Pentomino hungarIQa

The Hungarian developer () tilted the pentomino from the right and also from the left. The effect is astonishing: it gives more than a hundred times more challenges as known to pentomino-challenges, in all it doubles the number of step-pairs made by players and solves their sharing problems.
The 12 species of pieces raised to 20. Namely in the two sets containing 12 species of pieces, which was made by canting them to the right and to the left, there is only 4 similar formed pieces. The others, one by one, are the acute-angled and obtuse-angled versions of the similar paired forms.

Jigsaw puzzle challenges

Beginner: If one makes an arbitrary selection from the pieces of the two sets that are being used to tile, the equivalent challenges of the traditional pentomino are simple. The best known examples are: the 3x20, the 4x15, the 5x12, the 6x10, the "holed" 5x13 (when the hole in the middle is similar to a previously definite piece), the tripling (jigsaw puzzle of any tripled size piece), and the 8x8.

The 8x8 parallelogram is the easiest from the above mentioned, when the 4 pieces of small pieces' places are arbitrarily selected. The difficulty of challenges can be step-by-step controlled by fixing the places of these small pieces. If we fix the places of all four pieces and specify that only one of the sets is usable, the experienced players will play for hours.

Advanced: It is exciting to solve in parallel and to outdo each other in the above-mentioned half set challenges when using only one of the "punched" sets. The first player has the right-; the other has the left punched set. These are fully equivalent. (When a challenge is solvable with one set, then it is also solvable with the other. When one set has no solution, then the other has neither. When there are different solutions, then the number of solutions is the same at both sets.) The competition remains fair when: before they start solving the selected game, they swap some pieces of their sets (always the equivalent). With this method: from thousands of challenges and more than a hundred set-combinations are available to draw challenges.

Professional: Solution of most puzzles using both sets need (with a bit of luck) 3-10 hours of trying.
These are obvious examples: the 3x40, the 4x30, the 5x24, the 5x25 (with a piece free space in it), the 6x20, the 8x15, the 10x12, the 10x10 (in this case: four equivalent piece should be left out), the 11x11 (here: the place of defect makes newer and newer challenges).

And there are the quadruplication (the hardest, when each of the 8 missing piece belongs to the same set), the quintuplication (in this case, the form and the place of the missing piece can be fixed, as it can be fixed at the 5x25 parallelogram too).

The triangle-like arrangements are also interesting, the three unit wide frame (13x13-7x7), resp. the prescriptions of free spaces placed in different figurative forms.

Strategic games

At the beginning the board is empty. The players following each other place pieces one-by-one on the board selecting arbitrarily from their hand. (Using the full 16x16 game-frame, the placed pieces will be in contact only at their corners. When the game is played on a 12x12 area of the frame, they can be in contact at their edges.) The winner is that player, who has placed a piece on the board last. The competition is more interesting, when you build only in a three unit wide circle on the board, for example in the domino. The player, who cannot fit together his pieces is allocated faults equal to the units of area that are left blank…

Both of the games would be most interesting if the player, who cannot place a piece without fault, has to take one element back from the board. In this case the winner is who first runs out of pieces.


Among the dozens of thousand problems of the game, about 5000 can be found on the Net. The players, fascinated by challenges, have one year to solve the puzzle on the website of the Association of Hungarian Players of Intellectual Games. The competition - began in August, 1998 - will end on the 31. of August, 1999.

Pentomino Hungariqa is the first of solitaire games using romboid poliominos (June 1998). The game is not patented (anybody may make it of cardboad, felt, wood, etc.). As regards the problems, however, the developer of the game expects the copyright of all images published on the Internet to be respected.

The competition was not even at half-time, when the first version of the Pentomino Hungariqa program for Windows 95 has been finished. Now you can download only the Hungarian version of the program for Windows 95/98 (In winzip format, about 300 Kb.). It's easy to use: left button = selection, right button = rotation, right button + CTRL = symmetrical projection.

Keszitette a Damson Bt.
© dr. Nagy László, Cogitorg Kft.