The Control Panel

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Rating: 4.1/5 (84 votes)
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thecontrolpanel.gifGrinnypAh, curiosity. It may have killed the cat, but it is one of the most defining characteristics of humanity. From the person who wondered; "hmmm, what if I shave off the corners of this block, flatten it on two sides, put a stick through the middle and see if it will roll?" to the one who thought; "what if I take a fissionable material, say, and surround it with shaped charges that will rapidly compress it from all sides equally and then maybe drop it on a city?" The answers to these questions have changed civilization (for good or for ill is up to you to decide) and reinforce the fact that occasionally we're just too inquisitive for our own good. We simply cannot resist tinkering. So, what will a naturally curious person do when confronted with a point-and-click puzzle like The Control Panel? Why, push the button, of course!

Well, push several buttons, anyway. And maybe some switches, too. Created back in 2005 and designed by Shaun Salzberg, The Control Panel is something that you just can't resist playing with. What will happen if you push that button? Or slide that knob? Or rewire that panel? Or...

The game begins with a simple statement: turn on the uppermost lights to solve the mystery. Easy, yes? If you choose to solve the mystery you will be confronted by a simple panel comprised of different controls and a basic monitor in the middle. There's no looking around the back or sides, no movement involved at all (except the movement of the switches, buttons, and wires). The Control Panel is an exercise in pure logic. There's no navigation involved, just click on things to see if you can affect them or not. If you can, then the next step is to determine what to do to activate the lights. What numbers do you enter? What switches do you flip? What happens if you do...this?

Analysis: The Control Panel is an oldie but a goodie. Despite its age the game is a tight, well-constructed puzzle solving treat. Stripped of everything that usually accompanies a puzzle of this sort, no story, no background, no instructions, be prepared to sit back and let the gameplay blow your mind (and perhaps cause a concussion, if you end up banging your head against the nearest flat surface in frustration).

The graphics are, well, pretty basic. Primary colors and flat, cartoony visuals make up The Control Panel. However, the unreality of the visuals do not detract in any way from the joy of driving yourself nuts trying to get those darn lights on. There's no music, but that's all to the good as it would soon become distracting, and when trying to solve this puzzle the last thing you need is distracting. A save button would have been nice for those who would like to take a break between the cursing and the headbanging.

So if you want some casual gameplay that involves lots of logic without any of that messy story stuff, then pull up a chair, hunker down, and start flipping some switches. Just remember: curiosity did, indeed, kill the cat. Will satisfaction bring him back? Perhaps...

Play The Control Panel

Cheers to Black Drazon for the suggestion! =)

Walkthrough Guide

(Please allow page to fully load for spoiler tags to be functional.)

The Control Panel Walkthrough

Green Number Panel (Green Light)

  • Type any number into the panel and press enter.

  • Enter another number into the panel and it will spit back another number.

  • If you continue doing this you will notice that the number it is sending back is the number you entered plus the previous number.

  • Do you recognize this pattern?

  • This is a Fibonacci sequence, where each number is the sum of the two numbers previous to it.

  • Enter numbers until the screen clears.

  • Starting with the number 1, enter a Fibonacci sequence, one at a time.

    • Push 1 then enter.

    • Push 1 then enter.

    • Push 2 then enter.

    • Push 3 then enter.

    • Push 5 then enter.

    • Push 8 then enter.

  • Once you've entered the sequence properly the green light at the top will light up.

Bottom Switches (Yellow Light)

  • Below the monitor is a series of switches with a yellow bar below them.

  • Click on the bar and watch the display on the monitor.

  • The 0s and 1s that appear obviously represent the switch position, with 0 being the down position and 1 being the up position.

  • Did you notice that some numbers filled in faster than others?

  • Click on the yellow bar and watch again.

  • On the first row try changing the position of the switches where the numbers filled in slowly and see what happens.

  • Perhaps the correct position for the switch is one that makes the display fill in faster?

  • Continue changing the switch positions until the display fills in quickly on all rows.

    • The proper position for the switches in the first row is: 0, 1, 1, 1, 0, 0 (or down, up, up, up, down, down).

