A simple puzzler that’ll turn you into a scientist

Help make a quantum computer while waiting for the bus with a new puzzler, Decodoku:Colors, available on the App Store and Google Play.

There’s a grid, and you have to push things around. This is a game mechanic that is effortless to pick up, and which will appeal to fans of ‘2048’ or ‘Threes!’. But behind the simplicity, this game has a world of science to explore.

You start with groups of symbols. Every few moves they will grow, and sometimes merge with their neighbours.

Big groups are a bad thing. Groups that stretch across the grid are the worst. So your mission is to keep them small. Just move the symbols around to keep the groups under control. Once a group gets too big, it’s Game Over. Your quantum computer needs to be turned off and on again.

Quite what the groups are, or why big ones break quantum computers, is not explained in-game. Instead, the game just gives you a problem that scientists want you to solve, and lets you get on with it.

You will also be able to win prizes in their competition, to be launched in early November. But this comes at a cost: You will have to think a bit! Once you have worked out exactly how your genius method works, tell the people behind the game. You’ll then be rewarded for your scientific efforts by a feeling of satisfaction. And also, if you are one of the best, material goods.

All aspects of the project, including the games and competition entry, are free.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.