Author Topic: Is there a pause key?  (Read 1618 times)

Offline Dave47

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 2
Is there a pause key?
« on: August 24, 2011, 01:05:59 AM »
Seems like an fun game... I got through the first few levels in adventure mode... then I hit the level where you have to get five combos of 3 or more.

I can't see combos... at least without studying the layout... and there's no time for that.

I'm pretty good at match three games, but Tidalis requires examining entire rows/columns for color matches, then figure out where the resulting falling blocks will land AND their orientation, then if the fallen blocks form a row/column with three of the same colors. That's for a 2-combo. For a 3-combo forget it! I'd need to study the layout for probably 5-10 minutes. Of course by then I've lost the level. I've got no time to figure out a move, much less plan any strategy. Maybe I'm slow I guess.

First levels were fun, but this is totally frustrating.

So that's my question: is there a pause key so that I can examine the level and figure out a move? Just stop the timer? If I'm stuck this early in the game, I'll probably not spend much more time on it.

I only spent $1.50, so it's no big deal... but it does seem like it would be a fun game.

Offline Fiskbit

  • Arcen Games Contractor
  • Master Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,752
Re: Is there a pause key?
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2011, 02:18:20 AM »
By design, the only way to pause the game is using the escape key, which brings up the main menu on top of the stage you're currently playing. This is pretty standard puzzle game behavior, since being able to stop time would be a pretty big exploit in any action-oriented puzzle game (like how modern Tetris games are pretty broken by the fact that the Tetris Company demands that games allow the player to rotate a block indefinitely, giving players as much time as they want to think about a move even at the most difficult, high-speed levels).

That said, perhaps there are some things we can do to help make it easier for you to find combos. I suggest making good use of the right-click dimming feature, where right clicking on a block causes blocks of other colors to dim. This makes it very easy to see relevant blocks, and thus much easier to set up a chain. You can do the same with blocks that will fall as a result of that combo, right clicking on them to limit your view only to relevant blocks. If your goal is deep combos, I suggest trying to keep your chains small; the larger they are, the harder it is to keep track of the future state of the board and, thus, the harder it is to set up subsequent chains in the combo.

The most important part of getting deep combos, in my opinion, involves a method that is completely at odds with the intuitive method of planning everything in advance. Planning things in advance is good, but the deeper things go, the harder it is to keep it all in your head. You'll need to plan in advance in the actionless brainteaser mode, but in action modes, you want to only plan out two or three chains at a time and then look for new chains on the fly. In the amount of time it takes for one chain to complete, you should be able to find another chain to include in your combo. If you are fast enough and keep a good supply of blocks flowing by using the fast-forward feature, you can keep a combo going indefinitely, which is how I managed the scores I have on the Steam leaderboards.

So using the dimming feature is a huge help for finding potential chains to include in a combo, and adding chains to combos on the fly rather than planning it all out in advance is a necessity for getting around the inherent difficulty of a board with such spatial and temporal complexity. If you've played any of the Panel de Pon games (Tetris Attack, Pokemon Puzzle League, Planet Puzzle League), that same sort of mindset works very well here.

Also, a big help for doing things at a really fast pace is the Smart Drag feature that you can enable in settings. Smart drag lets you set up a chain with a single mouse drag by not letting you change the direction of blocks you've already dragged over until the next time you right click. This is fantastic for making chains that loop back over earlier blocks in the chain.

If you have any more questions about the game or its strategies, please don't hesitate to ask. I'm happy to try to help!
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games?  Click here to get started with Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports.  Thanks for helping to make our games better!

Offline Dave47

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 2
Re: Is there a pause key?
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2011, 04:03:50 PM »
Thanks for taking the time to reply.

I'll give it some more time and try your suggestions.