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Subject: Solitaire abstract games rss

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Alex Bokser
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Hello all,

Do solitaire abstract games exist?

Are they similar to multiplayer abstract games in that one could (potentially) spend a lifetime mastering the game? Can this be done without (ever more skillful) opponents?

What are your favorite solo abstracts?

Thanks in advance,
Alex
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Christian K
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Peg Solitaire is probably a 1 player abstract.

Maybe also mastermind (the other player just serves as a referee you could say).

Rubix cube probably also qualifies. Here people do spend a lot of time and effort mastering it.

Also this https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/15_puzzle
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Cody Kunka
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What's the difference between a single-player abstract and a puzzle?

Rush Hour is one of my favorites. I like trying to solve without moving any pieces for added difficulty.

https://www.thinkfun.com/products/rush-hour/
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Christian K
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Yes basically anything from thinkfun.
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Alex Bokser
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Thanks, Christian and Cody!
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Florian Kalenda
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I enjoy Azul solo. As a bonus, I can also play it with family and friends
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Christian K
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Rubix cube is probably the closest to a "lifestyle" game like chess or go.
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Stephen Tavener
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Muemmelmann wrote:
Rubix cube is probably the closest to a "lifestyle" game like chess or go.

Would Japanese logic puzzles count? Slitherlink FTW!
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Thomas Koschmieder
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You might want to look through the PnP solitaire contest winners. Orchard is a favorite.
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Daniel Piovezan
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mrraow wrote:
Muemmelmann wrote:
Rubix cube is probably the closest to a "lifestyle" game like chess or go.

Would Japanese logic puzzles count? Slitherlink FTW!

It's probably my favorite from Jason Statham Simon Tatham's Puzzle Collection (though they call it Loopy there).
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Michael Amundsen
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Nothing I know of comes closer than the Rubix cube. But Morpion Solitaire could be considered a solitaire abstract.
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christian freeling
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michamund wrote:
Nothing I know of comes closer than the Rubix cube. But Morpion Solitaire could be considered a solitaire abstract.

You may want to check out the China Labyrinth too, because it extremely versatile (and so are its square counterparts).
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Laura Creighton
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My grandfather owned Tangrams Competitive Party Game. I don't think that particular copy was ever used as a party game, my grandfather not being a party sort of person. He and I just used to solve them for fun, and never mind the scoring.

I am not sure that this counts as a game, a puzzle, or whether it is just an activity, but I remember it as being tremendous fun as a child.
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Alex Bokser
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Thank you for the suggestions, everyone!
This is really helpful.
 
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Russ Williams
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mrraow wrote:
Would Japanese logic puzzles count?

That's a connection I sometimes think about (Japanese puzzles being like abstract games -- I've seen them described as solitaire games, and I've seen them described as a contest between the solver and the creator.)

For me, Nonograms are my Japanese puzzle of choice.
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TPoG
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bxrrr wrote:
Hello all,

Do solitaire abstract games exist?

Are they similar to multiplayer abstract games in that one could (potentially) spend a lifetime mastering the game? Can this be done without (ever more skillful) opponents?

What are your favorite solo abstracts?

Thanks in advance,
Alex

Volcano can be played solo.

For a lifetime abstract solo entertainment I would prefer to solve Go problems. A number of books and apps are available with Life and Dead problems.
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TPoG
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Muemmelmann wrote:
Maybe also mastermind (the other player just serves as a referee you could say).


I know a guy (retired university professor) who were into Mastermind big style when he was younger. I did not get it as I considered the game limited once you got the hang of it. He then explained he first made a double Mastermind such that both players were both coders and guessers at the same time - in reality playing two games at the same time. I thought this was neat. However, his master stroke were a software solution: The real game of Mastermind is to find the prefect (adaptive) decoding streategy given the coders (also adaptive) coding strategy. Thus, he programmed a shell where the two players relatively simple could enter a more or less complex coding strategy and decoding strategy - the two strategies without direct (at code level) access to each other but able to adapt based upon outcomes of played games. Once the strategies were entered the program run a high number of games (in the thousands) and the winning strategy determined (that is: the efficiency of the strategies measured as average number of rows of guesses to a solution). Thus, the game were reduced to a Monte Carlo analysis of strategies and the boring mechanical aspect eliminated.
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David Bush
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Ricochet Robots

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Here are some interactive Twixt puzzles

You can try to form certain outline shapes, like Tangrams, with Blokus pieces. For example make a 6x10 rectangle from one set of 12 pentominoes.

