Permute is a game invented by Eric Silverman in 2020.

Play Permute interactively or against AI


The basics:
Permute is a game about twisting things, inspired by twisty puzzles like the Rubik’s Cube. The name comes from one of the two main things we can do with pieces in a twisty puzzle: permute them (shuffle their positions); or orient them (change their facing). In this game players take it in turns to rotate 2x2 sets of pieces (‘faces’) on the board, in an attempt to bring pieces of their colour together in larger groups. Once a face has been twisted, part of it is locked in place (‘bandaged’) and can’t be twisted again. When no more twists are possible, the game is over and the players' largest groups of pieces are scored. To win the game, you must permute your pieces so that they form the largest connected group, and deny your opponent the chance to do the same!


The rules:
Play proceeds on a square board with a 9x9 grid (or larger). At the start of the game, all squares are filled with alternating Yellow and Orange stones in a chequerboard pattern.

Face: a 2x2 subset of the board surface. A face may not extend off the board.
Bandaged Stone: a stone with a token, sticker, or other marker on it that indicates it has previously been twisted.
Bandaged Face: a face containing one or more bandaged stones. A bandaged face cannot be twisted.
Twist: a move in which all the pieces in a face are translated around that face simultaneously 90 degrees in either a clockwise or anticlockwise direction, as if rotating the face of a 2x2 Rubik’s Cube.
Group: a group is a set of same-coloured stones connected orthogonally. The value of a group is the number of stones it contains.

Orange plays first. The swap rule is used – after Orange’s first move, Yellow may choose either to play their first move or change their colour to Orange (note: on MindSports positions are swapped, not colours). Players then take it in turns to twist one non-bandaged face containing at least one of their colour stones 90 degrees clockwise or anticlockwise. Once a face has been twisted, the player who twisted it must select one of their stones in that face and place a token on it (or flip it to the marked/stickered side), thereby bandaging it. Faces consisting entirely of one colour cannot be twisted.
The game ends when no more twists can be made. At this point scores are compared. The player with the highest-valued group wins; if both players’ largest groups are equal in size, then compare the second-largest, then the third-largest, and so on until a winner is determined.


See this BGG thread for original description and examples.


Permute © Eric Silverman