# entangled by Entanglement

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.

## 9 thoughts on “entangled by Entanglement”

1. I wonder if people are cheating? If the source is HTML5, it wouldn’t be difficult to download all the source (in fact, you have to in order to play the game) and change it so that you report a higher score than you really achieved.

2. I think the strategy involves “be freaky smart.” Or be an idiot savant.

3. I managed to hit 311 with a path length of 71, solely due to my final move being a +21 combo. Sadly, my strategy was “accept the first move that didn’t lead to immediate failure”, and I would have likely gotten a much lower score if I hadn’t spotted the ridiculously long failure path I’d accidentally created.

I am Fast Talking Boar, by the way. ðŸ™‚

-j

4. Steven, I suppose t’s possible people are hacking and cheating, but I’m not clear on why they’d bother. And there really are a LOT of people scoring highly – and if they were hacking you’d expect teh scores to cluster at or near the theoretical maximum, whereas the leaderboard shows a typical distribution of scores tapering off as they go up, and the highest score is still well short of the theoretical maximum of 9000. So it doesn’t seem likely, though it’s of course possible.

I think it’s more likely, however, that other people have figured out a strategy that I haven’t. So far my approach of trying to isolate the center tile at all costs (using, and saving for swap, tiles with the U link) has given me a good boost, as near end game I have a lot less deadends. I am also trying to control paths at the periphery, by rotating tiles as I place them to make those paths also terminate. And then lastly I try to always go for the concave path whenever possible – especially V kinks. Still, my average is around 200 asuming I don’t mistakenly terminate too soon because i wasn’t paying attention to where a path goes on a tile due to crossovers (which happens fairly often).

5. Todd says:

I think the leader board has scores from other versions of the game. The versions, the paid versions, I believe you can get higher scores. This is driving me nuts too. Longest path is 81 with highest score of 255…..Apparently if you go for single tiles right to the end and hit it with one big run it sends your score through the roof….been trying..has not worked yet:)

1. I’m not sure. The score board has an option to switch between different versions. I think people really are just getting obscenely long segments as a finishing move.

Since scoring is n tiles -> 1 + 2 + 3 + … n points, if you got a 10-tile path that would be 55 points. 15 tiles would be 120 points. and 20 tiles would be 210 points. So clearly the best strategy is to try and build a finishing path from the start – but since you cant place tiles on any hex, its a really constrained problem. I need to stop focusing on maximing tile path lengths in the short term (never get mre than 3 or 4 at most – a measly 10 points, at least 10 times a game) and avoid temptation of medium term longer paths (9 or 10 – a measly 50 points, but only once or twice a game). Must focus soely on the endpath.

6. Mark says:

I was consistently scoring in the 100-250 range by isolating the center and then keeping a “follower line” connected in as much of a circular arc as I could. One key was to let the follower enter an adjacent tile then work back to it in as short a pattern as possible, keeping it moving around a fixed set of the tiles (first set is ring closest to center). Usually this means very low scores until you lose comfort that your follower line is accessible, then you get what you have created in one run. If you can keep that long run from terminating in the center or edge you can continue, but most of the time it is the last move. My high is 565, but more typically in the range I noted above.

7. Jay says:

I score pretty consistently in the 400’s, but my top is “only” 921. I want 4-digits! haha. On the other hand, the game screen kind of gives me a headache so I only play it maybe 1-2 times a day. My strategy just follows these rules: 1) Isolate the center and outer wall as much as possible. 2) Keep the red line alive by moving it only one tile at a time. If you purposely extend the red line >1 tile at every opportunity, yes your score for that move will be a little higher, but you are taking possible thread sections away from my final rule: 3) The real agenda is building a LONG, winding, empty thread that you will come back to in the end. So keep an eye out for candidates for those paths, and make sure you don’t run them off to the center or outer wall prematurely. If you have a choice between a gentle curve or a knotty one – go for the knotty one because the score is compounded by crossing tile borders.

The main problem with this strategy is that the tiles are random so often you get trapped and don’t get to double-back towards your long empty thread. I bet the 4-digit players do something similar but might build more than one long winding empty thread that they connect together at some point.