I know Jason has managed to get 64x or whatever. Well, I challenge him to beat these upper levels WITHOUT using the strategy of this thread. I agree with those folks here who say that you shouldn't design a game to be beaten with one and only one strategy. So, I'm wondering how Danielle plays and if they have other strategies that work. Especially a strategy involving tools.
I don't know for sure how Jason plays. He may use a similar set-up, and then again, his may be completely different.
I find it amusing that you are challenging the developers of the game to play it the way that you think it should be played! Have you taken into consideration that perhaps, having created it, they know how to best conquer it?
I do agree though, that the tools need adjustment. As it is now, they don't seem to count toward multipliers. I hope they are able to improve this.
All I'm really trying to say is that hopefully the developers have not designed the game to be beatable with the one strategy that they use to the exclusion of other strategies.
If the goal is to have a game that appeals to different types of players then you have to balance it. To take D&D like games as an example, if you have a game with Wizards, Rogues, Clerics and Fighters, you make sure that Wizards don't far surpass the power of the other types. You would end up with people saying "I want to play a fighter or a cleric but I can't beat the game that way".
I think the tools could really tip the scale if balanced properly. You want to somehow work them so that someone needs to apply some skill to their use, though. You don't want someone easily beating the 7th level mining just because they threw 3 death eaters in there. Now if they had 3 death eaters applied in a 3x combo or something, then maaaaybe. I'm assuming that the tools don't currently get more powerful with the greater the combo multiplier, but maybe they should.
I don't know what the whining is about. I thought the levels were much too easy. I beat most of the level 8 stuff with 2/3 to 3/4 time left on the clock and hundreds of extra blocks in some catagories.
All you need to do is just keep up the combo strategy. I used to play tetris attack competitively (same strategy basically) so this came as second nature. In tetris attack, on lower speed settings, the first person to stop comboing looses. I have gotten a x67, get x40s all the time and hate the way you have to buy powers that indiscriminately break lots of blocks to max out the game. This stops you from doing combos and pushing up (two finger) if there is too much on the screen already.
I would have x100+ many times if it weren't for those powers - if I play over I will get those last. It would be best to be able to turn OFF powers like you can do when attempting scrolls. Not being able to turn them off is annoying.
It's so nice that all of you are able to work the strategy set out by Confused. I think it's a great strategy, but I don't seem able to master it. I've printed out the screen shots - sat at my iPhone for hours, days in a row and have yet to get it to work. I get my blocks lined up and along comes a new row that wipes out half my work - or I get bumped out at the top before I can set it off.
I know this seems like whining, but I too think there should be multiple ways to achieve victory. I'm a 50+ woman and my finger dexterity is waning. I like this game because it has so many facets. I've solved all the puzzles - now all I have left is about 6 blueprints. I can't seem to get them because I don't get enough blocks of the required type during the time allotted. I've gotten to 99% several times, but time out. I'm frustrated.
Great game - except for the blueprint frustration. I really admire all the facets put into the game. I'm truly in awe of the complexity of this app for the iPhone. This is definitely the gold standard of iPhone apps.
Since I have loved games using similar strategies, I thought I would share some of the things I have learned and found helpful to score well in aurora feint. Of course, these are just some of the strategies that are useful. I have organized the material into four sections: Managing the stack, combo strategy, chain types, and chain strategy. I will add the last three in future posts.
Managing the stack: The stack is just the name I have for all of the blocks on the screen. There are many different things to keep in mind when working the stack to your advantage without over thinking the whole thing. These include the height of any one brick, the amount of bricks on the screen, the ways pieces are allowed to move and the organization of the pieces (vs randomly arranged).
The height of any one brick - basically reduces to how much time you have before you fail due to a brick(s) getting pushed off the screen. As a general rule, keeping the bricks leveled out, with no gaps, allows for more bricks to be on the screen at a lower risk if things don't go right for awhile. If you have thin columns of bricks, you can't move them and keep their order as they fall apart. You can easily move bricks under them, especially if there are no gaps to fall into. Keeping the stack flat and rectangular lets you have the most flexibility. If you get in a pinch - just use your finger to flick the bricks randomly into being mostly flat rather than try and work out where each goes. You buy time and the chance you accidentally combo or chain. If you don't like the arrangement (because it makes setting up more chains difficult) or want to clear up some unwanted clumps of bricks, collapse the stack by doing a bunch of small 3-4 piece combos rather than try chains. This buys you time so you can do some two finger push ups.
