Stick Remover


(11 votes) *Average rating will show after 20 votes
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stickremover.gifJohnBMore webtoy goodness has arrived from Dofi blog, this time in a physics-based tower game called Stick Remover. The creator of the World of Sand games is famous for crafting unique online toys using the Java-based Processing language (although this one seems to be in Flash). The result is always something strange and wonderful.

Stick Remover presents you with a tower of sticks—reminiscent of Kyle Gabler's Tower of Goo over at the Experimental Gameplay Project—wobbling under its own weight. A star is suspended from the peak above a red line. Your job is to remove as many sticks as you can while keeping the star above the line. A good strategy is to start at the base and pick away one twig at a time, careful to keep the structure as symmetrical as you can. Drop the star more than five times and it's game over!

There are only five levels to Stick Remover, and you can move on to the next puzzle at any time. The goal is to rack up as many points as you can by removing sticks, so work with individual puzzles as long as you dare to build a strong score.

Play Stick Remover

Thanks to Aloloo for sending this one in!

Be sure to check out a few of Dofi's other great games: Double Wires and Egg Way.

71 Comments

For some weird reason I felt myself laughing out loud at my desk when the whole pile of sticks would collapse.

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I got 55, if anybody beat me, please post! :P

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i could take only 24 sticks
nice game

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lopsidation January 23, 2007 3:48 PM

This game was quite easy for me. On my first and second tries, I got 55 and 95 respectively. Wow, I though it would be only an average score.

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Great time-wasting game :) I got 59. How on Earth did you manage 99?

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wylie.conlon Author Profile Page January 23, 2007 4:01 PM

My first try was 70 or so, because I lost my lives. xD

Second was 83.

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I have gotten 109 so far, can't seem to up that one though.

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lopsidation January 23, 2007 4:06 PM

Sorry to double-post, but I got 96 now. The only really hard one is level 2, "the serpent", I can only get about 11 there but about 22 or so in other levels. If anyone is doing good on level 2, post how (please!).

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110 is my second attempt :D

Tip: Taking out the horizontal beam joining two triangular region tops will usually not disrupt the structure!

Also, the side of the screen is the same as the ground for stability, so the most efficient structures have at least one part of the original structure leaning to the side.

This game is a bit too short though :P

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i just found the next button. 24 was only in the first level

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Nice game,

2 points though:
*Don't like that you still can remove the lines even after the tower collapsed, allthough you only trick yourself with this, I consider it as a bug.

*JohnB: I don't want to offend you, but this game is not written in java/processing but in flash, you can see because of the rightclick-menu + the vector-drawings. (BTW:Double wires and egg way are also flashmovies)

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wouter: Yep, you're totally right. I'm busted! *sits in the corner* :-)

Thanks!

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wylie.conlon Author Profile Page January 23, 2007 5:10 PM

I just found something... not sure exactly what it is, though. Basically, I was on level 5, and accidentally right clicked. If you press the play button in the menu, it gives you some kind of level editor, it seems. Has anyone else had this happen? It doesn't let you go to the menu again, afterwards, but my score was 105 at the time.

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I found this game very similar to a game I played when I was about 5 call Chicks and Hens. It is hard to explain, but it has the same idea of moving one piece without moving the whole structure.

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I couldn't get any better than 129 points. Here are my notes:
(Note that they were notes I made for myself, so they don't always make the best sense, but I tried to be as explanitory as possible).
I left some as clicks as 'bonus'; these are clicks that remove sticks that will cause the structure to slowly fall. Click them, and go the next level as quickly as you can.

1. - 22 points

Click the vertical bar at the bottom center.
Click the two bars at the bottom that connect the two triangles.
Click the vertical bar just below star.
In the large trapezoid, click the bottom-left and bottom-right sticks that connect it to the internal structure.
Wait for the bottom to slide all the way right.
Remove all three sticks of the bottom-right triangle.
Remove all the sticks hanging on the side.

