- 56 tiles painted with different colored links
Whenever tiles touch, the colors of the connecting links must be of the same color - they must match! "Match" is the golden rule of Tantrix.
A gobble is a space around the Tantrix surrounded by three or more tiles. A tile placed into a 3-sided space is 'gobbled'. Gobbles are also known as 'forced spaces'.
A line of one color which passes through the tiles and eventually curves back to join itself is called a loop. Loops do not have to be perfect circles! They can be of any shape, no matter how irregular.
The connected group of tiles already played on the table is often referred to as 'the Tantrix'. The name Tantrix itself is derived from 'Tangled Tracks'.
Five Types Of Challenges
Discovery Puzzles: Your objective - build loops using all the tiles. The difficulty increases as each new tile is added. Allow up to ten hours to complete all 28 puzzles!
Tantrix Gobble: A fast- paced interactive game for up to 6 players, perfect for kids and families. About ten minutes per game.
Tantrix the Game: The award-winning game of luck and strategy for 2-4 players. Though the rules are simple, the tactics can be subtle and complex. About 30 minutes per game.
Tantrix Solitaire: A tricky solitaire game using 14 tiles and requiring both luck and skill. Solitaire is a great way to improve spatial skills and tile recognition.
Rainbow Puzzles: The 56 tiles can also be split into five color-coded puzzles; ideal for brain training.
Select the first few tiles and lay them out in order with their numbers facing up.
Turn over tiles 1, 2 & 3 and make a yellow loop. The loop can be any closed shape provided its ends join up.
Break up the tiles, add tile 4 and make a new loop of four tiles. The color of each new tile's number shows what color loop to make (tile 4 is red). Remember, the loop can be any shape as long as it is closed.
Break up the tiles, add tile 5 and make a new loop of five tiles. Note that the loop is red again.
Continue as above, adding one tile at a time. Each new loop must include all tiles picked up so far and all touching links must match in color.
As always, the loop color is on the back of the new tile!
This sequence ends at tile 30. However, it is possible to combine any number of ten-tile Discovery sets (sold separately) to extend the sequence infinitely.
Each new tile added makes the puzzle harder as the loop shape becomes more irregular.
Links of the same shape can be exchanged without affecting the overall shape of the loop. There are three different link shapes: corners, straights and bends.
Sometimes it is easier to ignore the "Match color" rule until the main loop is completed. Then go back and swap tiles to ensure that all other colors match!
A hole is an empty space completely surrounded by six tiles. Holes are not allowed in Discovery.
From tile 15 on wards there are four colors, which can make the remaining puzzles even more challenging.
The table on the left shows target solution times for the puzzles up to ten tiles.
Tantrix Gobble is a family game which is more about speed than strategy.
It suits fast, rather than deep thinkers and is a fun introduction for younger players.
The optimum number of players will depend on how much chaos you can take: more than 4 players and elbows definitely become a factor!
In Gobble, players:
- race against time to add all their tiles to the Tantrix
- may only add tiles that touch at least two other tiles
- are rewarded for filling gobbles! To fill a gobble, add a tile to the Tantrix which touches at least three other tiles.
What Is A Gobble?
A gobble is a space in the Tantrix surrounded by three or more tiles.
In the diagram you can see two gobble spaces (A and B) and one tile that could fit at A.
Game Play (1 Player)
Begin with all tiles in the bag. Take two tiles at random and place them together in the middle of the table with their colors matching.
Continue taking one tile at a time from the bag and joining it to the Tantrix on the table.
Joining tiles must always touch at least TWO other tiles (see diagram), and all touching colors must match.
Any new tile which can not be added directly to the Tantrix must be placed face up on a "discard" stack.
Every time a gobble is filled, the top tile from the dis- card stack can be returned to the bag, or played.
Your objective is to finish the game with no tiles on the discard stack after all tiles have been played!
Game Play (2-6 Players)
Place any two tiles together in the middle of the ta- ble with their colors matching. Share all remaining tiles between the players, with the better players taking extra tiles.
One player shouts "GO", then all players simultaneously race to connect their tiles as quickly as possible to the Tantrix, one tile at a time. There are no turns!
Tiles can only be connected to the Tantrix if they touch at least TWO other tiles, and if all their colors are matching.
Whenever a player fills a gobble, they shout "Gobble!" and discard one of their tiles onto any opponent.
Players shout "OUT!" as they play their last tile and the first player out wins. The other players continue until all finish.
You do not need to slow down or stop, just because another player shouts "Gobble". Keep going!
Rather than retaliate, it is of course better to discard your gobble tiles onto those players who are nearly out!
Double gobbles can also be claimed by filling 4 - sided spaces. So if you are lucky (or very good), you may be able to discard two tiles at once onto other players.
The restraint rules (see the Tantrix Game) do not apply in Gobble. Double gobbles and gobbles with three links of the same color are allowed.
Tantrix The Game
The aim of the game is to make the longest possible line (or loop) of your chosen color.
Choose your opponents
The game can be played by two, three or four players.
While games with three or four players are more interactive, the two-player version is more skilful and is always used in tournaments.
Choose your color
Each player chooses a color: red, yellow, green or blue. All colors are present in equal quantities, so no color has an advantage over another. Regular players often develop a preference and can find it hard to switch.
All the tiles are placed in the bag. Each player takes a hand of six tiles at random. The tiles are turned face up in front of each player and need to remain visible to the other players throughout the game.
The player with the highest number starts, placing any tile from their hand into the center of the table. Players then take turns adding tiles, following the basic rules.
