Topologic
A deduction game

Material

  • 1 set of nestortiles (A-type, 60 tiles: 10 colors, 6 tiles each)
  • 5 pieces (the seekers)
  • paper and pencil

Theme

First off, players may choose a theme for the game. They can play a game of treasure seeking, espionage or any theme where a secret and seekers for that secret are involved. Name it like “Treasure Hunt on Parrot Island” or leave it as it is and just play “Topologic”. It’s up to you.

Preparation

Every game is played over two rounds. In the first round one player takes the role of the referee, the other the role of the seekers.

At the beginning the playing field is assembled: all 60 tiles are put together at random with the dice pips up. There are no requirements about the shape of the playing field.

The referee decides upon a location where he hides the secret and notes it secretly on a piece of paper. Each location is defined by a color/number combination, e.g. “yellow/4” or “blue/6”. The seeker player gets the 5 playing pieces.

Objective

The seeker player tries to find the secret. He gets hints from the referee about its location after he has moved his seekers on the playing field.

Play

In the first turn of a round the seekers enter the scene. The seeker player places them on arbitrary locations at the border of the playing field. It is allowed to place more than one piece on one location. In fact, it is the goal to place all 5 pieces on the secret location at the end.

The seekers show up.

From now on, the referee and the seeker player take turns.

The referee gives a hint

The referee now calculates the points the seekers receive according to their current locations: Each seeker piece gains 1 point if

  • either the color of its current location
  • or the number (dice pips) match the actual secret location.

The referee informs the seeker player by telling him only the sum of points achieved by all 5 seeker pieces (and not how these points were scored or which of the seeker pieces actually scored). The seeker player should note the configuration of pieces along with this number carefully on a sheet of paper.

The seekers get the information. In this example “three”. Two of them match the color and one matches the number of the secret (yellow/5). A seeker directly placed on the secret location would score 2 points.

Additionally, the number of the turn is recorded.

The seekers move

After that, the seeker player can move any number of pieces in any desired order.

Movement

Pieces move orthogonally (not diagonally) over any number of empty or occupied locations. The move can be stopped on empty or occupied locations.

No piece may be moved twice in a turn.

End of a round

The seekers end the round when they gather all of their pieces on the secret location and thus score 10 points (5 × 2 points → each piece scores points for a color/number match). Usually the seeker player knows about the secret in the final stage of the game, but he must make all moves to the secret location and add to the number of required turns.

Then the roles reverse.

The new referee locates a new secret, seekers are taken off the playing field, which remains unchanged, and the second round begins.

The winner is the player who required the smaller number of turns to find the secret as a seeker player. Every turn counts, including the last, in which all 5 seeker pieces gathered on the secret location.

Variant

For an easier game use 4 or 3 seekers.

Created: 23 Nov 2010 10 Oct 2017 (Rule change): Piece movement

Created: 23 Nov 2010 10 Oct 2017 (Rule change): Piece movement