    • The proper position for the switches in the second row is: 0, 1, 0, 0, 1, 1 (or down, up, down, down, up, up).

    • The proper position for the switches in the third row is: 0, 1, 0, 0, 0, 0 (or down, up, down, down, down, down).

    • The proper position for the switches in the fourth row is: 0, 1, 1, 0, 1, 0 (or down, up, up, down, up, down).

  • When all the switches are in the proper position click on the yellow bar. If everything is set correctly the yellow light will come on.

Red Slider Puzzle (Red Light)

  • This one will take a sharp eye for detail and color.

  • Look closely at the red panel to the left of the monitor.

  • You will notice that there are four very tiny screws in the corners of the panel.

  • Click on each of the screws to remove them.

  • Once the screws are removed click on the panel to open it.

  • There is a keychain with three colored squares on it inside the panel. Click on the colored squares.

  • The squares should position themselves to the right of the red panel. Once they do, click on the panel to close it.

  • Now comes the tricky bit.

  • Click on one of the squares and it will attach itself to the monitor.

  • Now click on one of the sliders to move it around. Notice that it is changing the color of the monitor.

  • Each slider represents a color on the RGB light spectrum.

  • The left slider controls Red, the middle slider controls green, and the right slider controls blue.

  • Maybe you're supposed to match the colors?

    • You can manually move each slider and try to match the colors by eye, or you can cheat like I did by taking a screenshot and importing it into a graphics program where you can sample the color and analyze the RGB mix.

    • Start with the top square (light orange).

    • Adjust the sliders until they are at Red 231, Green 190, and Blue 85 (watch the monitor for the numbers). You do not need to be exact, you can be within 3 numbers of the actual formula and it will still work.

    • If you get it right the square will detach itself from the monitor and a tone will sound.

    • Click on the purple square to attach it to the monitor.

    • Adjust the settings to Red 161, Green 69, and Blue 212.

    • If you get it right the square will detach itself from the monitor and a tone will sound.

    • Now click on the light green square.

    • Adjust the settings to Red 49, Green 226, and Blue 109.

  • Once you have correctly set the color mix for each of the squares tones will sound and the red light will turn on.

Orange Panel (Orange Light)

  • There are multiple solutions to this puzzle. The best I can do is explain how it works so you can solve it.

  • Hover the mouse over any of the circles inside the grid and watch the monitor closely.

  • You will see a grid appear on the monitor with dots and 1s.

  • Click on the circle and you will notice that other circles will light up.

  • How to read the monitor: the grid represents the circle's area of influence, with the circle being the center position.

  • The position of the 1s shows what lights will turn on if you click that circle.

  • However, clicking on the circle will not turn it on, just the others around it depending on its influence.

  • The circles can also move around. Notice the blank space in the orange grid?

  • You can move a circle into the blank space by clicking on the gray areas that surround the circle, like a slider puzzle.

  • The objective is to get all the circles lit up.

  • Use the information from the monitor to move the circles around until you can use them to light the others up.

  • Once they are all lit up the orange light will come on.

Blue Wiring Puzzle (Blue Light)

  • This one is a bit long, and will involve screenshots.

  • To the right of the monitor is a power source with positive and negative ends, a series of gray dots, above the dots a series of lights, and below the dots a small dark gray area with some loose wires.

  • Do you know how to wire a circuit? It would be helpful.

  • Click on one of the loose wires, then click on one of the gray dots to attach the wire. Click on another dot to attach the other end of the wire. It doesn't matter at this point where you put the wires, you just want to get them all out of the gray area.

  • Once the dark gray area is clear click on it and look closely.

  • There is a number there in extremely small type.

    • The number is 37759121.

  • Type the number into the green keypad and click "enter".

  • If you entered the number correctly a wiring diagram should appear on the monitor. Screenshot.

  • This is a diagram of wiring that already exists underneath the control panel. What you need to do is add the blue wires in to make a complete circuit.

  • Okay, I'm not an electrician, so I may have this wrong, but here it goes (whether I have the terminology wrong or not, this circuit will work).

  • Each light has a positive lead and a negative lead.

