Turing Tumble: New Marble Run Game Teaches Computer Logic

A new Kickstarter project aims to make a marble run game that acts as a mechanical computer. Turning Tumble involves players solving logic puzzles by constructing a pathway with six different parts.

The game will ship with 51 puzzles to solve, detailed through a graphic novel storyline, though there’s scope for future expansions and user-created puzzles.

The solution is found by constructing a pathway with the following parts:

  • a ramp that simply redirects the marble either left or right;
  • a crossover that allows pathways to, well, cross over;
  • a bit that not only passes the ball in a particular direction, but then remains in one of two positions (in other words, a 0 or 1);
  • a gear bit, which acts like a bit but also turns other gear bits; and
  • an interceptor, which stops any further marbles being released.

If a marble gets to the bottom of the board without hitting an interceptor, it hits one of two triggers, which will release a red or blue marble respectively from the top of the pathway.

As an example, the first puzzle involves six ramps already placed on the board and the player having to place four more ramps such that all the blue marbles will get to the bottom of the board without any of the red marbles being released. A later, more complex, puzzle involves trying to create a sequence of two blues, a red, four blues, a red and eight blues, the solution for which involves more than 40 correctly-placed components.

The base pack starts at $60, or you can get a virtual pack at $15 than includes a PDF of the puzzles and the 3D-print files for the components.

[Turing Tumble: Gaming on a Mechanical Computer]