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Wielding Sword and Rearing Horse (橫刀立馬)

Like Rearrange the Nine Grids, Hua Rong Path (known as Klotski in the West) is also a type of sliding block puzzle. The major difference between them is that Rearrange the Nine Grids requires a player to rearrange the configuration by moving around pieces of the same size and shape. Hua Rong Path, on the other hand, is composed of ten pieces of various sizes. Both games are played in the same manner, where a piece can be slid into an adjacent spot if vacant. The game begins with a single rectangular vacancy at the bottom. The goal is to slide the large square piece at the top (labeled as the warlord Cao Cao) down to the vacant space (which is just above the space labeled Cao’s camp).
 The fun of Hua Rong Path is that there are numerous ways of breaking the blockade against Cao Cao, and the process of sliding the pieces and searching for a new configuration is always creative and challenging. Testing a player’s intelligence and patience, the game brings a renewed sense of accomplishment to the player as he or she takes each successful move.
 Hua Rong Path can also be played competitively. Players compete to see who can solve the puzzle most efficiently or with the fewest moves. A worldwide competition known as “Wielding the Sword and Rearing the Horse” has engaged players in many nations to come up with new solutions. Thus far, no one has broken the world record of 81 moves. Take the challenge, and you may be the next world-record holder!


National Digital Archives Program—UEPlay Digital Museum - Intellectual Games, Department of Plastic Design (Graduate Program of Toy and Game Design), National Taipei University of Education