The Game of Games

Year:  2003

Genre:  Fantasy

Links:  Moby Games, Adventure Gamers

Magnetic is a puzzle game set on a deserted tropical island. You wander around the island and play against the computer AI in 16 different games. At the beginning of the game you choose out of six companions to accompany you around the island and help explain the puzzles.


There are 16 games created for you on the island, and the first is revealed by a storm at the outset. Each of the other games is "guarded" by a puzzle that must first be solved. Once you have completed 3 puzzles and games, the Transporter will be available from the top left corner of the screen. This allows you to jump quickly to puzzles and games you have previously seen.

You do not have to complete the game in the order outlined below; it depends on which directions you travel as you explore the island. The first paragraph below each of the puzzle/game pairs gives directions on finding them (in terms of movements from your starting position on the beach).

2D Nim

Right twice, then forward.


This isn't actually a puzzle, it is just the introduction to the game.


The game starts with a random number of metallic pieces on the beach, and a lever at the bottom right. The aim of the game is to remove the last piece - with each turn between 1 and 3 pieces can be removed. The technique to win is to always leave the computer with a multiple of 4 pieces to choose from.

Press the button in the middle of the lever to start the game. Once the pieces are displayed, if a multiple of 4 is present, move the handle up to the left (to make the computer go first); if not, move it down to the right. When you have removed as many pieces each turn as you want (to leave a multiple of 4), push the lever to signify the end of your turn. Win the game a number of times to light up all the indicators on the lever.

Queens and 3D Nim

Right 3 times, forward 10 times, left twice, forward 4 times and right.


You must place one queen in each row of squares so that no 2 queens exist on any column or diagonal. Reading from top to bottom, for the 4x4 grid they should be placed in squares 2, 4, 1, 3. For the 6x6 grid, place them in 2, 4, 6, 1, 3, 5. Finally, for the 8x8 grid, place the queens in squares 2, 5, 7, 4, 1, 8, 6, 3. Now go forward twice to reach the game.


The aim here is the same as for the game in 2D Nim - you must remove the final piece. This time you can remove as many pieces as you want as long as they are of the same color. The way to win is to put the opponent in a position where there are 2 colors remaining and they have an equal number of pieces. Other positions where you should be able to win from are 1, 2 and 3 pieces of the three colors, and similarly 1, 4 and 5.

Coins and Mancala

Left 3 times, forward 8 times, right, forward twice, left, forward 7 times (to a "no fishing" sign), and forward 3 more times.


There are sixteen coins of various types, with two already placed in position. The coins represent the different pieces in a game of chess, and need to be arranged as if the game is about to begin. Make sure the back row (rook, knight, bishop, queen, king, bishop, knight, rook) is formed with the coins touching each other, and space the pawns out in front equally.


The object of this game is to collect more pieces in your goal on the right than your opponent does on the left. You choose one of your bowls when it is your turn, and distribute the number of objects one at a time into the following bowls in an anti-clockwise direction (e.g. 3 pieces would be spread out over the following 3 bowls). If the last piece is placed in your goal, you get another turn. If the last piece is placed in an empty space and there are pieces in the opposite bowl, all are deposited in your goal. If you or your opponent clears all pieces on your side, the other player gets to claim all remaining pieces as their own.

One winning series of moves from the start is to move your pieces from bowls 3, 6, 5, 6, 1, 2. The rest of the game should be straight-forward.

Music and XOX

Right 6 times, forward 5 times, left and forward 8 times.


Behind the rock are 5 pressure plates. Pressing these causes music to play. Once you can remember which piece of music goes with each plate, pull the lever. As each sample of music is played, press the corresponding plate. Get all 5 correct to proceed.


Two robots are in a room playing tic-tac-toe against each other (must get 3 pieces of the same color in any row, column or diagonal). You don't have direct control over where the left robot places your gold pieces. After losing 5 times, click on the green glow in the middle of the robot and you can program it to win. From left to right, place the options in the following order:

  • 3 blue
  • 2 blue
  • (blank)
  • 1 blue
  • 1 blue, 1 gold
  • 1 gold
  • 2 blue, 1 gold
  • 1 blue, 2 gold
  • 2 gold
  • 3 gold

Your robot will still lose occasionally but will eventually win overall with these settings.

Map and Checkers

Right 3 times, forward 8 times and left.


There is no actual puzzle here; you just need to see the map to reveal the hotspot to trigger the game. Once you have seen the map, go right, back 8 times, right 7 times, forward twice, left, forward and left again. Click on the dark area near the base of the trees.


This is a simple game of checkers/draughts. Your white pieces can move on diagonals only, and can only go forward until they reach the far side and become "queens", after which point they can also move backward. You take the opponent's pieces by jumping diagonally over them. The aim is to remove your opponent's pieces. The best opening moves are to move your 2 corner pieces towards the middle of the board. After this it is not too difficult to win.

