Tips and tricks to beat Netwalk

The idea behind Netwalk is similar to Minesweeper in that the player should use deductive reasoning to work their way through the puzzle. This implies heavy usage of the locking function (which is activated by pressing spacebar or the middle-mouse button).

What is meant by deductive reasoning in this context? It means identifying scenarios in which a tile can only have a single correct orientation. Some examples are shown further down the page.

Before continuing, the player should know two important rules about the puzzle. The first rule is that the correct solution will have just enough connections for every tile to be lit with no extra edges left over. This leads to the second rule which is that a correct solution will have no closed loops. To verify that this is true, feel free to generate some puzzles and have a look at the solutions. For those wondering why, it is because the solution to the puzzle is a spanning tree.

As an example, we will be using a section taken out of a random game. The tiles have been numbered in the first image for future reference.

A section of a puzzle.

The image above shows a situation in which a straight connection (tile 4) sits in between two head connections (tiles 5 and 6). Since a puzzle cannot be complete unless every tile has a connection to the power source, the straight connection has only one possible correct orientation. As a result, the tile can be locked in the vertical position as seen below:

Locking tile 5.

This new piece of information allows for another deduction to be made. It now becomes apparent that the unlocked straight connection (tile 8) below the locked one must also be in the same orientation otherwise we violate the first rule i.e. The correct solution should have no extra edges left over. By the same logic, tile 2 must also be connected to tile 5 as well.

Locking tile 8 and tile 2.

Using rule 1 again allows for tile 7 to be locked in the vertical position. It follows that tile 4 can also be locked after connecting to tile 7.

Locking tile 4 and tile 7.

The same idea also applies to tile 3 and tile 6.

Locking tile 3 and tile 6.

Now there are no more deductions able to be made without seeing the rest of the puzzle.

The examples shown above only represent a small subset of the many possible situations that can be encountered in Netwalk. As such, the purpose of this is to serve as a starting point so that the player may begin to identify and solve these patterns for themselves and eventually culminating into a complete solution. Hopefully this page has been helpful :)