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Grow the Robot


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Rating: 4.4/5 (36 votes)
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zxoGrow the RobotSome would say the idea of using robots to take over the world is insane. However, most agree that it's completely insane. But there is one man with a vision so audaciously bold, so boldly audacious, and so intrepidly mindboggling that it just might be insane enough to work! That man is none other than Doctor Phineas Waldorf Steel, self-acknowledged insane person. If only he had some minions to do his grunt work for him—he really loathes grunt work.

Ah, gentle Jayisgames enthusiast, that is where you come in! For Dr. Steel has enlisted the talents of Starkraven Madd to take the task of growing his robot army and transform it into a stimulating puzzle game for the masses! It's a simple matter of placing the fuses in the proper slots to provide energy to the mysterious robot growth chamber. In the process, you are delighted and entertained, and Doctor Steel receives an army of giant robots to facilitate his goal of a utopian playland. Doctor Steel was so impressed with the result that he persuaded Starkraven Madd to enter it into the Casual Gameplay Design Competition #2!

Playing Grow the Robot is a simple matter of deducing which fuse slots need to be filled to light up the energy levels which power the robot growth chamber. Your job is to interpret the array of Boolean logical gates to see just where to put the fuses. I can see on some of your faces that you're perturbed by the words "array" and "Boolean," but fear not, Starkraven Madd has made the game accessible to the computer programmer and the casual gamer alike by providing a short instructional animation and by the use of special shapes for each logical operation. The rounded boxes (AND) will only activate if the two inputs to it are active. The triangles with the curved bases (OR) will activate if either of the two inputs to it are active. Finally, the small triangles (NOT) will activate only if the input is not active. Although there may be multiple ways to activate the energy levels, Doctor Steel has only provided a limited number of fuses, so you should try to find the optimal solution

Analysis: In order to be both fun to play and useful towards Doctor Steel's goal of creating a giant robot army, Starkraven Madd has designed the puzzles so that they solvable with moderate mental effort. Thus, some might find the game lacking in challenge. However, do not despair, for the creator has incorporated special elements designed to keep the player interested. One is the player's choice of two very pleasing music tracks, each lovingly created by Doctor Steel himself. So pleasing, in fact, that you may find yourself wanting to hear more of it. To do so, simply visit Doctor Steel's website.

If the player does happen to fail at a certain level, Doctor Steel does not want them to feel discouraged, and so each level has its own highly amusing animation that is shown when the player fails to grow the robot.

Though one would never question the motives of someone who is so quite deliciously insane, there are a few things about the game that don't quite sit right. The first is regarding the theme of the competition: Grow. Sure, the robots need to be grown to an epic size, but the game itself had nothing to do with growth—the same puzzles could have been adapted to fit any theme. Another concern is the lack of a skip button for the animations when you lose. Impatient players may not want to sit through the animation more than once, and having to do so wastes precious time that might otherwise be used to grow more robots. Also, the reduced difficulty of the puzzles may disappoint players seeking more of an advanced challenge, especially because the potential is there—linking gates to two or more other gates, for example. Nonetheless, I'm sure the Doctor has his reasons.

So, player, what are you waiting for?

Play Grow the Robot

Additionally, you may want to learn more about Doctor Steel by exploring his website.

87 Comments

Leonard Banks March 1, 2007 3:45 PM

Logic gates. Interesting way to make them fun :)

Logic gates AND, OR and NOT

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Leonard Banks March 1, 2007 4:03 PM

:( that was short.

So much more could have been done with that. Looking forward to more advanced circuits in V2. Hint hint nudge nudge.

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Jalbert March 1, 2007 4:08 PM

Phase 5 is just ridiculous. I was having fun until I got to that part, even if the first 4 were really easy

phase 5 answer

the top 2 fuses

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Stranger March 1, 2007 4:11 PM

Long load time, and if you fail a level twice, you still have to watch the entire video. If the video could be skipped, that would be great.

