Lights Out 1.1

What is this page?

This is the homepage for Andy Scheffler's Palm OS Adaptation of the Lights Out game. It is currently in a public release. I'm pretty sure the game is bug-free.

What is Lights Out?

Lights Out is a handheld device made by Tiger Electronics, about the size of a VHS tape. It has 25 lights/buttons on it which can either be on or off. The object is to get all of the lights off, hence the name of the game.

How do I get all the lights off?

Whenever you hit a button, if that button is off, it turns on. If that button was on, it turns off. But, the four buttons that are on the top, bottom, left and right of that button also switch states like this.

That sounds easy! Where's the challenge?

Well, did I mention that you have to do it in a certain number of moves? Each puzzle has a magic number of moves that is the minimum number of moves necessary to solve it. If you solve it in this number, the screen will give a little spiral animation. If you take anywhere up to 10 extra moves, it will instead flash a number of buttons equal to the number you were over. Any more than 10 extra moves, and it flashes a big "X" and you have to start that level over.

Has anyone reviewed it?

As a matter of fact, Tap, an online Palm Platform Computing magazine, reviewed it back in Issue 2.0 (Jan/Feb 1999). I have a local copy of the review if you'd like to read it. Keep in mind they were reviewing version 1.0, but the article is still pertinent.

Okay, enough talk. Where do I get it?

Well, the toy should be in any decent toy store, but you're probably here for my program.

Anything else I should know?

Well, specific directions and some techie issues are covered in the readme.txt (included in the download). You also might want to know that this is my first Palm OS program, and my first solo programming project of any magnitude. I used the GCC cross-compiler package for UNIX and Win95 to develop and test it.

How does that little program solve the puzzle so quick?

I was recently asked via email how a small program on such a limited platform (the PalmPilot is a computational midget in today's world) can solve any given puzzle. I reveal all in my How to solve Lights Out puzzles page.

Version History

v1.0     Jan 19, 1998
v1.0.1   Mar  2, 1999
v1.0.2   May 10, 1999
v1.0.3   Nov  2, 1999
v1.1     Nov  9, 1999
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