The [d]App Studio

locally sourcing code in NYC for 10 years


Dave’s apps are written by an independent developer who enthusiastically supports the product and listens to suggestions.

Open Source:

Dave's Tiles Puzzle for iOS 15+ is now Open Source! This means the community can learn from the source code as well as submit bugfixes and new features via a GitHub Pull Request.

Please see the code on GitHub!

Known Issues:

None at the moment. Make sure you have the latest version of your app installed. If you have questions, feel free to contact support.

Tips and Tricks, and Frequently Asked Questions:

This FAQ covers the legacy versions of Dave's Tiles Puzzle. For the modern iOS version, please see the GitHub page.

Question: What is the history of the classic fifteen puzzle?

Answer: For some interesting background on this puzzle, visit this wikipedia article. Of particular interest is the fact that only half of all possible board layouts are solvable. Dave’s Tiles preserves solvability in the way it randomly generates new boards.

Question: What is the best way to solve the classic tile puzzle?

Answer: Start from the top-left and solve one row at a time. Work on the last two rows together, finishing the columns from left to right. It is helpful to make consecutive tiles follow each other as you move them into a row. Sometimes it is necessary to drop a tile from one end of a mostly complete row to make room for the last tile at the other end of the row. Watch this YouTube video for a demonstration of these techniques.

Question: What is Surprise Mode?

Answer: Surprise mode is a variation of Swap mode where randomly chosen tiles will “jump” during gameplay. See a demonstration on YouTube The intervals are as follows:

  • For the 3×4 board – 3 tiles jump in 9 seconds
  • For the 4×5 board – 4 tiles jump in 16 seconds
  • For the 5×7 board – 5 tiles jump in 30 seconds
  • For the 6×8 board – 6 tiles jump in 42 seconds

Question: What is Nightmare Mode?

Answer: Nightmare Mode is a variation of Classic mode where a randomly chosen tile will “jump” during gameplay. See a demonstration on YouTube. For seasoned players, it adds a challenge to the puzzle while preserving solvability. The intervals are as follows:

  • For the 3×4 board – 24 seconds
  • For the 4×5 board – 40 seconds
  • For the 5×7 board – 70 seconds
  • For the 6×8 board – 96 seconds

Question: What’s the best way to beat Nightmare Mode?

Answer: Obviously, work fast – it comes with practice. It also helps to tap the tiles rather than drag them. When the warning comes, move your tiles so that the “open” spot is near the center of the completed part of the puzzle (by the way, it takes no more than 2 moves to make this happen). This reduces the damage caused by the nightmare jump. After the jump, undo the damage and keep going. Eventually you will beat it, so keep trying!

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