Permute is an abstract strategy game inspired by the Rubik’s Cube. In Permute, two players take it in turns to twist 2x2 sets of pieces on the board, attempting to 'solve' together connected groups of their pieces. The player who builds the bigger solved group wins the game – but at any time, the opponent can step in and twist your groups apart again!
How to play:
Permute is played on a square board filled with orange and yellow playing pieces in an alternating checkerboard pattern. Orange always plays first. Players take it in turns to select a 2x2 area of the board, called a ‘face’, and twist the pieces within that area 90 degrees clockwise or counterclockwise, as if rotating the face of a 2x2 Rubik’s Cube. After twisting, the active player must flip over or ‘bandage’ one of her pieces in that face; bandaged pieces may not be part of any more twisting moves for the remainder of the game.
Over the course of the game, the accumulating bandaged pieces eventually make any further twists impossible; at that point, the game is over. Players then count up their largest connected ('solved') group of pieces of their colour; pieces only count as connected when they are horizontally or vertically adjacent. The player with the largest solved group of pieces wins the game. If the players are tied for the largest group, then the second-largest groups of each player are compared to determine the winner; if those are also tied, then the third-largest groups are compared; and so on.
Permute is a scalable game and can be played on any board size.
Playing on a 12x12 board is recommended for casual play, and a 16x16 board for deeper strategic contests. A typical game on a 12x12 board will last 40-50 turns; a 16x16 game will last 70-80 turns.