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Another Link Dump Friday favorite, Slither Link by Luke Harrison will tickle the fancies of you logic puzzle fans out there. While Luke gets the credit for making this polished Flash version of Slitherlink, the actual puzzle was invented by the Japanese publishing company Nikoli. Nikoli is also known for popularizing Sudoku, and publishes a number of other similar logic puzzles.

Slitherlink, like most logic puzzles of its ilk, is built on a few simple rules, but can be devilishly devious.

• Rule 1: Lines are drawn on the edges of cells. In this version of the puzzle, just click the edge to draw a line. Click again to erase it.
• Rule 2: Numbers inside a cell indicate how many edges (out of four) are drawn in the final solution. If a cell contains no number, you are free to draw as many lines as you need around it (keeping in mind Rule 3), but if a cell has a zero in it, you may not draw any lines. When you have the right number of lines drawn around a certain cell, it will turn bright. Be careful, though, as the cell will turn bright even if the lines you drew were not the correct ones!
• Rule 3: All of the lines must be incorporated into a single non-intersecting loop. That means NO loose ends, NO figure eights, and NO DICE trying to use two or more closed loops to solve the puzzle.

Analysis: Luke has put together a nice flash implementation of Slitherlink, and has provided 75 puzzles for you to solve. He's even grouped the puzzles by difficulty. The interface is straightforward and professional, with lots of pleasant curves instead of harsh boxes. There's no music, but there are some minimal sound effects when you draw or erase a line, and a little melody plays once you solve the puzzle. That's a smart choice by the author—music would only serve to distract the player from the real meat of Slitherlink. The only thing I would add is a way to mark which segments should NOT be drawn. These are just as important to keep track of as what lines you should draw, if not more. Something as simple as a second click that brings up a little "x" would suffice. For now though, you'll just have to rely on your memory. Update: As Anders points out in the comments, you may place crosses to mark segments with the combination [space] + left mouse click. (Thanks, Anders!)

So if you enjoy or have ever enjoyed puzzles like Sudoku, Minesweeper, Nurikabe, Fillomino, or any others like them, give Slitherlink a try. Go on. It won't bite. I promise.

May 3, 2007 7:33 AM

You can place crosses by using space + left click

It makes solving puzzles much easier as you can start using reverse logic

May 3, 2007 7:53 AM

How do you know when you are done ?

One word of warning to those of us who have gotten used to Nikoli versions of these puzzles: many of these seem to have multiple solutions. Don't worry when you realize that some section can be solved in 2 different configurations, just smile at the gift and move on.

Frederik, you're done with a puzzle when the entire loop glows, and it shows you a large Puzzle Clear icon. You're done with the game when you do all 75 puzzles, 25 at each difficulty.

May 3, 2007 8:16 AM

This one is really great! Will be one of my favourites for the next few days for sure. Every now and then a short break from work to solve a puzzle... I like that. thanks jay

May 3, 2007 9:22 AM

This is a cool game, but I do wish it would save my progress...

(I can write down which puzzles I've solved, but it's much more rewarding to have the game remember it)

Shift+Click will add an X to show impossible lines =)

May 3, 2007 1:48 PM

great game, sudoku will gave to wait for a few days...

Yeah, I agree. It would be a lot easier if the game would save progress (and - speaking as a person who has had more than a glancing blow with flash - it wouldn't be too hard either)

Wow.

May 3, 2007 3:03 PM

On the last regular difficulty game I somehow won with two circles, All but two #1 squares were connected by one path and then I did a circle all the way around one square to touch those two that I couldn't figure out how to connect to, and it glowed and I won.

Cleared it. Wow, the hard mode was quite tricky. I love this kind of logic puzzles, I'm still looking for a decent playable version of the bridges game.

May 3, 2007 4:41 PM

You call having multiple solutions a gift? It bugs the heck out of me and makes the easy puzzles much harder. This is a game where you're supposed to use logic to find THE solution. But it becomes much less logical and more intuitive when you have to instead find A solution. This is supposed to be a logic puzzle, not an intuition puzzle.