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Fernando* March 1, 2007 4:14 PM

Great game!

Remember that for OR gates you just have to plug one side

Find and choose the shortest way

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This game had a lot of pretty cool features. First of all the music was good, it was catchy without being annoying. Second, the animation was neat and really led to a very fun and irreverent feel for the game as a whole. Finally, all of the puzzles were accessible which can be nice when you are just looking for a fun diversion.

My only caveat is that I wish some of the puzzles had been a bit harder then trace-the-yellow-line-on-the-green-background. I am not saying that is too easy, its just that it is frustrating instead of being truly difficult.

Overall however, this is definitely a fun game and it is worth sinking 15 minutes into it to experience the overall aesthetic.

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This game wins the music award so far, as far as I'm concerned. Also, I've found a way to cheat:

If you run out of fuses, say, by accidentally breaking one, it'll make the cursor disappear for the "Out of fuses" screen. However, your cursor will still exist, and clicking on the fuse boxes by guesswork will still put fuses there. It'll say "-1 fuses" or so, but it'll then accredit you with a win. Still, you won't get to see the robot's head get kicked off, or get rolled over by a Katamari. (Insert "We think it's too small" line here)

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Fairygdmther Author Profile Page March 1, 2007 4:33 PM

There's definitely a learning curve on this one.
level 1 - 3 tries
level 2 - 2 tries
level 3 - 8 tries
level 4 - 1 try
level 5 - 1 try
level 6 - 1 try
level 7 - 1 try
level 8 - 2 tries
level 9 - 1 try

Fun game, but I agree that after the 1st time you should have the option to skip the cut scene. And I too would like to see them do more of these. Not sure which one it was, 7 or 8 but I actually had a fuse left over!

FGM

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the movies were too long. logic gates are a good idea.. but therefore the game had too less levels. next time you could make it having more complex gates, XOR, NAND and that stuff ;)

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The concept & puzzle gameplay is good. But the animations are way too slow to justify not having a "skip scene" option during repeated animations.

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Michael Author Profile Page March 1, 2007 4:58 PM

What I find odd about this game is that it is more fun to lose than to win. Watching Chuck Norris kick the head off a robot is funny, but you have to intentionally lose to see it.

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A pleasure to play. Even if the graphics are... kind of ugly... I couldn't stop playing it until the end, which came only too soon. Different switches and more levels would be a welcome addition.

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PlagueMonkey March 1, 2007 5:10 PM

That was fun. I especially liked the minigame after level 5- the one where you try to put your eyeballs back in.

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The concept was good but two many of the puzzles were line tracers, and none of them got hard. It would have been cool if there were somekind of in-level growth that evolved as you played, so the order of decisions was important. All you had to do in this game was trace lines back to find where to put fuses, and there were only nine levels at that. Good concept, but the execution could do a lot more, i think.

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i think it would have been better if the comedy had been inserted when you win, so you dont have to break 15 fuses to intentionally lose...

and so you wouldn't have to watch the funny cut scenes 10 times when you die....

the music WAS good though..

the funny thing is, we haven't seen any proper (eyemaze) grow clones--which although is not an original concept, would win the audience award for sure if executed properly--especially since wall the GRoW we have been able to play recently has been with only three buttons (jayisgames.com/archives/2007/02/grow_nano_vol2.php) :/
its like everyone thought (everyone else will do eyeMaze clones--but not me!)
haha
we still have some more entries left, so i am not giving up hope...

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Cute and entertaining, but agree about the irritation of the line tracing puzzles (I preferred the straight-up logic ones), and the fact that it's kind of backwards game philosophy to reward losing with a movie instead of winning. It could easily be reworked so that after each level is completed, the robot tries and fails because it's still not big enough.

That said, I LOVED the music. Did the game developer also compose it? The "Boogie" tune is especially classic, like an old LucasArts game.

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Too easy, apart from level 5 which just gave me eye strain.

