Domino Pressure


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Domino PressureI can remember sitting on the living room floor with my grandmother playing games for hours. Nan, as she was affectionately called, always made me feel as though I were her favorite grandson, and she loved to play games with me. And it didn't matter much what game we played, whether it was marbles, cards, board games, or dominoes, we always had the best of times together. In fact, it's probably due to her love for playing games with me that I grew up loving to play games. I will always have her to thank for that.

And it was that same fond reminiscence that came to me when I first played Domino Pressure. Created by Taro Ito, a Japanese game developer whom publishes his work under the name GameDesign, this domino-toppling game transported me back to Nan's living room floor where rows of dominoes and blocks often stood, precariously on end, awaiting destruction.

The object of the game is to find the one domino that, when pushed, will cause the entire set to topple and squash the tomato.

You begin the game with 20 seconds on the timer, which is the time limit you have for finding, and clicking on, the correct domino. If you select the wrong one, you lose one (1) second off the timer for each domino you leave standing. The new timer then carries over to the next stage. If you lose all seconds off the timer, or if you do not click on a domino before the timer runs out, the game is over. You may skip up to three (3) stages in a game simply by clicking on one of the tomatoes in the bottom right of the play field.

As a bonus for selecting the correct domino, you will gain a few seconds to your timer if you had previously lost any seconds from it. How many you receive seems a bit arbitrary, though 20 is the maximum you can have at any time.

While it sounds fairly easy, configurations appear at random and many of them have been designed to give you trouble locating the one starting domino. Twenty seconds is not a lot of time to begin with, and it is very easy to pick the wrong domino and lose several seconds off the timer.

The graphics for the dominos, blocks, and shadows are simple yet effective in conveying perspective. Configurations can be easily rotated to give extra mileage to them. The implementation of the timer is a brilliant way to increase tension and provide additional reward.

Overall, it's an elegantly simple design, very easy to pick-up and play, and an excellent casual Web game. The only score in the game is the stage number you can reach. My best so far is 17. What's the best you can do?

Play Domino Pressure

My sincere gratitude to Remister for introducing me to this wonderful game. =)

32 Comments

Level 20 baby, yeah... I am however preparing to swallow my pride as it is only a matter of time before someone shows me up.

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Good as I could get was 23, good game. Very addictive.

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woudn't ya know it, decided to give it one more try, and got to 27. Like I said Addictive!

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As far as i got was stage 9, how do you know wich way the domino falls ?

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Corruptor August 12, 2005 8:30 AM

I got to level 13, but i'm not done trying. the problem is that it's so easy to choose the wrong domino when you're trying to be fast.

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Awesome game. It's kind of annoying that it's more luck than skill, but, still fun..

I don't beleive any of the high scores, though. There's an extremely easy way to cheat.. Won't say how here, though.

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Khrisper, I also had a hard time knowing which way the domino would fall which led to my early death at stage 11. I picked one I thought would fall left but it fell right and squashed the tomato right off the bat! "remain 23 piece"

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Shastanna August 12, 2005 12:58 PM

What a cute game! Not very easy either!

Jay, your grandmother sounds like she was a great lady. :-)

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Alright! 23! on the level that i had i had a lot of time left, but i clicked the WRONG domino.

Remain 31 pieces xD

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The inability to determine/control which way the domino you click will fall is a major gripe. This game would be a lot better if that was solved....

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mmodule,

I think the domino always falls in the direction that creates the longest path to the tomato. Sometimes it seems like falling in the other direction would create a longer path, but on closer inspection you'll see that the domninos don't line up properly to create a valid chain.

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Drinkdrawers August 12, 2005 6:13 PM

I got Level 52. It got easier at 35, then racked up in the difficulty again. Then I messed up. :(

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you have to figure out which way it falls.

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pros: pretty. the sounds are nice, too, and don't drive me nuts, which is rare.

cons: outweigh the pros. there's no skill progression, the jump from easy structure to difficult structure is spontaneous, and because of this and because of the fast clock there's no real time to get better at it.

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The domino will always fall the same way it does in the correct solution. On each level, there is only one possible path that involves every domino. Each domino will fall along that same path.

I got to 26. Huge strategy tip: work backwards from the tomato.

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Very addictive!

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Stage 53! I think that's going to be my best score for a while. When I got to stage 33, the difficulty reset and it was like starting all over again.

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i cant get that far its kinda hard but its a cool game props to jay

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level 56!!!! Wooooo!!! I have to stop getting addicted to things like this. Why cant i have a healthy addiction... like smoking???

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LOL! When I just started playing, I didn't know what to do. So I clicked the tomato! LOL!

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silverwing99-LOL ME TOO LOL!!!!!WHAT A COINCIDENCE

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I've got it!!!!! This is considered a spoiler, so click below if you want to see it.

The dominos fall in the direction of their shadow! At least, that's what I think.....

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163!!!! omg, my eyes hurt now!!!

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How do you get so far? Oh, and by the way, if you are having trouble, you can click on the "pass" tomatos in the low left corner to knock the dominos down. If you click on it right away, then you automaticly get +10 sec. if you wait, you get less seconds.

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Diego Flôor January 18, 2006 5:06 PM

hello :) it doesnt have to do with the shadow, its a logic game. theres only one path the dominos will go, and its going to squash the tomatoe. so you analize one domino, for example, if he falling to one direction doenst hit another domino, or the tomatoe doestn get squashed, thats not the direction he'll go then

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Haha, I UTTERLY AM PAWNED AT THESE GAMES!!! :D
I totally, utterly, suck at them. I kkep clicking the dominoe that squashes the STUPID TOMATOE!!! lols!!!

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I'm pretty good at these games,but I usually miss the start by one or two dominoes and miss the time boost.I also lose 3-5 seconds per round.But every 5 rounds I get it right,so that got me to level 53 till my eyes burnt out!

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lopsidation April 23, 2007 6:52 PM

lvl 30, around lvl 25 the formation "exploded"; it went from around 10 dominoes to about 40.

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91 - currently second place, but really joint 1st on the scoreboard.

Fun game...

I'm pretty sure the timer works like this: if you solve the puzzle within ten seconds, you get additional timer points (if you lost any) minus the number of seconds you took to solve it. Thus, you can get 9 points by waiting 1 second before solving it, etc.

The level difficulty appears to repeat after level 31, in a cycle.

Some strategies:

1. After playing a while I can recognise the start dominoes almost intuitively (1-5 sec), without working back from the tomato.
a) Any spot where three "paths" come together must be looked at (think about it to see why). These become very obvious until the screen starts filling up.
b) Any ring (6 dominoes that will fall is a circle) is potentially a three-pathway area and may contain the start.
c) There's a common pattern where part of the path bends slightly, and the start domino sits inside the bend - can be useful for the harder levels.

2. Sometimes you don't even need to work from the tomato...
a) If part of the part can only fall one way, work back from that point.
b) Rings can only fall one way.

3. Only guess if you're sure that you're in the region of the start. A ring is usually a good area to hedge your bets.

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i have made 950 stages twice .. but the score card is getting refreshed every time ..

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yes lvl 148 so addictive

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Acidifiers Author Profile Page December 17, 2010 2:15 PM

I don't remember getting any farther than level 23 or 24 or so, but the tip about watching for dominoes in a ring pattern to know which direction they fell helped me up later levels when the game lives up to it's name if you work back from the tomato.

Nevertheless, I still managed to miss 43 pieces.

Watch for lone dominoes, often inside a ring.

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