Parking Puzzler

The story behind the creation of Parking Puzzler 

Raf Peeters, January 2016

Parking Puzzler is a new puzzle game I designed for SmartGames this year. It’s another attempt in trying to come up with a puzzle concept that requires more logic and less trial and error. When I design something I often come up with completely different solutions for the same problem. Sometimes I choose the best concept and make a puzzle of it. But sometimes several concepts are valid candidates for a good puzzle. Although this puzzle can be partially solved using logic like Deducktion, the placement of the cars is also limited by the shape of the puzzle pieces.


The idea for this game was born out of frustration. We don’t own a garage, so we have to leave our car on a public parking every evening. But in the morning you always wonder: where did I leave my car? Or where did my wife leave the car? It doesn’t really help when your car is black, similar to at least 50 other cars on that parking lot. But although I often can’t remember the specific location of a car, I always remember details like: “there was a sport car next to my car” or “it was somewhere to the left of the parking lot”.

At first side it looks a little similar to other transparent puzzle games I designed in the past, like Camouflage or Airport. But this is only a visual resemblance. In this case the puzzle pieces could have been black or dark grey, but than you would loose the look a parking lot with white lines. The puzzle pieces have the same shape as the old Camouflage (BTW, the new North Pole game has different puzzle pieces). But you don’t get challenge cards, the challenges are printed in a separate booklet. Underneath the puzzle pieces there is always the same sticker.

The most important difference with the existing transparent puzzle games, is that you only get a part of the information when you start puzzling. Easy challenges show you the complete parking lot or a big part of it. But there are 2 yellow and 3 blue cars, so it’s not always clear where to place those cars. Harder challenges only show you a part of the parking. You don’t know which part, although you can often deduct this. Sometimes you only know the position of cars, but you don’t know which color they have.


I hope that nobody will confuse this game with RoadBlock or Rush Hour. The latter is of course not a SmartGame. And Rush Hour is a completely different game, being a sliding puzzle. Although in a way, there is a link between both games. Rush Hour was based on a puzzle game by Nob Yoshigahara, which was named Tokyo Parking. Apparently parking lots are a fruitful source of puzzle ideas ;-)

BTW, don’t contact me if you found another way to place the puzzle pieces on the game board. There are 72 valid ways to do this and I only needed 60 challenges, so some packings where not used.

example Parking Puzzler

example of a Starter challenge/solution

example Parking Puzzler

example of an Expert challenge/solution: There are 3 cars left from the red car, but you don’t know their color or their position

example Parking Puzzler

example of a Master challenge/solution that only indicate some empty parking places in relation to the red car

Parking Puzzler, a logic puzzle game designed by Raf Peeters
Where is my car?


1) Remove all puzzle pieces from the game board. Choose a challenge.

2) Each challenge gives you hints about the position of some cars on the parking lot:

• A colored car indicates that there needs to be a car of that color on that specific position.

• Grey cars indicate the position of cars on the game board, but not their color.

• Easy challenges give you a complete overview of the parking lot. More difficult challenges only show a portion of the parking lot, but not which specific part.


• All cars should be parked in the same orientation (vertically on the game board) so that they fit in their parking spots.

• You are not allowed to park any cars on the drive way (the horizontal row between B and C).

3) There is only 1 solution, which can be found at the end of the booklet.

Website ©2016 Raf Peeters

Products and images: © Smart