Glint: an iPhone Toy .:.

Glint, by Kent Brewster

Fill the board without repeating in rows, columns, or sub-boards.

The background color is the color of the next piece. If you duplicate a color in a row, column, or sub-board, it will clear.

Puzzles change every day - come back tomorrow!

play - discuss - digg - reddit

Welcome to Glint. In its current incarnation, it's a six-color Sudoku board; to finish, you need to fit one piece of each color into each row, column, and two-by-three sub-board.

  • You get one piece at a time; the current background color is the color of the piece you're placing.
  • If you make an illegal move, enough of the board (the row, column, and sub-board, in that order) will be cleared to make your move legal.
  • When you fit all the pieces in, you're done; the fewer moves you make, the better.
  • To try Glint on your iPhone or iPod Touch, visit
  • If you had fun today, check back tomorrow; there's a fresh puzzle every day.
  • For quite a bit more fun, check out the Games section of the Apple developer gallery.

How It Works

  • It's a pretty standard Web page, containing structure, presentation, and markup. Since I'll be pushing a fresh game every day, I'm inserting it directly into the source via PHP. This will show up in the config.status object, if you peek at the source.

  • The interesting bit is that <meta> tag in the document head:
    <meta name="viewport" id="iphone-viewport" content="width=228, height=260, user-scalable=no" />
  • This plus some explicit sizing in the body makes the board exactly fit the width of the browser, and not roll around on the screen too much when the user accidentally drags it around.
  • I've had good luck finding information about iPhone web development on, the iPhoneWebDev Google Group,, and (of course) the official Apple site. Have fun with Glint, and please let me know how it goes.

Comments from before Disqus:

Alan .:. 2008-03-04 18:12:25
OK. My fingers/thumb are too big to play 9 color. Can you add a "safe" mode where one press would place an "X" of the current color in the selected cell and then a second press actually selected the target square. In this way if you put your "X" in the wrong cell then you could select a different cell and not commit yourself to a wrong cell. You could have a way to start with the current mode (for PC users) and a "safe" mode for ipod/itouch users. 9-color is very challenging, but there is too much frustration if you color a cell with an unintended color.
Alan .:. 2008-02-28 14:23:48
OK 9 colors is a blast. It took a few tries to get a hang of it, but I think I can do it in 72 moves. I've got to wait until tomorrow to see if I have got the knack for it. Thanks.
Dave Balmer .:. 2008-02-20 22:10:44
Woohoo, thanks for the plug, Kent! So far Gobico is doing well, lots of people are adding it to their home page and coming back for more. Of course, it's only been released for a couple days, but it makes me smile to see people enjoy something I made. We should collaborate on something for the iPhone/iTouch soon. I bet it'd be killer.
Kent Brewster .:. 2008-02-18 19:19:19
Sorry, I can't replicate it. Been trying, believe me!

In other interesting news, my buddy Dave Balmer has a new toy for y'all: Gobico. It's a strategy game for one to four players, runs on your iTouch, and generally kicks butt. Check it out!
Rebecca .:. 2008-02-09 18:34:57
Kent, I know for sure it happens on my PC but I'm fairly sure it happens on my iTouch too.
Kent Brewster .:. 2008-02-09 11:26:07
Okay, you crazies. Nine-color Glint is up and running ... don't say I didn't warn you. :)
Kent Brewster .:. 2008-02-09 10:59:28
Sorry, been dealing with another issue, discussed below ... Rebecca, if you're still out there, I'm confused. Are you getting the white squares on your iTouch, your PC, or both?

In other interesting news, we've been framed. A certain operation that I won't dignify with a link has gone around, scraped up a mess of iPhone web apps, and created a "community" powered by advertising you have to click through to get to the apps.

If anybody sees this happening, please let me know and I'll add the offending site's referrer to the list that gets the instructions on how to get to the ad-free version.
Rebecca .:. 2008-02-07 09:41:01
I have an iTouch that I use most of the time but yesterday I was playing on my PC which has Windows XP.
Elizabeth .:. 2008-02-06 14:55:22
How about starting with more initial tiles? So there are less possible solutions, but also less wrong paths to go down. I could definitely tap on smaller squares. I think my fingers might be small, but a tact that would work for more people would be to use the pinky -- i can hit a much smaller target (and most people probably have practice at this from times they don't resize pages before hitting links).
Kent Brewster .:. 2008-02-06 14:43:43
I had the nine-color version working, but it was hideously difficult--imagine starting with 72 moves to go--and the individual tiles were too tiny for my big fat fingers. I'll think about it, though. :)

Rebecca, can you please say what combination of hardware and software you are using? Was it an iPhone?
Elizabeth .:. 2008-02-06 14:28:28
Ok -- next step is definitely to make an option available to play more than once a day. I also would enjoy a 9-color option. I love that it's on my i-phone, but I've quickly become addicted enough that I'd be happy just to have it for a normal browser.
Rebecca .:. 2008-02-06 09:49:45
Kent, it did happen in today's puzzle. Happened on move #30 with 4 to go (I had made one mistake). I did a 'print scrn' and pasted it into a .doc in case you wanted to see it. Thanks
Rebecca .:. 2008-02-06 09:18:58
Tuesday's puzzle, I think. I was probably 8-10 moves in and had made a couple of mistakes. This has happened a few times before in previous games. I'll try today's game and let you know if it happens. Thanks
Kent Brewster .:. 2008-02-05 19:59:06
That should not be happening. Was it today's game? Can you say about how many moves in you are, and whether you've made any mistakes? (Very sorry about this; we will figure it out.)
Rebecca .:. 2008-02-05 11:37:46
It's happened several times in the middle of a game. If I click on an empty square it puts the color of the next background but sometimes that square changes colors. I thought it was a scheme to make winning almost impossible.
Kent Brewster .:. 2008-02-05 10:45:16
Whoa... the background color should never be white. Did it happen in the middle of a game?
Rebecca .:. 2008-02-05 09:58:39
Can someone tell me what it means when the background color is white?
Mel Gilk .:. 2008-01-29 13:23:10
i just beat it again i would love to have a face to face competition with your step daughter i believe that i could beat her cause i would have more adraniline in my body causeing me to do the puzzle faster stronger and better.
Kent Brewster .:. 2008-01-24 13:16:35
Ah, but how many times are you reloading to get to 31, Mel? My stepdaughter has been known to rock it out on 30 moves (which is possible) on her very first attempt.

