Is Puzzle Rush an App I created back in 2013?
Chess.com released a new feature on their website called Puzzle Rush. I paid no attention to it as usual, despite people saying it was awesome, because it was either going to subscription based or restricted for free users. I carried on with my current project building the world's first chess social network powered by blockchain. That project was going well we had distributed over 46 million tokens globally and our social network was growing and gain attention not only from the Chess fraternity but also the Crypto crew. Life was good at last.
What doesn't tilt you, makes you stronger. pic.twitter.com/pKhVRgfRU9— Anish Giri (@anishgiri) December 5, 2018
This tweet from Anish Giri (a screenshot from the puzzle rush game) got me wondering what all the fuss was about with Puzzle Rush. I decided to look into it and found to my amazement that it was extremely similar to a game I designed and built back in 2013 called ChessMaster Cube.
ChessMaster Cube was an immersive game idea I designed and built after watching ITV's the Cube where constestants were thrown into a cube and given a challenge 3 chances to solve it.
Comparing the two games, my ChessMaster Cube and Chess.com's Puzzle Rush, objectively there are a large number of similarities.
1. A countdown timer. Highly unusual in chess puzzle solving apps as there is usually a timer counting up with decreasing score value the longer you take to solve the puzzle. A countdown timer was very innovative in 2013 when I used it.
2. 3 Strikes and you are out. Giving a player a limited number of tries was not unique as it has been done in guess the move apps for years but the combination of the countdown timer and 3 strikes and you are out that made my app unique in 2013.
3. A session score and historic highest score leaderboard. The ChessMaster Cube game was counting the number of correctly solved puzzles as an accuracy score and giving you an estimated elo based on the strength of the puzzles solved. It was also storing the highest score of the player across multiple sessions from the entire history of play of that user on a leaderboard. Again this is not unique, most arcade games work this way and some chess websites like chessimo, chess tactics server, ideachess and chess sites like chess24, lichess and chess.com themselves have tactics training leaderboard. However it is another point of similarity and the scores were designed to be both a point average and a cumulative elo which both ChessMaster Cube and Puzzle Rush.
4.Puzzles numbered uniquely. I had this idea that each puzzle was to be easily identifiable as solved by that player and published as such. This is a feature of Puzzle Rush also.
5.Increasing difficulty. I had envisaged that there be two levels of difficult the puzzle strength themselves and the time given to solve each puzzle and therefore the session length per puzzle set. I was surprised to see that the increasing difficulty of puzzles was also a feature of Puzzle Rush but implemented with a fixed time for a session and graded puzzles increasing in difficulty. However the net result was similar to my ChessMaster Cube which is timed sessions with increasing difficulty.
6. POV (Point of View). This is actually a very subtle similarity but very telling. ChessMaster Cube rotated the board depending on whether it was white or black to play, so that the side playing would always be at the bottom of the board. This is different from many puzzle challenge games which use the standard fixed white pieces at the bottom. Puzzle Rush also carried this similarity.
7. Playing through multiple moves in a game sequence. ChessMaster Cube had this unique feature of allowing players to keep playing through a series of moves from a Real Game and getting scored on correct answers in a daisy chain of puzzles. Puzzle rush has this feature too.
8. I had a feature that enabled players to share their score on social media. Puzzle Rush has this too.
9. Both ChessMaster Cube and Puzzle Rush keep your latest score and historic high and session so that you can continue where your history without reset. In fact there was no reset available to players in either game.
10. Both games are essentially sitting on a database of graded chess puzzles and select puzzles from a random set at that level, category or difficulty.
I would like to appeal to Chess.com to acknowledge that Puzzle Rush was not only inspired by ChessMaster Cube but formed a template for the design of Puzzle Rush.