2. - 21 points

Click the free-hanging sticks near the top.
Wait for the bottom to slide all the way left.
In the triangle on the bottom-left, click the right side and the top.
Click the stick that had been attached to the two sticks you just removed.
In the bottom-middle, there is a triangle pointing up. Remember it, as we will click the sides later. Click the stick to the right of it.
Click the stick above the one that was just clicked.
Click the bottom and right sides of the trangle in the bottom-right corner and wait for the structure to settle.
Now, remove the sides on the triangle mentioned earlier.
Click the two big side supports on the right.
Click the support on the left.
In the top shape, click the third line in.
On the pentagon in the bottom-right, click the stick below the horizontal line, then the horizontal line, then the free-hanging stick above it.
On the top shape, click on the top and right sticks.

3. - 22 points + 2 'bonus'

Click one of the diagonal supports the X in the middle trapezoid.
It's kind of a mess at the bottom, but there is a triangle pointing down from under the trapezoid, and a triangle on either side of that triangle.
Remove everything that's not part of that structure.
You should have 20 points so far in this level, and the structure will be leaning one way.
The structure should sort of be 'rocket-ship' shaped, with a support triangle on the bottom on each side.
Which ever way the structure is leaning, remove the support triangle on the other side. it should now look like 5 triangles balanced.
(bonus) Click the right side and bottom of the bottom-right triangle, and go to the next level before it settles.

4. 25 points + 1 'bonus'

From the very top point, click the four sticks hanging from it.
There will be two points near the top that are sticks hanging outside of the shape. remove any stick touching either of them.
Under the star will be a short stick. click it and the sticks that were holding it up.
Click on both sticks of the X that crosses in front of the rectangle.
Click on the sticks hanging off of the side of the rectangle.
Click on the bottom stick of the rectangle.
Click the triangles sticking up on either side of the rectangle.
Click the bottom and right of the bottom-right triangle.
Click the left of the bottom-left triangle.
(bonus) Click the stick at the very left and go to the next level before it settles.

5. 45 points + 1 'bonus'

In the trapezoid in the bottom center, delete all 4 sticks that make up the X, and the bottom.
There should be a bottom-right and a bottom-left triangle, clear out the two triangles above each one.
The bottom-right triangle is completely flattened, clear out those sticks.
There are 5 sticks connected to the star - four short ones and a long one. click the 4 short ones.
Clear out the sticks that fell from that (two triangles connected together).
The end result is going to to be the triangle in the bottom-left, plus the big triangle to the right of it, plus the long stick connected to the star.
Leave that shape, but click all the other lines.
(bonus) Click on the bottom of the bigger triangle and go to the next level before it settles.

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A new high, with 111 points!

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Well, sure, go right ahead and post an AWESOME SOLUTION while I'm typing up my meager doings!

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A risky-looking (but not really) strategy for 24 points on level 1:

Remove both bottom diagonals from the "kite" at the top. The star will fall toward the left, coming dangerously close to the line, but won't drop below it. You can then remove the stick that dangles straight down from the star, and everything connected to it, for a total of 19 points. This will leave you with a small triangle holding the star, a large triangle, and a base consisting of a trapezoid between two triangles. Remove the entire right-hand base triangle for 22 points, then the base of the trapezoid (which is actually two line segments) for 24.

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Well, I got 142 points, but don't ask me how, I have no idea. I know I got 22 points on level 2, but I don't know where the rest of the points came from.

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You can get at least 142 and still end via 'next'. (You can get a couple extra by dying on the last level.) It involves taking out much more of the underlying structure on level 2.

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146. (I believe the splits were 24, 52, 75, 100)

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Reminds me of Science Olympiad bridge building. Very fun game for the amatuer physics geek in me.

Totally off-topic, but "the Java-based Processing language"? ...is that something you just made up? Or did the people behind dofi create a java based processing language for the sand toys they did? I can't read kanji, so I have no idea what is actually said on the dofi-blog.

(PS I'm aware that this particular featured game is implemented in flash and not java).

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http://processing.org/

Processing is a "simple" programming language based on java. The program actually turns your "processing code" into java-code. So the programs you write can be put online as a java-applet. If you don't have programming-experience, and you want to start somewhere, processing is probably together with actionscript (flash) one of the easier starts.

