Quarkz


(10 votes) *Average rating will show after 20 votes
| Comments (16) | Views (4)

Manuel Fallmann's latest offering on his MINDistortion site is a turn-based strategy game against the CPU, or a human opponent at the same computer. The object of Quarkz is to be the first player to reach the number of points designated as the victory condition by adding particles to the play field and setting off chain reactions.

Players take turns by adding a particle to any one of the squares of the play field by clicking on it. The square then turns to that player's color and the scores are updated accordingly. For example, if Blue clicks on a Red square with two (2) particles, the number of particles for that square becomes three (3) and the square turns Blue. Furthermore, two (2) points are deducted from Red's score since the square is no longer Red's, and three (3) points are added to Blue's.

Volatility comes into play when particles of a square reach an unstable state. The number of particles that make a square unstable depends on where the square is located:

  • Corner squares are unstable at three (3) particles
  • Border squares are unstable at five (5) particles
  • All other squares are unstable at eight (8) particles

I have included an illustration in the images above that maps each of the types of squares to their threshold for becomming unstable. If the map is not visible at present, reloading the page will eventually display it.

Once a square reaches an unstable state, clicking on it will cause a chain reaction with all squares that border it by incrementing the particles and changing their color to the player's color who caused the chain reaction

To start a game against the CPU, choose "Human vs Computer" and accept the defaults for a moderately sized game of medium difficulty. At these settings, the victory condition is 60 points, meaning the first player to reach 60 points wins the game.

Analysis: The game is simple to play once familiar with the number of particles that cause each type of square to become unstable. Since chain reactions can quickly change the course of the game, the strategic element of the game becomes very important. Unfortunately, the AI for the CPU is quite weak and therefore I recommend playing on hard difficulty once familiar with the gameplay.

The soundtrack borrows tunes from some commercial techno offerings to complement the subatomic particle theme of the game. And while the animated player graphics can sometimes get in the way while taking a turn, this is a small complaint to an otherwise polished, very playable casual game.

From the same developer who created the wonderful and addictive Bubbles game, Quarkz is a fun little game for anyone who enjoys a bit of strategy with their Flash.

Play Quarkz

16 Comments

Nice game, very creative, very challenging, too.

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

This is an interesting game, but I sure wish you could turn off the characters who serve no purpose except to obscure the board. I don't really understand why they're there.

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

I agree, the AI is incredibly weak. Even on hard, I'm constantly beating them by 30-40 points.

Better go find someone intelligent to play with!

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

Interesting and creative game - a take on Othello, I suppose.

The characters, as I agree with ACLS, are terribly annoying in obscuring the board. The other thing that should be said is that the AI isn't too strong, and the first picture of the board you had up was more informative on what the game actually looks like.

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

Sean - the 'first' picture of the board is actually just one of three that appear at random when the page loads. If you don't like the one you see, reload for a new one. =)

And I did say that about the AI in my review. You must have skipped over that. =)

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply
Corruptor June 23, 2005 9:31 AM

fun for a short game. it's most challenging when playing with a blank board, because neither player can get a real quick advantage right from the start.

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

i really like this game, and sorry if i'm an idiot...i might be making it too hard for myself...but i dont really understand how the board is divided....i.e. what constitues a "border" square...

however i think about it, theres always some exception...

help?

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

Craig - I created an image to illustrate which squares are what type. Reload the page until the image above shows the number "8" in the middle of image. Then, the blue squares are considered "border" squares, the red are corners, and the rest are... uh, the rest. =)

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply
Chowlett June 24, 2005 7:15 PM

If you click "Game Settings" from the Main Menu, you can deselct "Quarkz following the mouse". That stops the animated thingys obscuring the board!

Great game, although the AI is a little easy, as you say.

Great site too Jay - thanks for it!

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

i think the 'annoying' animated things are cute!

just thought i'd share my two cents.

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

Very nice game.

Altough I agree the A.I. is quite weak after a few plays, I really like this addictive game.

Thanks Jay for your great site !

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

what does AI stand for? i know it has to do with how smart the computer is...

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

Sorry, Mike. AI stands for Artificial Intelligence, and is a term applied to the programming that goes into creating an opponent controlled by the computer (or "CPU"). And you're right, it does determine how smart the computer is.

In this case, the author of the game had to create a program that determines the computer's moves when you select to play against a computer opponent. That program doesn't create a smart enough opponent to make the game much of a challenge, and as David pointed out above, this is true even when the AI is set to "hard".

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply
Earl Grey June 27, 2005 10:06 PM

Ways to make the game a bit tougher
- start with a blank map
- set the game to hard
- increase the number of points
- use the smaller boards

Gr8 site Jay.

EG

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

This game is currently down. It can be found at this location.

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply
Vincent March 2, 2007 4:07 AM

Well, the way to win is to make the computer pop a single critical mass atom that makes a bunch go critical that you can set off. You can do this by only hitting atoms that will make that atom go to a certain number and give you the advantage. These numbers are 1, 3, 5, and 7, in other words odd numbers, for the middle, and 2, and 4 for the outside. Only hit enemy atoms that will give you these numbers, and your score will gradually increase, while forcing the computer to either set one off that gives you a bunch of charged ones, or create new ones.

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

^ Scroll Up | Homepage >

Leave a comment [top of page]

    Please consider creating a Casual Gameplay account if you're a regular visitor here, as it will allow us to create an even better experience for you. Sign-up here!
  • PLEASE UNDERSTAND SITE POLICIES BEFORE POSTING COMMENTS
  • You may use limited HTML tags for style:
    (a href, b, br/, strong, em, ul, ol, li, code, spoiler)
    HTML tags begin with a less-than sign: < and end with a greater-than sign: >. Always. No exceptions.
  • To post spoilers, please use spoiler tags: <spoiler> example </spoiler>
    If you need help understanding spoiler tags, read the spoiler help.
  • Please Preview your comment before posting, especially when using spoilers!
  • No link dropping, no domains as names; do not spam, and do not advertise! (rel="nofollow" in use)

Recent Comments

 

Display 5 more comments
Limit to the last 5 comments

Casual game of the week

Nevertales: Shattered Image

Browser game of the week

Escape to Hell

Mobile game of the week

Nautilus Escape

Your Favorite Games edit

add
Save links to your favorite games here. Use the Favorites editor.

Popular on JiG


The Room

Virtual Villagers: Origins

Submachine 9: The Temple

Surgeon Simulator 2013

The House 2

Papa's pastaria

Fireboy and Watergirl 4: The Crystal Temple

Fireboy and Watergirl 3: The Ice Temple

Moonchild

The Royal Trap

Loren the Amazon Princess

1931: Scheherazade at the Library of Pergamum

Magical Diary

Heileen Series

Visit our great partner: maxcdn!

Monthly Archives

Legal notice

All games mentioned or hosted and images appearing on JayIsGames are Copyright their respective owner(s).

All other content is Copyright ©2003-2014 JayIsGames.com. All Rights Reserved.