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Three logic gates makes for an interesting game for a few levels, but I quickly lost interest. Three major issues:

  1. Logic gates are fun for logic puzzles, but this game was quickly reduced to trace-the-yellow-line. (by phase 3, I think)

  2. By phase 8 there are points where two wires connect without any gate there at all.

    It turns out these should be thought of as AND gates - but why not either put a "?" gate or an AND gate there for consistency?

  3. Level setup and completion meant waiting through slow sequences of robots moving upwards. These should be skippable.

The visual environment was very nice at first, through the welcome sequence, etc, but the graphics lost their interest for me pretty quick. A very nice start with a less-than-satisfying finish.

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Oh thank you all so much!
I am glad you enjoyed it and yes I realize there were some issues.
It was intended to get much more difficult as you went, eventually I hope to make a V2 and we will see what happens then eh?
The movies should have had a skip, sorry. It is difficult to measure time relations when you actual make the film. It all seems fast to me when you see it creep along during creation!
Some one said the graphic were ugly! Shock! Ha ha... I always say I am not much of an artist, just an idea woman.
I really wanted to do much more with this one, bit off a bit more than I could chew. I commited myself to failure movies for every level and that tied my time up. Oh well...

Thanks anyways! I am a looooooong time visitor and now first time contributor. Nice!
madd

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Linda M. Wireman March 1, 2007 5:46 PM

Robots, Frogs, and Sprouts, Oh, My! Does it get any better than this?

The music is stirring on Grow the Robot. Imagine a grandmother getting down with my bad self at my computer. After a couple of misses I was singing to Robot song with the game. It is a pleasure not to solve the puzzles.

Very original. Wonderful way to pass the time. I can't wait to tell my Grandson. He will love it also.

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oh my. Where are my manners?! I should have mentioned that in the introduction. I'll update it now. Sorry. :x

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Also, check out this website that I guess this game is promoting:
doctorsteel.com.

It's got some really good webdesign and is intuitively interactive. I particularly like the lab (click on dr.steel show, then laboratory).

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Yay for logic gates. I loved playing with those as I was going through tech school.

Now where is this supposed mini-game? I never saw it :-(

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Would've been interesting to see some XOR gates

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christine March 1, 2007 6:59 PM

skip button! skip button! bloody christ, I only need to watch the thing fail once.

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cruzant March 1, 2007 7:38 PM

I liked this game a lot but i think that you should have been able to skip the videos

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that was great! I loved the music. One problem I found though, was that even though it said "no fuses left" it still let me put fuses in, and then completed the level. The fuse count on the right would say "fuses remaining: -5" etc.

Still, it was a cute game and was fun.

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Link_991 March 1, 2007 8:50 PM

lol Butterflies

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DireBaka Author Profile Page March 1, 2007 10:36 PM

I loved the music in this game so much, I went looking for where it came from (credits say that Doctor Steel did the music too). He has a bunch of tracks for demo on his site. I like a lot of them. Might just end up buying the album.

Go check it out at www.doctorsteel.com

As for the game, it was a lot of fun, but logic gates are pretty easy for me. Maybe the next one can contain some more complex logic circuitry.

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Just wanted to say that I really appreciate the nod to electronic components. I love it when games have some sort of real world learning. If only my electronic and physics courses taught through games, maybe I'd still be an EE major.

Also, lol at the ending...

Here I was thinking I was making a fun, cute robot, and when I release him to the world, he goes off burning things down. Where's the level where I can rewire him to create rainbows and solve world hunger? Haha ;-)

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tankgirl23 Author Profile Page March 2, 2007 2:11 AM

good god... just give us a "reset" button... or at least let us skip the long sequences after a screw up! (not that they aren't cute... the first time).

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agree with tankgirl23

i think the idea of the game is good and its fun to play with.

but just hope there will be a reset button.
feel so impatient to wait for another try

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phase 9 done with -12 fuses! yah!