The amount of bricks on the screen is very important. the more you have on the screen, the more opportunity you have to keep going with combos and chains making for some awesome scoring. After you have hit your x4 to x5 chain things slow down to the point where, if you keep chaining, even on speed 90 the screen tends not auto scroll up. At this point I always pull up so that the screen is about 80% bricks. With practice the problem is less of finding ways to chain or combo than accidentally making a combo and getting your bricks isolated by time slowed popping bricks. With practice, you will probably find that this increases your combo/chain numbers especially so if you are used to playing with just a few blocks on the screen.
Looking a bit ahead and knowing where bricks will get stuck popping (which stops you from sliding bricks through those squares) is important. You also need to know about 'invisible' blockages. Say you have three horizontal popping blocks and another chain of 3 horizontal blocks laying above it, per the first post in this thread. If you want to slide a block across the top of the exploding bricks, to add up chains on the fly (instead of pre-organized) you only get one go - then the interface between exploding and normal bricks locks up and you can't slide another across the top till it pops. I will try and document all these 'invisible' blocks (as there are a few others) and see if I can't add them to another post. Keeping vertical chain combos to the sides and being careful to know how much of the screen gets locked up by using a block popping tool are important. Organizing the screen can help by getting alot of the same color brick together if your bricks get isolated into clumps and you have little to no room to push up (two fingers). Avoid popping a single brick or two near the top of the screen - you won't be able to move them and push up at all which can limit your choices for keeping up the chain and cause it to fail!
Finally, organizing the stack without much of a plan, when used at the right times, can make you able to chain on the fly with a greater chance of success and get insane chain counts. Basically, during times when you are not pressed, look for matches of 2 in a row or column and put them together. I find using a horizontal line of 3 or more popping bricks easiest to chain off of and so look for rows of three bricks to start chains. The chains I use most after this setup are another set of three or more horizontal bricks or the frozen bricks suspend a vertical combo of 3 or more. Organizing the bricks into columns and rows helps, but you want to be careful to look for a few matches first, then organize or you might work yourself in to a corner breaking up your work to add more organization. Leaving allot of things to chain or combo later helps you keep your chain going more easily in a pinch. Being able to get the final arrangement with the least swipes is important too. Learning how to get the arrangement you want from what you see in the least moves comes with practice.
Last Edit: Sept 25, 2008 14:47:10 GMT -5 by burtosis
A combo is when you join 2 or more sets of 3 or more bricks so they break at the same time. They aren't part of falling bricks, so they dont add to the x during any chains. They do keep up the current x of any chain so that you have more time to make a chain somewhere else.
Combos can be horizontal, vertical or gotten by rotating your device to change game gravity.
Note the fire and water bricks lined up horizontally
The middle bricks are switched for a combo of 6 bricks. See how this chains into
For bonus points what resources could I have lined up to get x2, x3, x4 and x5 at the same time?
And here is a vertical combo:
Note the shadow and fire tiles in the middle
Switch the shadow and fire for a 9 block vertical combo
Rotating the game lets you quickly consolidate your blocks into a rectangular arrangement. In general, rotation lets you get larger combos than sliding pieces because with the latter you are restricted to just swapping two pieces. But, since combos aren't the most useful at getting points (in general anyhow) this tends to clutter up the screen and make any strategy of moving resources around or being able to push up very limited.
Generally I do not think combos are nearly as rewarding as chains. This is because the value of getting combos does not grow, while getting chains grows your harvesting rate in a linear way. For example, if you get 33 combos of 3 bricks each, your reward is 3+3+3+...+3= 3*33=99. If you get a x33 chain of 3 bricks each, its the same # of bricks, but the reward is 33*3+32*3+31*3...+1*3=(33+32+31...+1)*3=1683 or 17 times the points. In general, you get about 1/2 the number of chains times more points over combos. When you get into the 60s and 70s just another chain of 3 nets you another 180 or 210. Because of this, a good strategy would be to use combos only to 'collapse the stack' when you need to remove alot of bricks quickly and don't care as much about points.
The answer to the above puzzle is to look at all of the bricks above the horizontal combo. In addition to the wind, which is already set up, there are another wind, two shadow (vertical) and an earth. Each of these three has a corresponding two bricks that can be arranged vertically to chain. So with this setup it would have been possible to get a x2, x3, x4 and x5 all at once.