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i got 139

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LOL

i study constructional engineering so this is my kind of game :D

it would be cool to have a level editor *hint*

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Ken Dryden January 24, 2007 2:28 PM

I was on level 5, and accidentally right clicked. If you press the play button in the menu, it gives you some kind of level editor, it seems. Has anyone else had this happen? It doesn't let you go to the menu again, afterwards, but my score was 105 at the time.
-------------
Ken
http://looktech.org

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Wow, I really enjoyed this game... I like the way you get given a big, complex and lumbering structure, and your task is to reduce it to its simplest form, its essence, by eliminating all excess lines.

I'm not bad at it, 116 points, but my only suggestion would be a visual aid: tension. I guess if I were an engineer I could probably work this out, but I'm just a bored teenager, so I propose this: Green for compressed, red for stretched. That way you could actually predict more accurately the effects of your hasty removal of a stick on the whole tower - right now some moves are like a stab in dark. Will it pop out? Will it collapse? Will it wobble its way to doom like a mountain of suicidal jelly? I don't know. But I'd like to.

That's all I have to say. Dofi has done a great job creating a game slightly more strategic than this others, but the fantastic physics more than make up for it. Not that there's anything wrong with strategy games, but this is a "casual" game site, right? ;)

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I'm at 137 right now. 140 is very doable, because I only got 18 on one board (level 4?) in that game, and I'm sure I can do better.

Level 2 drives me nuts. :-)

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I'm at 137 right now. 140 is very doable, because I only got 18 on one board (level 4?) in that game, and I'm sure I can do better.

Level 2 drives me nuts. :-)

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Thanks for the link wouter. I'm going to look into that more, as I'm curious. Having been bred on C, I'm inclined to argue that starting with higher-gen languages can be crippling -- but that depends on what you want to do as a programmer.

I should have said something on-topic. Oh well.

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148. Splits were 26, 54, 77, 102. I don't know how I got 28 on Level 2, but I'll take it. :)

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102! I really liked that losing and experimenting are both integral parts of the learning curve. Sweet game.

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I got 27 on the first level!!

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I got 67 but only just see if u guys can beat it.

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43, alright >:D

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Dthero 314 January 28, 2007 9:50 PM

pretty fun, I like it. I got 66 and 92 on my first 2 tries :)

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159 is my best total, broken down as 27, 32, 22, 31, and 47. All solutions are stable (no "bonuses"). I think there's room for improvement on lvl 3. I've only written up my solution for lvl 4 so far:

Lvl 4, 31 pts

Look at the tall rectangle in the center, with the top side part of the triangle that the star is hanging from. Leave that rectangle and triangle alone, but remove the two shorter lines connected to the top two nodes of the rectangle. A big part of the structure will fall over to the right and rest against the wall.
Now look at the short, wide x in the middle (not the one at the bottom). Remove the short line connecting the two left nodes of the x. Remove the long line connecting the top right node of the x to the top right node of the rectangle. The rectangle falls against the left wall.
Remove the line hanging down from the top left node of the rectangle (aka the parallelogram formerly known as rectangle) and the long line that was connected to it. Remove the short line at the center right and the long line in the center that was connected to it.
Think of the 4 nodes on the bottom as numbers 1-4 from left to right. (Ignore the nodes that are no longer connected to lines). Remove the roughly vertical line connected to node 2. Remove the line that falls. Remove the roughly vertical line connected to node 3. Remove the line that falls. Remove the two lines connected to node 4. Remove the two lines connected to node 1. The structure will slide to the left.
You should now have a trapezoid with an x inside it supporting two tall structures. At the top of the left structure (the rectangle) is a triangle with the star hanging from it. Remove the lower right side of the triangle. The star falls against the left wall. Remove the top and right sides of the rectangle.
The right structure has three triangles supported by two long lines. Remove the three lines connected to the leftmost node of the leftmost triangle, beginning with the upper left line of the leftmost triangle. The right structure should now be two triangles supported by one long line. Remove the two sides of the lower triangle so that it's just one triangle supported by a long line.
Your base is still a trapezoid with an x inside it. Remove the part of the x going from lower left to upper right. The trapezoid will buckle.
Remove the two lines that lie along the bottom of the screen. Remove the triangle at the right, shortest side first. You may need to click fast to get the other two sides before they fall to the bottom. Remove the one line that isn't doing anything. You're done.

