Author Topic: Hardest level(s) encountered?  (Read 3371 times)

Offline SmileyFace

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Hardest level(s) encountered?
« on: July 25, 2010, 06:21:53 AM »
I'm curious to know what levels people think are the hardest ones? Here is my list:

Level 20, forest fires. I had quite a few impossible games generated on this level before I could finally clear it. There are too many tinder blocks initially on the board, imo, especially at the bottom of the level.

Level 22, chains of 3 to victory. This one was genuinely hard! There is very, very little room for error and even one small combo can prevent victory. Needed many attempts to pass.

Level 28, stone cold night and...
Level 29, midnight mishmash. The problem with these two is that there are a ton of moon blocks and very few sun blocks initially on the board. Worse, few sun blocks are generated. Many attempts on both levels and currently stuck at level 29. I just can't get enough sun blocks :(


Anyway, what levels are you struggling with?

Offline eRe4s3r

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Re: Hardest level(s) encountered?
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2010, 08:42:46 AM »
75 = Roman Candle - i have yet win this

100  blocks without any stream touching the quad repeaters... I can easily lose in 1 turn - if you just let 1 single stream escape it causes a cascade usually with 4 or 5 combos. I understand this level is supposed to be about "control" ie - not have any stream point at the repeaters - but stuff that falls down causes unexpected and unplanned streams.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2010, 08:46:14 AM by eRe4s3r »
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Offline Fiskbit

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Re: Hardest level(s) encountered?
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2010, 08:43:04 AM »
Sorry you're having such a frustrating time with the difficulty. :( This is certainly something that can be adjusted downward if we find the balance is really out of whack. Levels where the game likes to dish out unwinnable scenarios are the top priority here, in particular.

Regarding level 20, I just tried that one 13 or so times and was able to complete it each time. What, in particular, was causing you to lose here? Clearing too many reds or stacking blocks above the board? If the latter, was it because of tinder blocks you simply could not clear? There are a lot of tinder blocks on this one (~19% of the blocks are tinder), but this should be balanced out by the number of red and white blocks (~23% and ~10.5%, respectively, while normal blocks are ~9.5%). Lowering the amount of tinder and the number of reds and whites, to compensate, might work, but I'm not positive that that would make the stage any more winnable. It might also extend the amount of time this stage takes significantly, which is something I often tried to avoid doing when making stages. When playing this stage, I recommend keeping whites around; they're great for using in emergencies (you're about to lose, so you use them to clear some blocks that will make tall columns shorter), for positioning reds by clearing blocks of other colors, or clearing with reds to help clear tinders. Using them for other purposes is largely wasting them. They're really the key to this level, I think.

Regarding 22, the score limit could probably stand to be higher, yes. As it is right now, you're allowed a couple of missteps (doing just chains of 3 without any errors, I ended with 1244 points. A 2-deep chain of 3 is worth 180 points instead of the usual 60, so you could do 2 of those, or several chains of 4 (100 points each)), but that might be a bit harsh this early. :P The skills taught in this stage (avoid large chains, avoid combos) are very helpful for later in the game, where there are many stages that require very careful playing to ensure you don't have large chains or large combos or streams hitting wrong blocks. It's sort of the opposite of what you normally have to do in this game, so you have to untrain yourself from how you normally play the game when doing these sorts of stages. Some helpful tips for this stage: try to avoid white blocks, since they double the score for the current chain, and try not to add too many unnecessary blocks to the board, since each one gives you a point. If you've made a few mistakes, those points can put you over the edge. As for the white block thing, that's non-obvious enough that white blocks probably shouldn't be present in this stage at all. I expect them to be removed in the future.

For 28, I think this one is okay currently. When dealing with sun and moon blocks, you need to realize that you can try to balance out the number of each block based on how you make your chains. If you have too many moon blocks and not enough sun blocks, you want to try making moon->sun->moon chains, and you can also use double-arrow sun blocks to have a moon shoot a sun, which then shoots two moons. Level 28 should be roughly balanced between sun and moon blocks, though; if you're seeing a wild imbalance, it may be related to how you're making chains.

Level 29, on the other hand, intentionally has way more moon blocks than sun blocks (~10.7% for sun blocks, and ~25.3% for moon blocks). It's a level about conserving this limited resource, so those tricks I just discussed for level 28 are necessary here. With them, you should be in good shape, but this can definitely be a difficult level.


