 11, 2011 [6 favorites]

The end is pretty anticlimactic.
posted by EarBucket at 1:50 PM on April 11, 2011

Ok, got it. That was fun, I think.
posted by yeoz at 1:55 PM on April 11, 2011

Yeah, fun puzzle. But lousy ending. No triumphant music at the end :-(
posted by Tapioca at 1:55 PM on April 11, 2011

(I don't suppose I can get a mod to delete my earlier unintentionally spoilerific comments)
posted by yeoz at 1:56 PM on April 11, 2011

It's got an annoying curve. Getting 1 step away from the goal is so much easier than getting to the goal.
posted by Grimgrin at 1:57 PM on April 11, 2011

Provided a modicum of distraction. Thanks.
posted by msbutah at 1:59 PM on April 11, 2011

That made my brain feel pretty good.
posted by penduluum at 2:01 PM on April 11, 2011

I won. Gimme another one.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 2:03 PM on April 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

I won. Gimme another one.

Try to win with a different final shape.
posted by clearly at 2:15 PM on April 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

I made up my own rules and I win every time.
posted by chillmost at 2:15 PM on April 11, 2011 [9 favorites]

I won! Woo!
posted by koeselitz at 2:16 PM on April 11, 2011

Yay I win.

This is ripe for some fun game study:
* What's the probability that the initial board (let's define 'board' as the initial field plus the unseeable area above it) is winnable?
* What's the distribution of how many turns it takes someone playing optimally?
* Can you make an unwinnable version (similar to evil Tetris), or is there always a solution in a finite number of turns?
* If the game is always winnable, what's the largest number of rounds that could be required?
posted by 0xFCAF at 2:16 PM on April 11, 2011

I won. Gimme another one.

Kettle!
posted by lemuring at 2:18 PM on April 11, 2011

oops, I linked the far more difficult Rose Garden. Don't play it unless you have a fair amount of time and patience. This is Kettle.
posted by lemuring at 2:23 PM on April 11, 2011

Winning this gave me the same flavor of satisfactions that I felt the first time I succeeded at tying my shoes solo.
posted by Virtblue at 2:25 PM on April 11, 2011

No triumphant music at the end :-(

Crank this!
posted by yeti at 2:26 PM on April 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

I still have no clue what's going on here, and this is embarrassing/frustrating. That the shapes relation's define the "threading" of the squares on the right I got, and those threads are on the right hand side once you make them. But what is "winning"? I'm not seeing a difference between choosing a pattern you've already made and choosing one that hasn't been made yet; both seem to add items to the vocabulary and then you run out of lives.
posted by hincandenza at 2:27 PM on April 11, 2011

Hincadenza: "Running out of lives" isn't the right way to think about it...
posted by SemiSophos at 2:28 PM on April 11, 2011

That was fun.

I really want to draw up the probabilities of which shapes are most likely for a given number of tiles and see if there might be a "best shape" to win with.
posted by Avelwood at 2:31 PM on April 11, 2011

"Running out of lives" isn't the right way to think about it...

9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1. Don't fuck this up.
posted by clearly at 2:32 PM on April 11, 2011

I won. Gimme another one.

Try to win as quickly as possible. My record so far is two screens.
posted by googly at 2:33 PM on April 11, 2011

Okay, SPOILER ALERT with a full explanation of the rules. Copy and paste this into notepad or whatever to read it.

When you click on a section, you make a new tile in the 'vocab' section. The new tile is defined by having lines connecting all the identical tiles in the original section, e.g. if all the tiles were distinct, it's four dots, if they were all the same, it's the boxed X. You must perform eight clicks per round (this is the vertical indicator between the board and the vocab). Once you've used all eight clicks, a new board is made using only the shapes from the vocab section in the prior round. If you finish a round and have only one shape in the vocab section, you win. Your goal here is to minimize the number of new shapes you make. Most of the time you can win in 2 to 4 rounds.
posted by 0xFCAF at 2:34 PM on April 11, 2011

Wait... so when it was redrawing the board with seemingly new tiles... I hadn't lost and was just continuing? Jesus, that's terrible UI to not say "you lose" when you've actually lost; I just figured I kept losing, when in fact I was still playing the same game.
posted by hincandenza at 2:36 PM on April 11, 2011

On my third try I successfully beat it in two rounds. Now trying to get it done in one round.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 2:36 PM on April 11, 2011

My record so far is two screens.

I did one on the first screen with the vocab being |:
posted by yeti at 2:37 PM on April 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

I really loved this game, just because of the lack of instructions - you don't have a fixed goal, you have to first understand the ruleset, and then realise that there's only one stable configuration, and then come up with a plan to reach it.

There's an algorithm that almost always lets you win in 2 turns, too.
posted by xiw at 2:38 PM on April 11, 2011

Once you figure it out, it's pretty easy to win in two turns.
posted by maryr at 2:38 PM on April 11, 2011

Jesus, that's terrible UI to not say "you lose" when you've actually lost

There's no way to lose this game. You keep playing the same game until you win it.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:39 PM on April 11, 2011 [4 favorites]

I did one on the first screen with the vocab being |:

Yeah, my two-screener used a single line/two dots vocabulary (though rotated 90 degrees counterclockwise from yours) as well. Seems like that is one of the better things to go for on the first screen.

