FGS's blog

technology & humanity

Some years ago a paper-and-pencil game had great success among school boys, in Italy at least. The goal of the game is to fill a 10×10 grid of boxes with numbers from 1 to 100. The rule is that you cannot use the same box twice, and if you move on the grid in horizontal or vertical direction, you must skip two boxes, while you must skip one box if you move diagonally. Simple game in theory, quite hard puzzle in practice.

Today, in computer and smartphone age, we can try to solve the puzzle practically anytime and anywhere. The game has been implemented for a wide range of platforms (actually, most implementations are by yours truly). Some versions even have an online high score table, to compare our own scores with those of players from all over the world.

Let’s list all the games here, so we’ll never miss the chance to try and reach the mythical 100. They are all released as freeware or free software, so read on and have fun!

Platform Name Link Online standings
Java applet Puzzle 100 link No
Palm OS 100 Boxes link No
Windows Mobile Clockwork 10×10 link No
Google Gadget 100 Boxes link Yes
Opera Widget 100 Boxes link Yes
Opera Mobile/Vodafone Widget (Windows Mobile, Symbian S60) HundredBoxes link Yes
Maemo 5 100 Boxes link Yes

For me, 100 Boxes has been a sort of pet project since my brother taught me the game several years ago. It is usually the first thing that I try to make when learning to develop for a new platform. It is a quite balanced development exercise, and it is fun to see the game conquer new territory.

A word of caution: this game may give a great sensation of achievement when solved, but also a lot of frustration. I tried for several months version without success, then showed the game to a friend of mine. He solved it at his third attempt.

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