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I love the music! One thing about these games is that usually music in a game is either minimal, nonexistent, or very annoying. All of these games have had excellent music. The game is fun (Phase 5 excluded) but you should be able to view the cut scenes separately, or skip them when they pop up.

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I like this. It brings back memories of Rocky's Boots on the Apple ][.

I'd want to second two of the criticism's above:

- The two tracing-the-complicated-lines levels (5 and 9) are just a distraction. The difficulty should be ramped up with some extra puzzling mechanisms (like the mystery gates, which was great). The first thing that comes to mind is splitting lines after a gate, so they go in two directions. As it stands now, you can complete any level by just tracing backwards from the goal. If lines split and XOR gates were used, it could complicate things by invalidating some tracing-back-from-the-goal solutions.

- Definitely place And or Mystery gates at the empty junctions in level 8.

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I'd make it so after you solve the puzzles you eventually fail and play as the robot but the better you did in the puzzles, the easier you'd get through the levels.

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The reward for getting each level right is advancing to the next, while the punishment is being shown an amusing cut scene. If you get all the levels right first time through, all you get to see is the "Well done, you did it" splash screen at the end.

This game would be greatly improved if there were cutscenes for the successful completion of each level too, that showed the robot destroying what destroys it if you fail the level. After all, isn't that what Dr Steel is aiming to do?

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Hi jay, thanks for beautifull collection of games and this great competition. This particular game is good since it is very easy at least for the guy who have learned logic gates ever. But i think this is even a good way to start understanding logic gates.......and the most important funda..or say spoiler.............start with input nearest to target and not from farther end.

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Binary logic! My freshman year engineering class comes in handy after all!

Phase 5 was ridiculous, but the rest was pretty darn easy. I liked the question mark levels. and I second both of "nobody"s suggestions above.

I'd actually love to see a clock feature... and a more complicated goal than just turning on a light.

Overall, a fun idea, with loads of potential.

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...I would suggest speeding up the animations some, too.

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im 13 and i was wondering how hard it is to write flash? ive learned the basics of HTML and a very very small amount of java... Is flash hard compared to those or what? plz respond

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Poor graphics and animations that take too long, but quite fun riddles.

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Good game, if a bit umpolished. I agree that the levels could have been made a little more complex. Maybe in version 2.

On as side note, has anyone visited Dr. Steel's website? Now, that was fun. Just explore the site, and maybe even enlist as a toy soldier. Here's the adress:

http://www.worlddominationtoys.com/drsteel/enter.html

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I have to agree with pipo...
The game's animation (robot going up) take too long. There should be a skip button or something!

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hassitude March 4, 2007 12:43 PM

do you know what actually bugged me the most about this game?

that in the later levels the robot would still double in size but, according to the ruler on the right he'd only go from 15 ft to 17 ft.

for a logic puzzle game, that's kind of sloppy.

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Sebrina March 5, 2007 1:09 PM

Just a question, but was anyone else disappointed by the lack of challenge after the fourth level. I enjoyed the game, but the challenge disappeared too quickly. With perhaps longer chains of gates it would be better but...

Oh well.

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yay i figuerd #9 out. It was the only one that was the only one that was a little hard

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i am really stuck on number nine can anybody give me a walkthrough or something because even when i follow the line I always seems to be wrong =[ i am really upset now =[ please help me

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me
From left-to-right, where are your fuses positioned? e.g. 1st, 7th etc.

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jan.jan - I want you to know that your helpful assistance has not gone unnoticed, nor will it remain unrewarded. =)

Your kind comments have been popping up all over the site in response to questions that people have had about the games, and for that I'd like to send you a CasualGameplay T-shirt to commemorate your official induction into the JIG HelpSquad! \o/

Please send me your shipping address and preferred shirt size (L, XL, or 2XL) to my email address located at the bottom of the left hand sidebar. Thank you kindly for being such a valuable member of the JIG community!

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jay
Don't know what to say really except for thankyou. I almost have more fun giving others a helping hand than I do playing the games themselves. How does that saying go? "those that can't do, teach". LOL.

