Sat

20

Dec

2014

Another useful Alcazar technique: Bouncing

One Way, puzzle 1 - Click to play in your browser
One Way, puzzle 1 - Click to play in your browser

Let's have a look at the first puzzle of the book One Way, in the Alcazar app (available for iOS and Android).

 

With a bit of experience in puzzle solving, you will probably start this one by filling the squares that have two walls (corners and pipes), and end up with all the black lines on the image.

 

Experts will go one step further and trace all the red lines on this image. With some practice, this step will become trivial, and you will do it automatically.


But what is it about? It's a simple technique that I call Bouncing. I'll show you how to use it in the 4x2 upper-right room of this puzzle. 

 

The basic idea of bouncing is the same as the Weak Points technique that I presented a few months ago, when Alcazar was still a paper-only puzzle. Start by completing square #1 (it's a corner), and move to square #2. Notice that there are only two possible ways to cross that square: left-up (A), or left-right (B). In conclusion, you must enter this square from the left.

 

Now you can start bouncing. Very often, when you draw a conclusion from a weak point like this, you create another weak point in a nearby square. You can bounce from square to square and draw many conclusions for the price of one.

 

In our example, let's bounce to square #3. Because of the line that we traced in square #2, it's now impossible to cross square #3 down-right: this would automatically create a 6-squares cycle. Thus, there are only 2 possible ways to cross square #3: left-down (A) and left-right (B). In conclusion: you must enter this square from the left.

 

Let's continue bouncing! There are 2 ways to cross square #4: right-down (A) or up-down (B). Conclusion: you must enter from the bottom.

 

This technique can be used in the vast majority of Alcazar puzzles. If you play often, this will be automatic for you. You will bounce from square to square without thinking about it.

 

Have fun, go ahead and try it!

 

Jérôme


Write a comment

Comments: 2
  • #1

    edderiofer (Sunday, 21 December 2014 04:41)

    Nowhere near as useful as region parity though. :P

  • #2

    Jérôme Morin-Drouin (Thursday, 01 January 2015 20:43)

    Indeed! Bouncing can be seen as an application of region parity. In steps 2, 3 and 4, I'm basically looking at an even-sized room with a single black exit. Maybe I'll revisit the exact same example and use region parity instead, for my next post.

    But bouncing is a basic technique, and region parity is an advanced one. You can solve all the puzzles in the game (except maybe The Six Rooms and The Ball Rooms) without using parity.

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