Universal Shadowmatic (by TRIADA Studio)

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

  1. y2kmp3

    y2kmp3 Well-Known Member

    Jun 25, 2010
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    #61 y2kmp3, Jan 19, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2015
    AppUnwrapper,

    Can you check Level 6.7? This is one level in which no matter while piece I select as the anchor, when I try to move two pieces in unison, I could only move the peripheral pieces. The "center" piece is stuck in the center and could only the manipulated with rotation around its axes. Is this a bug? If not a bug, I suspect that this is a deliberate hidden constraint to limit the combinations that could be made otherwise.

    This level is also a good example of how the developer is blinded to their own solution and constructed pieces that gave no clues individually to what we are supposed to find. While the pieces may make decision if you know the final shape, it is an observation that can only be made in hindsight. As a puzzle, however, this level completely fails because it forces you to discover the solution by pure trial and error and not by deduction. The blocky contours of the pieces make it possible to cast silhouette with many configurations of "straight" edges, none of which are helpful if you don't want know what you are supposed to see.

     
  2. Yes, I do believe that's to restrict the possibilities. In some cases, it's helpful, but sometimes it just makes it harder to match up the pieces correctly. In 6.7, it works to your advantage. But that's a level for which I had to get the silhouette hint. Even knowing the name of the object, I still couldn't get it. The final silhouette is not what I would think of when given that word.
     
  3. y2kmp3

    y2kmp3 Well-Known Member

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    Your observation is in line with mine for this level and others.

    For example, I just spent nearly an hour "fine tuning" a symbol level (Level 5.9) because the game utterly refuses to accept the matching silhouette (despite showing the correct symbol). The progress bar remained at 5.5 dots while I was entirely puzzled why the game would refuse the current silhouette cast. I think the "restricted" centerpiece is problematic (which exists also for this particular level) because it also restricts the final orientation of the entire silhouette. For this level, the game is obviously detecting some mismatch, but this mismatch is imperceptible unless you know exactly the intended solution and the orientation of the edges of the typeface for the font the developer "believes" to the correct. Yet, there are other silhouette possibilities that cast a slightly different orientation of the same edges which can form the same symbol.

    While the game is certainly visually stunning, the core mechanics are flawed. The flaws are not readily noticeable early on in the game when you are just starting but becomes a huge hinder as your progress. I am surprised that I am not seeing other players highlighting this issue in their impressions of the game posted here and elsewhere.


     
  4. #64 AppUnwrapper, Jan 19, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2015
    Yes, 5.9 is another one that had me raging on Twitter because I could tell immediately the shape it wanted, but i had such a hard time getting it to accept the shape I made.

    I was even looking at the finished picture on my PC when I made the video for it, and I still had trouble with it!
    I hope the developers keep some of our feedback in mind for future updates or a sequel. I really do love the gist of the game, but the three-piece puzzles don't seem well thought out as puzzles. Makes me wonder if they even beta tested those parts.

    Edit: Referring to your last note, I don't think too many people waited to review until they got to the more infuriating puzzles. If you only play the first few levels, it seems like a perfect game. (Actually, one of the early animals annoyed me because it looked perfectly fine to me but the game didn't think so. Still, less of a problem than the later puzzles.)
     
  5. y2kmp3

    y2kmp3 Well-Known Member

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    #65 y2kmp3, Jan 19, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2015
    Your testimonials speak volume that the game needs massive retuning to make those levels more solvable. At its current state, those levels lost sight of being a puzzle to becoming an exercise of tiresome trial and error until some swipes turn the pieces into some particular form of a shape that the developer deems acceptable. I think I will just wait for an update to address this gameplay fatal flaw before trying the game again. This is a shame. :(

    I decided to hold off reading your review... but I like the title of your review: A Gorgeous But Flawed Puzzler. Apt description of my impression of the game.




     
  6. #66 AppUnwrapper, Jan 19, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2015
    For those afraid of my review because of spoilers: If you don't watch the video I embedded in the review, the only spoilers are one secret and an industrial name. So out of 70 levels, I don't give much away.

    Edit: I removed most hints and solutions.
     
  7. y2kmp3

    y2kmp3 Well-Known Member

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    I had just experienced a surprising reveal. I had not been looking at my achievement list. Did not realize until I saw the list that I am already near the end of the game. Supposedly, I only have 2 (or 3; I could not tell for sure) levels in the Industrial levels and the final level left to do. I had not used any hints so far and had deliberately avoided the secrets because I wanted to do them all at once near the end.

    This is strange... because I thought I was still "learning" the ropes of the game, and seeing all of these "open" spaces in the world map led me to mistakenly believe that I still had a long way to go.

    Talking about conflicted feeling on whether or not I should just stick it up to finish it...


     
  8. #68 AppUnwrapper, Jan 19, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2015
    Sounds like you already got through the worst of it. I say stick with it. :) (Well, those last few Industrial ones can be brutal, but you've made it so far!)
     
  9. y2kmp3

    y2kmp3 Well-Known Member

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    #69 y2kmp3, Jan 19, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2015
    I am currently at Level 6.7. It is also the ONLY level that is open to me now. All of the chains appear complete except for one chain with a large hexagon node which I could not access at present (presumably because I have to finish the Industrial Levels first). Knowing this, how many levels do I have left to do ( * do NOT give me the names of the levels *)?

    Also, are you having trouble doing the "timed trials"? Again, I just realize that there are time trials in this game that you have to finish a level in 4 secs (seriously?), 9 seconds, or 20 seconds)...