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Anonymous May 10, 2007 9:13 PM

guys im very confused whats going on i cant beat phase one im always to small then i have to sit through a half hour clip of some butterfly carrying him away

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wctaiwan May 17, 2007 5:36 PM

For phase 5 I cheated by

Taking a screenshot, opening it in say Paint and then filling the wires connected to the gate with a specific colour.

That made it nice and easy. :P

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Although a brilliant job was done with the music and in-game graphics I'm not sure this subject could make for a particularly interesting game.

Following lines, whilst at least an interesting twist, feels tedious and these logic puzzles, to me anyway, seem like they could never really offer any challenge with the current rules - if remembering to start from the end, it feels like the solutions would never get more difficult - just involve more repetition and line-tracing.

The ? blocks were an interesting addition, but even with that, I struggle to think of a puzzle that would require ingenuity (as opposed to just a repetition of what's been done before or a case of trial and improvement).

I liked the ideas in the losing animation I saw (level 1) though I did feel the animations weren't up to the standard of the in-game graphics. I don't think a separate animation was at all necessary! Maybe one animation for every 4 or 5 levels, but with more time spent on them?

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Wow, I absolutely love the music in this game and I'm definitely considering buying the CD.

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Also, if you go to the "Dr. Steel Show" section and click to watch the live clips, the second one is pretty funny.

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I did phase 8, with one fuse still left over...

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I'm stuck on 3. Any help?

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jhlipton May 21, 2007 3:43 AM

me (level 3):
from left to right:

Not -- Not -- And
Turn off the two NOT's will power the AND

Or -- And -- Or
Power the OR with one fuse and the AND on the same side with another

Or -- Or -- And
Power one OR on both sides

And -- And -- And
Use the last six fuses to power all the ANDs

I used wctaiwan's method (independently) on level 5, too.

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Priester May 21, 2007 5:41 AM

I'm at Level 9 for the moment and i love this little game it is easy true the music is just so nice and funny.

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Really fun game. But the animations MUST have a skip-button. Seriously!

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Does anyone remember the good old days, where the fun came from foiling the mad scientists? Similarly, I actually found the losing animations more fun than the single victory one. I soon saw winning as a mistake, and had to fail once on every level to see them all.

It gave a sort of deconstructionistic spin on these sorts of games: it's more fun to lose than to win! Meanwhile, Starkraven Madd's getting all the kudos, and Dr. Steel's getting a whole mess of shoddy robots.

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I found this to be very easy. But still fun.

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this game definately has won the award for most catchy music, i have "build the robots" stuck in my head, lol.

i also found how to cheat

same way, by clicking on the fuse spots after the out of fuses box comes up

but i found it on accident on the first level when i didn't know what i was doing, lol.
great game, a sequel or some more levels and more challenges would be nice.

mini game? i've tried to get this mini game you speak of to come up and i'm not seeing it

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bobbobobobob May 30, 2007 7:48 PM

how do i do level one and what does and or stand for

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stakraven madd June 1, 2007 3:52 AM

Again I would like to thank all of you for participating in the videogame-experiment. :) I have never been so pleased! It was a first for me in programing and I have learned a lot so hopefully the next will be a bit smoother and tasty.
And yesh Gar, you caught onto my grand plan. I wanted losing to be as much fun as winning. For Dr Steel sees the winner in us all, and I wanted to make sure there was a reward for each action. Hope to have another available soon! Thanks you guys! You make a Toy Soldier proud!

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ok this game i do not undertand what do you do!? some one help me please!!!!

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mundofr June 12, 2007 2:14 AM

thank god someone said that you could use fuses after the black box, after seeing number 5 i thought of quitting the game... if level 5 was some kind of joke it aint funny :(

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Right now i am waiting for one of the video's to finish...
They are just WAY to long! Wow you should defenitly fix that!

