Landlocked: Hither and Yon

Players 1
Length 7 minutes
Equipment Required single standard piecepack
Designer EricWitt
Version 2.0
Version Date 2003-11-21
License custom license: This game may be distributed freely without charge, as long as this header stays in place and the document has no front or back cover. The author retains full ownership rights.


Construct a path through 12 locations.

 Landlocked setup
Example (random) setup for Landlocked: Hither and Yon


Reviews & Comments

Entry in the SolitaryConfinement contest.

I gave this game a try today. I'm trying to play games that don't have any feedback or comments. What I found is that most of the times the setup is impossible to complete, with tiles that are blocked either by the inbound tiles or by outbound tiles that have a lower number. The farthest that I managed to get was to the 4th tile of the outbound suit, but the 5th was blocked behind inbound suit tiles and lower outbound suit tiles. The other games were even shorter... So as it is, I find the game frustrating, because it seems impossible to win (unless I'm missing something). Maybe a solution is to permit diagonal movement... A suggestion to speed up the set up is to choose two suits and stack them suit side up, while leaving the rest suit side down, then shuffling and laying the board. The end result is the same (a random distribution of tiles with only 2 suits face up). -- JorgeArroyo

Landlocked is a solitaire game in which the player tries to lead a pawn on a truncated 5x5 grid of tiles: starting at its gap, through the tiles of an outward suit (in ascending order), then those of an inward suit (in descending order), and back to the gap.

There are some restrictions on the way the pawn can follow: on its way outward, inward tiles are blocked from play, and on the pawn's way back inward tiles with a lower value than the next tile to step on are still blocked from play. In the rules there's unfortunately no specification about whether outward tiles already stepped on can be reached again during the outward part of the course... if this was the case, the rules could be rewritten as "it is possible to move onto the next tile in the running order or onto tiles already stepped on" and not differentiate between rules for the outward and the inward parts of the course. "Neutral" tiles can only be crossed up to four times in total during the game, and then become blocked; the way coins are used to indicate the limit for these tiles is both elegant and intuitive.

Landlocked has an attractive concept. Nevertheless, behind it looms a huge issue: more often than not, outward tiles of the grid can't be reached at all because they are blocked by inward tiles. Apart from the solution given above by Jorge, maybe it could be possible to solve stalled games by offering an amount of tile swaps during the game, or as a handicap. As it is, though, a playing session consists mostly of setting up, stalling after a handful of moves, setting up again and so on.

-- Antonio Recuenco Muñoz

CategoryGame SolitairePuzzlesCategory