is played in a 2x2x2x2 hypercube.
The object is to connect five of your pieces in an orthogonal
4D path. When Zillions plays itself on the default settings,
Black wins in five moves - as soon as possible - about half the
time, and White forces a draw the other half.
(It may vary, of course, depending on your computer.) As the thinking time is increased, draws become
more frequent. By studying
the draws, you can divine two reflection strategies for White that
force a draw.
The first strategy is
to always play to the north or south of the Black piece just played. A winning path must connect all four dimensions
and consequently must have one north-south connection. If White always plays to the north or south,
Black will never be able to make the north-south connection. This strategy works along any axis.
The second strategy
is to always play to the opposite corner.
Each space in the Wormhole board has a unique opposite space
that is four orthogonal moves away.
The opposite corner for the bottom-left-most square, for
example, is the upper-right-most square. To move from one to the other, you must make
a move east, north, up, and 4-east, in any order. It is a property of wormholes that they must start and end in opposite
corners. As a result, if
White systematically plays to the opposite corner, Black will be
thwarted from completing a winning path.
results in an interesting optical effect, similar to a camera obscura.
If Black creates a 3D path of four pieces, White will create
a reverse image of the path in the remaining dimension, as illustrated:
two ends of the Black wormhole cannot connect into the fourth dimension
because both 4-east orthogonal spaces are occupied by White.
The "front" of the wormhole (pick an end) is blocked
by the "back" of the White reverse wormhole, and the "back"
of the wormhole is blocked by the "front" of the reverse
wormhole. No matter what
Black does, its move into the fourth dimension will always be blocked
by a reverse 3D image, resulting in a draw.
© 2000 W. D. Troyka