Dynetzzle: Terrible Name, Interesting Game

By John Walker on March 13th, 2014 at 8:00 pm.

Here’s a novel puzzle game, with a deeply peculiar name. Dynetzzle – seemingly crafted in a special laboratory to be the most forgettable, irrelevant, and impossible to remember how to spell game name of all time – is based around unfolded dice. Nets of cubes, combined with the magical fact that all opposite sides of a dice add up to 7. Combine those two elements, and you get a rather nice idea for a little puzzle game. One that is, apparently, soon to become a bigger puzzle game. But you can play the 10-level version for free, right now.

I remember being briefly intrigued by nets in middle school, have always enjoyed the mental acrobatics of trying to put one back together inside my brain. So Dynetzllezlelezzllle accommodates this particular quirk rather nicely. The task is to put the correct digits onto each flattened face of a cube, then multiple, interlocking, overlapping nets of cubes, allowing for a carefully picked logical order of progression for each task.

It’s a really neat idea – one I wouldn’t have been surprised to see come from Nikoli. However, in this instance it comes from Vishnu Vadakke Pariyarath. You’ll burn through the ten puzzles in the Kongregate version in 20 minutes or so, but it’s a fun and distracting 20 minutes.

And there’s more to come, with Pariyarath working on Dynetzzle Extended, which I do rather hope he finds a better name for in the meantime. One that anyone on Earth would be able to remember and type into Google. Here are some suggestions:

Inter-Net
God DOES Play Dice
Today Is A Good Day To Die
Nettles
Dicing With Death (might need some more threat for that one)

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18 Comments »

  1. Mitthrawn says:

    I’d play the shit out of Dicing with Death.

  2. alex_v says:

    Enjoyed that a lot, though once you’ve worked out the general strategy it is very straightforward. Hope they have other tricks up their sleeve for the new version.

    • LTK says:

      But what general strategy is that? I can think of lots. You can eliminate possibilities based on which fields are already filled in, you can complete single nets one at a time, you can fill in all ones and sixes first and work from there, or you can try to spatially reason how every net fits together. I think it’s still quite diverse.

      Reminds me a bit of Sudoku, actually.

      • theslap says:

        It is a bit like Sudoku in terms of how the numbers are fit in, but there is more there than that. The idea is that you can also visualize the puzzle in 3-dimensions which you can’t with Sudoku.

        The developer could add things like rotational portals, 8-12 sided dice, and even color swapping to make extremely challenging and interesting new variations on the puzzles.

      • KDR_11k says:

        I’m not sure, the pair-wise nature of the numbers seems extremely limiting. You can deduce which pair would go where but to tell the configuration of the pair you need to know one of the two numbers at which point you lose the need for deduction. There’s no influence by any square other than the two squares that are part of the pair (and any other pair which shares one of these squares but that’s just transitive, there’s no real transformation needed) on which way around the pair goes.

        So in effect you can always get all the numbers just by completing pairs. You’d need to add hints like “this line sums up to X” or so, something that provides additional constraints beyond the “opposite sides add up to 7″ rule

        I hope my tired brain managed to produce a somewhat decipherable description.

        • khendrix says:

          Exactly! You need to add different types of hints so there’s more information to combine. Currently, you can only follow ‘paths’ from the given numbers (this is a 6 so that is a 1 so that is a 6 etc), without the need to combine anything.

          And because it’s all numbers, hints like line sums or area sums make total sense. Or, If you wanted to emphasise the 3D-ness of the game, the puzzle could provide isometric pictures of (some of) the completed dice, giving you a clue about the numbers’ relative positions.

      • Baines says:

        Learn the net patterns, so you recognize where opposing faces are. There are only a few patterns, they are easy to visualize, and the ten puzzles rely largely on that “mystery”.

        Knowing the two most basic patterns (the two ends of a 3 square straight segment are opposing, the two ends of a 4 square zig zag oppose) will take you through the bulk of the puzzles, leaving you only a few less common (but still basic) patterns to notice.

        • ChrisGWaine says:

          I think you can generalise it to saying that a pair is the ends of a Z shape (formed by matching colour) which is 3 rows/columns by 1-4 columns/rows, where the “3 square straight” is the (degenerate) 3 by 1 case, and the “4 square zig zag” is the 3 by 2 case.

      • The Random One says:

        I agree it’s like Soduku, exactly because once you figure out the strategy it’s just busywork. And yes, there are many ways to figure it out, but none of them is inherently superior; figuring out which strategy to use at which moment is part of the strategy.

        Don’t like Soduku, didn’t like this either.

  3. theslap says:

    This was one of my favorite puzzle games I’ve played in a long time. Like alex_v said, once you learn the general strategy it becomes a little less interesting but I still had great fun with the few levels that are included. If they can add some new concepts that switch up the strategy a bit, I think the developer will have a hit on his hands (at least for those with some spatial intelligence).

  4. MukkyPuppy says:

    That was a lot of fun. I really hope that the developer extends it. It’s nice having to flex those parts of your brain that deal with spatial manipulation.

  5. KDR_11k says:

    Meh, maybe I already played too many games with puzzles that involved assembling dice (Layton, anyone?) but I found it rather mindless and just busywork.

  6. J. Cosmo Cohen says:

    Interesting puzzle game. Does anyone remember the old Playstation 1 game Devil Dice? Similar idea, completely different execution.

  7. Tom Walker says:

    It’s a neat idea, but the whole puzzle concept is basically pass/fail.

    I.E. if you don’t have the necessary spatial awareness to mentally fold a net into a cube you’re screwed, and if you do then there’s not much they can do to throw you.

    • SuddenSight says:

      I can imagine a few improvements that could be made. Different kinds of dice mostly – dodecahedrons or icosahedrons maybe. And different pairs of numbers (adding to 7 isn’t the only way to fill the faces of a die).

      But we will just have to wait and see.

    • Wang Tang says:

      You need that exactly once to figure out the pattern in 2D; after that, it’s painfully simple.
      The only way I could see this concept become interesting in any way, would be to extend to different polyhedra – but then it becomes _really_ hard really fast.

  8. Jackablade says:

    *sniffs*
    Smells like maths
    *prods with stick*

  9. Josh W says:

    This is a nice game in principle, but for me it fails due to having you solve a problem that leads from the fundamental problem, not the fundamental problem itself.

    At the pattern level, I don’t care about the numbers, all I need to work out is which square is opposite to which other square on a particular net. Imagine you clicked to highlight a node and clicked again to highlight it’s opposite. Once you’d done that, the numbers would propagate through the grid.

    But if you break the puzzle down to that, then you’ll quickly realise that telling the players where the different nets are is solving the problem for them already, you’d just go through each net finding the opposite sides, and solve the general problem by default.

    Here’s an alternative idea, don’t tell the players which nets are overlapping where, just give them a set of numbers that follow the rules of all the nets they are on. Then as people put in their opposite squares and propagate numbers, they will create clashes by numbers going in the wrong place, and be able to learn via trial and error as well as by analysis. Then you can actually score by number of clashes it takes for you to win.