Last Edit: Sept 25, 2008 10:22:37 GMT -5 by burtosis
Knowing the different types of chains is key to being able to recognize them and set them off when mining or attempting blueprints. Chains are currently the fastest way to get points, and there several different ways you can make them happen.
Horizontal chain: The horizontal chain is basically the type of chain shown by Confused1 in the beginning of this thread. It is the easiest to wrap into more chains and is one of the easiest to set off. If you master any chains, master this one first. Set your blocks so that as each horizontal row of three pops, and colapses, another row of bricks forms. Now if you form mutliple layers that snap vertically into position similar to this (as opposed to the first post in this thread):
It only counts as a single chain with a combo value of 6 bricks. You can have the same arrangement, and get a x2 and x3 if you move one of the sets of bricks just before falling. That is pulling a 'fast one' which is detailed below. When you are at x5 or above, sometimes this counts as a x2 and x3 anyhow - I am not sure but the game must have some kind of accounting of past brick movement which stalls out during large chains. Horizontal chains are the easiest to chain from, because they drop so many blocks at once, as opposed to vertical chains. A good strategy is to arrange them in triangles and with 3 in diagonal as shown by theconfused1. Don't forget that you don't need to have them touching vertically. You can have the next set of 3 line up at any height above the breaking bricks and it will count as a chain when the blocks fall and it aligns. This helps in a pinch when you need to keep the chain going
Vertical chain: Vertical chains are often good choices when you run out of horizontal chain options. They can be a good backup to keep the chain multiplier going while you set up for more horizontal chains. They are easy to set up and pull off, but are harder to wrap into more chains than a horizontal. Often you will need to pull a few matches to get to the next horizontal chain which will probably set you up for another climb in multiplier points.
Check the fire bricks in this setup:
Now, the earth falls vertically for a chain:
Since continuing vertical chains is difficult, we move to horizontal ones to keep the chain flowing and buy time to organize and push up.
To continue from here a good strategy would be to continue to another horizontal chain using water.
Multi Chains: Multi chains are when you get several chains in rapid succession from falling bricks.
A good example of this is shown under the horizontal combo info above. It is possible to get a x2, x3, x4 and x5 all at once from that arrangement (instead of just the x2 shown). This gets the chain multiplier up quickly - at the risk of blocking up the screen and preventing more chains. The easiest way to get these is to use the horizontal method (see combo post above) and the more difficult method is to do a vertical drop with 2 or more that make horizontal chains. You can also get two or more sets of falling bricks going at once (see above image). The former is easier to manage, and often has all immoble exploding bricks clumped into one spot while the latter breaks up your workable stack into smaller pieces. Plus it is easier to make accidental breaks (which can work to your disadvantage) with the second method. These can really increase your score in a few seconds when they get large:
Shove drop: I learned about the shove drop from other similar puzzle games. I would not have discovered it (unless I saw something funny happen during play) because in aurora feint the timing is very very difficult! Basically what you do is get a vertical chain going. Let the block that is sitting over the top of the chain fall - and as it does - pull a block from the wall to 'stall' the falling brick. It basically floats on the brick you pulled out - which has nothing underneath it. The block over the brick you pulled out hasn't fallen yet either. Then the stalled brick (not pulled out) can make a horizontal chain that adds to the x multiplier. Fun to try in practice - but not worth the risk to count on. There are many other configurations under which you can shove drop a chain - the common feature is your pulled out block temprorarily stops a falling block, while itself 'hovering', which then forms a horizontal chain between the 'stalled' falling block and two more matching bricks. Perhaps the developers will make this timing easier, such as letting the falling brick stall on a partially pulled out block, to add to the ways in which chains are possible.
The Push: The push basically is pushing blocks out of the stack, to fill in gaps so that a chain can continue. It differs from the shove drop in that it is not 'floating' but is more of an arrange the board 'after the fact' by inserting blocks just as the bricks pop to keep up the chain. This is different from planning ahead in that you 'quick push in a brick' before the remainder of the bricks explode and the blocks fall. You need a head room of at least one square or it will sometimes be counted as a match instead of a chain. This is a very valuable technique for keeping chains going when the board is locked up with exploding resources. Realizing the cans and can't of this really open up the possibility of very large chains.
Here the wind blocks are about to be matched vertically:
What to do? I missed seeing that I could combo other ways such as moving the fire brick in and getting a horizontal chain and I need to break the water later for more points!
Don't worry! Just pull out the water block as the bricks pop (It helps to roll your finger slightly to avoid overshooting) and go for the push!
