HuaRongDao is a kind of sliding block puzzle. It's quite challenging, fun and addictive. It is a game of math, logic and strategy.
The objective is to move the biggest square block out from the center bottom of the board.
In a 4x5 board, there are ten blocks, one 2x2 block, five 1x2(or 2x1) blocks, and four 1x1 blocks. There are many opening patterns. The rule is very simple, just side the blocks to open space inside the 4x5 board, no jumping, no rotation, just sliding. Then move the biggest square block out from the center bottom of the board, you win.
It is challenging. The classic opening pattern, the minimal steps needed is 81. There are some tricks you can follow. Well, it is not approved that this is the minimal steps, so you may come up with a new strategy to break the record. More details of patterns.
The figures on the blocks, come from the well-know Chinese historical story "The legend of three kingdoms". The three kingdoms were Wei, Shu and Wu. The Three Kingdoms period is a period in the history of China, after Han Dynasty collapsed. It refers to the period between the foundation of the Wei in 220 and the conquest of the Wu by the Jin Dynasty in 280.
The figure on 2x2 block was CaoCao, the emperor of Wei. The figures on the five 2x1(or 1x2) blocks were the Five Tiger Generals of Shu. They were GuanYu, ZhangFei, ZhaoYun, HuangZhong and MaChao. The four 1x1 blocks are soldiers. More background information of these figures.
In 208, CaoCao marched south with his army hoping to quickly unify the empire. So CaoCao had a big fight with Shu and Wu. Their combined armies of 50,000 met CaoCao's fleet and 200,000-strong force at Red Cliffs (Chinese: ChiBi) that winter. After an initial skirmish, an attack beginning with a plan to set fire to CaoCao's fleet was set in motion to lead to a decisive defeat on CaoCao, forcing him to retreat in disarray back to the north.
When Caocao retreated, he went to HuaRongDao, a place guarded by GuanYu, one of the five in Shu. Finally CaoCao escaped.
So this game has another name: "Help CaoCao to Escape".
Reference: Wiki of Three Kingdoms