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Rating: 4.6/5 (23 votes)
Comments (89) | Views (8,200)
JayRubiconSandbox games, level editors, and user-generated content seem to be all the rage these days, and for good reason: people love to be expressive and creative, and the games that allow this creative side to emerge often generate a great deal of buzz. Reference: Line Rider, DofI's Sand games, Professor Fizzwizzle, and Rob Allen's Super Serif Bros., to name just a few. Even Will Wright's Spore has generated an amazing groundswell of buzz due in part to its creature editors and its leveraging of user-generated content; and the game isn't even out yet.

Enter Rubicon, the latest brain-child from Kevan Davis, the creator of the previously mentioned Urban Dead DHTML zombie game as well as many other works (talk about creative!). Unlike Urban Dead, however, Rubicon is a machine-building puzzle game, level editor, and sandbox toy written in Processing, and it therefore requires that Java be installed on your computer to play.

Basic gameplay consists of moving crates to one or more targets for each level. Each crate must come to rest on its corresponding target for a green light to appear. Use the component materials provided to construct any machine that will succeed at the task. The tiny icons in the lower left corner of the game window represent the various structures and mechanisms that you may use.

Once you have built your machine, press Play to see the results. If it doesn't work, press Stop to make changes before pressing Play again. Rinse. Repeat until success.

Play Rubicon

After completing the twelve pre-built puzzles, try your hand at creating your own levels. You can visit the Rubicon Forum for sharing your levels, or post them here in the comments to share them with other JIG visitors. To share your level with others, click Save to get your 7-letter filename, and then use the filename it gives you in a URL formatted like this:


Rubicon is a wonder toy filled with creative potential that is limited only by your imagination. And if you're curious about the sandbox creations that are possible with Rubicon, feast on this stunning machine: http://kevan.org/rubicon/game.php?level=sizahob, a "3-digit serial incrementer" designed by Alex Fink. Or try this one by SMK.

Cheers to Craig for the heads-up about this amazing new game, and to Asterick for finding the examples to show. =)


hamelbrock October 24, 2006 4:50 AM

looks quite similar to block action :)


That 3 digit serial incrementer is incredibly well put together.


This game needs a save button - I'm stuck on level 12 of the basics. Any Idea?

Great game, though...


...got it...


I wonder if you could do a Turing machine with it...


My solution for Level 12 (it's an image link):

That one was tricky.


An elegant solution, nice job jmdbcool! =)

I hope you don't mind that I moved your image to the JIG server for posterity. Links from those image hosters don't usually last long. Cheers!


Is it just me, or is the Game extremly slow / laggs? óò

Btw, I love your Site, Jay ^_^


Cheers, Ankha! =)

I wouldn't say extremely slow, though I do notice some lag with many items in motion on my Powerbook Mac. On my PC there is virtually no lag at all.


You need to have Java 1.3 installed to play this game.

Unfortunatley, I am at work and can't do that. But then again, I shouldn't be playing at work, right?

Maybe next one.


Jay, I'm not having a problem with lag, the game just looks like it isn't loading properly. Tried it in both Firefox and IE, and even re-installed java, but I'm still having image issues. Any suggestions?


Yany - I have Java 1.4.2 installed on my Mac laptop, and 1.5.0 installed on my PC. Both work fine.

Did you restart your browser after reinstalling Java? How about restaring your computer? What version of Java did you install?

At a command prompt, what does java -version return?


I clearly should have just stayed in bed today.


I re-reinstalled Java, and it's working fine now. I'm just too dumb to function today. But, I'll still blame Win-D'oh!-s.

Thanks for help, Jay. Also, your site = fantabulous. Just saying.


Excellent game.

jmdbcool: that's a mad solution for level 12 - nice!
Here's something slightly simpler.


yikes, i think my link didn't work..
here's the url:


I fixed it, Valarauka. You were missing the quotation marks around the URL.

euphoniumsong October 24, 2006 8:57 PM

Are there any suggestions for level 11? I managed to fly through most of the others but am having a mental block trying to sort the letters. I can get one word but never both.

Great game!


Has anybody discovered a way to select which level to play? Having to restart at level 1 every time is a right pain. Otherwise, it looks very interesting. - John


In the current version, there is no way to select a particular base level to solve. I imagine that Kevan will add that functionality soon since it is sorely needed.


Maybe this is all obvious but I don't think it's been documented either here or on the Rubicon site:
Right-click to delete an object.
Left drag to keep adding objects.
Right drag to keep deleting objects.


Level passwords have now been implemented. For the benefit of anyone here who doesn't want to play through the early levels again, the twelve passwords are...

