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A Lesson From iOS Users

A Lesson From iOS Users

Aaron Iba made an iOS puzzle game called Monorail and discovered that his users were smarter than him:

My strategy for solving these puzzles was to reason carefully about every rail before putting it down. The game was specifically designed to be amenable to this strategy: each puzzle has only one possible solution-path given the starting conditions, which makes it possible to deduce each rail placement until you have solved a puzzle.


When I shipped the game, I used Flurry to track a bunch of statistics about puzzle-completion time because I was worried the puzzles would be too difficult for average users. After looking at the stats, however, I thought there was a mistake because some users were solving puzzles faster than I was! Were they cheating? Was there a bug in the code? No, they had discovered a superior strategy.

Read the full post to find out what players were doing.