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I made 118 points, my best score so far. I really like the last level - tilting around that spiderweb-like structure and then removing pieces that LOOK like they should collapse the whole thing but doesn't...

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Here's my solution to level 2:

Lvl 2, 32 pts

Remove the three lines hanging down at the top. Remove the two longer lines leaning against the right wall. Leave the two horizontal lines on the bottom left alone, but remove the three lines above them.


You should now have a big structure in the middle, with two horizontal lines sticking out the bottom left. Along the bottom are 4 horizontal lines. Numbering 1-4 from left to right, remove lines 3 and 4, as well as the two lines that connected to the node between 3 and 4. The bottom of the structure will spread out a little bit. Remove the two lines supporting the structure at the bottom right. The structure will fall against the right wall. Now remove the vertical line attached to line 2, and the two lines that were attached to the upper end of that vertical line.


There are now 6 connected lines along the bottom of the screen. Numbering 1-6 from left to right, remove lines 5 & 6 and the line that connected to the node between 5 & 6. Leave line 4 alone, but remove the line that goes up and left from the right end of line 4, and the 3 lines that connected to the upper left end of that line.


Now turn your attention to the top. Just below the star is a node with 6 lines radiating from it, number 1-6 starting at the line with the star and going clockwise. Remove line 3, then the two lines that were connected to its right end. Remove line 4 and the line that was connected to its right end. Remove the line connecting the ends of lines 5 & 6. Remove the leftmost line connected to line 6's bottom end.


Supporting the structure at the bottom right is a triangle (triangle A). It shares its top side with a very small triangle (triangle B). Remove the upper left side of triangle B. You're done. It's possible to get three extra points by quickly removing the three horizontal lines at the bottom left and clicking next, but removal of any causes the structure to fall, which I feel is antithetical to the spirit of the game.

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Level 5, 46 pts + 2 "bonus" pts:

First, the obvious stuff. When the level begins, there's a substructure of two triangles and three edges that settles and loosely dangles from the star. It contributes absolutely nothing to the structure's stability, so remove it any way you see fit. (9 pts)
There are two triangles sticking out of the right side of the structure; remove the four edges that stick out. Then remove the three edges connected to the rightmost node, sticking out near the bottom.
In the middle of the bottom, there is an trapezoid with an X in its middle. Remove the top and bottom edges of the trapezoid, and the four edges that make up the X. (22 pts)
At this point, you'll have a pointed structure, supported by a single triangle on the right side and a triangle with some other stuff on the left side. Call the triangle on the right "Triangle A".
The star is being held up by 3 edges; remove the leftmost of these, along with the top 2 edges of the triangle directly underneath. The structure will lean over and fall against the right wall. Wait for it to settle. Be patient.
Remember Triangle A? Remove its bottom, then its other two edges. The structure will shift again, down and to the right.
Look at the section in the lower left. You should see a wide low triangle at the bottom, an edge going from the top of the triangle to the central node, and a bunch of other stuff. Remove all the "other stuff". (35 pts)
Now, examine the curve that goes from the bottom of the structure to the middle of the right edge. Numbering these five edges 1-5 from the bottom to the right, remove edge 3, then edge 1 and the leftover edge that used to connect to edge 1. Note the nice triangle created, with edge 2 as its base.
The star is now being held up by 2 edges. Remove the rightmost of these, along with the two triangles that stick out to the right and serve no purpose.
Look at the triangle in the lower left corner. Remove its bottom and right edges. The structure is stable, and you're done. (46 pts)
If you want the 2 "bonus" points, remove the edge that slopes up from the bottom-left edge up to the top of the supporting triangle. The horizontal edge will disappear as well, and you'll have time to click "End" before the star slides below the line.

