Jun. 6th, 2011

zwol: ((mad) science)

because i'm sick and playing way too much match-3...

in a standard match-3 game where one move is swapping two adjacent tiles, each move must create at least one line of 3 or more tiles of the same color, all such lines are immediately removed and scored, and there are no special moves or tiles: what is the maximum number of tiles that can be removed in the first scoring round, i.e. before the empty space is filled? from this configuration you can get 14 tiles...

........
...AB...
...AB...
.AABABB.
...AB...
...AB...
........

(swap bold tiles) and i don't think you can do better, but maybe i'm missing something.

The number of tiles that can be removed on the second and subsequent scoring rounds is bounded only by the height of the board, because of this pattern:

.|||..
.BAA..
.ABB..
.BAA..
.ABB..
.B   .
......

(vertical bars indicate repetition) but it's still interesting to ask what is the largest kingwise connected pattern around the pattern removed in the first round that can be removed in the second round. you might think it's this pattern:

..........
...AABB...
...AABB...
.AA    BB.
...AABB...
...AABB...
..........

with 18 tiles to be removed, but there is no way to create this pattern by exchanging two tiles, from a legal game position.

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