This is the historical facts about the Pentominoes – the 12 magical shapes on which the PENTAPUZZLE VR game is based.

Five Puzzle

PENTAPUZZLE, which literally means five puzzle, is based on the concept of Pentominoes.

A pentomino is created by the combination of five squares joined edge to edge. There are exactly 12 different, unique ways to combine five squares, not counting rotations and reflections of similar shapes.

The legend tells that originally it was an old Japanese master of the board game Go who first came up with the 12 pentominoes.

However, the first documented description of Pentomino puzzles date back to 1907. The creator was the famous English puzzle expert Henry Ernest Dudeny.

Henry Ernest Dudeny
Henry Ernest Dudeny (1857 - 1930)
Solomon Wolf Golomb (1932 - 2016)

It was not until 1965 that the American mathematician Solomon W. Golomb formulated the term “Polyominoes” with his studies of the deceptively simple tile. In his book Solomon introduced the word “Pentominoes” as a term for figures made out of five joined squares.

Numerous other polyominoes were also treated in his book, including the so-called tetrominoes consisting of four squares combined. 20 years later the tetrominoes would have a sudden and unexpected rise to fame!

Polyominoes in Computer Games

In 1984 the tetrominoes were used by Alexey Pajitnov in perhaps the most popular computer game ever conceived: Tetris. Apparently Pajitnov initially based his game on pentominoes but later decided to use the more simple tetrominoes.

Tetris 1984 (© The Tetris Company)

With the arrival of virtual reality a whole new world of possibilities has opened up for the pentominoes. In PENTAPUZZLE you’ll find the most advanced pentomino game ever seen, offering literally hundreds of hours of puzzle fun.

Building mental skills

Scientific studies have shown that playing games based on polyminoes (e.g. PENTAPUZZLE and Tetris) has the ability to enhance the players cognitive skills, in particular the spatial visualization ability.

It’s commonly accepted that a good spatial visualization ability has a major positive influence on success in studying of lots of areas, particularly math and engineering.

As a consequence you will find that PENTAPUZZLE offers you both relaxation and a great mental exercise at the same time.

PENTAPUZZLE Demo is available for free on SideQuest for Oculus Quest devices.