Universal Shadowmatic (by TRIADA Studio)

Discussion in 'iPhone and iPad Games' started by PeteOzzy, Jan 14, 2015.

  1. coolpepper43

    coolpepper43 👮 Spam Police 🚓

    Aug 31, 2012
    On the toilet
    The hints that you give are fantastic. It would be great once you beat the level the riddle(hint) would unlock. I also made a bunch of interesting new shadows that you could use for new secret shadows secondary shadows.
  2. redribbon

    redribbon Well-Known Member

    Jun 11, 2010
  3. misterK

    misterK Member

    Nov 14, 2014
    i'm having issues where my app isn't playing any sound at all? is anyone else having a similar issue with the game?
  4. ste86uk

    ste86uk Well-Known Member

    May 9, 2012
    Sorry I'm new to the thread, how long is the game or how many levels roughly? Are there any plans for updates or anything?

    I'm not generally interested in this kind of thing but it has peaked my interest as I'm into playing a variety of games at the moment.
  5. metalcasket

    metalcasket Moderator
    Staff Member Patreon Silver Patreon Gold Patreon Bronze

    May 24, 2010
    Deepest Circle, Hel
    There are 70 levels and they do take quite a bit of time to solve as the difficulty ramps up quite nicely.
  6. Roleki

    Roleki Well-Known Member

    Aug 11, 2012
    Are you speaking from experience?
    The app description says:
    "** The game is optimized for every iOS device separately (starting from iPhone 3GS and newer), however it's best experienced on the latest devices: iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, iPad Mini 2 and 3, iPad Air and Air 2."
  7. alexderpor

    alexderpor Member

    Jan 11, 2015
    Thanks! It's very challenging.
  8. #48 AppUnwrapper, Jan 17, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2015
  9. sapphire_neo

    sapphire_neo Well-Known Member

    Jan 20, 2011
  10. #50 AppUnwrapper, Jan 18, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2015
    I did use a few (mainly the really abstract ones), but most I solved on my own. Some are really finicky, though. Even after solving them several times, they still give me trouble.

    Btw, I would have been less likely to use any hints if all levels were unlocked. There were times I was stuck on all three levels I had access to. It's silly that you can't just skip the ones that you're finding difficult and come back to them later.
  11. y2kmp3

    y2kmp3 Well-Known Member

    Jun 25, 2010
    #51 y2kmp3, Jan 18, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2015
    The game is deceptively difficult. The mechanics are interesting in that the most difficult part of the puzzle is NOT the assembling but the initial recognition or discovery of what the silhouette is supposed to represent.

    Even though the levels are themed, I found the discovery to be too reliant on random trial and error. This is not necessity a fault, as such is fundamental to the game's intended mechanics. However, it is a particular style of gameplay that some gamers may find counterintuitive as heuristics learned from previous levels do not necessary benefit the player when trying to complete later levels.

    The bonus silhouettes are particularly troublesome, and some of their shapes are a bit too far fetched.

    The world map should also be more flexible and allow more opportunities to skip levels. Since the levels are NOT necessarily built on each other (aside from the running themes), there is no particular reason to bar the player from making progress in a more nonlinear fashion.

    Anyone else finding the progress bar system completely useless when you are dealing with 3 pieces? The progress bar fails to give any hint on whether or not you are on track when you are muddling with two pieces if the third piece is in an incorrect position. This means the system is useless unless you have one piece already nearly or correctly in place. By the time the progress bar shows anything, you are already so close to the solution itself that the bar again becomes useless.
  12. Wait till you get to the
    Screw Nut
    . Even on my third time doing it, I almost threw my phone out the window. Sometimes the puzzles require so much specificity it could drive a person batty.
  13. JCho133

    JCho133 Well-Known Member

    Jul 27, 2012
    This game is amazing on my GOTY list
  14. y2kmp3

    y2kmp3 Well-Known Member

    Jun 25, 2010
    #54 y2kmp3, Jan 19, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2015
    I am with you, AppUnwrapper.

    I did not look at your spoiler info, though I suspect that the matching is going to get even tougher. I am still quite early on in the game, but I have already noticed that the level of tolerance is extremely variable from level to level.

    Further, I am wondering if there is a fundamental flaw in how the pieces are selected and modeled by the developer. For the puzzle to work, each of the pieces should form some "significant" part of the silhouette which, once seen, should help to steer the player toward the correct solution. Yet, for the many levels I solved so far, such defining characteristic is not often seen. The individual pieces may "make sense" to the developer, but this is a type of verification bias. Because the developer, unlike the player, knows the solutions, the pieces will always appear to them to include attributes that help to "define" the intended solution ("to a hammer, everything is a nail"). From the player's perspective, however, this is entirely different. As the player does not know the intended solutions initially, the player must consider many more other possibilities than the developer on how the pieces fit together. This differs from the developer who simply need to "believe" that the pieces fit with the a particular solution and not the many other possible solutions that are equally sensible.