  • Look at the diagram closely. Each light has a line (already wired) that goes through it from left to right, starting at one gray dot, going through the light, and terminating at another gray dot.

  • For purposes of this walkthrough the line on the left is the negative lead, the line on the right is the positive lead. This screenshot shows the first light as an example.

  • You need to wire up the circuit from the positive to the negative. That means you need to wire from the positive end of the power source to the negative end of the first light, from the positive end of the first light to the negative end of the second light, etc.

  • You need to wire up the lights starting from the positive lead of the power source going to the negative lead of the first light. Then from the positive lead of the first light to the negative lead of the second light. Continue going in this sequence until you get to the last light.

  • But wait, you still need to complete the circuit, going from the positive lead of the last light to the negative lead of the power source.

  • Where have you seen a blue wire?

    • Click on the red panel to open it, then click on the top of the blue wires inside to add the wire to your inventory. Use that wire to complete the circuit.

  • If you wired up the lights correctly, the blue light at the top of the control panel will light up. Here's a screenshot of the correct wiring configuration.

End Game

  • Once all the lights are lit the monitor will disappear and you will see a red button behind a glass cover that has three colored locks on it.

  • Ignore the locks.

  • Look closely at the hinges at the top of the cover.

  • Click on the outside of the hinges to remove the hinge pins.

  • Once the hinge pins are removed click on the cover and it will fall down and expose the big red button.

  • Push the big red button.

  • Ooops!


Arg, I've beaten the contrast thingy, and now i'm desperately stuck. And of course, no one has posted any clue. Headbanding on a flat surface looks like the only way out of this =/

Patreon VIP Chiktionary November 5, 2009 6:41 AM

I think you may be right GrinnyP and Kamacess,
headbanging any flat surface seems to be the only solution right now, and may bring some temporary relief. I did locate a walkthrough on another site and even that caused frustration, particularly with the blue wires puzzle.
I'll come back later when I've recovered from my logic deficiency.


grinnyp, everything =D
I've tried to uncover some hidden logic in

the numbers that appear when you hit the keyboard,

i've unsuccessfully tried to light all the orbs, and pretty much tried everything else i could think of, but with no effect.


Silly me !

I didn't notice they could move !


ok i've solved the left bottom thing...

you can slide the pieces by clicking on the edge of the circle to slide it to the empty (grey) position. if you go on a button (or led or whatever it is) a scheme appear on the display. the 1 indicate which led or leds will be turned on.the central value on this scheme is the actual led, so , for example, in the scheme there are 1 on left and up, when you click on this button the led at left and up to his actual position will be changed. not so clear i know...


haha! got it !
For the switches:

some numbers appear quickly, some others appear slowly...

about the keypad

I was mistaking by wanting to type to numbers at a time

Now I have to face the wires...


For the wires:

Place all the wires on the board, then click the box they came from - it should reveal a number. Enter this into the keypad and the screen will display a circuit diagram.

The lines on the diagram show the existing connections between the lights and the little pins, (presumably via hidden wires beneath the panel.) Each light is connected to two pins - one pin to the left and one to the right.

Your job is to use your blue wires to complete the circuit.

You do this by connecting the + terminal of the battery to the left pin of the first light. Then connect the right pin of the first light to the left pin of the next, and so on. At the end, connect the right pin of the last light to the - terminal of the battery.

Not enough wires? Have you seen a blue wire anywhere else?

You may have to have finished another puzzle first:

Inside the red 'colour' panel, once you've solved that puzzle, you can click on the blue wire to take it out.

Alkalannar November 5, 2009 9:17 AM

Um.....unless they changed the wording at the end, I think they drop an F-bomb. Is that enough to drop the rating-y?

Anonymous November 5, 2009 9:17 AM

Wires problem

I enter the numbers into the panel and i get nothing happening. I firstly entered them all in one go. then i entered them 2 at a time. both dont work.

Any ideas?


Five-second walkthrough:

-Click the top left corner of the grey rounded border (press tab a couple times to help you see it)
-Click the hinges
-Click the red button

I guess the author forgot about that...