    PS: BTW, you have an amazing site. I like that you did all of the work yourself and posted your own solutions to all of those games (at least for the few levels of walkthroughs I saw on your site). It is refreshing to see that because there is so much plagiarism online of walkthroughs so that they all share the exact same solutions even for games that I played through myself and knew there were multiple solutions to some of the levels in those games.

     
  10. There are 10 levels in world 6 and 10 in in world 7. Then 3 in world 8.

    Thanks -- I do write all the walkthroughs myself. On a rare occasion, a reader will provide one that I haven't had a chance to play. And if someone provides a bit of info when I'm stuck on something, I usually test it to make sure the info is right before using it in my guide.

    And I've been plagiarized myself, so I know how awful it is. :(

    As for the timed levels, I'm not even bothering. I've replayed levels to improve my score, but aside from a few, I don't see those times happening unless you play it enough that you can do it in your sleep. I don't have that kind of patience.
     
  11. y2kmp3

    y2kmp3 Well-Known Member

    Jun 25, 2010
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    Thanks for the spoiler-free info. This is helpful. It means that I have 7 levels to do still, plus finding all of the hidden secrets (though I actually found quite a few already by accident but wanted to still wait to do them all in one shot).

    Do you remember how many hints (exactly) you used and which levels? Love to compare stats with you since you are the first (and only) player I know of on this forum who truly finished the game.

     
  12. #72 AppUnwrapper, Jan 19, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2015
    I can go through the levels later and tell you. It saves the revealed hints.

    I was also the first one on GameCenter to complete all the secret levels, and was #1 on there for a day or two before others completed them. GameCenter is silly in that it doesn't seem to have any rhyme or reason for order when people are tied. :/

    Btw, you already did a lot better than me if you didn't use any hints at all. ;)
     
  13. Ok, as requested:
    I used hints for 3.8, 6.6, 6.7, 6.8, 6.9 & 7.7 (that one felt really stupid, bc I was so close to getting it).
    I really hated those last few Industrial ones, and since I had all those hints saved up, I decided to use some.
     
  14. y2kmp3

    y2kmp3 Well-Known Member

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    I have yet to do 6.7, 6.8, and 6.9. The future does not look too bright...

    I think I am going to leave this game alone for a few days. The last few levels were too tedious that I lost the fun solving them. Looks like I will not likely be chasing your record finish. :(

     
  15. Yeah, you can get burnt out if you try to finish everything in a day like I did. But that's one of the reasons I wish we could have skipped levels. I would have gladly left the more frustrating ones for later when I had more time/patience to deal with them.
     
  16. y2kmp3

    y2kmp3 Well-Known Member

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    #76 y2kmp3, Jan 20, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2015
    Got Level 6.7 without hint...

    Still, it was a very empty victory. Solved it entirely by chance because the progress bar lit up half a dot and tipped me off. Though I had in mind of that particular object, it was just one of the many possibilities that I was considering. The edges of the pieces, because of the nature of the object, are entirely arbitrary. Thus, this particular object is a very bad choice to be selected to be modeled as a "jigsaw" puzzle.

    This is yet another example of verification bias on the developer's part. Knowing the answer, the developer thinks the puzzle is fine because the pieces fit. But the puzzle only makes sense conditioned on a prior knowledge of the solution. Without it, which is what the player faces, there is little specificity to what the pieces are supposed to represent and the puzzle is horribly broken.

     
  17. Wow that must have taken quite a bit of patience! I still have trouble with that bottom piece, even knowing what it's supposed to look like -- and I don't get any lights on the meter when the other two pieces are in place but the bottom one is off. So I can't imagine just messing around on that level until a light turns on.

    I would love to know how many people solved that puzzle without any hints (or other help). I just shook my head when I saw that shape the first time.
     
  18. y2kmp3

    y2kmp3 Well-Known Member

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    #78 y2kmp3, Jan 20, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2015
    I know what you mean. For that piece, I simply spun it around until the progress bar suddenly lit up to almost full. I was also assembling the object "horizontally" rather than "vertically" (as you described). At least the game is smart enough to recognize simple orientation. Still, the tolerance of this level is extremely low, as the developer somehow decided to set the progress bar so that it only lights up when you are already very close to the solution and know exactly what you are supposed to make. In this sense, it defeats entirely the purpose of the meter.

    The final shape of that piece is entirely arbitrary, given the nature of the object. Therefore, there is no reason that one profile is better than another as long as that profile is reasonable for that type of object.

    I am doing the secrets now. Taking a break from the campaign levels. Somehow, the very fact that the game is so infuriatingly and unfairly difficult makes me wanting more to beat it just to prove a point.

    Shadowmatic is the Flappy Bird of puzzle game.

     
  19. TheGreatEscaper

    TheGreatEscaper Well-Known Member

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    'Flappy bird of a puzzle game' Too true ;)
    I'm going to go in for my second big run. I stopped at the introduction of the three piece puzzles because they felt overwhelming at the time.
    Now, hopefully, I'll be able to make more progress (nowhere near as far along as you guys seem to be).
    I just hope the last level doesn't have FOUR pieces...
     
  20. y2kmp3

    y2kmp3 Well-Known Member

    Jun 25, 2010
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    TheGreatEscaper,

    I am very curious of your impression of these later levels.

    Also, let me know if you are (like me) finding some levels with 3 pieces in which there is one piece that is sorta "anchored" around in the middle and that you cannot freely move it like the others. In some cases, you can only rotate that piece on its axes. In other cases, there is some (but still restricted) linear movement allowed. This is not at all explained in the tutorial that seems to suggest that all 3 pieces are freely movable (both translational and rotational movements) in all axes.

     

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