On preview - I agree with maryr. The learning curve is steep, but once you figure it out its surprisingly easy.
posted by googly at 2:40 PM on April 11, 2011

Right- but when it kept 'resetting' the board, I was hitting the url and reloading the page to get a fresh start because I thought I'd run out of lives in the middle column.

Argh.
posted by hincandenza at 2:41 PM on April 11, 2011

The learning curve pretty much is the game here, I like that.
posted by xiw at 2:47 PM on April 11, 2011 [2 favorites]

This was awesome.
posted by 23skidoo at 2:47 PM on April 11, 2011

I would have hated this game if it hadn't clicked for me. It's a neat no-explanation puzzle and all but there's opacity and then there's opacity.
posted by cortex at 2:49 PM on April 11, 2011

What's interesting about this thread is how much we've been conditioned by past video games to think of this in terms of "lives," rather than an ongoing process.
posted by johnasdf at 3:02 PM on April 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

Jesus, that's terrible UI to not say "you lose" when you've actually lost; I just figured I kept losing, when in fact I was still playing the same game.

Well, it shows the new shapes move from the right side over to the left. That should indicate that the "new" board was influenced by what you had already done.
posted by Nedroid at 3:16 PM on April 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

I was very relieved that there was a "win" screen which confirmed that my perceived goal was the correct one.
posted by ShutterBun at 3:17 PM on April 11, 2011

That was pretty much perfectly balanced, in that I feel really good about winning it without spoilers.
posted by longtime_lurker at 3:22 PM on April 11, 2011

This was pretty much perfectly balanced, in that I don't feel too bad about winning it only with spoilers.
posted by motty at 3:36 PM on April 11, 2011

That was boring and then it was over.
posted by unSane at 3:56 PM on April 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

shakespeherian: "I have figured it out, and I have winned it."

Did Tater Lady show you how to play?
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 3:57 PM on April 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

*spoiler-ish alert for those who are still playing*

It seems to me that certain shapes should be much more difficult to finish with certain shapes versus others. I finished first with the |X| shape (all matching) but something like
: :

with none matching, would be quite challenging, given that you'd have to counter-intuitively concentrate on non-matching tiles for most of the game, only to "shoot the moon" right at the end.
posted by ShutterBun at 4:07 PM on April 11, 2011

Of course, you could play a : : on the first screen and win it in one with a little luck.
posted by cortex at 4:09 PM on April 11, 2011

Upon follow-up, it's pretty damn easy. Heh.
posted by ShutterBun at 4:12 PM on April 11, 2011

I love this kind of black box puzzle, it makes me feel like I'm doing science.

It reminds me a lot of the Myst games, in that many of the puzzles involve a mystery machine that needs some playing with to understand the workings, and then you have to use that knowledge to manoeuvre it into a certain state. Almost inevitably I go through a period of "I get what it does, but what am I supposed to do with that?" frustration, but it feels great to be able to competently control the system once the aim becomes clear. Hard to balance though, I imagine.

A game that generated random systems like that might be interesting, maybe a set of literal black boxes that change items as you drop them in, with the aim of producing a specific item on each level. Actually, I think I remember playing an educational game exactly like that as a kid, where you had to use machines to produce a potion bottle with the correct colour and amount of liquid inside.
posted by lucidium at 4:20 PM on April 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

Yeah, :: is the 2-turn algorithm I was referring to. I actually thought any other solution would be really really hard, until I discussed it with people.
posted by xiw at 4:49 PM on April 11, 2011

(turn 1: pick 8 different tiles. turn 2: it's usually easy to pick :: 8 times.)
posted by xiw at 4:51 PM on April 11, 2011

Hey, and this: Beating Off.
posted by boo_radley at 6:55 PM on April 11, 2011

OK, now I regret snooping around in here.
Lady Boy Love Collection was not what I expected. But minor moan?
posted by MrFTBN at 8:41 PM on April 11, 2011

I was able to win on the first screen by using a horizontal line on the top and two dots on the bottom. Since you know where the tiles are going to fall when you click on a section, it is fairly easy to set up those layouts on the first go-around.
posted by Zaximus at 8:51 PM on April 11, 2011

3rd try got it in one round. great game, but once you've beaten it there's not much challenge in beating it again.
posted by oog at 9:21 PM on April 11, 2011

Nice! But it wasn't 'til shakespeherian's comment ("I winned it"), that I realized there was any sort of specific "win" indication. Once I realized that there was, I got it in two screens.
posted by taz at 5:42 AM on April 12, 2011

Hooray, a legacy!
posted by shakespeherian at 7:50 AM on April 12, 2011

once i read the spoiler i won it one round.

but lack of replayability.
posted by jmackin at 8:10 AM on April 12, 2011

Do you get "The End" when you win? (spoiler: by gettting all the shapes on the left the same?)

If so, fun idea, but not tough enough and probably, yeah, a little too opaque.
posted by mrgrimm at 2:29 PM on April 12, 2011

I got it first try using :: and the intuition that it was probably a matching game and :: is the easiest one to repeat. Then I was somewhat confused as to whether I won or lost. Thank you metafilter for making me somewhat less confused, if you all agree that this is a "win" then yay we win!.
posted by darkfred at 5:47 PM on April 12, 2011

(almost idiot proof solution for two round wins):

Get 8 different shapes in your vocabulary on the first round, then do 4 dots every turn on the next round
posted by empath at 5:16 PM on April 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

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