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Anonymous July 5, 2007 2:25 PM

The concept of the game was good, but...when you create a game, play it. It was apparently obvious that the cut sceens needed to be shortened or skip optioned. This alone made the game very annoying and not recommendable.

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Anonymous July 6, 2007 12:16 AM

level 1:light both of the squares

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patricia July 7, 2007 2:35 AM

hello robot what you doin
i'm patricia your new trainer

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Stumped on 9 July 7, 2007 9:05 PM

How do you get past phase 9?

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hmmmm... all i can say is... um... what?
im sorry this game seemed like a good attempt but ive played alot more fun games... no offence...

:D made you look! ha! why would you cheat on this easy of a game? :P

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solution to nine inludes (numbered from left to right) 7, 15, 17

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I got 2 level 3.:]

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fun game

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What IS that funky tune? I dig it! Is it original, I REALLY want it. The boogeyman boogie. that is the name and I CRAAAAVE it so bad.

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How Do You Beat The Second Level?

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Though I hate to encourage anyone to cheat on what's really quite a simple game, the crossing, weirdly aliased yellow lines on phase 9 are just a little too annoying when combined with the unskippable failure animations. For those who just want to see the ending, the solution for #9 is

Left to right, slots 2 5 7 12 14 15 17 19.

Nice little game - the music is original (and doesn't automatically loop), the challenge should be about right for people who aren't already familiar with logic circuits (most of the known world), and it doesn't overstay its welcome. The downsides are mainly those unfairly ambiguous yellow lines and the UI frequently locking the player into a slow-playing animation. Though both could be explained by the fact that it was designed by a wannabe fascist dictator.

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Miff_Otter Author Profile Page January 28, 2008 7:18 PM

This game is too glitched up to work...

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thecrwth Author Profile Page March 5, 2008 10:49 PM

I loved this. I hope the author has more to come. It was worth failing the game just to see the animations.

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little_geoff March 24, 2008 8:17 AM

My Biggest issue, is that "trial and error" doesnt work....if you place a fuse, and remove it again. you dont get it back in "your fuses" left box. So i reality you have to solve the problem THEN place the fuses. This could have been such a great game.

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I liked this game. The theme was kinda irrelevant, and the animations were too slow (skip-button, plz), but nevertheless pretty funny (when I'm mayor of my own town I want a sign to avoid small robots, too). Just too bad I didn't get to see them all because I went for winning instead of loosing.

How about every level completed gives you a spare fuse to use in a later level?

Oh, and I had to cheat in lvl 9. Might aswell be honest about it. :-)

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Sylocat June 26, 2008 2:58 AM

I'd love to see a sequel that makes use of more different types of gates, the NAND, NOR, XOR and XNOR gates.

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Great little game!
But why don't I get to see Chuck Norris getting beaten when I manage that level?
A few more levels wouldn't hurt. I'm gonna play it again to see the robot fail testings.

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Anonymous May 14, 2010 5:24 AM

Terrible game. Good idea that just went downhill fast.

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Caves Online> Johnny123 An online platform game that pits you against the "ghosts" of players who've run the course before you. Use the arrow keys to jump, dodge and collect gold as you avoid lava pits, skeletons and the ever-sliding view.  ...
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Primary Max> Lori.h Play around in Max's clone lab and test out his new machine by solving puzzles. Use your clones as stepping stools and button pushers but make sure they get back, as you find your exit, to prevent a time paradox.  ...
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Manor Memoirs> starchild Scarlett has just moved into an old, decrepit manor, looking for inspiration for her new book. But who can write in a house that's falling apart? That's where you come in. As a seasoned interior decorator/garage sale organiser, you will do your best to raise money to renovate the old place. Manor Memoirs is a wonderfully sweet hidden-object/time management hybrid that's guaranteed to make you smile.  ...
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14 Comments
History Museum Escape> Dora Trapped overnight in the history museum, if you want to escape you'll need to solve puzzles and craft some pretty darned clever tools in this short but sweet game also available free for iOS and Android.  ...

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