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Gridland
August 28, 2014 8:25 AM   Subscribe

Gridland is a match-3 game from doublespeak games, makers of A Dark Room.
posted by backseatpilot (48 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite

 
I have no idea what's going on but this is great.
posted by fight or flight at 8:39 AM on August 28 [1 favorite]


Great time killer. I got sucked into it last night.

Working out the rules of the game on your own is part of the fun (and it is not particularly difficult to figure out, as online games go) so I encourage diving into it without reading up on it first.
posted by ardgedee at 8:40 AM on August 28


One non-spoiler clue for anybody who feels totally stumped: Match-3 games are a genre of which Bejeweled is the best known.
posted by ardgedee at 8:44 AM on August 28


btw, the Flash tag is erroneous: the game is in html5, and is compatible with mobile devices.
posted by ardgedee at 8:46 AM on August 28 [3 favorites]


I am unable to win at night. My health seems to drain no matter what I do other than sit there, but then the game doesn't seem to progress, a real pickle.
posted by Carillon at 9:20 AM on August 28


Nights are crazy dangerous. You actually to avoid matching too many enemy tiles in quick succession, because your sword and shield get eroded pretty quickly and then you're fucked. Take your time and pick out short sword and shield matches between fights.

It also reminded me a fair bit of 1,000,000, another match-3 RPG which I picked up on Steam a while back for a song.
posted by Copronymus at 9:27 AM on August 28 [1 favorite]


Match-3 games are a genre of which Bejeweled is the best known.

But unlike Bejeweled, this isn't timer based. It took me a bit to figure that out and then the game started to make sense.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 9:50 AM on August 28 [1 favorite]


This is fascinating.
posted by boo_radley at 9:53 AM on August 28


So it's candy crush saga meets minecraft? Excuse me, I'll be back in six months.
posted by Ned G at 10:04 AM on August 28 [4 favorites]


But unlike Bejeweled, this isn't timer based. It took me a bit to figure that out and then the game started to make sense.

Yeah, the game sometimes seems like it's rushing you, either through having lots of action going on or because other games like it frequently are timed, but clicking madly is just as likely to cause your death as anything, so it's often best to slow down and focus on making your next move count. Also, don't be shy about using the special items (especially health potions), since you can only keep 3 of them at a time.
posted by Copronymus at 10:05 AM on August 28


It seems like some night actions are timed, but I encourage people to take their time at first at night. Especially maybe rack up a sword and shield before diving in.
posted by Phredward at 10:36 AM on August 28


Is there a way to save and/or export your game?
posted by Rock Steady at 10:55 AM on August 28


The pause button at the upper right-hand corner (||) does that, Rock Steady. You can then go back to it.

Is there an endgame, or do you just keep building and building until eventually you fall to the marauding hordes?
posted by Curious Artificer at 11:10 AM on August 28 [1 favorite]


Is there a way to save and/or export your game?

It autosaves, and when you return to the main page (I guess by reloading?), there's a export arrow in each of the save slots.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 11:21 AM on August 28


Does anyone else find themselves compulsively trying to get rid of grains and textiles as the day gets later?
posted by ericales at 11:59 AM on August 28


Huh. I think I got to a point where there are no moves possible. Now I'm stuck and I don't know what to do.
posted by backseatpilot at 12:01 PM on August 28


Oops, never mind, there was just one option in the whole board and I'm an idiot.
posted by backseatpilot at 12:02 PM on August 28


Did a dragon just shoot arrows at me?
posted by maryr at 1:36 PM on August 28 [1 favorite]


I am kinda good at matching games. And I am completely failing to see the connection between my matching and the strategic stuff going on up top. So I googled a couple of things up in hopes of getting a clue:

This ain't your mama's Candy Crush or Bejeweled.

another

I am still baffled. I welcome clues for the clueless.
posted by Michele in California at 1:49 PM on August 28


found some clues

yay!
posted by Michele in California at 1:51 PM on August 28


Ugh, by the time giants, slimes and those fire-hurlers appear, the game just becomes a tedious grind. Complete the day section, chip a little at your exp on the night system before being slaughtered and then repeat the same day section all over again until eventually you get up another level and have an easier time against the mobs.