A great way to continue would be to add a water to do a vertical chain, and while you are at it, add a fire on top to bust into the horizontal fire chain. Then - while that is firing off, level out and push up!
pulling a 'Fast one': Pulling a fast one is just what it sounds like. Essentially fooling the game into giving you a chain, when it was just a combo or match. This is good in a pinch when the screen is locked up with exploding stuff and you are at a loss of how to continue your chain. The easiest 'Fast one' is to re-arrange vertical stacks of 3 or more bricks about 1/2 second before they drop. If you time it right, they will not count immedieatly as a match. Instead, they will fall as a group of 3 or more and when they hit - create a chain. Here we line up the fire bricks, but don't switch until after the first one or two earth bricks pop.
Then the whole thing falls as a group and counts as a chain
To do a horizontal 'fast one' you can line up a horizontal chain as shown in the top of this post. About 1/4 second to instantly before it falls, arrange at least one of the bricks (easiest to do on the top) so it moves into position as shown. The bricks won't count as a single chain and combo of 6 but as two chains. This is easier to do by dropping the edge brick in at the last momemnt than just swapping it side to side - but both work. You can also improvise and basically do many matches or combos, right before the bricks fall, and have this work. An alternate method of pulling a fast one - which works with other similar games, but I am not sure about aurora feint, is to get a match of 3 at 'exactly' the same instant as a chain is going off (geting counted). That timing is very very difficult! But if done right (I think I have done it twice) instead of counting as a match it is counted as a chain.
Last Edit: Oct 1, 2008 11:10:28 GMT -5 by burtosis
The stategy of making huge chains is basically taking the above manouvers and putting them into action. I have never been able to arrange more than a x5 or so chain ahead of time, but have gotten upwards of x87 so far using 'on the fly techniques' combined with planning ahead by 1-2 chains. I think that a common misconception is that there isn't enough time to re-arrange large parts of the stack carefully, and when you try things always seem to accidentally trigger ruining the whole setup.
So an effective strategy is to practice the different types of chains, particularly the horizontal and vertical, and practice the push as well. To be effective on the fly, you need only relax and try to look at the board in terms of patterns of bricks. With time, you will recognize various parts of your game play as little bits of what you have been practicing so you think less about how to arrange things and focus more on looking ahead 1-2 moves. With time and practice, you will be more able to recognize potential chains and pull them off rather than just get stuck.
The only time that you need to plan ahead 3 moves or more is when you start a chain from scratch. The bricks pop quickly on the first match, but pop slower at X2, even slower at x3, are slower yet at x4, and when you get to x5 or higher, they pop at a very slow rate giving you enough time to think ahead by a move or two. There isn't enough lag on the x2, unless you are really fast or lucky, so you probably have to plan it out to 3. with practice, getting the x4 and x5 shouldn't be too hard. As the game sits now, getting the chain started is harder than keeping it going which can make learning in the first place difficult.
The utility of the various chain types: Basically this has been covered by the above posts. The horizontal is perhaps the most important because it drops the most colums of bricks making for the largest opportunity to chain from. Vertical chains are more useful for working your way to the bottom of the stack, when you run out of other chain options. All chains are either horizontal or vertical, but when you apply specific timing techniques, you can realize a push, shove drop, or fast one. By far the most useful of these three timing techniques is the push. Getting the hang of the push will definately give you more options to chain - so your chains will grow faster and more often. The shove drop is too hard to try for real in this game, but you might notice it happen by accident once or twice - I think it is a similar event to the stuck block bug that was addressed earlier. Finally, the fast technique is a bit showy in that you will sometimes fail the timing (which can vary quite a bit depending on the particulars) but can actually be useful to carry you through a spot where there are no other options.
Try to figure out your own variations on the above or create your own. There are lots of ways under the rules to get a chain to work and it takes alot of time to explore them all. There are probably many ways of combining the above posts in this thread with rotation of the device yet to be discovered.
How to plan ahead without overthinking: It is not necessary to have some bizzare combination of chuck norris and albert eienstien ninja puzzle skills to be good at chains or other strategies in this game. Getting good means learning what works at getting points for you and, most importantly, being able to look at the screen and visualize the best way (sometimes the least moves) to get your strategy to work. This basically comes from practice which should be fun!
