At Gamecon1, my enthusiastic helpers delved into the rules for all the games and began teaching them on their own immediately, having a wonderful time at it. I appreciated this enthusiasm very much.
After a while, I came over to watch a 4 player game of Octiles that was going on with much laughter and animation, and discovered they were not following the rules completely, - so I asked them to teach me my own game. Here is the essense of the variation, as I understood it.
VARIANT: Place the switch tile on top of a tile NEXT TO one of your runners. WITHOUT REPLACING the tile underneath, use it to move your runner. Then replace ANY tile on the board with the switch tile.
The "advantages" were: fewer runner decisions, and freer path-messing-up possibilities; hence a more obstructive game. (So there! )
I suspect that this version would add more than a little nastiness and kingmaking into the end game.
(The true move-over rule was specifically designed to limit one's ability to directly mess with others' paths at the game's end, but maybe that was what the laughing was about.)
=> This variant might be more workable if the position where you finally replace the tile on your turn has to be somehow connected to one of your own pieces.
Octiles is fairly accepting of variants, and many of the rules can be flipped around. If you have a favorite variant, I would be happy to try it out and comment on it.