If you feel a level's particularly borked and you'd like to make a balanced version for yourself that you can suggest be included in the game, try it out in the game's level editor. Levels are located in the Official Brainteasers folder. If you do this, though, I recommend making a copy of the level first before you go tinkering it so you have a spare around. You can make a copy by going into the "RuntimeData\Logic\LevelFolders\Levels For Tidalis Main Story" in a file explorer program and copying the level there (that's the same folder as Official Brainteasers. The different name in-game is to make it clear that this is where brainteasers are played, for those who want to play brainteasers without finding them in the adventure mode). Also, posting about the levels you find to be unbalanced is definitely helpful and I hope you continue to do it. :)
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Offline Fiskbit

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Re: Hardest level(s) encountered?
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2010, 08:55:43 AM »
eRe4s3r: Sorry. :P I definitely think there are harder stages before this one, though, so I'm a bit surprised you're having so much trouble there (74 is way more challenging, in my opinion). Given that it's trampoline mode, having a stream hit the quad repeaters is much less likely the end of the world than in normal mode unless it's part of a long chain already, and the aftermath isn't as bad because the blocks that land afterward can only send streams one space. Perhaps that stage could stand a lower block clear amount. At what point in it do you usually lose? How does it compare to 72 and 74? Would a lower block spawn rate help? This is a level that would probably benefit from the custom difficulty feature that was added to the editor late in the development cycle (after most of the levels were done).

And wait, 100 blocks? It's 75 blocks, for me. Are you sure it's 100 for you? If it is 100, you may need to reinstall the game with the latest 1.0 installer. I recall there being some issue for a few people with one of the beta updates to version 1.0 that would explain that discrepancy. If you're still having trouble at 75, I think slowing the rate at which blocks are dropped would be the way to go, since going lower than 75 would start making it too easy, I think.
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Offline eRe4s3r

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Re: Hardest level(s) encountered?
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2010, 09:06:06 AM »
No no, i mean 75 blocks - sorry its lack of coffee ;)

I usually die within 40 seconds or 3 turns - if i am lucky within 1 turn. But i also have another issue there - my progress doesn't save anymore - so i am eternally stuck at that level  8) (yes, gonna file it in bugs..)

The previous levels were much easier imo because Trampoline increases ranges and has not the natural 2 block range limiter that the previous levels had (and allowed it to plan for quad repeaters)

even if i plan for every problem i usually die from not having any 2 blocks next to each other left - the roman candle center also can very quickly become deadlocked because theres only so small amount of space to the top and the 2-blocks needed to start a chain rule does me in then.

The level would be better to master with 1 line more to the right - and that line used to have 2 lines in the center with blocks (so

- - - # - - # - - -
- - - # - - # - - -
- - - # - - # - - -
- - - # - - # - - -
- - - # - - # - - -
- - - # - - # - - -
- - - P - - P - - -

where # = repeater and - blocks and P = Plastic | But i admit i really suck at other levels

the frenzy and graviton levels and basically all frenzy levels.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2010, 10:23:46 AM by eRe4s3r »
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Offline SmileyFace

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Re: Hardest level(s) encountered?
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2010, 10:06:08 AM »
Sorry you're having such a frustrating time with the difficulty. :( [snip]
Woah, I didn't expect such a long reply! Sorry for making you ':('. The post was more to find out "Is it just me?", whether there are strategies I'm missing (most certainly), and what lies ahead (i.e. other hard levels). I was curious, in other words.

Regarding the levels I mentioned, the problems I faced were...

20: Lots of tinder generated near bottom, blocking paths between red blocks. Few red blocks meant more tinder piled up, limiting access to lower tinder and raising the column height. So, the masses of tinder blocks restricted the streams too much and as a result gradually piled up. Reading what you wrote, I probably wasn't using the white blocks well enough.

22: Yes, I discovered the hard way about the white blocks :) Also, good point about the 1 point for each block dropped... Perhaps I was taking my time too much? But then, when I rushed I tended to make chains of 4-5 or, worse, a combo. That put me between a rock and a hard place, so to speak. I think the level is particularly unforgiving when compared to the levels before and after it.

28 & 29: Same as 20, really, with the only difference being that I usually started with huge blobs of moon blocks. I seem to have the most trouble with levels that have blocks that stop streams from passing through.

Up to level 40 now, for what it's worth :)

Offline jello

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Re: Hardest level(s) encountered?
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2010, 06:37:21 PM »
I, too, had some problems along the way. If I recall it correctly, it where the same levels SmileyFace finds hard. But each was very do-able with a few [or some more :D] tries.

The hardest one for me so far was "Need for Speed" [#107 I think]. It would already be hard if it was a frenzy level, but as a speed-up level it's really annoying and without luck I still wouldn't have finished it by now. I won't say, it's not do-able. It is, but only with much, much luck and after many, many tries.

The game is really great and there, sure, should be some hard levels. :)
It's just, sometimes the board is filled in a way that's too random. One time [I don't know which level], I had one special block that was needed for victory at the start and used/cleared it right away, but for a minute or so no other of these blocks would spawn, and after a restart I had no such blocks at all. That was very weird, but restarting it from the map, it worked in the end.

