Minoqaur - An Adventure Puzzle Game for QR Codes

Minoquar
Next time you're on a plane and the magazine's crossword puzzle is all filled in, just look for a QR code. With it, you can play this solo puzzle game! It's not like you were going to actually scan the code, right? Your quest is to enter the maze, escape with the treasure, all while avoiding the minoqaur!

Stuff You Need
One player (That's you!)
A QR code
A pen

Minoqaur-1
Setup
Every QR code has three squares along the corners of the code and a fourth, smaller square embedded in the lower-right. In this game, they represent chambers for special items that you can equip as you explore the maze. Draw a sword, cloak, key and treasure as shown above. Finally, draw a little dot in the center of the code, or as close to the center as you can. This is the minoqaur.

Begin
You can enter the maze at any of the blue dot noted above.

Rules
You and the minoqaur will take turns. In each turn, you will move or tunnel, then the minoqaur will move or tunnel. Keep track of all movement by drawing straight horizontal or vertical lines through the white spaces of the QR code, representing the maze's corridors. The black spaces represent walls in the maze.

Your Turn
Walking: You may move as far as you like in a straight line across white spaces. You must stop at any walls. You may not pass through the minoqaur's path. You may not pass through your own path.

Tunneling: If your turn begins adjacent to a wall, you may tunnel through it and emerge on the other side. You can only tunnel through a one-pixel thick wall. You may not change directions while tunneling, you can only go in a straight line.

Items: If you pass through the space with the cloak, sword, or key, you will equip that item. The cloak allows you to cross through the minoqaur's path, but you may not walk along it. The sword allows you to tunnel through any thickness of wall. The key allows you to escape the maze immediately, once you've captured the treasure.

Treasure: If you pass through the treasure space of the maze, you will equip the treasure.

Minoqaur's Turn
Starting from the center of the maze, the minoqaur moves towards your current position, following the same walking and tunneling rules as noted above.

If the minoqaur is in a diagonal position from you, just count the number of pixels vertically too reach your row or count the number of pixels horizontally to reach your column. Whichever number is smaller will be the direction the minoqaur takes.

The minoqaur cannot equip items, but it behaves as if it is equipped with a sword. The minoqaur cannot cross its own path. The minoqaur may cross your path, but may not walk along it.

Depending how much intelligence you want to give the minoqaur, you can be more strategic with its movement. See the two-player and multiplayer variants below for more information.

Minoqaur - 2
Example
The example above shows eight turns between you and the minoqaur. Your path is noted in blue, the minoqaur's in red. As you can see, you equipped the sword in turn 3 then headed straight for the key. You're almost there by turn 5, but decide to slightly detour through a thick wall, which you can tunnel through now that you have the sword. Unfortunately for the minoqaur. At turn 8, you tunnel right through a thick wall and the minoqaur continues to the right in pursuit!

Goal
Capture the treasure and exit the maze. You may also win if you lure the minoquar into a position where it is trapped by its own path. If the minoqaur crosses the head of your path, you lose.

Two-Player Variant
If you're playing against another person, one of you can play the minoqaur. In that case, the minoqaur may make moves more strategically than normal, such as stopping short of a wall, turning at critical points, and planning ahead.

Multi-Player Variant
If you play with three or more players, one player is the minoqaur and the others are explorers trying to capture the treasure and escape first. Explorers may cross each other's paths, but may not walk along them. An explorer can steal items or treasure from another explorer by crossing the head of their path.

Sample Mazes
qrcode qrcode

15 comments:

  1. Very creative! Noticed a typo: the minoqaur's path is red, not blue.

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  2. Great idea, but I've some questions about the rules:

    Can the Minoqaur cross thick walls as in the 3-to-4 move of the example?

    Is the Minoquaur required to move to the point closest to your position in the euclidean distance (seen from above the maze) or can it stop before (in a "strategic point") given that ends its turn in a closer position than it starts?

    When the blue line makes the move 1-to-2 and then makes the move 2-to-3... it isn't the player walking over his own path? And further... The move 2-to-3 shouldn't end exactly over the blue "1"?

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  3. Corrected. Thank you!

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  4. "Can the Minoqaur cross thick walls as in the 3-to-4 move of the example?"

    Yep. Sorry, I should note that. I should also clarify that you can't change directions while tunneling. Both are now noted in the rules.


    "Is the Minoquaur required to move to the point closest to your position in the euclidean distance (seen from above the maze) or can it stop before (in a "strategic point") given that ends its turn in a closer position than it starts?"

    The former. Just imagine it like an angry bull, just charging straight ahead as far as it can until it hits a wall.

    However, if you're doing a two-player game, I suppose I'd relax those rules a bit to make it more of a direct competition. See the new two-player and multiplayer variants at the end of the post.


    "When the blue line makes the move 1-to-2 and then makes the move 2-to-3... it isn't the player walking over his own path? And further... The move 2-to-3 shouldn't end exactly over the blue "1"?

    Correct on all counts! I've adjusted the example accordingly. It now shows proper movement and a critical point of rules clarification at turn 8.

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  5. This is fantastic! I've always thought QR Codes looked like mazes! :)

    Since you say the Minoquar is supposed to move so that it ends its turn closer than it starts, shouldn't it have turned right for move #8 in the example, instead of continuing up?

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  6. Quite right! This is now corrected.

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  7. Actually, not that I look at it again, the minoquar should move left on turn 4. D'oh! I'll correct this when I get a sec.

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  8. What a great idea!

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  9. Nifty idea! It actually reminds me a lot of another Minotaur-based pen and paper series of puzzles called Theseus and the Minotaur. Unlike your game, the Minotaur outmatches the human (Theseus) by moving two spaces for everyone the player's one. But the Minotaur also follows a strict series of rules for movement that a clever Grecian hero can take advantage of to survive. It's a clever game, but actually not the best suited for the paper format. I'd suggest trying out

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  10. Awesome! My wife actually laughed out loud. It strikes me as a lower tech version of Hack.

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  11. So, why does passing through the center of the maze equip the treasure, which is off in the corner? Is there a secret passage to the treasure chamber?

    Also, I realize the sword is kind of iconic in the adventure genre, but wouldn't a pickaxe make more sense thematically?

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  12. Re: Center: Derp. That was a typo. Now corrected.

    Re: Sword: Indeed! Okay, just imagine this being a hedge maze. ^_^

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  13. Changed my mind a bit on the "angry bull charge" thing. Let's let the minoqaur stop short as necessary.

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  14. Ok, one more thing:

    In the example, if the first movement of the minoqaur is through the left wall it end in a closer position to the player.

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  15. Fixed! Phew. Thanks for pointing these out.

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Daniel Solis
Art Director by Day. Game Designer by Night.