Fun game to start with, but becomes a chore.
posted by YAMWAK at 2:50 PM on August 28 [2 favorites]


What the fuck is this lich bullshit

honestly
posted by boo_radley at 3:11 PM on August 28


note to self: gang themed timewaster/ background game. title : "Crookie clicker"
posted by boo_radley at 3:12 PM on August 28


Boo: There's already http://clickingbad.nullism.com/
posted by caphector at 3:37 PM on August 28


Yeah, the "night turns to day" mechanic had me convinced it was timer-based. I will give it another try knowing it's turn-based.
posted by jepler at 4:07 PM on August 28


Oh man, I love this blue orb that lets me skip from night to day immediately! I really hope there's not some corresponding mechanic that's going to punish me for using it 40 nights in a row.
posted by brookedel at 5:48 PM on August 28


If you click on the little bars (or buildings) up top, a star appears above it. I think that prioritizes your avatar to supply that item first. Conceivably, you can upgrade buildings.
posted by CancerMan at 5:57 PM on August 28 [1 favorite]


Yeah, if you get food during the day, it can heal you up. If you select swords and shields first, towards the top of the screen so it doesn't move too many blocks, you can arm yourself.

It's nifty. I don't usually play these type games too much but there is a lot to this one and I don't really have anything else I need to be doing particularly today. So, good timing.
posted by Michele in California at 5:59 PM on August 28


This is fun. Thanks.
posted by ob1quixote at 6:02 PM on August 28


Ugh, by the time giants, slimes and those fire-hurlers appear, the game just becomes a tedious grind.

I enjoyed the game, but I don't entirely disagree. I feel like it fell into a pretty common trap where the difficulty ramps up virtually in sync with your character (or maybe even a little faster), so it never quite feels like you're progressing, more like you're struggling to keep up. I'm sure there's a theory of game design that makes that sound like a good idea, and it certainly keeps things tense, but designers often miss that feeling like you've earned progress thanks to your skill at planning for a particularly powerful upgrade or seeking out some bonus that makes the game easier is one of the more rewarding things a game can offer you. Otherwise, the only way to get that feeling is to dump tons of time into a game, and grinding isn't really rewarding in the same way. Like I said, I enjoyed the game, but I'm not sure I enjoyed it enough to get through the end.
posted by Copronymus at 10:41 PM on August 28 [4 favorites]


Copronymus: "designers often miss that feeling like you've earned progress thanks to your skill at planning for a particularly powerful upgrade or seeking out some bonus that makes the game easier is one of the more rewarding things a game can offer you"

Absolutely. I vote we call this a "Screw Attack Moment".
posted by Rock Steady at 4:59 AM on August 29


it never quite feels like you're progressing, more like you're struggling to keep up.

I assumed this was the game's message, but maybe I'm thinking too deeply about it.
posted by maryr at 8:11 AM on August 29


The problem, as I see it, isn't that you're struggling to keep up, it's that you're a victim of your own success. You are the one upgrading your enemies. You can't improve beyond them, they can't improve too far beyond you.

You see similar things in some open world RPGs - the mobs are balanced to match your level. It keeps things challenging, but it means that any improvement in level or any reward of exp that is not accompanied by level-appropriate loot actually sets you back rather than moves you forward.

Anecdotally, Oblivion was easier to complete at level 1 than it was at level 30.
posted by YAMWAK at 8:35 AM on August 29 [2 favorites]


I haven't played it enough, but I am wondering how much upgrading your enemies and upgrading yourself are in lockstep. Because I started with 3 hearts worth of HP and, in some games, got up to 8 hearts and also got better at getting a sword and shield first, before engaging any enemies and also got better at getting potions and bombs and back-up sword and shield sets.

But I am really good at games like Dr. Mario, so I am finding myself leveling up the buildings, and thus leveling up the stuff on the board for both night and day, faster as I get more experience and that seems to be a bigger problem than when I was first playing. So I find myself wondering if the game is a bit more nuanced than it appears.

I tend to piddle around for part of most mornings, so I think I shall make this game my default piddling thing and see if I can't answer some of those questions over time.
posted by Michele in California at 9:13 AM on August 29


unfortunately the javascript for the game is obfuscated (minified) so it's hard to answer questions like those posed by Michele in California by looking under the hood. boo hoo for me.
posted by jepler at 9:25 AM on August 29 [1 favorite]


What does the purple gem do? I don't see it in my inventory.
posted by CancerMan at 9:56 AM on August 29


> I am wondering how much upgrading your enemies and upgrading yourself are in lockstep.

