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GNOME Games 3.13.3 | Sudoku & Mines

It would be complete embarrassing to say how many hours I’ve spent playing GNOME Games. I was in best 4 in a Tetris contest, I’ve played gNibbles over 24hrs non-stop, I have finished 12 Spider-Solitaire (4 suits) games on the row and I’ve managed to beat in Kloski (& one more game with diamonds) a guy that later was proved genius  ..and more later he went to sanitarium :/

By the way this guy installed me Linux (& GNOME 1!!), and he was doing kernel-hacking at the age of 13-14.. Totally smarter than Linus.. Anyway..

GNOME Sudoku

Sudoku is re-written and redesigned and now matches the style of GNOME 3. I will re-print Michael Catanzaro mail here.

[caption id="attachment_27060" align="aligncenter" width="640"]sudoku3133-1 Black square is a theme bug, it should had been blue[/caption]

Removed features in Sudoku 3.14

Hi Sudoku users,

Sudoku is currently nearing the completion of a rewrite and redesign. There are still many rough edges to be polished, but this is on track to become Sudoku 3.14. Credit to GSoC students Christopher Baines for starting the work, and Parin Pochera for completing much of it.

The new design is intended to be simpler and easier to use than the current version of Sudoku, and to achieve this we’re not planning to re-implement a few features that were present in Sudoku 3.12. Your feedback is appreciated on the following significant changes:

I Notes are now restricted to only numeric digits, and at most five digits per cell to avoid becoming too long. Holding digits seemed to be the most useful purpose of notes, and restricting notes to digits allows us to explore nicer ways for marking notes: currently we are using a popover with a number pad, and keep the digits sorted for you automatically. If you were doing something else with notes, please let us know.

II We have only implemented top notes and not bottom notes. If you found bottom notes useful, please let us know how you were using them.

III We have removed hints because we found they are unhelpful when the user gets stuck in a hard position, which is precisely when the feature needs to work best. I’m a little hesitant about this because hints currently work quite well if the user has missed an obvious move, so this might be temporary, but we weren’t sure how to fix it.

[caption id="attachment_27069" align="aligncenter" width="640"]sudoku3133-2 Cheating mode is still here from command line :)
Plus a small bug when we open a dialog![/caption]

IV We have removed the Show Possible Numbers option because it shows you exactly which moves to make, defeating the entire purpose of the game. It still exists to ease debugging, hidden behind a command line switch.

V Instead of the super colorful highlighter, we’re planning to lightly shade the current row/column.

VI We currently have not reimplemented trackers and we haven’t yet decided what to do about them. We’re quite certain that a new implementation needs to be significantly simpler than what is in 3.12: possibly just allowing you to snapshot one or more points in the game, and changing the color of your numbers between snapshots. Suggestions from people who use trackers are particularly appreciated.

Please respond if you have concerns about any of these changes. Thanks!

Two more things to add is that Sudoku works fine with Touch, even if the popover is kinda small, and the second is that they will probably add a time to complete score-board.


I already have shown the changes on Mines, but there is a new one in the board graphics.


A serious regression is that Mines isn’t working on touch yet :(

More Games

Almost all GNOME Games have been ported to header-bars and have slightly changes, but there are more things. For example Lights-Off has gain touch screen fixes, Four-In-A-Row has an new (easier to beat) AI, Kloski has new “Start Over” & “View Puzzle” buttons, Robots has new default hotkeys that don’t require number-pad, Swell-Foop has now support for touch screens.


Some games like Nibbles have changes too, but they haven’t bumped a version yet so I am skipping those. Don’t really want to read changelogs from Git :)

A special mention goes to Chess, which apart the addition of various mnemonics, it might lose its 3D. Michael Catanzaro says:

Chess – 3D mode

We’re planning to remove 3D mode from GNOME Chess in 3.14. We want Chess to provide an excellent user experience, but it frankly only does when played in 2D mode, which looks great.


If we don’t remove 3D mode, then it needs to be ported from GLX to EGL prior to 3.14 in order to run naively under Wayland, which is not something we’re currently planning to work on. The severe performance issues with smooth mode would need to be addressed (or smooth mode could be removed). I also see limited value in retaining 3D mode unless it receives attention from a graphics artist. Additionally, there are currently severe flickering issues caused by the recent double-buffering changes in GTK+, but that change might be reverted so we may not have to worry about it.

In short, 3D mode requires work far outside our expertise that we’re currently not planning to do. I expect most users will be fine with this, but if you’re a fan of 3D mode, it’d be good to hear from you.

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  • Yosef Or Boczko

    Note: Mines & Sudoku look very nice with Adwaita 3.12.
    The blak background in the slected square needs to be

    blue (as I remember), and Mines look just ugly with the last
    Adwiata. it just a bug after merge SASS.

    • Yosef Or Boczko

      Mines fixed now in git master with the last Adwaita.
      Please, update the screenshot :-)

      • alex285

        Hey, I just placed a new one in another post. It’s under development, it’s normal to be bugs :)