There are plenty of other rotational puzzles besides 3x3x3 Rubik.

If Tangrams count, then Soma cubes certainly do as well.
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Jeff Johnson
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Lots of abstract games have solitaire modes. Here's a list.

https://boardgamegeek.com/search/boardgame?sort=bggrating&ad...

And here's a slightly different list.

https://boardgamegeek.com/search/boardgame?sort=bggrating&ad...
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Russ Williams
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TheGodsMustBeCrazy wrote:
Lots of abstract games have solitaire modes. Here's a list.

https://boardgamegeek.com/search/boardgame?sort=bggrating&ad...

And here's a slightly different list.

https://boardgamegeek.com/search/boardgame?sort=bggrating&ad...

FWIW most of those include randomness or hidden info during play, and I suppose OP mean "abstract games" in the usual sense of this forum (i.e. combinatorial games of no chance and no hidden info like Chess, Go, etc), and that OP knows that there are certainly many examples of "abstract" (in the sense of themeless or pasted-on theme) solitaire games with randomness and hidden info. (E.g. we all know about the well-known card solitaire game popularized by the Windows app...)

I.e. there is an implicit question: can a solitaire game with no randomness and no hidden info still "work" as a solitaire game?

===

I think ideas like Rubik's cube and Japanese puzzles (where you view each instance of a sudoku/nonogram/slitherlink/etc puzzle as a randomized setup of sudoku/nonogram/slitherlink/etc, like a randomized Rubik's cube setup) are plausible answers. It seems like randomness must be involved somehow in a solitaire game, either during play or during setup, otherwise the "game" has no replay value once you have solved it and know how to solve it.

But there are a few other candidates which are "real boardgames". AFAIK Roads & Boats (which I've not played, only read about) is a combinatorial themed economic eurogame which includes a solitaire mode, and likewise the new FF game Futuropia (which I've also not played, only read about) is a combinatorial themed economic eurogame which includes a solitaire mode. Both depend on randomized setup, otherwise I think they would not really work very well as "solitaire games".
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Peg solitaire has no randomness.
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Alex Bokser
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russ wrote:
FWIW most of those include randomness or hidden info during play, and I suppose OP mean "abstract games" in the usual sense of this forum (i.e. combinatorial games of no chance and no hidden info like Chess, Go, etc), and that OP knows that there are certainly many examples of "abstract" (in the sense of themeless or pasted-on theme) solitaire games with randomness and hidden info. (E.g. we all know about the well-known card solitaire game popularized by the Windows app...)


Spot on, Russ.

Russ wrote:
I.e. there is an implicit question: can a solitaire game with no randomness and no hidden info still "work" as a solitaire game?


Indeed, that's the most fundamental question here.
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Russ Williams
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Muemmelmann wrote:
Peg solitaire has no randomness.

But do you feel like it's a very good game, if you can solve it via the same memorized sequence of moves every time?
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TPoG
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If Tangram Master solitaire and Rubik’s Cube are acceptable answers, then I can recommend Quintillions and Super Quintillions. Kadon Enterprises sells a beautiful combined set in a wooden box. Very enjoyable solo as the booklets included are packed with 3D puzzles as a bonus.
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Christian K
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russ wrote:
Muemmelmann wrote:
Peg solitaire has no randomness.

But do you feel like it's a very good game, if you can solve it via the same memorized sequence of moves every time?


Yes it is excellent, I recommend trying it if you have not played it already

You are of course correct that once you find a solution, it you are likely done with I still consider it very good (this is also the case for some other games I like such as Witness or Tragedy Looper).
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