Sticky Block Tutorial

Of all the specialty blocks introduced in Blockwick 2, sticky blocks often present the biggest challenge. They cling to everything and won’t let go without careful maneuvering. Here’s a video that demonstrates some of the techniques for manipulating sticky blocks.

Making Better Puzzles for Blockwick 2

We wanted to make the difficulty progression in Blockwick 2 a bit smoother and slower than in the original, so after building near 250 puzzles, we decided to enlist a band of fearless puzzles testers to help us sift though them and rate them according to difficultly and enjoyability.

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After solving a puzzle, a screen would pop up that asked the player how difficult and fun they thought the puzzle was. We then waited about a month to let the puzzle testers have at it. After this testing period, we gathered all the ratings into a spreadsheet along with time spent on each puzzle, moves per puzzle, and other related info, and filtered it through two algorithms designed to suggest each puzzle’s difficulty and likability. We then color-coded this data for easier analysis.

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It’s often surprising which puzzles are found difficult or easy. We can be quite certain a puzzle will be rated very difficult only to find most players had no trouble at all with it (and vice versa). Same goes for enjoyability. I think this comes from just being too close to a project; you lose perspective. Getting outside feedback is essential.

Blockwick 2 is now available on the iOS, Amazon, and Google Play.

A big thanks to everyone who helped us play through the early versions of the game and rate puzzles! We really appreciate your feedback!

Introducing Blockwick

After our first (successful) beta test, we finally released our puzzle game, Blockwick. The game’s objective is simple: match up colored blocks. Solving a puzzle, however, is not as easy as it sounds. And with every new chapter we introduce another color and shape. Check it out on the App Store.

As far as pricing goes, this time we are trying something a little different. Users can download the app for free and play through the first three chapters – that’s 60 puzzles. After that you can buy subsequent sections of 60 puzzles each for 99 cents. Right now there are a total of 240 puzzles, but we’d consider adding more puzzles if there’s enough demand.

So far the release is going well. We got a great review from Enoda, and the feedback from users has been very positive. Check it out – it’s free after all – and tell your friends.

Happy Holidays from the Kieffer Bros!

5 More Tips for Monster Soup: Play Like a Champion!

1. Use the two-finger drag to speed things up. This has two benefits. One, you can speed through the earlier, easy levels. Two, you can make longer chains with more monsters on screen. Big chains equal big points.

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2. Be tactical with your Rescue Bombs. Every time you create a power up, it appears under the last monster of that chain. For items like the Warp Clock and the Bonus Coin, this is unimportant. With the Beach Ball and the Rescue Bomb, however, knowing this can be the difference between life and death. Often your screen will be unevenly filled with ice. When this happens dropping a Bomb in the right place is paramount. This advanced maneuver requires quick, critical thinking as to where you’ll start and end your chains—it will be crucial for high-level survival.

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3. Stay in slo-mo as much as possible. Keep things moving at a manageable pace. An easy way to do this is by creating Warp Clocks one after the other. First, a bit about how these time-shifters work. A regular Warp Clock lasts for five seconds and halves the speed of the monsters. A Mega Warp Clock lasts for ten seconds and also slows things down by half the rate. Clocks do not affect each other. Two clocks don’t last twice as long or make things twice as slow. Your best bet is to let Warp Clocks get close to expiring before crafting another one.

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4. Rack up the power-up bonuses. As we mentioned in our first Monster Soup tips blog post, power-ups are your best friends. Beyond their obvious in-game advantages, power-ups also give you extra points after you complete the level. Regular power-ups give you three extra points. Mega power-ups give you six extra points. Doesn’t seem like much, but over the course of a game, it all adds up.

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5. It’s not over until the fireworks stop. Once the happy level-up music starts playing and the fireworks commence, the level isn’t completely over. The monsters stop floating upwards, but you can still make chains. Points still get tacked onto your score and make a difference in the long run. You also have an opportunity to use Rescue Bombs and Starshines to melt away ice (this can make a huge difference in the next level). Once you float down to the bottom of the soup sea, you can take a breather.

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5 Tips for Monster Soup: Play Like a Pro

1. Don’t sweat the small stuff. We’ve seen a lot of people play the game and get caught up on catching every little monster. Don’t worry about letting some slip by. Focus on getting longer chains and power-ups. Having a little ice on the screen doesn’t hurt. If you’re focusing on long chains, you’re going to be clearing it away with Starshine and Rescue Bombs anyway.

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2. Power-ups, power-ups, power-ups! The only way to survive later levels is to have a constant stream of power-ups helping you along. This is probably the most important thing to remember. The pink monster’s Bonus Coin will help you get through levels faster. The green monster’s Beach Ball will give you more opportunities for longer chains and help you get out of tight spots. But the two most important power-ups to go for are the blue monster’s Warp Clock and the yellow monster’s Starshine. When you keep the monsters moving slowly and the ice continually melting, you’re a monster-saving force to be reckoned with!

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3. Take small steps for the set-up. When things get really frantic, it helps to clear a bunch of smaller chains out of the way to cash in on a mega power-up. If it doesn’t look like you’ll be able to make a 5+ chain with a certain cluster of monsters, there’s no point in keeping them around. A screen with a majority of one color makes it super easy to craft a mega chain. The mega Starshine power-up melts two layers of ice and can quickly turn the tides in a dire situation.

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4. Start your chain in the right spot. Thinking ahead and starting your chain in the right spot can make all the difference. (Below is a diagram of a bad start and a good start.) In many ways, Monster Soup is a constantly shifting puzzle game. You need to clear as many monsters as possible with each chain—this can result in some crazy, criss-crossing chains.

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5. Don’t over think it. Yes, there’s a lot of strategy involved in Monster Soup, but at the end of the day, speed is your best friend. Once you’re comfortable with a few basic strategies, you don’t want to get paralyzed by indecision. Long chains are nice, but sometimes waiting to add one more monster is just not a good idea. Jack be nimble, jack be quick.

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Monster Soup Coming June 15th

A menacing, moon-sized maniac, Plubert, threatens the burgeoning monster-civilization of Soup System. It’s your job to unite these helpless critters and rescue them from the approaching Ice Age.

Drag your finger over the screen to connect same-colored monsters. Create longer chains for more points and special power-ups. But act fast before they get caught in the icy snares of the fiendish planet-freezer, Plubert!

Available on the App Store next Wednesday, June 15th!

Introducing Aqueduct

The lines between slider and pipe-connecting puzzles are now officially blurred. Aqueduct combines both these concepts into something completely original (as far as we know anyway). The goal—rearrange the track pieces to restore the flow of water.
Gates, conveyor belts, warp portals, and more stand between you and order. With over 140 hand-crafted puzzles, spanning six chapter of difficulty, we think Aqueduct will be able to keep you occupied for quite some time. 🙂

Aqueduct is available on the App Store for $2.99. Pick it up today! Find it on the App Store here.