In the first section of this guide about solving specific game types, we described the strategy for solving problems requiring the arrangement of the game’s elements in linear fashion, either from up to down or, more typically, from left to right. In this section, we will describe how to solve games that require you to define the spatial relationships between elements that are arranged in a non-linear fashion, that is, not in a straight line.
What kind of spatial arrangements might you be asked to determine? Elements may be arranged circularly, like the arrangement of people sitting at a round table. Or, you might be asked to arrange elements according to their positions on a map, by the compass directions, north, south, west, and east.
What type of strategy is used to work through these kinds of games? Like the strategy for linear sequencing games, you will need to create a diagram on which you will place the available information. The best diagram will be one that accurately represents the premise of the game, whether it is the circular arrangement of elements or the arrangement of points on a plane, such as a map. In this section, we will begin by looking at a game requiring the circular arrangement of elements. Through the creation of an effective diagram, we will work through sample questions and conclude with an overall strategy for working through these games. Next, we will look at map games, showing how to create a diagram that allows the straightforward solving of these types of games, again concluding with a summary of strategy.
Again, the best diagram for each game is one that represents the game’s premise. For example, if you are asked to determine the seating arrangement around a table, you will use a circle as the basis of your diagram. Since we are arranging seats around the table, this could be represented in multiple ways, such as single points on the circle, or lines representing the individual chairs. A better way is to draw spokes, or lines off the circle. This helps in interpreting the relationships between elements, especially when you are given conditions that describe elements as being directly across from one another. It becomes much easier to see the spatial relationships if you use spokes.
Let’s look at a sample problem and try to set up a useful diagram.