I must be missing something, I've spent an hour on Easy #4 - did the rest of the Easy puzzles and I'm taking a break in Medium to let my brain rest, heh... but I can't figure out how to get the 3-1 combo in the corner, AND the 3 in the middle.. I always end up one number off. Pointers, please?

Definitely fun, but I don't think it's "true" Slither Link. IIRC, a Slither Link puzzle is supposed to be solvable by deduction alone (rather than trial and error or extrapolation), and a puzzle should have only one possible solution. But the level I just played definitely had (at least) two possible solutions.

Anyway. Fun.

Brilliant game

Creed: Do you mean easy No.5? That's the one I'm having trouble with as well. I've managed all the other Easy ones, but can't seem to get this one.

I agree with above posters, in that this would be wonderful if it included a save feature, so I can quit and come back to pick up where I left off. Other than that, the game in wonderful! I'll definately be playing through this during brief Pokemon breaks.

May 3, 2007 8:19 PM

Creed and LazyPint. Just to let you know that Easy #5 is possible. I was getting to the point where I figured it must have been a bug, but then I finally made a break through. Phew!

My poor attempt at reproducing it in ASCII:

_ _ _ _ _ |  _ _ _  || |2 2 2| ||2| |3|_|2|| | |2    || |  - - - |3|1     1 -

Note that one of the lines is missing (hopefully it is obvious which one) as it was too hard to include without stuffing up the spacing.

[Edit: Sorry, Charles. ASCII art just won't work in the comments here, as all but a limited set of HTML tags are stripped from the comments when posted. -Jay]

It didn't work, but it gave me enough to solve it, thank you! (and yes, it was #5)

A shame I can't save, I'm about halfway through but really don't want to leave the computer on for days until its solved, heh...

Nuts. Just When I had my hopes up. Still if it's possible I will persevere!

Thanks

wow, easily beaten yet challenging! Perfect bite-sizes for casual game.

Save: no need to, you can click directly on whichever puzzle you are up to (without completing the previous ones). Avoids the need to save state (no login etc).

Mark impossible with "X": works with click+any key - shift, space, "a", "b", start etc - all except click+alt.

I like the "completed" sound (guitar + FX?)

Hmm, my comment didn't show up for some reason, I will try it with the Typekey.

There is another version of this game, with literally thousands of these puzzles, at http://www.puzzle-loop.com/ , as well as some other puzzle games that are even more fun and that I have been seriously addicted to over the last few months:

And for Ernie:

http://www.puzzle-bridges.com/

May 4, 2007 2:40 AM

You may find my strategy helps on #5: First, I proved it was impossible to solve. Then, I found the error in my proof. The solution followed easily.

They've got over 400 of these (along with other varieties of puzzle) at this German site. They're one-solution problems, sorted by size or difficulty. The applets are nice, too. They let you undo, and sketch in possibilities in other colors. You have to remember which ones you've done yourself, though, and there are no nice sound effects.

May 4, 2007 10:02 AM

easy #5

the solution is to make the loop a spiral that starts at the bottom left 3, and winds around the puzzle

I tried to post this yesterday without typekey, but here it is again...

This is a great game, but the lack of saving and no competition is a downer...

Check this one out:

http://www.kwontomloop.com/index.php

They have a new puzzle every day, and the site keeps track of your best times, and your best weekly times. You can go into the archives to try previous puzzles, and even do puzzles posted by other users (and make them yourself!) There's also a forum where people discuss strategy and puzzle ideas.

I highly recommend it!

I love this game. I thought it had been reviewed here before...? I guess I found it somewhere else.

Creative logic puzzles like this have got to be one of my favorite genres of games.

Hi everyone, i'm glad you like my game and greatful for all the feedback.

This game and puzzles were made in a day so sorry for the multiple solutions and impossible puzzles.

I'm going to start writing a second one now with all previous issues fixed, the reason this is so shoddy is because I had to rush it for a next day coursework deadline.

Sorry to the hardcore Slither Link fans for the poor puzzles.