You have to connect all of the wires first. The display should give you a message asking for the diagram number, or something to that effect. Then you can type in the entire number at once.


There's a teensy click spot in the upper left corner of the frame that lets you bypass all the puzzles but the last one.


I don't understand how to connect the wires in the blue wires puzzle. The walkthrough explanation is confusing and I don't see the resemblance of the final puzzle solution to the electrical wiring schematic.

Black Drazon November 5, 2009 1:33 PM

It's got its flaws (the electrical puzzle stands out), but man I love this game. Thanks for putting it up!


Unfortunately, the wiring puzzle is about as opaque as they come. I mean this literally: the diagram indicates the wiring UNDER the control panel. You have to connect the leads that are above the panel so that it completes a circuit that's under the panel.

I hope that helps, but I'm not sure. It's not a very fair puzzle.


that yellow puzzle is hard without a direct solution. oh well.


This and yesterday's Radio game are some of my favorite I've found in a long time. This was actually mentioned in the comments to the radio game, so I had a head start. Yesterday I figured everything out fairly easily except the wiring puzzle, which frustrated me for about an hour. However, today, coming at it with a clear head, I only wasted 45 minutes before realizing that

the direction of circuits going through the lights at the top indicated positive / negative

I learned about circuits in AP physics nine years ago, I am amazed that I retained enough information to get through it.

Hopefully game designers will see that you don't need to get somebody stuck in a room all the time. On that note, the 30 year old doorknob on my real life bathroom decided to decompose with me in the room the other day. Thanks to my experience from here on JIG, I didn't freak out, but instead took note of what tools I had around me, kept a cool head, and 30 minutes later I was out. There were no exposed screws on the knob, and I didn't have a screwdriver lying around like in every room escape game. But I made it without freaking out or breaking the door down!

Papachabre November 5, 2009 3:00 PM

Wow that was a cool game. The only problem I had was the wires

The left=negative, right=positive thing. I would have had no problem figuring it out if that were made clear

But otherwise it was a good game.


Since when does a lightbulb have to be wired with positive on one side and negative on the other? An insulator heats up and emits light no matter which way the current is flowing. Not to mention it doesn't indicate which side is + and which is -.


You might want to make a note, since there is cursing in the end game, that if you have a young child that is exceptionally smart and might actually figure this out, you might not want to let them play it. Just saying is all.

Patreon Crew SonicLover November 5, 2009 6:04 PM

@Aegeus: By any chance, have you ever heard of diodes?


Another excellent puzzle toy. Two in a row now, a coincidence? I hope not.


can someone post some solutions for the lower left puzzle? i'm stuck.


I managed to solve only two of the puzzles by myself, and by the time I recurred to the walkthrough, well, let's say the nearest flat surface wasn't so flat anymore. Still, I liked the challenge, and the final puzzle was really clever. The ending really made me laugh, too.


I played it, didn't get a single one without the walkthrough, though. I tried, especially at the end. But once I finally managed to

play the whole bloody Ode to Joy on the lights

to no effect, I gave up.


That was spoilered not so much because it has anything to do with anything and more so that if anyone else has the same dumb idea I did, they can have all the pleasure of trying it themselves.


Did anyone try

playing the song from the speaker using the colored lights? If you mouse over the top lights, you could, in theory, match the song.

I wasn't patient enough, however.

Is there a secret ending?


Well, thanks, Jalathas, for peering into the future and answering my question before I asked it!


so no one has a direct solution to the orange puzzle? i'm starting to give up hope.

Anonymous November 6, 2009 9:06 PM

This was a great puzzle. I worked on it all afternoon, and about the time I was on the wire part, I'd almost sent an email to my granddaughter with a link to the game. She loves puzzles, and with the walkthrough would have been able to get through it. I finished the puzzle, but was horrified at the message at the end. I'm so glad I waited to send an email to my granddaughter, who is only 8 years old but very bright. And I'm so annoyed that there was no warning on this puzzle that it was not intended for younger eyes. At least I didn't see a warning that was obvious. And I'm pretty annoyed, too, at Jay is Games for not alerting people to it.