1. abalone

2. origami

3. unaware

4. anenome

5. edifice

6. acolyte

7. analogy

8. ocarina

9. acetate

10. oregano

11. ukelele

12. awesome

Good to see people enjoying the game. There's a bug-report area on the forums if anyone's having any persistent Java problems, or can help me work out which versions it does and doesn't work with.


Kevan has now kindly added a password facility to Rubicon which allows you to return immediately to any level that you have previously seen. Wow, that was quick work! - John


For lvl 11,

I put the "d" from the left side onto the right side, and then put random objects there until the order was right, giving me "BADB" and "EE". The hardest part was separating the words at the right letter(I kept making "BA-DBEE" and "B-ADBEE")


Does someone want to test a level for me? The level name is Bacades. and a Screenshot of the solution would be great. Thanks


Good game!

Here is another solution to Level 12...

using a vertical chain of winches, and no ramps.
level 12


Took me awhile but I found a solution to your 'Bacades' puzzle Lazyone.

heres the code to load up my solution 'mihoboc'


I beat Lazyones 'Bacades' puzzle as well.

My solution is 'dulered'

I didn't look at ewp's until I was done...It's neat to see how differently we approached the problem.


Thanks for the solutions EWP and ZUG

My soloution is 'huduxim'


Just made a new puzzle:


give it a shot!


Here is another level if someone cares to post the soloution 'zudybuh'

Thanks, Lazyone


I found an elegant solution to lazyones "bacades". It is stored as:



SM: I got a solution, but it used a bug in the game: apparently you are able to delete and overwrite anything that is not structure. But here it is, if you want to see:




This is one of the more enjoyable challenges on Rubicon- I'll be honest- my solution isn't complete b/c the way I have things laid out, I can't clear the second row a set number of times to have the second set of monitors light up. But here's what I have so far...



I don't know why we can't really "lock" the levels and prevent deletions of set things.

This is the solution I came up with- it builds upon a staircase idea i came up with in solving level 12



Here's a solution for zudybuh. (Level code = nuluxix)


Lazyone, here is my solution to your "zudybuh":




I guess im not as smart as i thought i was. =/

I'm completely stumped on #7

i know i have to use the addition machine, but i can't think of a way to set it up.

any help would be appreciated

PS. Kudos! to you and your merry men, Jay. I come here almost everyday. i have to say, this is the best free game site i know of. keep it up!


Another puzzle if someone wants to try it

'hyfosig' Let me know if it was challenging please.

Thanks, Lazyone


Mike - here's a solution for level 7: cidipis


Lazyone - nice level! at first I couldn't even begin to think about how to solve it, but then I had a sudden realization that made it trivial ...
I'm not sure this is how you intended it to be solved, but: noderep


For mike - Another way to do level 7: jeginot


Doh not the way i was thinking but lets see if this version is just as easy 'bopahod'



Bah went back to the drawing board on that one and still just as easy for you Valarauka. Anybody know how to delete specific pieces from the toolbar?


Here is one for you Valaruka. I would be interested to see your solution to this one. http://kevan.org/rubicon/game.php?level=lumerab

'lumerab' just in case i messed the link up


lazyone: to make certain pieces unusable by the player, just put in an 'Anti Sign' somewhere in the corner of the level, and place all the pieces you want to disqualify next to it.

Disqualifying certain blocks always constrains the solutions possible, so it makes it more challenging, but part of the fun of the game is seeing how many different creative solutions there are to any particular problem, so you wouldn't want to restrict too much, I think.

And for 'lumerab' - here you go: gefabyz
Nice level; I could've made it slightly easier by blocking off the furnace at the answer place, and just using a copier for an infinite supply of '1' boxes, but I figured this way was more in the spirit of what you wanted.


Lazyone - here's one for you, demonstrating the use of the Anti Sign: raxocaz


Here is my (much less graceful) solution for "lumerab"




A solution to yours:


P.S. How do you insert a hyperlink into a post?


Thank you for the info on the anti sign. 'Vabybex' is the solution I came up with for yours. Nice level. going back to the drawing board once again for the random one.


I modifeid the random one try it now please at let me know.



Nice work on mine, guys. And Zug - less graceful perhaps, but definitely very neat, I think. Those key-released bulldozers are cool.

Lazyone - I cheated again ;) dixefig

SM: To insert links, I use the standard html anchor tag -
<a href="http://www.url.com">link text</a>


Another new puzzle
link text


Back to the drawing board for the random one yet again thanks Valaruka


For lazyone - before you go back to the drawing board, here's another way to do it, using any two consecutive barrels: rikyzut

Of course, the reason I keep doing it this way is I can't imagine how to transmit information about the random stuff on one side to the machinery on the other; hence, the only way left is to remove the randomness from both sides in a consistent way...