May 4, 2007 10:07 PM

janko.at is very good, and has a wide variety of different puzzles. But as an alternative, there's always the source:

You need to subscribe to access the vast majority of the puzzles, but there's 10 sample puzzles of each type freely available, and a fortnightly competition that tends to feature *really* difficult versions of the puzzles is also open to all. Just... don't expect to come close to the fastest times on them. The Akari puzzle (also known as Light Up) posted on the 16th March was particular wondrous. (And took me over an hour to solve)

This was terrific.

My only quibble is that all the puzzles were designed to more or less maximize the space they used. So sometimes I just guessed "well, they probably want the line to reach this corner, so it probably goes like that..." I wanted my assumptions to be frustrated at some point.

But some of the implications on how numbered squares must interact with one another were great fun to figure out! I haven't done this sort of puzzle before.

May 5, 2007 11:08 PM

Do yourself a favor and skip the easy puzzles. They are actually harder if you try to use logic.

Start with the medium level, then go to hard, leave easy for last. I spent a lot of time on easy until I realizes that the way to solve them is simply to stop thinking and start clickink.

In my opinion a bad design.

Great game. One addition I'd really like to see is the ability to "lock" certain walls when you determine that they *must* be part of the solution, and a restart button that erases everything that isn't "locked".

Yes, the "easy" puzzles can be really hard, what with all the multiple solutions'n'all. Easy #5 is by far the hardest one I encountered, and I solved all the Easy and Medium ones and the last Hard one.

All in all, a nice game, but fairly easy once you develop a system.

May 8, 2007 8:50 AM

I found if you get stuck it pays to radically rethink your strategy and try something wildly different. Most of the time it pays off.

May 9, 2007 9:35 AM

The rules say that using 2 or more closed loops doesn't work.
Actually, it does!
I've completed a few levels by using 2 loops (completed meaning the loops do the light up thing and the game progresses to the next level).
Is this a bug?

Could someone post a picture of the solution to easy #5? It's been bugging me for hours.

Usually when a request to a server times out like this does at the moment, it means the server is down but will likely be back soon (depending on how long it takes for someone to realize it's down and to get someone to fix it.)

I'd try again later.

The site I originally hosted this game on has gone down and I don't know when it will be back up, I've rehosted it on my personal website.

I'm working on the sequel which will be online around October.

Thanks, Luke! I've updated the links. =)