    Without spoilers, AppUnwrapper, do you have any gameplay tips on how to use the progress bar meter more effectively when you are dealing with 3 pieces? I have yet to resort to using any hints, but I can easily envision that I may not have a choice soon.

  15. I had the same problem with the progress bar as you. I used it mostly when I had an idea already what I should be making, and used the progress bar to see if I was on the right track. Keep in mind, if you have the pieces in the right places, but one of them is facing the wrong direction (which happened to me *a lot*), the progress bar won't light up at all. It seems the bar is more concerned with each piece being right, than it is with their relation to each other. But if you have the two pieces perfect and not facing the same direction, I think it will just pretend you have nothing.

    It's definitely a cool and unique game, but improvements could have been made to make it more user-friendly and more of the casual puzzler it's supposed to be.

    I agree with you that some of them are too abstract to really figure out unless you have some clue what the developer was thinking. Although, it's certainly possible that if given the option to skip a level and come back to it later, it may have been doable eventually. But without being able to skip, who wants to be stuck on a level forever and not get to the rest?

    Also, the controls with three pieces can sometimes be too sensitive. If you don't want any spoilers, wait until you beat the Industrial levels and then watch my video for it. I had one at 5.5 on the meter but just lifting my fingers off the screen moved the pieces slightly and the meter lowered!

  16. TheGreatEscaper

    TheGreatEscaper Well-Known Member

    Oct 10, 2014
    Hmm, I mostly like it. Key word mostly.
    I agree with the others about tolerances. Also, in the symbols chapter I made a perfectly recognizable, neat letter y which was neither the solution nor a secret. Grr.
    All the puzzles I have open at the moment are three-piece puzzles, and at this point I think I might call it a day. I had troubles with aligning the two-piece puzzles, and I don't want to think about how much of a pain the three piece ones could be.
    It's very pretty, and nice to play in the early levels. But later on it becomes an OCDs dream with perfecting angles.
    I found it very strange that sometimes it accepted a solution that looked not much like the actual solution, but then would refuse some that were basically the exact same thing, sometimes with an even more aesthetically pleasing silhouette.

    Lots of the secret shapes just look like the designer messed around and said, 'with some imagination, this looks like... A... Um... Ah... A martian dog! Yes, that's it.'
    I think they included the images of the secrets just so people wouldn't complain to much about their abstractness.
    Also, do the small shapes in the level select map do anything? I feel like if I had these as physical pieces they might fit together like a puzzle...
  17. To your last question...
    yes ;)
  18. #58 AppUnwrapper, Jan 19, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2015
  19. y2kmp3

    y2kmp3 Well-Known Member

    Jun 25, 2010

    I like your analysis of the mechanical flaw of the progress bar. Good observation. To be useful, the progress bar needs to hint to the player that the "relative" positions of the two pieces are on track, even if a third piece may not be in the "right" place initially. The game has tolerance for orientation, thus I am puzzled as to why this tolerance is not extended in such a manner.

    I also believe that the panning and movement system is broken for some levels. In those levels, I cannot select the pieces so that both the CENTER and one of the peripheral pieces move when the other peripheral pieces are "locked" relatively in place. Instead, no matter what piece I chose as the anchor, I can only manipulate the two peripheral pieces while the CENTER piece remains in place. Thus, this "CENTER" piece is very restricted in its movement and can only mostly rotate about its axes. So far, this has not hinder me from solving any puzzle, and I do not know if this will become an issue for those puzzles which I have yet to solve.

    I concur with you that the lack of recognition of a piece "facing the wrong direction" is a problem. If the shadow being cast is the same, the game should tolerate this as an acceptance position and indicate it so on the progress bar. I don't recall this being a big hindrance for me so far, though.

    In all, I don't think the progress bar system work well enough for levels with 3 pieces to be practically useful. In all levels I solved so far, by the time the progress bar even lit up just one dot, I had already figured out the silhouette I need to assemble. The progress bar then simply became a meter for me to fine tune the relative position into what the developer "wants".

  20. I put an example (from the Retro section) in my review of a shadow that looks like what the game wants, but one piece needs to be flipped. Doing so takes the meter from zero lights to all six in an instant. But it will still look the same.
    Unfortunately, you can't see what I mean without seeing spoilers. :( I couldn't see how to really get those points across without giving examples.

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