The following rules are for the poster-sized boards (posters and playmats) which are 8″ tesseracts or 4D cubes projected onto 2D space where the coordinates are in units with combinations of 0, 1 and 2. Wooden game boards are 4″ tesseracts and the coordinates are in inches with combinations of 0, 2 and 4. If you are playing with a wooden board simply double each coordinate number. Any game pieces can be used on the poster-sized boards. The poster-sized boards do not come with pieces. The wooden boards come with enough pieces to play 8 person 4D Checkers or 4 person Interstellar Chess. The standard pieces to use are chess pieces because there are 6 basic types of movements and there are 6 different pieces in a chess set (King, Queen, Rook, Bishop, Knight and Pawn). With Checkers, you only use Pawns and Kings. You can also use different coins, bottle caps, chips, Risk pieces (using the 3 different types of pieces and then putting chips under each to make 6 different pieces), etc. Dice work well with 4D Checkers because you can play 6 different players (1-6) and then put a coin under each promoted (“jetEyed”) piece. Different colored chess sets can be purchased in the “Buy Now” section, as well as dice, and wooden peg sets to play up to 8 player Interstellar Chess.
On this board all coordinates are in units (in inches with the wooden game boards). The first number in each coordinate is the distance in units from the game board origin (0000) in the X direction (right/left), the 2nd number is the distance from 0000 in the Y direction (diagonally upward); the 3rd number is the direction in the Z direction (up/down); the 4th is the distance in the T direction (diagonally downward). Point 2102, for example, is 2 units (8″) in the X direction (from 0000 to 2000), 1 unit (4″) in the Y direction (from 2000 to 2100), 0″ in the Z direction, and 2 units in the T direction (from 2100 to 2012). There is every 4 digit combination of 0, 1 and 2 making an 81 coordinate gid (3x3x3x3=81).
General Movements: The basic move is by the pawn or checker which is forward 4” in the X, Y, Z, or T direction (or 2″ on the wooden game boards). You can move N/S, E/W, up/down, and back/forth through time from any of 81+ coordinates/spaces on the 4D grid. The shortest distance between any 2 points is 4” (or 2″ on the wooden boards). Coordinates change by only one unit in one axis. For example a pawn at 0100 starting near the 0000 corner can move forward to 1100, 0200, 0110, or 0101 but not backwards to 0000. When a piece reaches the far end of a 2D square (e.g. X, Y, Z, or T = 2) then that piece can’t move any farther in this direction even if there appears to be a coordinate 4” away. For example a piece at 2000 can’t move to 0202 even though it appears (in 2D space) to be 4” away (it is actually 6 units or 24″ away in 4D space!). An opponents piece cannot be jumped on the first move, and also cannot be captured/taken from the board until that piece has moved from its original spot EXCEPT the piece/s on the exact opposite corner/side.
Pawns or Kings can also jump (noonk) pieces exactly in the middle of any 2 coordinates. Coordinates of jumped pieces must line up so that the numbers in every position must either stay the same or go from 0, 1 to 2, or 2, 1 to 0. For example a pawn at 0000 can jump over another piece at 0010 by going to 0020, or can jump over 0111 by going to 0222, etc. The more “1”s in a coordinate, the easier it is to get noonked. For this reason the 16 black spaces are safe from being noonked. Multiple jumps are allowed but jumps stop at the far corner or side, and only one piece can be removed at the discretion of the jumping player. Note any Pawn (or King) can jump over the middle. “Center Jump rule” – any piece that reaches the center can be jumped by every other players (if possible) for one round without being removed. Jumping player decides whether or not a jumped piece is taken from the board. You can jump over your own pieces. There are 496 different jumps that can be made on this board. See Strategy section below for more details.
4D Darts: 1-8 players, 5+ minutes play time. Take turns throwing. Hard play – hit the circles: Standard play – go to nearest coordinate (next person throwing decides). If you hit outside the outer perimeter you get 0 points. Get the most “1”s (or “2”s) or get the highest score adding up all the coordinate numbers; e.g. 1101=3. Play continues to 30 or 50 points.
4D Checkers: 2-8 players: 15 minutes – 2 hours: First decide whether or not jumps are mandatory or not. Mandatory jumps can significantly shorten the game. 1) Start with 5 or 6 pieces around chosen corner (their origin). Oldest goes first; play continues clockwise. Use 6 pieces if playing with 2 to 4 players, and 5 pieces if playing with 5 to 8 players. 2) pawns/checkers move forward 1 unit (4”) in the X, Y, Z, or T directions or 3) jump/noonk if you can. 4) reach the opposite corner (apex) and get “jetEyed” (piece promotes to a King) & return one piece back to their origin to win. A Pawn can attack a piece in the opposite corner by landing on it from 2″ away (to become a King). A King can jump like a pawn forward and backward and also can attack a piece at a player’s origin by landing on it from 2″ away (to win).
