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Where to Play Great Sliding Block Puzzles on the Web?  
by Serhiy Grabarchuk, Jr.  
Web has been invented for puzzles and Sliding Block Puzzles (SBP) were and still are among the first ones to be presented online. Which Web resources are the most prominent and worth to visit in order to play some great SBP's? The list below is not the final and only represents some of our selected picks.

The current online "modern classic" resource on interactive SBP's is no doubt Nick Baxter's The Sliding Block Puzzle Page. The Page was one of the pioneers in collecting and presenting interactive Java SBP's on the Web in the second half of 1990s. The Page consists of several sections, some of which highlight puzzles and some of which highlight prominent puzzle designers and their contribution into the "Sliding" world.

Minoru Abe Puzzles
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Minoru Abe
This prominent puzzle designer became the inspiration for The Page. Some of our picks from his section includes Egg Puzzle [22], Heart-In [28] and Two Bears [109].

Nob Yoshigahara Puzzles
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Nob Yoshigahara
His section of The Page is called NOBlocks. As a leading and very influential world puzzle designer, patron and collector of the second half of the 20th century, Nob Yoshigahara made his great contribution into the SBP’s development. Some of our picks from his section are: No-Off [44], Adam & Eve [56] and Ultimate T-zer [91].

Serhiy Grabarchuk Puzzles
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Serhiy Grabarchuk
A world-renowned puzzle designer, expert, promoter and collector. Runs Age Of Puzzles. Introduced in 1990s his diverse collection of original SBP’s based on the Outwitting the Parity Principle has made a kind of revolution in the SBP world, changing the traditional point of view on SBP’s. Some of our picks: Sliding Digits [27], The Beetle [53] and Quadrion [109].

Ed Pegg Jr Puzzles
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Ed Pegg Jr.
An outstanding mathematician and great puzzler. Runs the famous MathPuzzle. Some of our picks from his section includes such elegant designs as: Four Dominoes [26], Two Hearts [35], and Soap [43].

Polyomino Themes
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Polyomino Themes icnludes several more puzzle designs from Rodolfo Kurchan, Harold Cataquet and Michael McKee.

The 15 Puzzle
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Recently added section on The 15 Puzzle can please any puzzle lover, simultaneously reminding to us this is exactly the puzzle that comes to mind even today to imagine what the SBP’s are. The section itself is based on the recently published Jerry Slocum's new puzzle research book, The 15 Puzzle.

Rush Hour®
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The site also includes a special section dedicated to what can be treated the most successful bestseller among contemporary sliding block puzzles - Rush Hour® (manufactured by ThinkFun, Inc. - formerly Binary Arts).
In addition to that a special section of The Page is devoted to Classic Designs among which our picks would be the well-known Get My Goat [28] by J. I. Wiley, Ma's Puzzle [23] by C. L. Diamond and Pennant Puzzle (aka Dad's Puzzler, et al.) [59] by L. W. Hardy.

And a special section is devoted to Modern Designs among which our picks are Broken Heart [34] by Junichi Yananose, Junk's Hanoi [161] by Junk Kato and Mini Ma's Puzzle [28] by Dick Hess.

Classic Designs

Modern Designs

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Some other leading puzzle sites on the Web have also collections of interactive SBP’s as their parts. Puzzles.COM has several of them in their Puzzle Club's Collection: Holiday Garland (Flash), Holiday Switcheroo (Flash), Happy 2001 [20] (JavaScript) and The Fish [38] (JavaScript).

Holiday Garland

Holiday Switcheroo

Happy 2001

The Fish

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Rush Hour®
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  The site includes a special section on Rush Hour® where, along with other materials on the puzzle, many links to its online versions (Flash, Java, JavaScript, etc.) on the Web are collected.
PuzzleBeast by James W. Stephens includes several very interesting SBP concepts, all of which are interactive (Java). They are: Oskar van Deventer's The Bulbous Blob Puzzles and ConSlide Puzzles; and James' A Dozen Irritating Sliding Block Puzzles and Sliding Block Puzzles.

The Bulbous Blob Puzzles

ConSlide Puzzles

A Dozen Irritating Sliding Block Puzzles

Sliding Block Puzzles

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SBP's from Age Of Puzzles
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Age Of Puzzles has a growing collection of original SBP’s (all in Flash) from the Grabarchuk Family. The site features an SBP-related article by Serhiy Grabarchuk about How to Outwit the Parity.
Dries De Clercq's website
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Dries De Clercq runs a special website dedicated to SBP’s. Though the puzzles on the site are the series-based concepts you can find some interesting ideas in them. Our picks would be: 4x4 - Puzzle 6 [42], Minimaze 2 [53] and Tornado [939] (if you are really patient). All puzzles are based on the Java applet by Pierre-François Culand.
The interactive SBP’s presented in this Review are by no means the only ones on the Web. There are still a lot of them on other websites. This Review presents only our recommended picks and solving even them can take you a whole day or even more. But if you know about other great interactive SBP’s, please write to us.
Posted: October 28, 2007   Last Updated: December 1, 2007
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