The Sliding Door Maze

Sorry--there's no maze here because the maze is a Java program and your browser is currently not "Java enabled."

The black dot at the bottom of the maze is you. You are trapped in the maze and you have to find a way to the area marked Exit. Whenever you go over a colored dot, the gate of that color will shift in the direction indicated on the dot.

To start the maze, double-click on the diagram, then click on Reset. (Is all that really necessary? Well, no, but different browsers want you to do different things, and that action will work on every browser I know about.)

Use your arrow keys to make your moves; or click on the arrows shown at the right of the maze.

To reset to the beginning, type r. Or click on Reset.

When the gates shift, there are sound effects and a short delay. This is useful when you’re learning how the maze works. But if the delay and the sound start to annoy you, click on the check mark next to Sound to turn them off.

The Sliding-Door Maze is copyright © 1999 by Robert Abbott. If you are interested in programming the maze for a different device (PDA, cell phone, video game controller), please see my terms of use.


This puzzle is based on one of the mazes in SuperMazes. How, you might ask, was I able to get the sliding doors to work on the printed page? Well, I used paper clips. You were told to place four paper clips in certain places on the page. When you traveled over a red letter on your path, you had to slide one of the paper clips left or right until it overlaid a corresponding green letter. It sounds complicated, but it actually worked pretty well.

The Java programming was done by Oriel Maximé, and it wasn’t just programming. Oriel also re-designed the maze so it now looks better than it did in the book. Oriel also has his own Java puzzles (not currently available anywhere) and he has a great puzzle game called “Binky,” which has about 60 levels of play. Unfortunately, Binky runs only on MS-DOS and it has never been published. The only reason I mention these items here is I keep telling Oriel he should do something with them.

More about Oriel: his e-mail address is, and here is more information about him. At the bottom of that information page is a pointer to Vee-21, a puzzle he helped develop for Kadon.

About Jorge Best’s Dynamic Mazes:

In 2005, Jorge Best, who lives in Dallas, Texas, created and programmed a series of twelve Dynamic Mazes. They start with easy layouts and work up to more difficult ones. By contrast, my Sliding Door maze has only one layout and only one level of difficulty: pretty much impossible.

In the introdution to his mazes, Jorge says he was inspired by the Sliding Door maze. Actually, his mazes are rather different. Instead of sliding doors, he has tunnels. When you travel over certain switches, certain tunnel entrances are opened and others are closed. And here’s the tricky part: at first you don’t know which switches control which entrances. That’s something you have to figure out. I myself had to resort to printing each maze then making notes before I could figure out what did what.

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