Puzzle Car by Rising Moon Games is a relaxing and fun game that is available on Nintendo Switch and on Steam for PC and Linux. It has you solve the puzzles of how arrange the board tiles so the car drives safely from beginning to end. With many levels that gradually increase in difficulty, this game is both fun and intellectually stimulating while still being fairly easy to complete.
The only problem you might be grappling with is the lack of a built-in tutorial so you have to figure things out as you go. The two main problems you're likely to encounter are:
- How to know which way the car drives when faced with intersections
- How to know which tunnels are paired with each other
Here, both of these questions are answered plus some additional game tips to make it easier if you ever feel overwhelmed.
How to know which way the car goes in Puzzle Car
When faced with a 4-way intersection, the car will always go straight ahead, it won't turn. That's basically it!
So to sum up, Puzzle Car follows the road and where there is a choice it will go straight through. And don't worry, there are no 3-way intersections in Puzzle Car, so it will never have any dilemmas.
Please note that it's up to you to ensure the direction of any one-way arrows in Puzzle Car are facing the correct way that the car will go. In other words, the car will go according to the rule above (straight through any 4 way intersections), even if this means it goes the wrong way down a one way street. And if the car goes the wrong way down a one way street, it won't count as a solution even if everything else is fine. So if that happens. you'll have to re-start that level and come up with a new solution. Don't worry, there is always a solution for each level.
How to know what tunnel the car will come out of
It's easy to know what tunnel your car will go into - it just follows the driving rule mentioned above. But how do you know what tunnel the car will come out of? The answer is to simply hover your mouse over the tunnel that the car will go into. It then puts a yellow arrow over the tunnel it will come out of, like this. You can see circled in red that when the mouse hovers over one tunnel (black triangle), a yellow arrow then appears over its other tunnel pair.
To sum up this section, all tunnels come in pairs. To find out which two are paired, simply hover your mouse over one of the tunnels and it will indicate its pair with a yellow arrow.
I'm using the Steam version of the game, so while game mechanics will be the same on Nintendo, the buttons you'd use might be different.
Game play tutorial guide for Puzzle Car
There are no spoilers here, don't worry! This tutorial for the Puzzle Car game is just here to give you some general ideas for strategy. If you're finding the higher levels challenging, this guide will help simplify things.
Tiles work by swapping only, not by rotating - this makes it easy
You can't rotate a tile. You can only swap its position for another one. This actually makes your life much easier. If you were able to rotate then there would be a myriad of possibilities for each tile, making it harder to find a working solution.
You'll see as you start creating your route that the swaps improve your solution quickly as you go.
Certain positions on the board need a certain type of tile - another easy thing to do
The black driving part of the roads are only allowed to connect with other black parts of roads or with tunnels, not with houses, park land, or the edge of the board. The only exceptions are the start and end tiles, which go off the edge of the board. This restriction of the black parts is something that makes it much easier on you.
For example, if there are house tiles on the left and the right of a road piece, then that road piece needs to be a straight ahead piece (not a bend or a 4-way intersection) because the black part of the road is not allowed to connect to a house.
Remember that there are no 3-way intersections in this game, so again that is a helpful limit to what type of piece can be placed where.
If you don't know where to start, put traffic lights before each crossing
The best thing to do when starting a level is to put traffic lights ahead of each crossing. Crosswalks are the only pieces which are unable to move (besides the start and end pieces). Therefore, since crosswalks can't move, the only solution for the traffic lights is to swap them into position just before each crossing. You'll have the satisfaction of knowing that you have the crosswalks and traffic lights in the correct place for the final solution, no matter what's going on with the other pieces.
Next place tunnels where it's not possible for a road piece to go
Another thing to do after starting a level is to place tunnels at positions where road pieces cannot go. See the image below as an example. The positions are circled in red where only a tunnel and not a road piece can go.
A road piece cannot go in any of the positions circled in red above, because it would lead off the edge of the board or into non-road piece, which is not allowed. Therefore we know that those pieces circled above require a tunnel. You can see that one of the pieces already happens to have a tunnel on it, but it needs a different direction of tunnel so that the road doesn't head off into parkland.
In this example, there are more tunnels than definite tunnel spots. Don't worry - just start with the positions that definitely require a tunnel (the ones circled above) and figure out where the extra tunnels go later.
Get tunnels in position first based on road directions, then swap them later based on pairings
When swapping a tunnel into position, don't over-think! Base it on the direction the road has to go, not on tunnel pairings. If you have, say, 3 possible tunnels that all face the same way that could go equally well, just pick any one of these for now. After you have a possible solution that is fully connected up from beginning to end, then (before trying it out with the car!) check tunnel pairings using the mouse hover that I explained earlier. If an exit tunnel doesn't make sense, then you know you need to either swap the exit or the entry (or both) of the tunnel pair with another tunnel piece that faces that same direction.
Test drive the route in your head first
Mentally drive the car and see what would happen before hitting the button to start the car. You can pick up a lot of mistakes by doing a test drive in your head first! If you drive the car just to try it and it doesn't work out, then you'll have to start the level over from scratch, which is a bit annoying. That's why it's always good to do it in your head first.
Puzzle Car is a fun game that is easier than you might first think when you follow the game play tips shown above. For other gaming ideas, you might also like to try out one of these awesome tower defense games.