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I liked your solution to lvl 5, OtherBill. It's more elegant than mine. They end up the same though, with 48 points after bonuses. Here's my solution:

Lvl 5, 47 pts

To quote OtherBill: "First, the obvious stuff. When the level begins, there's a substructure of two triangles and three edges that settles and loosely dangles from the star. It contributes absolutely nothing to the structure's stability, so remove it any way you see fit. (9 pts) There are two triangles sticking out of the right side of the structure; remove the four edges that stick out. Then remove the three edges connected to the rightmost node, sticking out near the bottom."



Now look at the bottom left node. Remove the short line going up and right from it, and remove the two lines that connected to that line. In the bottom center is a trapezoid with an x in it. Remove the x and the bottom of the trapezoid. You should now have a big structure supported by two triangles. Remove the bottom and right sides of the left triangle. Remove the right triangle, shortest side first.



Now remove all the triangles to the left of the vertical line with the star at the top, except the nearly equilateral triangle at the bottom. The right side of the structure is composed of 6 lines. Numbering from the star down, call them 1-6. Remove line 2. The star will fall against the right side. Now remove lines 1,3,4,5,and 6. Remove the lines that fell. You're done. The only things left should be the equilateral triangle at the bottom, a line at the bottom left, and the line holding the star. You can get a bonus point by removing the bottom of the triangle and quickly ending the game.

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I just eked out an extra point on lvl 3. This is a stable solution for 23 points. It doesn't beat Matt's solution of 22 + 2 bonus points. It does bring my total score with all stable solutions up to 160.

Lvl 3, 23 pts

Near the bottom left and bottom right are two nodes each with 6 lines attached. Call them "A" and "B" respectively. Remove all 3 sides of the triangle below node A. Remove the 2 lines that were connected the lower nodes of that triangle. There are now two triangles connected to node A: one with a side flat on the bottom, and one standing on a point. Remove the two right sides of the latter triangle. Remove the line that fell.



Remove the bottom and left sides of the triangle below node B. The main structure slides to the right and a bunch of stuff at the bottom falls to the left. Leave the main structure alone, as well as the the line that goes left from the bottom left of the structure. Remove the other stuff at the bottom. You should currently have 18 points for the level.



There are two triangles that point up at the base of the structure. Remove the left side of the left triangle. Give the structure a moment to settle. Remove the right side of the right triangle. The structure will slowly fall against the right wall. Remove the horizontal line at the bottom right.



The middle of the structure is a quadrilateral with an x inside. Remove the top of the quadrilateral and the side of the x that goes from lower left to upper right. You're done.

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you can get 33 at level 2.

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slowbird, is your 33 point solution for level 2 stable? If so, I'd love to see it.

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Mike>is your 33 point solution for level 2 stable?

Sure. :-)

http://www.mars.dti.ne.jp/~notsuka/stick/Lv2_33pt.gif

I accidentaly found another 33 pattern.

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Thanks slowbird, that's much better way to approach level 2. I managed to squeeze out a few more points as well:

Lvl 2, 36 pts

Remove the three lines hanging down at the top. Remove the two long lines leaning against the right wall. Leave the two horizontal lines on the bottom left alone, but remove the three lines above them.



You should now have a big structure in the middle, with two horizontal lines sticking out the bottom left. Along the bottom are 4 horizontal lines. Numbering 1-4 from left to right, remove lines 3 and 4, as well as the two lines that connected to the node between 3 and 4. The bottom of the structure will spread out a little bit. Remove the two lines supporting the structure at the bottom right. The structure will fall against the right wall.



On the left side of the structure are 3 nodes each with 6 lines attached. Look at the lowest of the 3 nodes. Remove all 6 lines attached to it, starting with the top line and going clockwise. At the bottom is a triangle that isn't supporting anything, remove the top two lines of the triangle.



Along the right side of the structure is a node with 5 lines attached to it. Remove the lower right line and the two lines that were connected to its other end. Near the bottom of the structure is a node with 7 lines attached. Beginning with the upper left line, number the lines 1-7 clockwise. Remove lines 3 & 4 and the 3 lines that were attached to their right ends.