Four Basic Rules:
Each tile played must connect to the Tantrix.
All colors of connecting tiles must match.
Players must always have six tiles in their hand. A replacement tile must be picked up immediately after a tile has been played.
Whenever possible, gobble spaces (see page 3) must be filled by the player whose turn it is.
As the game progresses, gobble spaces will occur more frequently - so each player's turn becomes a three-step process of trying to fill any gobbles, then making a free move and finally trying to fill any gobbles again.
Step 1 : Fill Gobble Spaces
Start your turn by looking for gobbles that have not yet been filled. Fill them if you can. Pick up a replace- ment each time you play a tile. Filling one gobble often creates another, which must also be filled if possible.
Step 2 : Make A Free Move
Select one of your six tiles and play it anywhere you like, provided you obey the basic rules and the three restraints (see page 16). It is a good idea to test your free move, and any gobbles it creates, by placing a tile close to the Tantrix.
Once it touches the Tantrix the move is confirmed. Do not forget to pick up a replacement tile.
Step 3: Fill Gobble Spaces Again
Before your turn is over, check your tiles again in case you can fill any gobble spaces, including gobbles created by your free move. Remember to pick up a replacement each time you play a tile.
Tip: Spotting tiles that can be gobbled
If at first you find it hard to see which tiles fit gobbles, don't worry, you are not alone. But if you stick with it, we promise that spotting gobble tiles will quickly become second nature!
One way to practice, is to say "out loud" the colors of the gobble space in a clockwise direction, for example: red-blue-ye llow.
Then keep this sequence in mind, as you scan your tiles to look for it.
The 3 Restraints
There are three moves - called restraints - which are not allowed as long as tiles remain in the bag. Once all tiles are drawn, the restraints are lifted.
You may not create gobble spaces with three links of the same color!
You may not create double gobbles!
Double gobbles are spaces surrounded by four tiles. In the diagram, tiles may not be played at X or Y.
However, as soon as A is filled, a tile may be played at X or Y.
You may not play along a 'controlled side'!
The diagram on the right shows a gobble space at A, so tiles may not be played along X, Y or Z. The gobble at A 'controls' the rest of the side.
Only after A is filled by a tile, can X, Y and Z be filled - and only in this order.
All players must obey the 3 restraints until the endgame, even when filling gobbles.
If your game starts to have gaps or holes in the middle of the Tantrix (as often happens during Tantrix Gobble), you probably have not obeyed the three restraints correctly.
An easy way to learn the rules is to play Tantrix online, where gobbles and restraints are done for you.
End of the Game
Whoever removes the last tile from the bag announces "bag empty" and the three restraints no longer apply. This final period of play is called the endgame.
Players must still obey the basic rules, but they now can create gobbles with three links of the same color, double gobbles and place tiles along controlled sides.
The game ends when all tiles have been played. Players score one point per tile in their longest line, or two points per tile in their long- est loop.
Only one line or loop per player counts. For example, a loop of 12 tiles means a score of 24 points, which wins over a line of 23 tiles.
Select any set of 14 tiles with the same three colors.
The ultimate goal is to build a loop of one color which passes through all 14 tiles. However, this is a very difficult challenge! The intermediate objective is to build any loop with more than ten tiles.
Start by turning all 14 tiles upside down in a random stack, then place the first tile face up on the table.
Take the next tile and join it to the first one, with all colours matching.
Tiles can be played anywhere, provided all colors match!
Continue joining all the tiles, one at a time. Once played, tiles can not be moved.
To score, count the number of tiles in your biggest loop and double. The perfect solution is a loop going through all 14 tiles with a score of 28
Solving this puzzle perfectly every time is perhaps the single hardest solitaire challenge in Tantrix, so don't expect overnight success.
In the beginning, consistently completing loops of ten tiles or more is to be commended.
No need to immediately choose the loop color. More often than not, it makes sense to keep your options open until a few tiles have been played.
A useful training technique is to use "joker tiles".
If the next tile can not be conveniently played, put it aside, and add it back any time later.
Subtract one point from your final score for each joker tile you used.
Mastering big loops requires perfect knowledge of the 14 tiles and careful planning. Don't be too disappointed, when large loops go wrong, the score is often zero!
Rainbow Puzzles (Loops)
Start by sorting the tiles into piles according to the colors of the numbers on the back. There are 5 different puzzles, described below in order of difficulty.
The Green and Yellow puzzles are loop puzzles just like Tantrix Discovery, and the White puzzle is similar to the Xtreme set (sold separately), for which no color clues are given.
The Blue and Red puzzles are pyramid puzzles and extremely challenging. Good luck!
Green Puzzle: (10 tiles). Make a green loop with all ten tiles.
Yellow Puzzle: (12 tiles). Make a yellow loop with all twelve tiles.
White Puzzle: (9 tiles). Make a loop with all nine tiles. Only one color can be solved - but which one?
Rainbow Puzzles (Pyramids)
With pyramid puzzles, all tiles must be formed into the designated pyramid shape. The Blue and Red Rainbow puzzles both are "Line pyramid" puzzles.
Blue Puzzle (10 Tiles).
Make a ten-tile pyramid shape, which contains a continuous blue line passing through all the tiles.
Red Puzzle (15 Tiles).
Make a 15-tile pyramid shape, which contains a continuous red line passing through all the tiles.
You can also try to create your own pyramid puzzles, either line or just matching puzzles by working backwards. Start by creating the solution using all necessary tiles, then challenge a friend (or yourself later).