Numbers and Fitchneal

Right 3 times, forward 10 times, left twice and forward 3 times. Pick up the small tin on the ground.


The tin contains the controls to make equations consisting of the numbers 1-4 and the standard arithmetic symbols. Your job is to make equations that result in the numbers 0 through 7 - each equation must use each of the numbers 1 through 4, and each operator only once. Note that multiply and divide take precedence over add and subtract. There are many possible solutions, but here is a working set:

  • 0 = 1 + 4 / 2 - 3
  • 1 = 2 + 3 - 4 x 1
  • 2 = 2 x 3 - 4 / 1
  • 3 = 4 x 1 - 3 + 2
  • 4 = 4 / 2 - 1 + 3
  • 5 = 4 x 1 + 3 - 2
  • 6 = 4 x 2 - 3 + 1
  • 7 = 4 / 2 x 3 + 1


This is the game of Fitchneal. You can choose to either defend (easier) where you must make the king (central piece) escape to the edge of the board, or attack (harder) where you must surround the king on all four sides. Pieces can be removed from the board by surrounding them on two opposite sides. The defending player always goes first, and pieces can be moved as rooks in a game of chess (as far as you want either horizontally or vertically). If you label the columns A-I from left to right, and the rows 1-9 from top to bottom, the following is a winning series of moves for the defending player: E3-C3, E4-C4, D5-D4, F5-F4, E5-E3, E3-D3, C2-B2, C4-B4, C3-A3 or C3-C9.

Shapes and Hexagons

Left 3 times, forward 8 times, right, forward twice, left, forward 7 times (to a "no fishing" sign), left and forward.


Click on the turtle and you will see 2 patterns displayed on the rocks. The aim is to make the left pattern exactly the same as the right one. The four numbers control the appearance of the left image. The first number changes the color; it cycles through red, yellow, dark blue, orange, green, purple, white and light blue. The second number changes the shape; it cycles through octagon, hexagon, pentagon, square, triangle, star and straight line. The third number changes the number of repetitions. The fourth number changes the speed of rotation (1 = fast to the left, 4 = none, 7 = fast to the right).

Click on the turtle and change the numbers until you have matched the pattern correctly. Repeat this twice more and the game will be revealed. The requested patterns change every time, so specific answers cannot be given here.


The aim is to create a continuous line of orange hexagons from left to right across the board before the opponent forms a blue line from top to bottom. The basic strategy is to always leave yourself two options. If you want to block the opponent, place a piece not directly adjacent to his, but two steps away. Win 8 times to complete the game.

Balls and Boxes

Left 3 times, forward 8 times, right, forward twice, left, forward 7 times (to a "no fishing" sign), forward and left.


This puzzle consists of a grid of 25 spaces that can be either gold or blank. There is also a hint book just to the right of the grid. The aim is to turn all of the spaces gold. When you click on a space, all of the surrounding spaces also change their status. The way to complete the puzzle is to start from the second row and work down - click on spaces in the second row to change all of the first row to gold, then move down a row and continue. When you reach the bottom, the spaces will be in one of the configurations shown in the hint book. Note that in this book, there will be one or two spaces circled in the picture corresponding to your current configuration. Click on these two spaces, then work down from the second row again and you will complete the puzzle. You must complete it several times to open the passage to the game.


This game involves capturing as many squares on the board as possible; this is achieved by completing all four sides of the square (at which point its color changes to orange). Each turn involves drawing in one line - if you complete a square you get another turn. The basic strategy is to avoid completing 3 sides of a square if at all possible, because the opponent could then complete it with his turn. Start the game by completing any squares with 3 sides completed, then play a series of safe moves. Eventually someone will have to make 3 sides of a square, so if you must, try to do this in a region where you will only give away a run of a few squares. The player with the most squares at the end of the round wins. Win 8 rounds to finish the game.

Colors and Pinball

Left 3 times, forward twice, left, forward, left twice and forward 3 times. Look in the fallen tree to see a scrap of paper containing an important color clue. Now go back 3 times, right twice, back, right, back twice, left 4 times, forward 5 times and right.


Click on the Wazzidor sign and the letters will change color. Click on each of the letters so that the first two match the first color from your clue, then second two match the next color and so on. Once you are done, go left to see the game.


You must get 8 balls to the left side of the screen before the opponent gets 8 to the right. On each turn, you can drop a ball from one of four positions at the top; balls will stop when they hit platforms, and will disturb the platforms when the hit the attached levers. If you manage to clear the play field with your ball, you get another go (unless the field was empty when you started). It is important to note that two balls cannot balance on top of each other. Simply win this 8 times to continue.

Cube and Rectangles

Left 3 times and forward 5 times.


Build a cube from the bottom up. The correct order of pieces is purple, light blue, pink, dark blue, yellow, orange and green.