There are 5 lines along the bottom of the screen. Number 1-5 from left to right. Remove line 4. The base will tip to the left. Remove the two lines that are sticking off to the right of the base. Now look at the top. There's a node on the left side with 6 lines attached. Starting at the top and numbering 1-6 clockwise, remove line 3. Remove the two lines that were connected to line 3's right end.

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I could finally marke 38 pts on level 2.
The order of the last few steps is important, but I can't remember.

Here is a snapshot of the final state.

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65, almost 66

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I think my high was 120-something, but I just quit after a while. Hey, if it doesn't have something to do with fish I don't pay much attention to it :D.

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I scored 168. I can score 167 at will, but the 168 was a special treat :)

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Luís Silva February 27, 2007 9:30 AM

Scored 175:
29 - 39 - 25 - 33 - 49

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I scored 178:
1st Level - 29/33
2nd Level - 42/61
3rd Level - 25/36
4th Level - 33/36
5th Level - 49/52

I think that there is room for improvement on level 3, however I am still at war with it...

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You know, if you click whichever line holds the star, the whole structure disintegrates. It doesn't do anything except that though, so its kind of extremely pointless.

Have fun.

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127 on second try

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Love Karlsson May 10, 2007 6:41 AM

i've got 112 on this game now :D

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second try 145

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strausse June 14, 2007 9:41 PM

Um... I've seen another game with identical game play, but better graphics, it had a person hanging onto the top, and you had to keep him out of the water. It was also longer and a bit neater, I mean it doesn't look drawn in MSPaint

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Yes, and that other one you speak of followed this one in release by a couple of months.

This one was the original stick remover. The other is simply a rip off clone of the idea.

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mkromann June 15, 2007 5:22 PM

Just found this old game via. boingboing.net
Me and a friend got pretty addicted, boosted each other, shared experiences and scored 179.
lvl. 1 - 29
lvl. 2 - 42
lvl. 3 - 25
lvl. 4 - 33
lvl. 5 - 50

Thank to Calhau's post, for inspiration and motivation. And I agree there must be room for improvement on lvl.3.

I would like to try the game strausse and jay are talking about, do you remember what it is called?

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The Stick Remover rip-off clone is called Top Figures.

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The boys/girls from gamezhero (the makers of the clone) are proven to be one of the biggest theives of flashgames. Their site is somewhat cleaner now, but often they used to forget to replace sounds and graphics after they illegally decompiled and changed dozens of original swf's. Sorry, had to mention that. I refuse to play Top Figures :)

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mkromann June 25, 2007 5:25 PM

it's a lousy rip-off. Not worth wasting my time.

btw. squeezed lvl. 2 and 3 a bit and upped my total score to 182.

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heh, 5 really easy levels, it only takes one stick in each one to win....... i give it 2 stars, good but way to short

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10!!!!!!!!!

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LarryCucumber January 1, 2008 11:49 PM

84 on my second try.
On the first try, I hadn't read the instructions!
No spoilers.

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i got 1 point!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

seriously jealous!

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1st try: 92! Yeah!

(level 2: 43 points!)

I think it's about looking at what pieces hold onto the structure, then evenly removing the excess sticks.

It can be suspenseful when everything is collapsing and you're relying on a small structure of sticks to break the fall. It can lag a little bit when this is happening - so I change the quality to Low. Sometimes it's all about timing. One complaint I have is that sometimes everything is falling - just slowly though, and right before I lose, the Next Level button pops up. It can be nice though, because the button saves me just in time. And grr to all those ripoffs. GRR!

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Is it just me, or does anyone else remember Sticky Wickies when they play this?

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Thanks to Ken, I found something VERY interesting.

On level one, click so that the star goes under the line. Then get all of the lines, right click, and press play twice. You will go to the next level but still have all of those points. Keep doing this for the maximum score.

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I got A score of 5.

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thanks for this, really like it i score 5 points and passed everything, nice one.

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