Strange Device


The Strange Device is one example of the many puzzles found in Cythera. Players must use the three buttons across the top to create certain patterns in the dots below. The device is based off of a mid-20th century toy, called Think-a-Dot. Additional information about the Think-a-Dot toy, including a much more extensive analysis, can be found here. The Think-a-Dot uses marbles inserted at the top to change the states of the gates immediately below the top row. These gates have two settings: yellow and blue. The color (direction) of the gate mechanism determines where the marble will roll next, which in turn changes the state of a gate lower down on the device.

In Cythera, the Strange Device does not use rolling marbles, but the concept is exactly the same as the Think-a-Dot. When a player clicks one of the three buttons across the top, the dot immediately below the button is changed, and that button's state, either white or dark, determines which dot will be changed next. Labeling the dots according to the key above, the rules the device follows are:

If dot 1 is off, it will change dot 4; if it is on, it changes dot 6.
If dot 2 is off, it will change dot 5; if it is on, it changes dot 4.
If dot 3 is off, it will change dot 8; if it is on, it changes dot 5.
If dot 4 is off, it will change dot 7; if it is on, it changes dot 6.
If dot 5 is off, it will change dot 8; if it is on, it changes dot 7.
Dots 6,7, and 8 affect no other dots.

Possible Routes

Here are some suggested orders to press the buttons to reach the specified patterns:

From empty to full: Ax5,Bx1,Cx5 or Ax1,Bx5,Cx1
From empty to Northern Cave pattern: Bx3,Cx6 or Cx2,Bx2,Cx2,Bx1,Cx2

Javascript Version

If your browser supports Javascript and has it enabled, you should be able to use the Javascript version of the Strange Device below. I cannot guarantee that this will work for your system; I have only tested it with the latest version of Safari.

Note: This device does support sound; however, sound has been disabled by default to improve loading time. Check the box below to enable the sound. This may take a moment to load, so please wait. Also be aware that the device will be a little slower with sound enabled.

Cythera's images, audio, and text are owned by Ambrosia Software Inc.