Lights Out®

Current Puzzle:

Description

Lights Out®, by Tiger Electronics is a calculator sized electronic game. It consists of a 5 by 5 grid of illuminated buttons. Pressing any button changes the state (lit or unlit) of the button and also changes the state of the buttons to the left, to the right, above and below.

The initial configuration changes as the user completes the puzzles. The machine keeps track of which puzzles have been completed within a "reasonable" number of moves.

Review

The device is attractively packaged, the box and the buttons are of high quality and this adds to the charm of the game - even the (optional) bleeps sound OK. The game is absorbing even addictive - playing over the web (even with minimal lag) does not do justice, the look and feel of the original are important. The actual game play is initially captivating however it is "crackable" after some experimentation as it based on Abelian groups.
Two minor complaints, all the lights flash off momentarily when a button is pressed and it sometimes misses one press if two or more keys are operated simultaneously

Availability

The game is produced by Tiger Electronics (UK), Belvedere House, Victoria Ave, HG1 1EL.
It is available in Woolworth's - rather over-priced at £16.

Try some of the puzzles

A variation on the puzzle in which there are four states (rather than two). Each click rotates the arrow (clockwise) and also rotates the arrow pointed to (if any).
[ easy | easy | easy | still easy | hard (the corners don't work) | harder | hardest ]

Analysis

Why "hardest" is impossible.

The lights out puzzle was discussed in detail in a thread in rec.puzzles headed "a puzzle I got for christmas" started by Daniel Roach cm2bcpr@bsc47c.staffs.ac.uk in January 1996. You should be able to track it down using DejaNews. The contributions from Dennis Yelle dennis@netcom.com from particularly useful. The reference <4crdli$78c@bs33n.staffs.ac.uk>#1/1 may help. Try this