Soft Qui Peut
SBPSolver V1.6

Design, test, and solve your own
original sliding block puzzles !

A freeware utility created by
Soft Qui Peut

NEW add-on now available:

Download my latest add-on: PuzzleApplet v1.3
a Java applet to publish your S.B. puzzles on your web site !

SBPSolver presentation:

If you liked this kind of small sliding piece puzzles (see these sample puzzles) you will certainly like SBPSolver ! Especially if you were not able to find their solutions...

SBPSolver is a Windows program (freeware !) that will allow you to create, test and solve your own original sliding block puzzles like these sample puzzles.

bulletDownload (V1.6: 455kB) This archive zip file contains an automatic installation program SBPInstall.exe. Launch it to install SBPSolver and a set of 27 sample puzzles on your PC (Windows 95/98/ME/NT4/2000/XP).

Note:If you do not use Windows XP you may need the Winzip utility to extract the content of the downloaded file.

If you create interresting and/or difficult puzzles with SBPSolver, please send them to We will publish them on this site to be shared with the other users of the SBPSolver program.
bulletNEW Add-on: Download PuzzleApplet (v1.3 37kB). To be able to publish your puzzles with a java applet emulating any mechanical sliding block puzzle designed with SBPSolver. Watch this demo puzzles page to see samples of different puzzles published using PuzzleApplet. (Other intersting puzzles designed with SBPSolver and published with PuzzleApplet can be found at

SBPSolver screen shots and description:

1) Design and save your own puzzles:

The designer tab sheet displays two empty frames to receive the pieces of your puzzle.
The left frame will represent the layout of your puzzle in its initial position, and the right one will describe the goal position that the user has to reach by sliding the pieces.

First step: choose the size of your puzzle:

Then add the pieces on the initial position frame:

Choose the properties of each new piece added:

Continue adding pieces to complete the design of the initial position of your puzzle:

Now build the goal position simply by dragging pieces from the initial position frame and dropping them into the goal position frame:

Your new puzzle design is now complete !

2) Test your puzzle

Switch to the "Player" tab sheet to test your puzzle by playing with it like a real mechanical puzzle, and try to reach the goal position you imagined...

The player frame emulates the real behaviour of a mechanical puzzle: when you drag a piece with the mouse, the other directly or indirectly pushed pieces will move according to the displacement of the piece you drag. (Only if the "indirect move" option is set).
This puzzle emulation is very realistic.

3) Solve your puzzle finding its shortest solution

If you didn't find the solution yourself, switch to the solver tab sheet and launch the SBPSolver powerfull search engine to solve your puzzle for you:

The SBPSolver search engine performs an exhaustive search to find the shortest possible solution of your sliding block puzzle.
Note that the SBPSolver search engine doesn't simply try to find a solution to your puzzle, it performs an exhaustive exploration of the possible moves sequencces from the initial position, to find out the shortest moves sequence that leads to a position matching the goal position description. When SBPSolver find the solution, you can be sure that no shortest solution can solve the puzzle faster !

If your puzzle is possible, SBPSolver will then show you the solution by listing the best moves sequence and by playing them step by step for you !


Special sliding block puzzles:

SBPSolver can also design, play and solve other special kinds of sliding block puzzles like the well known Rush Hour problems where the pieces (cars) can move in one direction only:

This Rush Hour problem was solved by SBPSolver in less than 2 seconds !


It is also possible to use SBPSolver to emulate other kinds of special sliding block puzzles like the new SwissMad puzzle. It is possible to use SBPSolver to solve one side of this very difficult kind of puzzle.

This one-side SwissMad problem can be solved easily with SBPSolver: it requires only 12 moves and a search of about 1 second.

The complete version (double side) of this puzzle can also be emulated in the "player mode" . To emulate the double-sided version of the SwissMad puzzle, note hereafter the use of the 'R' caption on 6 blocks to represent their hidden side: (The pieces marked with an "R" are red on their reverse side, other pieces are white):

Note that the double-sided version of this puzzle can now also be solved by SBPSolver !

The development of SBPSolver is continuing, so stay tuned and watch for next release...


bullet : many intersting S.B. puzzles designed by Dries De Clercq using SBPSolver and published with PuzzleApplet.
bullet Huge collection of various sliding block puzzles from Nick Baxter.
bullet : The official RushHour puzzle site from Binary Arts.
bullet : The official SwissMad puzzle site
bullet Very complete and high level site entirely dedicated to puzzles and mathematics from Ed Pegg Jr.