“A sliding puzzle, sliding block puzzle, or sliding tile puzzle is a tour puzzle that challenges a player to slide (frequently flat) pieces along certain routes (usually on a board) to establish a certain end-configuration. The pieces to be moved may consist of simple shapes, or they may be imprinted with colors, patterns, sections of a larger picture (like a jigsaw puzzle), numbers, or letters.
Sliding puzzles are essentially two-dimensional in nature, even if the sliding is facilitated by mechanically interlinked pieces (like partially encaged marbles) or three-dimensional tokens. As this example shows, some sliding puzzles are mechanical puzzles. However, the mechanical fixtures are usually not essential to these puzzles; the parts could as well be tokens on a flat board that are moved according to certain rules.”