I like to play -- and analyze -- various kinds of games. Sometimes a paper-and-pencil analysis is fun. In other cases it helps me think things through to have a simulation, or to try to have a computer think through the games as I do myself. In case you are so addicted, you can feel free to begin with this analysis.

Note -- no jabs at my programming skills, please. They pay me to do math, not computers. You'll find here some pretty primitive programs written in BASIC, the variant UBASIC, Turbo Pascal, C, Maple-code, and other language formats that (I hope) can be more-or-less understood by a more competent programmer, so you can try to figure out what something is supposed to do. I've included PC executables for some of these programs too.

There's no shortage of games information on the net, so let me just draw your attention to what's right here at my site; other pointers are below.

- 102030 -- A solitaire card game for the math-minded
- krypto -- Arithmetic card game (given some numbers, make them combine with plus, minus, times, divide).
- mancala -- An elegant 2-person board game. Backgammon-ish.
- mastermind -- Standard code-guessing game.
- memory -- a.k.a. Concentration: remember revealed cards to make pairs.
- minesweeper -- Windows (TM) game. Program can do most elementary moves for you.
- SimCity -- a commercial PC Simulation game.
- solitaire -- I taught my PC to play to see how often my basic strategies would win.
- tetris -- The classic. Program can fit pieces quite effectively.
- beans -- Once my son's favorite card game. Quirky, if you ask me.
- Hex -- simple 2-person game making paths across a rhombus.
- games in rows -- tic-tac-toe, go-moku, etc.
- mazes -- making and solving them
- Civilization2 -- commercial Windows game (random notes)
- puzzles -- physical ones (iron rings etc.)
- teasers -- brain-teasers, mathematical puzzles, etc.
- Chutes and Ladders -- the classic child's board game
- Candyland -- another classic child's board game (Really the same analysis applies to C&L, Candyland, Hi-Ho Cherry-O, etc.)
- Nim -- take turns taking pennies from three piles

Knuth "dancing links" sudoku

You may also want to look in my directory of other games, in which I have copies of or links to information obtained from the net about a number of other specific, usually well-known games. I'll confess that I'm a consumer of that information, not a provider: you'll not find anything from me that you couldn't have found with a web-search tool. For general material on games, you might want to consider these links:

I am always looking for new games subject to mathematical analysis. Now that my children are adults I'm not aware of what mathematical games are popular. But I'm open to suggestions!

For the most part I have limited this directory to material of my own authorship, but in the interest of serving the Web readership I have started saving a few survey pieces found elsewhere. If you have links or files which you think would be appropriate, let me know. The intended readership is perhaps best described as the participants in rec.games.abstract.

I often have bits of mail and analyses which other people have sent me. It can take me years to getting around to making links for them on the web, but I can send things to you as appropriate; just ask.

dave

Other pages at my own web site you may find of interest:

- My home page is just a short introduction to the pages I maintain
- The parent page to this one is another short way-station, this time to a few pages concerning "applications" of mathematics (well, let's call them "investigations only a mathematician would love").
- I keep a large set of pages which provide a thematic introduction to the subject areas of modern mathematics, complete with answers to thousands of more or less common questions.

This page is

http://www.math.niu.edu/~rusin/uses-math/games/index.htmlLast modified 2006/07/14 by Dave Rusin, rusin@math.niu.edu