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I'm so calm, I've gone loopy!
September 18, 2008 4:34 PM   Subscribe

Flash so good it couldn't wait till Friday: Loops of Zen is a puzzle game where you reconcile all the loose ends so there is no beginning or end. Deceptively simple, yet very relaxing.

I've been playing casually for a few days and am on level 29 or so. This might be my favorite puzzle game ever.
posted by schyler523 (47 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is a very good puzzle game. AAAA+++ would waste time again.
posted by GuyZero at 4:39 PM on September 18, 2008


Relaxing?! Eight levels in, and I'm frustratedly clicking on everything I can. But good luck to everyone else.
posted by Picklegnome at 4:39 PM on September 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


I applaud (one-handed).
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 4:47 PM on September 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


> Relaxing?! Eight levels in, and I'm frustratedly clicking on everything I can. But good luck to everyone else.

Same.. Wish you could see the underlying grid.
posted by cj_ at 4:55 PM on September 18, 2008


life7shark: watching my son act stupid
popyjeans2: P00F
popyjeans2: YUP PER DOODLES
popyjeans2: HEY DO YOU EVER TALK
GreenShoelaces90: hey.
Oh, kongregate.com users, is there nothing you can't teach us?
posted by beaucoupkevin at 4:56 PM on September 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


Music that makes me feel like I'm being stalked by a serial killer isn't relaxing.
posted by jimmythefish at 4:57 PM on September 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


This is pretty frigging awesome.
posted by Sys Rq at 4:58 PM on September 18, 2008


(with the sound off)
posted by Sys Rq at 4:59 PM on September 18, 2008


Yeah I liked the first 5 puzzles or so and then it becomes entirely too randomized and there's no strategy. It's just clicky click until a few things start to make sense again. Which is frustrating from a strategists perspective... the only thing that ends up being relaxing is that darn music. It's almost ironic.

There are much better games for spacial cognizance... like I don't know... something.
posted by Lacking Subtlety at 5:29 PM on September 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


oooh tetris. that's what I was thinking of.

... Every hear of tetris?????
posted by Lacking Subtlety at 5:30 PM on September 18, 2008


This was very relaxing until I got flashbacks of slime filling up the tubes from one end a la Pipe Dreams for NES and then I remembered the old patterns of how to franticly place certain pipes where you know they must be and my heart started racing again.

That's what this game needs, impending green doom.
posted by Space Coyote at 5:40 PM on September 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


I don't know about no strategy; pick a corner and work inward seems to work for me...
posted by aihal at 5:53 PM on September 18, 2008


ARRRRGGHGGHHHHH!!!!!


This is killing me. Three levels in and I can't do anything but stare at the frickin' screen!


Puts stupid hat on and sits in the corner glowering
posted by Mephisto at 6:07 PM on September 18, 2008


It's a lot like Net out of Simon Tatham's Portable Puzzles Collection only in Flash and with curves not corners, supplying its own soundtrack. Still cute though. The game is probably older than that still, as Tatham claims not to have invented any of those games (sometimes this is obvious, others less so) - would be interesting to hear of further antecendents.

Yes, this is just an excuse to post this link.
posted by motty at 6:10 PM on September 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Same.. Wish you could see the underlying grid.

The grid structure might be a bit clearer on this version. Alas, no music.
posted by mandal at 6:18 PM on September 18, 2008


That relaxed me right into punching a hole in the wall.
posted by The Straightener at 6:18 PM on September 18, 2008 [4 favorites]


What is wrong with you! Are you trying to get me to fail out of grad school?!
posted by metricfan at 6:19 PM on September 18, 2008


Note for kongregate users: choose "help" in the chat menu to get a static screen of text instead of the usual bullshit on the right.
posted by maxwelton at 6:25 PM on September 18, 2008


Oh, how can you tell what level you're on? I don't see where it says that. And how do you mute the sound again?
posted by metricfan at 6:25 PM on September 18, 2008


nope...not gonna make repeat visits to a site with that stupid facebook beacon.
posted by squasha at 6:27 PM on September 18, 2008


Does each level have a unique solution?
posted by number9dream at 6:34 PM on September 18, 2008


ah. Each level is random, that is, my level 3 isn't your level 3. So if you get stuck on level 3, like I did, hit the right arrow and then left arrow to go to level 2, and then back to (a different) level 3. Unfortunately, I think this means not every level is solvable, because level three doesn't have too many pieces - though I'll not pretend to be above missing something completely obvious.
posted by niles at 6:45 PM on September 18, 2008


I have this odd feeling that some levels simply have no solution.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:15 PM on September 18, 2008


I got to level 13 in about half an hour.

The strategy I'm finding works is just not to think globally. Work on any patch and keep following things around, smoothing things out. Don't worry that you're going to get trapped in some massively inconsistent pattern - me thinks that there are many solutions to each level, and that you can hill climb to one of them pretty easy.
posted by Alex404 at 7:18 PM on September 18, 2008


I feel more relaxed just letting the music play and tabbing over to something else.
posted by desjardins at 8:18 PM on September 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


sourceforge42: i should have kept my chainsaw

he doesn't seem so relaxed.
posted by desjardins at 8:20 PM on September 18, 2008


the music started to sound like the ambient crap they play in BDSM dungeons and then I got sick of it.
posted by desjardins at 8:30 PM on September 18, 2008


I kind of doubt that there are levels without solutions. It's pretty easy to generate a "solved" level (which obviously would guarantee that there is a solution), and then just shuffle it before presenting it to the player.

