Puzzle Master 64

Puzzle Master 64 is a homebrew game made by Michael Searl and released on 29 March 2000. It’s a basic sliding puzzle game where you cansolve some 4×4 sliding puzzles of various different bitmap images.

You can download the game from its download page by using the password masterofpuzzles.

About Puzzle Master 64

This is one of those basic games that stand the test of time. It’s kind of like Tetris, Chess or Tic Tac Toe, it’s the kind of game that transcends generations and is universal in its simplicity and challenge.

The game starts with a board divided into a grid of 4×4 squares. Each square contains a piece of an image, except for one square which remains empty. The objective of the game is to rearrange the pieces on the board to form a complete image. The arrangement of the pieces is randomized at the beginning of the game, making it challenging to solve. The player can move the pieces on the board by sliding them horizontally or vertically into the empty square. However, they can only move one piece at a time, and they cannot lift or rotate pieces.

These kinds of game typically keep track of how many moves you make to keep a sort of high-score of how few moves it takes to rearrange the whole board, but I guess that you can just keep track of that in your head.

Review and conclusion

Michael Searl has sent me a game he has created. It’s a puzzle like the old ones where slide parts of a disordered picture around to create a normal picture. the only dissadvantages about his game is that you can move the pieces in every possible way, not just horizontical and vertical, plus it doesnt switch to a new picture once you’ve completed a picture. The game is 80mbit which is quite a lot, but unless you’re on a 33.6kbps modem it’s worth checking out.


After reading that I came to the realisation that this is the largest homebrew demo of the era, clocking it at 10 megabytes. Even fairly complex demos like Nacho 64 are 2MB, most are less than that.

As I mentioned before, the sliding puzzle game is one of the great basic puzzle games, alongside jigsaw puzzles of course. Puzzle Master 64 executes it perfectly with a large variety of images to put back together.

Of course, once you know how to complete these puzzles, they do become quite trivial so there’s not that much replay value. That is, unless you want to have a go at completing all of these puzzles with all the included images.

It could have been improved if it had different difficulty levels with, say, 5×5 to 9×9 or something. Some of the bitmaps are also a bit hard to put together since you can’t really tell which pieces belong where. But it’s still a perfectly serviceable game to spend a bit of time on without spending too much time on going through frills.

Articles across the web

Puzzle Master 64 is a homebrew game by Michael Searl where you play a sliding puzzle game to arrange a series of beautiful pictures.
Article published on N64 Squid


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