Valaruka - another, slightly different solution to yours



I started out trying to figure out a 'spirit of the level' solution, Lazyone, but because I didn't want to use gates (though I see you left those in) this is what I ended up with:



another puzzle Zomydyb


zxo - nice work! it's fun to see how many different solutions people create even given such little material to work with.

Lazyone - here's a solution for zomydyb: ticudyd
I liked this one, it had me stumped for a while before I came up with that solution.

I tried your clock face one but I just got bored of it after a while - it felt kinda tedious... I got to the point where I had all the right numbers, but moving them all into their correct spots was just a lot of hassle.


another puzzle Zomydyb


Some very ingenious solutions to multiple problems have been posted. I have spent many hours creating puzzles over the last couple of days. I love games that make you think and force others to think as well.

Valaruka, I agree the clock puzzle is a real PAIN. I just wanted to put up a puzzle that would not be completed within several minutes of me posting it.

Well back to the drawing board.

By the way Jay, this site is GREAT.


Well, I figured I couldn't just leave that nice set of random crates on the left be useless, so I came up with another zomydyb solution: bahypot.
Thanks for a fun level!


And for completeness, here's another solution to zomydyb. Not anywhere near what the original designer intended, methinks. Never underestimate the power of math. :)



Ha! You should see what I've been doing with his other Random levels ... I actually wanted to solve this one the 'right' way ... *grin*


Level 9 doesn't work for me. It wants a 9-crate, but all I have is a 1-crate, and I can't add crates. Trying to add to a barrel gets me another barrel.

Level 9 password:




You can put a downward copier under the 1-crate to get an infinite supply of 1-crates...

...and then use an adder to get a 9-crate.



But you do have a replicator, which replicates whatever is above or below it-

My solution to level 9:



Heh... here's two more solutions:
The fast way - xucovid
The fun way - pytihyp

lopsidation October 30, 2006 8:02 PM

solution to zomydyb:
giferas-so much for "spirit of the level".

solution to kugopaf:
fyloted-again, the spirit goes down the drain.


I have created an experimental level that is so easy that it's... impossible.

It uses a blunt design and only one restriction.

I'm not even sure that it has a solution

Take the challenge

Keep in mind that this is an experimental level that my sadistic mind concocted while staring at the celing so - in all actuality - it really COULD BE impossible


I need some help with level 11.

Anthony Allen March 29, 2007 6:53 PM


This took me too long to realise what I had even managed to do

It was all accidental

SmoothP April 2, 2007 4:41 PM

Oops, I should say that's my solution to level 11. Also it turns out the downward copiers aren't necessary.


there is a graphics problem with the game- the only thing i see is a lot of blue stripes and other colours... suggestions?

name here. lol June 24, 2007 4:01 PM

I beat yours mkelican. great idea.


I don't get level 1 even. The key causes a yellow bar to appear on top of it when the key is placed on the lower 1 crate. How does this work?


mkelican, I saved a solution to yours here:


Anyone have a solution to #7 that uses the "new" slower adders? I tried both of the posted spoilers here (thanks Valarauka) and I can't get them to work. Am I just having one of those senior moments?

Anonymous August 29, 2007 7:52 PM

mkelican, a solution to your challenge.



Hm. This is really late, but if anyone's still looking here's a solution to level 7 with the new adders:


probably the easiest solution to mkelican's "challenge": bihibam


check out my weird solution to level 12
it uses lots and lots of keys, aha

Jacob R ~SMK February 28, 2009 3:37 AM

That was strange. I used to go by SMK back when. I just found your site and I ended up finding one of my old levels I made.
Oh and great site ya have here!

SandroTheDarkness April 22, 2009 2:11 PM

Nice game, try mine (it's kinda easy though):


Anonymous June 19, 2010 12:11 PM

Does anyone know how to make a processor like in macebas? "http://kevan.org/rubicon/game.php?level=macebas"

Anonymous June 8, 2011 5:29 PM

Does anyone know how to beat level 4?


Don't know if you're still playing a month later, but I'll answer your question anyway.

Simple hint:

Minimum number of pieces to win level 4:



-Note that the conveyor will always move a crate or barrel one space to the right or left.
-Also moving crate or barrel will move another crate or barrel to take its spot.

Full Explanation:

Place a single girder next to the top platform (on either side), and place a dozer on the girder such that it will push the crates off the top platform.

Place a conveyor next to the row of target matchers, such that the crates will land on it.

The crates will move off of the conveyor as they land, and as they do will push the one from before further along the row of target matchers, until all five are in place.


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