On the first Normal puzzle, what's wrong with this?

``` --- ----------- | 3 | | 3 1 | --- --- | | | | 3 --- --- | | | 3 0 3 | ------- --- | 2 | | | --- | 2 2 | 1 ------- ```

I hugely enjoyed this game in puzzle magazines, so Slither Link was a love at first sight.
Nice graphics, easy to play (meaning both technically and difficulty) and no bugs encountered so far.

If only I didn't have to start all over again every time I visit the page... But, hey, Luke says it's only a demo version and the real one is due around October, so let's hope it'll feature codewords for each level, or a save game or cookie or anything that prevents us from having to start from scratch every time - and then it's gonna be the perfect game. Now it's 95% perfect :)

Good work, Luke, congrats.

I've really enjoyed this game! Anxiously waiting for the updated version. It's October now(hint). Luke, thanks for hours and hours of escape from work.

Hi everyone,

Slither Link 2 has been put on hold due to a few other projects i've got going on at the moment, they will both be released near the end of the year.

I hope you will like those as much as you do Slither Link. Don't worry, there will be a sequel, might try get it done for Xmas.

I'm working on another game, Picro Panic, in development still but playable. They're on the site.

Nice game, addicting but I guess thats the point. Thanks for the space + left click trick.

superfry:

Where the 3 meets the 2 diagonally, you've made it separate - it needs to be one BIG loop - yours has a cross

Sorry to say this, but as a big Slitherlink fan I don't like this version at all.

The interface is very nice, but there are many things that bug me:

1. Lack of crossing out is by far the biggest problem. Slitherlink is about logical deduction. You cannot play it without crossing out lines. It's impossible by definition (unless the grid is extremely easy).
2. Shading is a pretty important element of Slitherlink. Completing a difficult Slitherlink puzzle without shading is extremely difficult, and the shading is a large part of the satisfaction as you complete a puzzle.
3. I don't think this is true Slitherlink because true slitherlink puzzles need to be very carefully worked out so that there can only ever be one solution, and so that that solution is found one piece at a time using relatively simple reasoning.
4. No line should ever be placed unless it has been deduced that it must exist, but this version of Slitherlink requires either trial and error (which is not what Slitherlink is about in any way) or extreme forward-thinking, which is far too advanced for most players. In other words, if this game is to be treated as real Slitherlink, even the easy levels are incredibly difficult to solve, using logic alone. I couldn't solve many of them, and I'm very good at Slitherlink.
5. The numbers hilighting is a nice idea, but I personally find it distracting. If anything, numbers should be brighter to start with and fade when solved, since it's only the unsolved numbers you're looking at. I might find it helpful if the whole square faded to a darker colour when its number was solved?
6. The line curving is another nice idea, but again I find it personally distracting. It looks SO different to traditional Slitherlink as played on paper, that it's hard to see it as the same game. Also, the large curves make it harder to see at a glance how many sides are filled, since they're not really sides. I would use smaller corner curves if it was up to me.
7. Few of these Slitherlink puzzles required me to employ many of the standard Slitherlink moves, which is a bit disappointing.
8. The slight delay in placing a line could be a bit annoying?

I would either change the name of this puzzle so it is not associated with the game Slitherlink (Fun-link or something?), or make it a whole lot more like Slitherlink. The Kwon-Tom-Loop site is a great example of Slitherlink puzzles done really well, and they're all computer-generated, so the logic behind them is flawless.

Anyway, nicely programmed!

The site was down for a day, link is active again.

Luke, is the 2nd version coming anytime soon?

The new version is still planned, i've got 10,000+ proper puzzles now but will be doing an overhaul of the game engine and implement a better save feature.

I won't start work on it till June but it should only take a week or so to make and get released.

This new version will please the hardcore SL fans as the puzzles are real, not puzzles I quickly made up to meet a university deadline!

superfry:

I know I've already posted a solution for you but i have somehow just done it. the problem is, i copied the screen a second too late so sorry I can't show you. And I can't do ascii. one, i don't understand the coding (and yes, jay, i have checked the help and stuff). and two, i'm useless at that stuff full stop.

Ok Luke, nice to know! I'm not a hardcore SL fan but since I liked these puzzles I will definately check out your next version.

Hey guys. Just popped in to say two things:

1) Love this game, I try to play it as much as possible!
2) If anyone wants a walkthrough, be patient...

I've been planning to add images of all levels to my website, but it always took too long.
I have now found some software that takes print-screens & puts them all in a context where I can also make it ".Jpg"
Therefore, I am currently gathering pictures, and shall post the website when I am finished.

Thanks Luke!

wow i feel proud...a bit

I've been working since the last post on the walkthrough.
Just finished Easy!
Half of that time was re-taking screen shots & modifying them.
but I have the hang of it now.
When I have all the imaged on my website, I shall post a link and say on the webpage it leads to that I think JIG for this :D

Once again:

Thanks luke.

I am going to email the images of the walkthrough to him, so that he can upload them to the site.
I shall also upload them to my own website - but after emailing them to jay.
Thanks.
Ps: Shall be done soon. Halfway through normal levels.

Luke is revising his site. He says it should be finished by mid-June. Try back then.

typical.

Its a 20 day free trial so I sure hope Luke doesn't cut it too short :)
(no pressure, i can always find another)

The game's still unavailable. Hope to play it soon.

Broken in August too.

I've hosted the game and updated the links until Luke can find a new location for it.

May 4, 2010 8:51 PM

I liked this, but it should have the current level number shown. If I have to close the window, how will I find my place again?

And the easy levels were fine. Now I think I'm somewhere near the end; I suppose I'll have to leave the window open all night!

Jay, link needs to be updated.

[Thank you Selune! Links update. -Jay]

[Link fixed. Thanks for the note! -Jay]

Arrrrgghhh... It doesn't save!
That's a real turn off for an otherwise great game.

It's been a while since I've seen this. I might actually start work on the planned sequel.

June 2, 2012 4:37 AM

There is possibility to solve puzzles using two disjoined loops. I did it about 3 times on different levels.

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