optical illusions, puzzles, brain teasers


















A Strategy Street Game
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Here's an original Mind Bluff game which can be played on any road map, or in real life -- the latter by hiking, or cruising, down neighborhood streets.

For real life players, the game provides an incentive to exercise (eg., walk) and to explore. Hopefully it should also strengthen your strategic planning skills and your "street knowledge" of your walking area.

Strategy, planning, and luck become the participants. Whether you are playing the game in the real world or on a street map, you can start the game from any point. A rule is implemented each time you encounter a new street on your journey.

A "new" street is one that juts off at any angle to your right or left -- or which directly crosses your path (i.e., an intersection). The name of that new street determines the rule to follow. (If the street has two or more words in the title, the first word only is considered.)

If the name begins OR ends in a vowel, you have a free option: you can turn right, left, or continue forward. (Assuming of course there's a street in one of those directions you can choose from.) Incidently, these directions are approximate -- for example, "left" or "right" need NOT be 90-degrees perpendicular to you; the street can lean anywhere towards the left or right.

But if the street-name begins and ends in a consonant, a different rule applies: if the first letter of the word is one of the letters "A" through "L" in the alphabet, you MUST turn left. If a street juts off to your left, you MUST turn into that street and forge down that street. If, and only if, there is no street that juts off to your left, but a street DOES jut off to your right, then you MUST turn RIGHT down that street. However, you CANNOT continue FORWARD.

The converse holds true for a street beginning and ending in a consonant that begins with a letter "M" through "Z." In this case, you must turn RIGHT down a street on your right; but if you can't turn right, you MUST turn left. Once again, you CANNOT continue FORWARD.

AT NO TIME are you allowed to walk backwards.

If, confronted with any of the scenarios above, you cannot obey the rule (in other words, there's no street existing for your available options) then you become IMMOBILIZED. When you become IMMOBILIZED, the game ends. (If the game continues long enough, everyone will eventually become IMMOBILIZED, or STUCK IN LIMBO.)

STUCK IN LIMBO: If you find yourself in a pattern which cannot be broken out of, so that you cannot explore new territory, then...you are STUCK IN LIMBO. You may find variations on your journey to alter this pattern, but if your "overall" pattern ultimately becomes self-encapsulating, then...you are STUCK IN LIMBO.

The game's goal is up to you. You can choose an arbitrary DESTINATION, then try to reach your DESTINATION from a chosen start-point. If you fail, you lose. Or...if no DESTINATION exists, you can set your goal to reach a mile beyond your starting point. If you can walk a mile (measured in a straight line) from your starting point, you win. (Even if you get STUCK IN LIMBO, this might be possible at some point on your journey.)

Go ahead. We dare you. Play Mind Bluff's "SURVIVOR" STREET GAME -- and let us know how you do!


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