Skip to main content

Twisty puzzles consist of a set of pieces which can be manipulated into different combinations by a group of operations. Use this tag for puzzles similar to the archetype of combination puzzles, the Rubik's cube.

What is a Twisty Puzzle?

A twisty puzzle is another term for a combination puzzle (also known as a sequential move puzzle). It is a puzzle that consists of a set of pieces which can be manipulated into different combinations by a group of operations. Many such puzzles are mechanical puzzles of polyhedral shape, consisting of multiple layers of pieces along each axis which can rotate independently of each other.

The archetype of this kind of puzzle is the Rubik's Cube. Each rotating side is usually marked with different colors, intended to be scrambled, then 'solved' by a sequence of moves that sort the facets by color. As a generalization, combination puzzles also include mathematically defined examples either not yet or impossible to physically construct (e.g. a 4D twisty puzzle such as a tesseract version of the Rubik's cube).

How do I solve a twisty puzzle?

A combination puzzle is solved by achieving a particular combination, starting from a random (scrambled) combination. Often, the solution is required to be some recognizable pattern such as "all like colors together" or "all numbers in order".

What are some examples of twisty puzzles?

The most common example of a twisty puzzle is the Rubik's cube, but there are many others, such as:

Picutre Name Comments
Picture of a 3x3x3 Rubik's cube. Rubik's Cube The original Rubik's Cube.
Picture of a 4x4x4 Rubik's cube. Rubik's Revenge Solution is much the same as 3×3×3 cube except additional (and relatively simple) algorithm(s) are required to unscramble the centre pieces and edges and additional parity not seen on the 3x3x3 Rubik's Cube.
Picture of a computer rendering of a tesseract puzzle. Tesseract This is the 4-dimensional analog of a cube and thus cannot actually be constructed. However, it can be drawn or represented by a computer. Significantly more difficult to solve than the standard cube, although the techniques follow much the same principles. There are many other sizes of virtual cuboid puzzles ranging from the trivial 3×3 to the 5-dimensional 7×7×7×7×7 which has only been solved twice so far.
Picture of a calendar cube. Calendar Cube Mechanically identical to the standard 3×3×3 cube, but with specially printed stickers for displaying the date. Much easier to solve since five of the six faces are ignored. Ideal produced a commercial version during the initial cube craze. Sticker sets are also available for converting a normal cube into a calendar.
Picture of a sudoku cube. Sudoku Cube Identical to the Rubik's Cube in mechanical function, it adds another layer of difficulty in that the numbers must all have the same orientation and there are no colors to follow. The name reflects its superficial resemblance to the two-dimensional Sudoku number puzzle.
Picture of a skewb. Skewb Similar to the original Rubik's Cube, the Skewb differs in that its four axes of rotation pass through the corners of the cube rather than the centers of the faces. As a result, it is a deep-cut puzzle in which each twist scrambles all six faces.
Picture of a pyraminx. Pyraminx Tetrahedral-shaped puzzle with axes on the corners and trivial tips. It was invented in 1970 by Uwe Mèffert.
Picture of a megaminx. Megaminx 12-sided polyhedron puzzle similar to Rubik's Cube in operation and solution.
Picture of an impossiball. Impossiball Rounded icosahedron puzzle similar to Pocket Cube in operation and solution.
Picture of a Rubik's snake. Rubik's Snake Some would not count this as a combinational puzzle though it bears the Rubik name. Also known as Rubik's Twist. There is no one solution to this puzzle but multiple different shapes can be made.
Picture of a traditional sliding puzzle. Sliding Puzzle These ubiquitous puzzles come in many sizes and designs. The traditional design is with numbers and the solution forms a magic square. There have been many different designs, the example shown here uses graphic symbols instead of numbers. The solution requires that there are no repeated symbols in any row, column or diagonal. The picture shows the puzzle unsolved.
Picture of a fifteen puzzle. Fifteen Puzzle The original sliding piece puzzle.

A related tag that can additionally be used for these puzzles is

References

Wikipedia contributors. (2021, October 16). Combination puzzle. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 14:17, October 18, 2021, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Combination_puzzle&oldid=1050187792