One strategy that helps to plan ahead is especially useful once you get to at least a x3, but works better at x4 and best at x5 or more is to compact your stack and push up. The idea is to expose enough blocks to just get the easiest to find match of 3 when you can't find a way to continue your chain. But to maximize the effect, set up the match but don't set it off until the last minute. You only get about a 6-7 second lag - which starts at the moment you get the match. This can really help you buy time to think about where to start up your chain multiplier again. If you find yourself not able to find a match about 1 second before a drop - do a couple of quick swipes of your finger across several different rows. Chances are you missed one and you stand a deecent enough chance that you will make an accidental match that can help you extend your planning.
The mining strategy that works best for me is to try and do as many horizontal chains as I can, one at a time to avoid cluttering up the screen with immobile blocks that are waiting to pop. I almost never do a combo either for this reason. This helps to avoid cluttering up the screen preventing me from moving bricks and preventing the push up (you cant push popping blocks off the screen). When I can't continue, I pull a match or two. This helps me keep out of positions that get me stuck and also keeps the most resources free to match. Of course, there are many ways to pull of just chains, so you will have to find out what works best for you.
Last Edit: Oct 1, 2008 11:01:20 GMT -5 by burtosis
I would consider myself a very casual gamer. Aurora Feint is the first game that I was able to finish. The "bugs" actually made the game quite enjoyable. I'd personally like to see more crystals awarded for more random events [10K crystals for clearing all block on screen]. I'm finding that I am very low on crystals, the game is a little too hard.
Some of us casual gamers dont want to work hard in order to finish the game. I'd love to see a "casual" game where bonus points are easier to get.
I find it very difficult to play in horizontal mode. I have never gotten more than 10x combo in the new game [rarely getting beyond 4x] I can't imagine how hard a 40x or 80x combo is.
Post by teufelein on Sept 28, 2008 23:56:33 GMT -5
This is all well and good, but it doesn't change the fact that I still can't finish a blueprint. I used to love this game, but it has become much less enjoyable *for me*, glad to hear that other people aren't having as much trouble as I am. I'm sorry, but we don't all play competetive tetris attack, and the fact remains that I thought the game was more fun before - when I was actually able to progress. For a simple puzzle game, it has become much too complicated. =(
Post by theconfuzed1 on Sept 29, 2008 16:53:16 GMT -5
For what it's worth, I'm also a casual gamer. I have a PS3 and a Wii in my household, and I rarely touch either of them. I don't even remember the last time that I played a game on my laptop.
However, I have a very logical mind, and I apply logic to everything that I encounter.
You don't have to be a hard core gamer to get into Aurora Feint. That's what's cool about it. You do, however, need to use strategy. In this thread, you've seen my strategy, and now burtosis'.
I'm sure that there is a strategy for this game, that can be used by most people here, if only they would discover what that strategy is, rather than fretting over it.
The strategy that I have described here didn't just start working for me in one sitting. I had to try over and over again, to find a way that I could manipulate the game pieces, that I could accomplish without much effort. I started out with 4-5x, then moved on to 10-12x, and eventually managed to get up to over 40x.
If it doesn't happen the first time you try, don't give up! Keep trying, and do your best to do a little better whenever possible.
I started this thread to show people that it can be done--Not to say, "This is how you must play this game."
How many AF users out there take the time to track down the strategy advice here? If several of us hard core AF players, who have taken the time to read the advice threads, still can't manage to finish a level 6 blueprint (well, just one of those for me), what percentage of AF players in the world will just give up when it gets tough?
I'll concede that there may come a time when chains do work for me, and I'll be puzzled as to why I found it hard once. But as someone said, without there being a series of levels purely about training you to do chains well, most people out there will never figure it out for themselves.
This probably belongs in the Wishlist, but perhaps a Difficulty setting is needed. It would seem easy enough to simply adjust how much the resource adjustment gives you to get an Easy, Normal and Advanced level of play. So that say in Easy mode as you level up it goes from 1x to 2x and 3x the resources counted rather than the current 1x - 1.2x up to 1.6x or whatever, that still only gives you 5 resources for a 3 block match. With just a little tweaking I might get the level 7 blueprints on my 3rd try rather than being on try #11 and still not making it.
when I have more time, I plan to read burtosis strategy more thoroughly and see what I can apply to my game. I guess the first thing for me is to learn those "patterns" that can be quickly converted into a chain. I am still confounded by theconfused1's strategy because it all too often explodes on me as I set it up, or doesn't go "off" enough to get past 5x and give me room to pull up more blocks.