The Golf (Peaks) of Solving

Another day (week? month?), another puzzle game.

This time around, we’re going to solve Golf Peaks. I picked this up a while ago on iOS, but only recently on Steam. It’s a cute little puzzle game themed around minigolf.

Basically, you’re on a grid and you have to get the ball (in the bottom in that screenshot above) to the flag (currently at the top). You have a set list of moves you can take, styled as cards–all of which either move a certain number of tiles in a specific direction or possibly jump into the air (and fly over obstacles).

It gets more complicated from there, but hopefully you have the basic idea. 😄


Solving Sokobond

Another solver that I’ve been working on, after A Good Snowman Is Hard To … Solve?. This time, we have Sokobond! It’s a Sokobon… but with chemical bonds! Yeah, that’s a really good title.

The basic idea is you have a field of elements with (chemical accurate) free electrons):

A basic level

Here we have 4 hydrogens (1 bond each) and a carbon (4 bonds). It should seem pretty obvious that the carbon should end up with a hydrogen on each end. The one last bit of interest: the element with the dashed border is the one we actually control, that will never change.

This eventually gets more complicated, adding:

  • Modifiers that are placed on the map between squares:
    • One that strengthens bonds, turning a single bond into double into triple
    • One that weakens bonds, turning triple to double to single or breaking single bonds
    • One that rotates bonds as you move by it
  • More elements, eventually hydrogen (1), oxygen (2), nitrogen (3), carbon (4), and helium (0)
  • Solutions that require forming multiple elements at the same time

It’s a pretty neat puzzle game with 144 levels of increasing difficulty. Perfect to solve.


A Good Snowman Is Hard To ... Solve?

I enjoy puzzle games. I especially enjoy letting computers solve them for me 😄. Once upon a time, I set up a framework for solving random things. Let’s solve some more.

Today: A Good Snowman Is Hard To Build

It’s a Sokoban about making snowmen! You can push snowballs of three sizes around, collecting snow if you roll over it. You can push smaller snowballs onto bigger ones, stacking them. Or back off, in order to get around one another.

And that’s really it.

There are some interesting twists (multiple snowmen, the ability to leave and re-enter levels, and even a whole second ‘hard mode’), but at a basic level, it’s just pushing.


Infinite Craft Bot

You’ve probably seen’s Infinite Craft game somewhere on the internet. If not, in a nutshell:

  • You start with 4 blocks: Earth, Fire, Water, and Wind.
  • You can combine any two blocks, for example:
    • Earth + Water = Plant
    • Plant + Fire = Smoke
    • Smoke + Smoke = Cloud

That’s… pretty much it, from a gameplay perspective. There’s not really any goal, other than what you set yourself (try to make Cthulhu!). Although if you manage to find something no one has ever made before, you get a neat little note for it!

So wait, what do I mean by ‘something no one has ever seen before’?

Well, if two elements have ever been combined by anyone before, you get a cached response. Barring resets of the game (no idea if / how often this has happened, but I assume it has), if A + B = C for you, A + B = C for everyone.

And here’s the fun part: if you find a combination no one has ever found before: will send the combination out to an LLM to generate the new answer. The specific prompt isn’t public (so far as I know), but essentially what that means is that you have a basically infinite crafting tree1!

So of course seeing something like this I want to automate it. 😄


AoC 2022 Day 23: Elf Scattinator

Source: Unstable Diffusion

Part 1

Implement a cellular automaton with the following rules:

  • If you have no neighbors, don’t move (important, I forgot this one for a while)
  • Otherwise:
    • Calculate a potential move:
      • If you have no neighbors to the north, move north
      • If not, check likewise for south, then west, than east
    • If no other agent is moving to the same space, move to your potential move
    • Otherwise, don’t move
  • On each frame, rotate the order the directions are checked in (NSWE, SWEN, WENS, ENSW, NSWE, …)


AoC 2022 Day 22: Wonderator

Source: Monkey Map

Part 1

Given a map and a series of instructions formatted as distance + turn (L or R), find the final position. Any time you would walk off the edge of the map, wrap to the opposite edge.


AoC 2022 Day 19: Blueprintinator

Source: Not Enough Minerals

Part 1

Given a series of given a series of blueprints, each of which gives instructions for how to build a single robot from a collection of materials that in turn will produce one of a given material per turn, determine the best order of builds to maximize your geode (the most valuable material) production for each blueprint given a time limit of 24 minutes.