Would love to know how people are doing this; I'm terrible at it, personally. :)
MEL GILK .:. 2008-01-24 12:46:00
basically, i own at this game. and i showed the kid below me how to beat this game, but he is still cool. even though i first beat this game in 31 MOVES!
Brad Burn .:. 2008-01-24 12:42:51
i have beat the game in 31 moves it was a blast and that is a good idea to put it on facebook
Kent Brewster .:. 2008-01-24 11:10:19
Um ... hmmm ... that's an interesting idea.
Jesse .:. 2008-01-24 11:08:35
I love this game, any chance you can put a version up on Facebook I'd bet it gets over a million hits in no time and be a great app
Kent Brewster .:. 2008-01-18 12:27:50
Per Drew McClellan's excellent tutorial, I've created a default icon for Glint. Iphone/iTouch users with firmware 1.1.3 and above should be able to see it and create a desktop shortcut.
Kent Brewster .:. 2008-01-18 09:33:34
Leslie: since each Glint puzzle comes up with six randomly-chosen colors in six non-overlapping locations, it should be solvable in 30 moves. This may change in the future, as I've mentioned below, but as of now ... keep trying.
Leslie .:. 2008-01-18 05:20:11
I have only been able to solve the puzzle in 31 moves the last couple days. Can it be solved in 30?
Julie .:. 2008-01-17 04:40:46
Great, thanks!
Kent Brewster .:. 2008-01-15 17:36:30
Scott: that approach will work until the initial puzzle setup requires you to make a bad move or two to solve. Which won't happen yet ... but will, in the future. :)

Julie: glad you like it! Your wish is my command ... how's the orange-on-red contrast now?
Julie .:. 2008-01-15 16:05:40
I am enjoying this way too much. Any chance that the red color could be made a bit darker or more blue? It's probably just my old eyes, but I find it is difficult to differentiate between orange and red when red is the background color.
ScottScum .:. 2008-01-15 15:12:02
has anyone else found it helpful to write the
puzzle on paper and solve it that way? The random
array of colors adds a little challenge, but the
arrangement of the colors is the true puzzle. Its
much easier to visualize on paper than on a screen,
in my opinion.
Kent Brewster .:. 2008-01-14 16:09:01
Congratulations, Maggie. How many attempts did you make? I've had a couple of natural 30s, but never on the first attempt.

30--or however many are left when you first start the game--would be the theoretical minimum. It's possible that the game will come up with a situation where you'd have to make at least one bad move to get it to the point where it's possible to complete, so there will be some days where it can't be done.

Maggie .:. 2008-01-14 15:52:09
now done 30!! Happy
Maggie .:. 2008-01-14 15:45:09
I did today in 31 moves can it be done in less
Kent Brewster .:. 2008-01-09 13:05:12
We're at #6 on; welcome, new friends!
Kent Brewster .:. 2008-01-08 19:54:10
Hey, we just made the Apple web application gallery. Welcome, new Glinters; we've had over 1100 plays in the last 24 hours.
Kent Brewster .:. 2008-01-05 19:36:39
I've just updated the code and added Sudoku-style sub-boards; this makes Glint much more challenging. The Digg link is still broken some of the time ... hopefully we'll get some love from the Apple web app gallery.
Kent Brewster .:. 2007-11-15 11:05:15
Just finished today's board with John's method, in 44 moves. I'm thinking a change is in order ... probably I will institute a no-diagonals rule.
Kent Brewster .:. 2007-11-15 10:57:46
Ah. Should have mentioned this yesterday: I've re-rigged the default positions so rule-breaking start positions don't happen any longer. Sorry about that....
Kent Brewster .:. 2007-11-15 10:54:15
Arrgh ... almost finished today's ... one stinking mistake....
Kent Brewster .:. 2007-11-15 08:19:47
Yes, that does work ... but how many moves does it cost you to get to the point where you can start to see that pattern?
John .:. 2007-11-14 20:51:50
found a trick to the puzzle:
try to arrange colors in a pattern when solving like so
Kent Brewster .:. 2007-11-14 16:27:19
Hey, long time no see!
Jason .:. 2007-11-14 15:45:38
Alpha transparency refers to the PNG format's transparent pixel method. It's more robust than GIF, in that the transparency can be partial. Think opacity in CSS. So basically, save your icon as a PNG, make sure it's got some transparency around it if it doesn't fill up the alloted 128x128 pixels. (i.e. start with a blank background in Photoshop.) If you need more help, email me!
Kent Brewster .:. 2007-11-13 09:22:47
Yeah, the Digg link is screwed up. It works sometimes, not others ... I have a feeling it's because there was a colon in the original story when I submitted it.

Copyright Kent Brewster 1987-2019 .:. FAQ .:. RSS .:. Contact