New enemies are introduced the night after you level up.

So if you get to level 2 on night 1, the level 2 monsters will first appear on night 2.
posted by ardgedee at 10:16 AM on August 29


Okay, so, does leveling up in this context mean getting another heart? If not, what does it mean? Because I have noticed the experience bar on the side and when you get that bar full, it automatically heals you of all damage plus adds a heart and the bar basically disappears until you get it restarted (so I assume that means it goes back to zero).

But, the thing is, it seems like your resources change depending upon how fast you build stuff during the day. And that impacts (or seems to impact) what kinds of weapons and what not you get. The number of hearts you have does not seem directly tied to the kinds of weapons and shields you have or the kinds of enemies you can get -- or maybe I am just blinder than a bat and missing all kinds of details?

But it seems to me like certain changes are driven by how fast your gather resources during the day -- something I am kind of good at -- and experience leading to more hearts is dependent upon defeating monsters, something I have been struggling a bit more with, I guess.

So I feel like there are different factors at work here. But, I dunno, I could be wrong.

Thanks!
posted by Michele in California at 10:23 AM on August 29


What does the purple gem do? I don't see it in my inventory.

Oh, that seems to give you magic powers. I think you can stop time, fast-forward, change from day to night, that kind of thing. At least, from experimenting and inference about the symbols used. It adds a blue ball at the bottom of the screen which you can open and it has a selection of time-impacting functions, or so it seems.

I am not yet sure how best to use it, strategically.
posted by Michele in California at 10:30 AM on August 29


If you click on the little bars (or buildings) up top, a star appears above it. I think that prioritizes your avatar to supply that item first. Conceivably, you can upgrade buildings.


Ah! By prioritizing building, I've upgraded the forge and sawmill (the rightmost two buildings) to both be an entire level ahead of the other two. My sword and shield are now more a level higher than the enemies.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 11:11 AM on August 29 [1 favorite]


I keep the gem power for night time as a quick escape if I get in over my head. If I accidentally cause a huge cascade, I'll switch back to daytime to regroup.

Things I have learned about the game (maybe spoilers?):

-Leveling the buildings levels the bad guys. Leveling your character (by filling the bar at night) does not seem to affect the strength of the monsters.
-If you make a "bad move" during the day (try to make a move that doesn't make a match), it will advance the day anyway.
-I did end up getting completely stuck once during the day. The game solved that problem by scrambling all the tiles and advancing time to mid-day.
-Collecting the shards/gems at night spawns the lich monster.
-Killing the lich drops a token. Using the token spawns the final boss (I think), so don't use it until you're ready.
posted by backseatpilot at 11:13 AM on August 29 [1 favorite]


Also, moving the ruby to any edge of the grid gives you a neat easter egg and some one-time superpowerz.
posted by sylvanshine at 11:27 AM on August 29 [1 favorite]


I keep the gem power for night time as a quick escape if I get in over my head. If I accidentally cause a huge cascade, I'll switch back to daytime to regroup.

Okay, so can you tell me what each symbol does?

I used the clock to seemingly stop time once but when I clicked the double arrow, which I thought was some kind of "fast forward," I could not tell what it did. I assume the day/night symbol switches to the other thing (day to night, night to day) if clicked. But what do the two other symbols do? The double arrow and the circular arrows?
posted by Michele in California at 11:44 AM on August 29


The double arrow makes your character move faster. During the day this means faster building, at night presumable he'll fight faster?

The circular arrows I think clear the board and remove all gems, but I haven't clicked it for a while because I like those handy dandy gems.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 11:51 AM on August 29 [1 favorite]


Finally.
Clear!

Most Monsters at Once - 11
Longest Chain - 19
Tiles Swapped - 3464
Resources Gathered - 23999
Monsters Killed - 1230
Deaths - 34
Loot Looted - 194
Level - 12
Nights Survived - 78
Consecutive Nights Survived - 14
Spells Cast - 36
Dragons Slain - 1
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 2:38 PM on August 29


Where are you getting these numbers? Is there some screen I am unaware of that lists all this?
posted by Michele in California at 2:43 PM on August 29


Those are the game stats after you beat the final monster.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 2:48 PM on August 29 [1 favorite]


dang this game really sucked me in. looking forward to going back to "work" tomorrow
posted by rebent at 6:20 PM on September 1


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