Clearly, my new strategy is on the right track. My goal is to basically create my endgame path, and wind my red path around in semi-helical fashion around it for as far as I can go. I dropped all my earlier strategies (go concave, isolate the center, etc etc) and as you can see with some luck I found myself with a very low score right before the finale (click to enlarge):
You can see how I shepherded the long path around the board and for the most part kept the red path close to it. Here’s the final board (click to enlarge):
I think if I am careful to save a really good tile with a U and a V and some crossovers in my Swap, and try for slightly more torturous endpath winding, I can go even higher. This literally was my first try at this new strategy and of course I really lucked out that I was able to connect the two long path segments at the end. But amazing as this was, it’s humbling to look at how my score fares on the leaderboards:
Google Chrome has started featuring the Entanglement game by Gopherwood studios on it’s website. You can link your google account to the game so your scores can be posted online, under your moniker (which you choose using three haiku-esque phrases – I am Tidy Folded Landscape).
The game – coded entirely in HTML5, not Flash – is quite simple – place hexagonal tiles on a hexagonal board, to construct a long pathway. The path can (and must) cross itself but cannot intersect the darker tiles around the periphery or at the center. Each tile has 12 nodes and six paths connecting them, and you can rotate the tile as you decide where to place it. You are given randomized tiles, one at a time, and you cannot “look ahead” to the next one, but you can “swap” a tile with an extra one kept aside.
Strategy for this game is deceptively complicated. I’ve developed a strategy whereby I try to isolate the central tile, always preferentially double back rather than curve my path outwards, and try to maintain escape routes along the edges. But of course sometimes you have to choose between adhering to one rule and violating another, since the tiles are random and you can’t plan ahead very far.
My maximum score thus far is 311, and that’s with a lot of luck. Today’s top 100 scores begin at 500+, the all-time leaderboard starts at 1200 for the #100 slot up to 3500 for the #1. The maximum theoretical score is 9000+ but that is probably impossible to achieve in practice. But I am absolutely astonished at how people can get 500 and above. There clearly must be some additional strategies at work here which I haven’t discovered. I’m not alone in my frustration – there’s a whole thread on Reddit about scoring in Entanglement, but no one shares their strategies, alas.
Path length is another metric by which you can keep score. My best is 102, today’s best is 122, and the theoretical maximum should be 169. Oddly there are scores on the leaderboard with path length of 400, which just makes no sense to me at all.