Plus, if they didn't do that, but instead generated levels randomly without restriction, the chance of there being an unsolvable level is (I suspect) very high, and I have yet to see an unsolvable level. Well, at least, I have yet to see a level that I tried to solve and couldn't.

This game would be an order of magnitude better if you could choose the level you started at, up to the maximum level that you reached. I get bored of it one or two dozen levels in, and so quit, but it's interesting enough that I eventually come back to it to play again. I'd like to play starting where I left off, not at the (trivial) beginning every time.

Purtle: Your current level is displayed as a small number in the upper right.
posted by Flunkie at 8:47 PM on September 18, 2008


Oh, and as to the question of whether solutions are unique:

Definitely in some cases (consider four arcs - this can only be solved by making them into a circle).

Definitely not in other cases (consider four cul de sacs - this can be solved by facing the top pair towards each other and the bottom pair towards each other, or by facing the left pair towards each other and the right pair towards each other).

So, the answer is: Sometimes.
posted by Flunkie at 8:51 PM on September 18, 2008


Flunkie, you can start anywhere up to the highest level you've reached. Just use the left and right arrow keys to switch levels.
posted by number9dream at 8:55 PM on September 18, 2008


number9dream, excellent. Thank you.
posted by Flunkie at 9:03 PM on September 18, 2008


You can turn the music off by hitting M.

That would have been nice to know!
posted by beaucoupkevin at 9:08 PM on September 18, 2008


Once you hit level 30, the levels repeat themselves.

Also, it may help to think of it as a logic puzzle--certain pieces in certain positions (line or T next to edge, cul-de-sac next to cross, L in corner, etc.) can only be in certain positions. Setting these pieces can help provide a starting position. Also, there are occasionally empty squares in the middle of the puzzle--use these to your advantage. (Ts and lines must align a certain way next to them, for example.)
posted by Upton O'Good at 9:14 PM on September 18, 2008


Sorry, I had forgotten that I had muted the music two days ago...
posted by schyler523 at 9:29 PM on September 18, 2008


level 1: wow, this is awesome
level 2: this is still pretty good
level 3: actually this is mildly annoying
level 4: click click click
level 5: yawn, time to check the palin thread
posted by brain_drain at 9:37 PM on September 18, 2008


Lacking Subtlety writes "it becomes entirely too randomized and there's no strategy. It's just clicky click until a few things start to make sense again."

Start at the edges. The straights and three ways can only go one way. From their work your way in.
posted by Mitheral at 9:40 PM on September 18, 2008


My old trick was to start with the +s, since they absolutely had to dictate what the areas around them looked like.
posted by Space Coyote at 9:52 PM on September 18, 2008


It reminds me of Confuse Box...

Nice find.
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 10:06 PM on September 18, 2008


Flashblock is useful on kongregate; you can play the game and ignore the chat block.
posted by sebastienbailard at 10:39 PM on September 18, 2008


I've wasted far too many hours on Net (hell, I come up with my own variations-- mark all the correctly-oriented pieces without touching anything, then solve it to see if you missed anything). This is a decent version, too-- though there are non-unique solutions, which annoy me.
posted by alexei at 10:56 PM on September 18, 2008


Well crap. I just spent my evening climbing to level fifteen. And by crap I mean thanks, schyler523! Great find.
posted by paddysat at 12:18 AM on September 19, 2008


Yep, I just finished 15. It gets much easier as you go forward a develop a bit of strategy. I work on the four corners, the edges, all the pieces that can only go one way, and the +s.

Nice!
posted by taz at 2:04 AM on September 19, 2008


Yeah, kind of dull, I thought.
posted by rikschell at 5:28 AM on September 19, 2008


Will: Do you play the piano?
Skylar: A bit.
Will: Okay, when you look at a piano you see Mozart, right?
Skylar: I see "Chopsticks."
Will: Beethoven, okay. He looked at a piano, and it just made sense to him. He could just play.
Skylar: So what are you saying? You play the piano?
Will: No, not a lick. I mean, I look at a piano, I see a bunch of keys, three pedals, and a box of wood. But Beethoven, Mozart, they saw it, they could just play. I couldn't paint you a picture, I probably can't hit the ball out of Fenway, and I can't play the piano.
Skylar: But you can get to level 10 of Loops of Zen in 15 minutes.
Will: Right. Well, I mean when it came to stuff like that... I could always just play.

I like this game.
posted by inigo2 at 7:26 AM on September 19, 2008


You can also mute the chat by clicking the tiny gray speech-balloon with the x in it. It doesn't remove the chat entirely, but it does stop the idiots from blathering. Also, you still get notifications from Kongregate's badge-earning system this way.
posted by rifflesby at 1:55 PM on September 19, 2008


I feel like I'm being tested by assembling increasingly complicated circuitry on an alien spacecraft.

Again.
posted by malocchio at 7:46 PM on September 19, 2008


The creator added 20 more levels recently...
posted by schyler523 at 9:20 PM on September 22, 2008


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