The aim here is to place your horizontal 2x1 blocks so that you get the last move. In the 3x3 grid you must start by placing a piece in the middle row. In the 4x4 grid you should start with a piece in the middle of the 2nd row, and place your next piece offset to this one row below. In the 5x5 grid up to the 8x8 grid, always start in the second row and remember to try to create spaces where the opponent's vertical pieces cannot fit.

Anagrams and Crosswords

Left 3 times, forward 8 times, right, forward twice, left, forward 7 times (to a "no fishing" sign), right and forward.


This puzzle involves anagrams. You must rearrange the letters provided to form a word (click on each letter in turn). To scramble the letters, click just to their left. To get a new set of letters, click just to their right. You must solve a series of 6 anagrams correctly to reveal the passage down towards the game. There is a hint given by your companion that the first letter is always A-D.


Probably the easiest game of the lot - simple scrabble variant where every letter is worth 1 point, you only have 1 letter to place per turn, and the board is only 5x5 in size. Just score more points than the opponent to win the game.

Dissections and Bowling

Right 3 times, forward 11 times and left once.


Slide the oddly-shaped pieces into the square to the bottom left. The large triangle must go at the bottom left corner and the square in the middle (at an angle). Once this is complete, click on the tiles and you will see a black screen. Click the mouse to turn on a flashlight and move the mouse to reveal a faded photograph of a beach scene. Note the small fractal image in the bottom left. Go to this location by heading right, then backward 11 times. Click where the fractal was to trigger the game.


The goal is to bowl over the last pin, after taking it in turns with the computer to knock down either one or two at a time. The major strategy is to create a "symmetrical" pattern of remaining pins (paired groups of 1-7 pins) and then mirror whatever move the computer makes with a similar move of your own. In this way, there will always be 2 pins left at the end, with the computer knocking down one, and then you knocking down the other.

Sequences and Chess

Left 3 times, forward 8 times, right, forward twice and left twice.


Pick up the calculator, and it will start displaying a sequence of numbers. All you have to do is give the next number in the sequence, then click the "Enter" button. The following are the correct sequences:

  • Whole Numbers - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 - 6
  • Odd Numbers - 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 - 11
  • Even Numbers - 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 - 12
  • Primes - 2, 3, 5, 7, 11 - 13
  • Squares - 1, 4, 9, 16, 25 - 36
  • Powers of Two - 1, 2, 4, 8, 16 - 32
  • Fibonacci - 1, 1, 2, 3, 5 - 8


What follows is a simplified version of chess played on a 5x5 board. You might like to experiment and win this by yourself, otherwise here is a series of moves that will always win (numbers go upwards 1-5, letters go across A-E). Note that if the opponent does not play the moves indicated in brackets, you will have to change strategy slightly, but always start with this opening move and things should be relatively easy.

  • E2 - E3 (D4 x E3)
  • D2 x E3 (A4 - A3)
  • B2 x A3 (B4 - B3)
  • A2 x B3 (C4 x B3)
  • C2 x B3 (D5 x E3)
  • A1 - A2 (E3 x D1)
  • E1 x D1 (B5 - E2)
  • C1 - D2 (E2 x D2)
  • D1 x D2 (A5 - B5)
  • B3 - B4 (C5 - E3)
  • B1 - B3 (E5 - D5)
  • D2 x D5 (E3 - C5)
  • A3 - A4

Tessellation and Pawns

Left 5 times.


Look at the tessellation mat, which is an almost blank area with a stack of hexagons, squares and triangles. Starting from the right edge, simply slot the pieces into place to form a repeating pattern across the mat (the pattern is a hexagon surrounded by 6 squares and 6 triangles - it will become obvious as you start).


In this game, the pawns cannot take each other, than can only move forward and block. The winner is the person to make the last move (before all moves are blocked). Pawns on the first row can move 1 or two spaces, all others only one. The way to win is to conserve any pawns on your first row until right at the end, so that their move determines who goes last.

Keypad and Links

Left 3 times, forward 9 times.


Pick up the crumpled piece of paper, which contains the following sequence - 1, 2, 6, 24, 120, 720. Now go back, right, forward twice, left, forward twice and right. Enter the next number in the sequence (5040) to pass the keypad.


Once again, the aim is to have the last move. The green square is the current position, and the black squares are places where you can move (the red ones are blocked, and you cannot go back over your blue path). The secret to winning is always going to an area where there is an odd number of black squares remaining.

Dominoes and Paint Cans

Left 3 times, forward 8 times, right, forward twice, left, forward twice and left.


Pull the lever to turn on the power, then turn left. This puzzle is essentially "Dominoes Patience", where pairs of dominoes can be removed when their adjacent colors match. Always try to plan your moves so that two more dominoes are brought together that match in color and this puzzle is quite simple.


The goal is to fill the container on the right with 27 gallons of blue liquid. The cans contain 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 gallon each from front to back. The correct technique to win is to match the computer's move with one to total 6 each time, until you get the opportunity to make the total 21 - in this way you can always take the last move and win the game.