Interstellar Chess: 2-8 players: Object of the game: be the last King standing, or have the most jetEyed pieces after all Pawns are out of play or after 60 minutes whichever comes first. Start on chosen side (not corner), typically players are spaced out on the board as equally as possible. If a player can’t move s/he automatically loses and his/her pieces are removed from the board. Pieces are jetEyed or promoted when they reach the opposite side. Pawns promote to Queens or Bishops (or additional Kings in variants). Only Pawns and Kings can capture pawns. Kings are like Pawns but can move backwards and forwards. They can jump/noonk as well as attack other pieces one unit away IF they can’t jump it. Rooks move forward and attack 1 or 2 units (4” or 8”) along any one axis. Queens are jetEyed Rooks that move and attack backwards and forwards. Knights move forward 1 or 2 units but not in a straight line (4″ in two different axis) and attack when they move 2 units. They can’t move through another piece. Bishops are jetEyed knights that can also move and attack backwards.
4D Tic-Tac-Toe: 2-8 Players take turns placing down zees except the very center (1111) until all pieces are used or the holes are filled. The player with the most 3-in-a-row diagonals wins. They are counted out one color at a time.
Solitaire #1: Start with 3-6 Bishops around the center and “enemy” pieces around the 8 outer black corners. Try to capture all the enemy pieces in the least number of moves. Enemy pieces must jump/noonk if they can but don’t move otherwise.
Solitaire #2: First identify the 12 major cubes. The red cube is where T = 1; the green cube is where Y = 1; the blue cube is where X = 1; the yellow cube is where Z = 1. Start in the middle, with a list of the 81 coordinates. Move from the center around the cubes one unit at a time marking off each coordinate from the list in the least number of moves.
Jumping: A big part of the game is determining when and where pieces can be jumped. Some jumps are not so obvious. Just because a piece looks exactly positioned between two points doesn’t make it a valid jump (unless playing with Kids Rules (below)); many of these aren’t. Any coordinate that has a 1 in it (or 2 on the wooden boards) can be jumped from one position back and forth (2 ways). For example 1200 can be jumped in the X direction between 0200 and 2200 because the 1 is in the X position. Every coordinate with two 1s (24 of them) can be jumped in 8 different ways. For example 0011 can be jumped in the Z and T directions (between 0010 &0012, and 0001 & 0021), as well as between 0000 & 0022 and 0020 & 0002). Coordinates with three 1s (8 of them) can be jumped in 20 different ways. The center can be jumped by every other coordinate when going in that direction. Writing coordinates down on paper can help figure out jumps, or to prove that a jump is valid (i.e. coordinates line up).
4D Checkers: You do not have to take your whole army down field; you can win the game using just one piece. It is best to occupy and move to and from main corners of the hypercube (those that don’t have a 1 in the coordinate) where you can’t be jumped. Keeping a piece on your corner/origin or at your apex is a good idea to protect your pieces from getting jumped, and/or an opposing player from getting jetEyed or winning. An advanced player can use a Pawn or two to move along midpoints (coordinates with more 1s) so he/she can strategically jump his/her own pieces across the board. Careful, owever, that you don’t get jumped yourself!
Interstellar Chess: Pawns are more powerful in 4D play than in regular chess. Not only can they jump erratically across the board, but they can’t be taken by anything other than another Pawn or King. As soon as possible they should occupy and move between main corners where they are safe and there are more opportunities to jump, and to get to the other side to be promoted. In regular Chess you can consider the relative value of the Pawn as 1, a knight and Bishop as 3, a Rook as 5, and a Queen as 9. In Interstellar Chess the relative values of a Pawn can be considered equal to 3, a Knight and Rook as 5, and a Bishop and Queen as 8.
Variants: You can make the game go quicker at any time during the game by majority rule (>50% of the players). 1) Set a timer for 30 or 60 minutes. If the game is still going well and you want to continue playing after the timer rings, set it for another 30 or 60 minutes; if not, then the person with the most jetEyed pieces wins (or total pieces if the same number of jetEyes). If still the same, then it is a tie. 2) Pawns promote to Kings. 3) Kids or inexperienced players can also play where you can move anywhere there is a piece 2″ away in the X, Y, Z or T direction regardless if you are at the end of an axis or not; for example you can move from 1000 to 0202. 4) Kids could also jump anywhere there is an equal 2D distance between points; for example from 1000 over 0101 to 2000, or 0010 over 0021 to 0200. Here a ruler or tape measure comes in handy because there are thousands of jumps that can be made.
Note: Even if one makes a mistake that isn’t caught until later, or you can’t remember whose turn it is, just continue playing as best you can – it ususally doesn’t matter much; the game will still be interesting.