Saturday, June 25, 2005

Pyva Lights

Title: Pyva Lights
Author: Pyva Net!
License: Freeware

You have 5 minutes to kill and are really tired of freecell... what do you do? I would suggest you play a game of Pyva Lights. In this puzzle game, you start with a hexagonal grid of lights and some broken connections between neighboring lights. By clicking on a light, you rotate its half connections 60 degrees. Any light connected to the central one becomes lit. Your goal to light all the lights. Here is a typical starting position.

Your job is to figure out the correct rotation for each piece so that the lights are all connected. The solution contains no loops (a spanning tree for you mathematicians out there). This helps a great deal in deducing the required rotations. Here is the solution.

I tend to work from the outside in. But sometimes you get stuck, have to backtrack, and try something else. There is a nice pleasure derived from solving one of these puzzles. It is a good way to waste five minutes.

There are five levels of difficulty. Each has a larger starting grid size. Here are my best times for each of the levels in minutes and seconds.
Normal 0:23
Hard 1:49
Expert 1:50
XXL 22:28
Because the initial configurations are randomly generated, the actual difficulty of a game can vary a great deal. On the other hand, this means Pyva Lights has almost infinite replay value.

I have one minor complaint/suggestion. I wish there are was a way to lock pieces which you "know" are in the correct orientation. Maybe a middle click on a light would lock that piece and its edges would show up in a slightly different color to indicate this.

They also have a 3D version. In this version, the lights are arranged on the surface of a sphere. While this is an interesting idea, it does not work as well as the 2D version. The controls for spinning the sphere around to see the other side are not intuitive. The fact that you do not have edges makes getting started on a solution more difficult. But, it just is not as much fun.

Another game along the same lines as Pyva Lights is Links. This version is played on a rectangular grid. It is also fun way to kill a few minutes, but Pyva Lights is better.


At 10:36 PM, Anonymous antipod said...

The game is great, but the "Congratulations" window that shows immediately after completing is annoying, because I cannot see my success.


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