[Edit: This game is appropriately rated "Yellow" because of the ending of this game. Please consult our ratings guide for an explanation of our ratings system: -Jay]

Keep.One.Step.Ahead November 7, 2009 3:08 AM

I know it's your choice how to raise your kids and grand kids, but I think some people get a little worked up when this site obviously goes out of its way to monitor content and they do a great job. You were "horrified?" Really? Sorry to be a jerk, but I guess I just think a little naughty word as a joke (the shift in tone from the incredibly dense and difficult puzzle solving to the lazy, tossed-off ending was funny to me) is short of horrifying.

nerdypants November 7, 2009 5:18 AM

I only managed to get the number keypad one on my own. I am disappointed in me.

Anonymous November 7, 2009 9:09 AM

Grandma here again. Thank you for posting the link that explained your rating system. It was my error in not knowing about the little yellow face or understanding how you rate the various games. It was a very good explanation and the ratings clearly allow the player to proceed at their own risk. I'm glad I voiced my complaint, because now I know how it works.

AS to the poster suggesting I got too worked up over the "naughty word" at the end -- I won't apologize at my disappointment at something offensive being slipped in to the end of a game, or my intent to protect my grandchildren. Is it worse to expose kids to the raw stuff that's out there, or to overprotect them from it when you can? I think I'd rather make the mistake of protecting them as long as possible, until they reach an appropriate age to handle it. Let's allow kids to stay innocent a while longer. My opinion.

Thanks, Jayisgames for a great website providing many hours of distraction from the stresses and complexities of every day life. I still enjoy pulling up FlOw and Aquaria which you featured many moons ago. And I've loved games like Virtual Villagers and Fish Tycoon, which I purchased after first experiencing them at your site.

And thank you for providing a place to express opinions.


[Edit: And thank *you* for expressing your opinion. After reading your initial comment above I realized the explanation to our game ratings should appear in a more conspicuous location, so I've added a link to them in the page footer, for (grand)parents. :) Cheers! -Jay]

Keep.One.Step.Ahead November 7, 2009 1:07 PM

I understand what you mean. I have a young kid and obviously I don't expose her to sex and violence, but every so often someone comes on here to write a long dissertation on why a word placed somewhere in a review or game was a most egregious error. I think my post was more directed at the sort of people who visit this site and have an itchy trigger finger when it comes to content; some people need to lighten up a little.


This game is opaque and sometimes frustrating, but also a lot of fun despite all that. It kept me hovering at the "okay, let's try this" phase, with a long time before the point of, "Fine, if nothing works, could someone else at least point out how I'm supposed to connect step F to step G?" Unfortunately, that happened at the times the controls confused me, like the number pad not putting out the same number I inputted, unlike every other one.

I didn't even know that meant I was on the right track!

It pulls that misdirection multiple times, especially later on, but thinking about the puzzle or trick as a whole can help you realize it.

I noticed that not only were the lights off-key with the music, but why were there three locks for only one new thing?

I actually have a problem with the dirty word at the end, which is just that it makes it look like the game is being rude to you for completing it. I was actually expecting something along the lines of a "WTF Bomb", but it fit with the theme of being devoid of everything but gameplay. For a suite of brainteasers, just finishing it is as rewarding as any "You Won" screen.


guess not. anyway,if anyone does have a solution to the puzzle i'm talking about,please post. thanks.

Keep.One.Step.Ahead November 10, 2009 12:00 PM

"I actually have a problem with the dirty word at the end, which is just that it makes it look like the game is being rude to you for completing it."

I think that was intentional. Your reward for all this work is the destruction of earth and a rude message. All of which was clearly cheap and did not take up a particular amount of time for the creator(s).


Like the game very much in principle, but the slider switches for the color changes are temperamental. Oof. Really annoying. What a shame.


Figured out the smooth use of the slider switches: double click, hold second click and slide. Kind of awkward at first, but easy once you get it.
Nice game. Thanks.


i cant paste but here is the walkthrough for the switchs:
0 1 1 1 0 0
0 1 0 0 1 1
0 1 0 0 0 0
0 1 1 0 1 0


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