Players 1
Length 10 minutes
Equipment Required single standard piecepack
Designer James Kyle
Version 1.0.1
Version Date 2003-08-29
License public domain, dual-licensed CC0 Public Domain Dedication


Shanghai-like tile game. Example (randomized) starting board:


Reviews & Comments

One of the RecommendedGames. (./) (./) (./)

Tula is fun but the win rate is not very high with the standard game. I started playing a variant where if you have no legal tiles to take you can, for one point, move the bottom tile of your collected stack to the top and try to find a match for that tile. Obviously, a score of zero is a perfect game, but I'd rather take a few demerit points and continue than have to constantly break the game down, shuffle and re-set it up.

However, when I laid out my tiles at the Doctor's office today a 5 year old, Juju, came up to me and asked what I was doing. I explained the game to her and she started playing but instead of stacking her claimed tiles as I do she placed them next to each other like dominoes, and like dominoes she added tiles to both ends. This variation, Juju's variant, drastically increases the win rate while preserving the complexity of the game.

-- Jessica Eccles

Tula is good. It is in the style of a classical card based solitaire, but ported to the piecepack. It is very quick, so I played it about 12 times, but could not complete it, although I came very close a few times. Again it has a loose archaeological theme, as Tula is the site of a terraced pyramid, about an hours drive from here. The tableau is in the shape of a terraced pyramid. My only slight complaint is that it breaks down early on too often, but I am keen to complete it, which is the acid test of a good solitaire.

-- IainCheyne, from inconsequential ruminations

Easy to understand, short rules. Good solitaire game. Unfortunately a high percentage of games is impossible to solve. (./)


I tried this 10 times and gave up. I think that the layout is creative and the that game design is a good idea but the playability makes puts it low on my list of games I want to come back to. It seems to me that this is more in the patience category. If I have a lot of patience then eventually I will get lucky and the tiles will be in a winable order. I am open to seeing more skill in its play if someone can give me some suggestions but my games went like this (I am not counting the first one off as that is a complete freebie).

1. 11 tiles off (beginners luck)
2. No plays
3. No plays
4. No plays
5. 3 off
6. 1 off
7. 2 off
8. 1 off
9. 1 off
10. 2 off

I tried to think of ways to make it more playable such as additional swaps or having the tiles face up. But as I only got into layer 2 twice out of 10 plays I gave up. Again, I don't think the concept is poor just its playability. Even the toughest layouts of Shanghai give you more options.

--KisaGriffin, https://ludism.org/piecepack/message/1678

Session report:

I played it a dozen time, won 3 and was stimied on the first move once. This seems about right. The win percentage is about the same as Canfield and feels a little harder then FreeCell. I also tried other stacking rules:

  1. Different suit but number differs by one up or down with wrapping.
  2. Ignore suit but number must be one greater with wrapping.
  3. Different suit or same number.

All of which worked well with the following stats on a dozen tries:

  1. won twice, stimied twice
  2. won 3 times, stimied twice
  3. won 5 times, never stimied

A Great, fast and addicting solitaire game.

-- Mark A. Biggar quoted from piecepack mailing list message #597

Tula is like a traditional card solitaire ported to piecepack. I found it so and so. I played four games and completed it once. Once I got only one tile after the first free tile. I had to use the mercy swapping rule twice, and it's highly recommended unless you like to shuffle the tiles a lot. It's a nice little solitaire game that's easy to play, so I can see myself playing it again. (./)

-- Mikko Saari at Gameblog

Tula is a passable quick solitaire that is easy to play, but often impossible to win. Fortunately, it's easy to set up and play over and over again. (./) (./) -- ClarkRodeffer

Tula has got a pristine concept, a quick setup time and a visually atractive layout: it is a tempting game to play once the rules are read.

Unfortunately, every time I have tried it (several sessions of 5-10 plays) I have spent more time setting the game up than actually playing, since it often stalls after lifting up the first tile. Adding the "official" mercy rule (as stated in the Infinite Game rulebook) does not improve matters much.

If the persistent player gets past the first two or three tiles, the probability to finish the solitaire increases dramatically, as tiles become available and options fan out - which doesn't mean that the game is automatically won after three tiles, though.

This leaves us with a solitaire that follows an unusual arc (the bottleneck is right at the beginning and not towards the end). I found it frustrating, since there was too much shuffling time for each decision taken.

For this basic flaw, though, Tula's clarity allows a lot of tinkering, as can be seen in the reviews above. It might not be absorbing as a game, but as a little jumping board for amateur designers to come up with variants.

-- Antonio Recuenco Muñoz


BGG Page: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/35986

CategoryGame SolitairePuzzlesCategory RecommendedGamesCategory