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Lightpaths Game

Lightpaths Game


Lightpaths is a variant of the classic 70's game: Black Box. The goal of this game is to identify the location and orientation of mirrors in the cells of a square.

The game consists of 36 square cells which are organized as six rows and six columns. Each cell either have a mirror or not have a mirror. If the mirror is present, then it is placed along one of its diagonals. Bordering the 6x6 structure are 24 boundary cells from which light beams will can emerge. The structure of the game is shown in the Figure below.

Lightpaths Game
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Play Game Now (easy level, 2 to 6 mirrors)

Play Game Now (medium level, 7 to 12 mirrors)

Play Game Now (hard level, 13 to 18 mirrors)

From every boundary square a lightbeam emerges. The lightbeams are identified by letters 'A' through 'L'. The lightbeams always emerge towards the center of the square grid. The beams travel through the cell if a mirror is not present (indicated by '*'). If a mirror is present in a cell, then the lightbeam is reflected depending on the position of the mirror. Each mirror is reflective on both sides. Every lightbeam that emerges from a boundary cell will end up at another unique boundary cell. Two boundary cells that have the same letter indicate that a lightbeam emerging from one would end up in the other.

Game Play

The goal of the game is to identify the placement and position of mirrors in the 36 cells that will explain the twelve lightbeam pairings shown.

The game starts by displaying a blank set of 36 cells and a pairing of boundary cells for the twelve lightbeams. As every possible pairing of boundary cells may not have a solution, it is recommended that the pairings are generated from some random arrangement of mirrors. The user will then enter the guesses of which cells contain the mirrors and at what position, one at a time. The user will use a three-digit number to specify the different options. Let XYZ denote the three-digit number. As a convenience for the user, there are alternate command characters for Z.

    X - denotes the row number (1 through 6)
    Y - denotes the column number (1 through 6)
    Z - denotes the position of the mirror (0 - no mirror, 1 - mirror at 45 degrees, 2 - mirror at 135 degrees)
    Z - denotes the position of the mirror (* - no mirror, / - mirror at 45 degrees, \ - mirror at 135 degrees)
Example:112 or 11\ - mirror is placed in (1, 1) at 135 degrees
461 or 46/ - mirror is placed in (4, 6) at 45 degrees
230 or 23* - no mirror is placed in (2, 3). If a mirror was already present, it should be removed.

After every placement of mirror (or removal of one), the game performs a solution check process. The check process does the following:
  1. For the given placement of mirrors as given by the user, it identifies which lightbeams are matched and which are not. Matched lightbeams are displayed with upper case letters in a green background. Unmatched lightbeams are displayed with lower case letters in a red background.
  2. If all the lightbeams match, then it should declare the puzzle as being solved.
The user can give up solving the current puzzle by entering the command "QUIT". When the user enters this command, the game will display the original solution used to construct the puzzle.

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