A Changing Landscapes game
by RANDM Axes Games
(Ron and Marty Hale-Evans)
Version 0.3.0, 2003-03-09
Any number of players.
15 minutes and up.
Requires: One piecepack per player, an opaque bag, and a smooth, flat surface.
Easy Slider is the first game in a new piecepack genre: the ``B.Y.O.P.'', or ``Bring Your Own Piecepack'' game. It can be played solitaire, or with as many players as there are piecepacks available. It can even be played over the phone or via online chat.
Players agree on how many rounds of the game they will play. (Three is a good number for beginners.) On each round, a Caller is chosen. (Callers need not rotate.) The Caller creates a random layout of tiles and randomly designates a strict order in which the tiles must be placed. All players then try to slide the tiles on their boards one at a time into the proper positions. The player who does so the fastest over the specified number of rounds is the winner.
The main goal for setup is for the Caller to generate a randomly arranged board and help all the players set up identical versions of it. This provides all the players with identical puzzles to solve.
2 4 5 A 3 K T T T T T R T T T T T B T T T T T G T T T T T T T T T Key: K = black pawn, A = ace coin, T= tile.
This section contains alternate ways to play Easy Slider. If you have a suggestion for an Easy Slider variant, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The rules for Easy Slider, as written, make it into a fast-thinking, logical reasoning, dexterity game because of the speed aspect. During playtesting it was realized that an interesting variant is to take away the dexterity aspect and some portion of the fast-thinking aspect by preventing the various players from seeing each other's boards and then having the caller announce ``Slide!'' at equal time intervals, at which times each player must immediately slide a tile. Sliding at other times is not allowed. Thus, at the moment one player wins, all players will have made an identical number of moves. With short intervals the fast-thinking aspect is still there but the pressure isn't quite so high and there's more time for deeper planning. The character of the game changes because mistakes are more damaging but there's also more time to think before moving. It also somehow feels like there's more player interaction.
--Mike Schoessow and the Changing Landscapes playtesters
As mentioned in the rules, Easy Slider resembles the classic 15 Puzzle, often called the ``19th-Century Rubik's Cube''. In fact, the strongest influences on this game were the 15 Puzzle itself (Anonymous; popularized by Sam Loyd in the 1870s); Square Off (Alex Randolph; Parker Brothers, 1972); and Take It Easy (Peter Burley; FX Schmid, 1994), in that order.
The best way to improve at Easy Slider, besides playing it solitaire, is to practice the 15 Puzzle. Here are some links to web pages that give tips on solving the 15 Puzzle, and by extension, Easy Slider. (The first two pages should also clarify why the ``parity sponge'' row is necessary.)
During the design of this game, the designers became fond of a pocket edition of the puzzle from Binary Arts. It is made of enameled stainless steel, with a ``chunky'' solid feel, and only costs about US 10.00. (This is not a paid endorsement.)
Official piecepack site:
Latest version of this ruleset in several formats, including
HTML, PDF, and LATEX :
Thanks to the members of Seattle Cosmic Game Night for playtesting Easy Slider, especially Tim Schutz, Steve and Nat Dupree, and Mark Haggerty. Thanks also to Mike Schoessow, the judge of the Changing Landscapes contest, and the playtesters for the contest: Lisa, Reinhard, Gabi, Shay, Wei-Hwa, Arik, Barry, and Santiago, for the ``Slide!'' variant and a rule clarification.
0.3.0, 2003-03-09: First post-contest version. Changed to LATEX format. Added ``Slide!'' variant. Clarified that there should be spaces between tiles. Updated Credits. Added Other Links section.
0.2.4, 2003-01-16: Current version's text slightly revised and submitted to the Changing Landscapes piecepack game design contest.
0.2.3, 2002-10-20: Added ``Confidential'' notices; postponed FDL until release. Added History section.
0.2.2, 2002-09-11: Game more or less finalized.
Copyright 2002, 2003 by Ron and Marty Hale-Evans. Permission is
granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the
terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later
version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant
Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the
license can be found here: