Players 1
Length 20 minutes
Equipment Requiredsingle standard piecepack
Designer Mark A. Biggar
Version 1.1
Version Date 2004-07
License GNU FDL 1.2 , dual-licensed CC BY-SA 4.0


This is a solitaire sliding block puzzle like the classic 15-puzzle. The player is required to rearrange two different sets of values simultaneously, that move in different but related ways.


Design Notes

  1. The game borrows some aspects from RonHaleEvans and Marty Hale-Evans' game EasySlider.
  2. The name comes from a comment my nephew Lewis made the first time he played: "My brain is burning!".
  3. Leaving the last row of null tiles order free, guarantees that the game is always solvable. Otherwise if the order of the null tiles was specified then only half the initial random setups would be solvable. All puzzles of this type have the property that you can only reach the even permutations of the initial setup.
  4. Adding the coins does not effect the solvability of the game, but does make it more interesting then just a 5x5 version of the classic "15" puzzle.

Reviews & Comments

This was an entry in the SolitaryConfinement contest. -- Mark A. Biggar

Comments from the contest judge Phillip Lerche

Brain Burn: A solid game that, I think, is an always solvable puzzle as long as you are careful (at least, I solved it in the 5+ times I played it). I have no other specific comments, although on the whole I did tend to prefer playing the games that were not puzzles.

Yes, it's always solvable. But it's still a nice solitaire diversion that's different enough from other solitaire games to merit repeated play. (./) (./) -- ClarkRodeffer

I carried the rules to Brain Burn around in the rules binder of my emergency game kit for a couple of months before I got to play it. I am co-designer of EasySlider, from which Brain Burn admittedly borrows some mechanics, and it looked as though Brain Burn offered significant improvements, so I was eager to try it.

Brain Burn consists of two layers: a tile puzzle like EasySlider, and a coin puzzle that consists of getting the coins to the right tiles. Initially, I tried solving the puzzles of the tiles and coins simultaneously. If you play the game this way, it is indeed a bewildering brain burner, but I soon realized I could solve the coin puzzle first while ignoring the tile layer. The coin puzzle is a lot easier than the tile puzzle, because each coin can go to one of four different tiles, while the tile puzzle requires that each tile go to a unique location (except the nulls).

After you've solved the coin puzzle, which doesn't take long, Brain Burn reduces to a solitaire game of EasySlider.

Conclusion: The movable coins, this game's special feature, don't add much to Brain Burn, especially considering the extra setup time.



BGG Page:

CategoryGame SolitairePuzzlesCategory SpaceConfigurationPatternCategory MechanicSlidingTilesCategory MechanicConstructPatternCategory