Colour-wriggle mazes

The colour-wriggle mazes are a variant on the standard wriggle-puzzles. As in the standard wriggle puzzles there are no fixed obstacles in these puzzles, except for the wriggler itself. The added twist here however, is that the wriggler can never occupy two cells of the same colour (so all occupied cells must be different colours at all times). Note, there is always one extra colour on the grid compared with the length of the wriggler, this balance was found to yield the perfect degree of connectivity for a good maze.

The applet below can be run in one of three modes. In no-walls mode (the default) you are given no visual clues as to which moves are legal. In top-n-tail mode walls are drawn around the head and tail of the worm to indicate which immediately available moves are valid. In tunnel mode all walls are initially displayed but will disappear (and reappear) following the top-n-tail rule. The visual mode has no impact on the maze itself, but top-no-tail and tunnel mode give more visual feedback to guide you through the maze, use whichever mode suits you best.

click below to start


Drag the wriggly worm from the left-most column to the right-most column ensuring the worm never occupies two cells of the same colour.

Use the puzzle drop-list to select a puzzle.
Use the options drop-list to select the visual mode.
Use restart (action) or the space key to reset.
Use Auto-generate to generate a new random puzzle based on the current grid.(*)

Use cursor keys to move.

(*) Warning, some older JVMs may not display the 'generating...' pop-up correctly. Note also, auto-generate runs for up to 5 seconds to try and generate a new puzzle. For the larger grids, on a slow PC, this may not be long enough to find a decent puzzle, resulting in a trivial challenge (sometimes the search may even fail completely). If this troubles you, please find a faster PC!

applet, concept & puzzle set – © Andrea Gilbert 2006

With thanks to Oskar van Deventer for discussion and debate that resulted in the top-n-tail and tunnel modes of play.