Sliding Blocks Puzzle Reboot

Ian Gilman
2 min readMay 4, 2024


I’ve recently re-released a set of 52 original sliding blocks puzzles from 1991! Check them out here, or read on to learn the backstory.

Before Seize the Day (the 1993 calendar program that was the genesis for Living Worlds), I worked on a sprawling game called Heaven & Earth. It contained a number of parts, but my favorite was the Illusions, a collection of 12 original puzzle concepts, each with 52 puzzles, designed by Scott Kim, puzzle-maker extraordinaire.

Back in 2007 I got it in my head to rebuild the puzzles on the web. I started with one of the 12 concepts: Figure Ground. I even made a puzzle construction kit for it, so anyone can make their own puzzles in that style. People took me up on it… There are quite a few custom puzzles there now, in addition to the originals.

It’s taken me a good while to get around to doing the next puzzle set, but it’s now available! You’ve probably played sliding blocks puzzles before, but this set has a number of interesting twists you probably haven’t seen. There are 4 variations, each with 13 puzzles going from easiest to hardest.

Living Worlds fans might be interested to know that Mark Ferrari (who did the Living Worlds art) did the art for Heaven & Earth as well. For the rebuilt Figure Ground I made new higher resolution art, but for Sliding Blocks I’ve gone back to using Mark’s pixel art. Originally it even had color cycling; I haven’t implemented that yet, but maybe one of these days…

This time around I haven’t built a construction kit for the new puzzle set… I just want to focus on getting the puzzles rebuilt, and the thought of creating all the infrastructure for custom puzzles is a big part of why I've put it off for so long. Hopefully I’ll be releasing more of these puzzle sets sooner now.

Anyway, head over to Clockwork Goldfish: Sliding Blocks and give them a spin!