Offline CautiousChaos

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Re: Hardest level(s) encountered?
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2010, 09:35:33 AM »
I'll chime in on a different note - I actually welcome the challenge the randomness-y brings to the levels.  I like being presented a non-scripted situation and attempting to succeed.  I'd prefer leaving the difficulty at where it is for the moment.  I'm on level 50 or so, and I've had a few challenges, but nothing that has scared me off. 

'Course, I also advocated for difficulty in AI War and routinely get my space-butt teleported to me. 

-cc

Offline Kruztee

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Re: Hardest level(s) encountered?
« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2010, 04:57:54 AM »
So far:

54 Emerald Evasion.

I don't like skipping levels, but I don't think I'll have much choice here. This level seems ridiculously hard for me...

If anyone can give me any pointers, I'm all ears. I'm just trying to make tiny flows and chip away at the 100 blocks needed, but I either make an error and blow up the entire board, or time gets the better of me and it overflows. I've been stuck on this level for over 2 hours now, and it's driving me crazy.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2010, 04:59:57 AM by Kruztee »

Offline ttomm46

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Re: Hardest level(s) encountered?
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2010, 06:28:13 PM »
so Far the one i have been on the longest is 24..the grill drill ::)

Offline Fiskbit

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Re: Hardest level(s) encountered?
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2010, 12:23:42 AM »
Kruztee: 54 can be a tough level. It requires being very aware of what's around the blocks you're clearing. One cool trick is that you can crystallize crystallizers in order to clear them without counting toward the objective. By positioning them properly by clearing the right blocks beneath them, you can clear two or more crystallizers with a single move, which can be a huge help. Also, try using the crystallized blocks to your advantage; they help a lot.

This is also one level where the difficulty seems to swing wildly based on how the game randomly seeds the well. If you're having a tough time, try starting several times until you find a seed that is more friendly to you. It's not an ideal solution, but it's partially the nature of randomness. The level probably could've used a lower frequency for crystallizers, but it seems to spit out low easy wells enough that that might not actually be a good move.
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Offline Kruztee

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Re: Hardest level(s) encountered?
« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2010, 01:33:44 AM »
Kruztee: 54 can be a tough level. It requires being very aware of what's around the blocks you're clearing. One cool trick is that you can crystallize crystallizers in order to clear them without counting toward the objective. By positioning them properly by clearing the right blocks beneath them, you can clear two or more crystallizers with a single move, which can be a huge help. Also, try using the crystallized blocks to your advantage; they help a lot.

This is also one level where the difficulty seems to swing wildly based on how the game randomly seeds the well. If you're having a tough time, try starting several times until you find a seed that is more friendly to you. It's not an ideal solution, but it's partially the nature of randomness. The level probably could've used a lower frequency for crystallizers, but it seems to spit out low easy wells enough that that might not actually be a good move.

You're dead right.

I just kept generating levels until I got one where crystallizers didn't even spawn until I had popped over 70 blocks. Finally beat this level after about 100 playthroughs. Thanks for the tips.

Offline SmileyFace

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Re: Hardest level(s) encountered?
« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2010, 07:11:49 AM »
Just checking back in with a general tip that increasing the handicap can really help. That way the level becomes a bit easier (how much is up to you) but you still get the intended mechanics for each level. Nice!

I finally used this feature on some of the later levels and was glad I tried it. After playing a level 10-20 times, I usually find I just want to move on.

I wish the handicap helped more with the level "Clearing the tank", though. Ugh, I hate that level!

Offline snrub_guy

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Re: Hardest level(s) encountered?
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2010, 03:30:18 PM »
So far, I've struggled through, getting a bit stuck, but not quite completely.

But 71! (reaction action?) I'm sure I'll manage it eventually, but this is a doozy. To me anyway. I find it very tricky to preserve the other reaction blocks after I trigger the first. They typically end up at the end of a massive chain, and react with one or two... And if I keep them alive long enough to start weeding out colours I don't need, I hit the 2 minute limit.

Is there a tactic to this one? I do not want to call for a nerf in difficulty, I'm just interested in peoples methods. The difficulty is about right so far, I feel.

Offline cypher_tc

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Re: Hardest level(s) encountered?
« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2010, 08:36:33 AM »
101 - Clear The Tank
I do not see how this even was possible, so I must have missed something. Is there some way to prevent the bubbles from emerging or ist there some way to pop them easier than to be as lucky as to be able to hit the block above it while it moves?

107 - Need For Speed
Just can't make it.

There are some more I don't manage, but I will try harder before I post those as well.