Juggler


(8 votes) *Average rating will show after 20 votes
| Comments (18) | Views (7)

Reader reviewJugglerThe following is a reader-submitted game review by David:

Juggler is a neat little diversion that I would categorize as a gravity based game of mouse dexterity. Mark Vertegaal of Cold Tomatoes obviously understands clean design and smooth gameplay, and Juggler offers just that.

The goal is simple: You control one paddle (ala breakout) while multiple balls bounce in sequence. You must maintain the balls in the air like a crazy one armed juggler. You are given four lives, and a goal of 1000 points bumps you up to the next level. With each new level comes increasing difficulties like more balls, smaller paddle, etc. Control the paddle with the mouse and try to stay air born as long as possible. A quick glance at the high score board may discourage you, but keep going. Trust me, it's worth it.

Analysis: I personally have a great affinity for accurate applications of gravity in casual games. As a juggler myself, I find that I am often attracted to gravity-based games (such as lunar lander and the like). But when a game tries to imitate gravity and gets it wrong, it sticks out like a sore thumb. And unless there is really engaging game play to make up for it, that alone can turn me away. Juggler provides that satisfying flow of gravity impeccably.

Everything from the animation of the balls, to the delicate control given by bouncing on specific locations of the pad, to the humorous level titles, makes the game a pleasure. It offers plenty of replay value and is simple to learn, though with enough of a challenge to keep you interested.

Hint: I find that nudging the balls toward one of the side walls helps a lot. Try keeping their trajectories as vertical as possible.

Play Juggler

18 Comments

Boy -- talk about mindless fun. This kind of game is a good diversion for a while. I'd like to see a larger screen and maybe add key contrls.

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Wow this is fun. So simple - so fun. At first I thought it was break-out like but this is much better. The problem with break-out games is that endless excruciating stretch of boredom at the end of a level when you have only one or two bricks left. Juggler, since it has no bricks, avoids this problem.

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Music? Great game. Needs music.

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Way fun...excuse not to do housework

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ProfessorZ42 May 23, 2007 9:41 PM

I don't really like this one. I can't even get past the first level.

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Nice concept, nicely done!

I felt lost without a measure of how I was going (eg impact sound increasing in pitch; a big fat bar filling up etc).

Hey, "circus" theme for juggling: applause soundtrack, building over the time duration of the level. Start with scattered claps, then more, louder, shouts, screams, stamping feet at the end! :-) And gasps if you almost miss it (must rush across quickly etc)

That would really feel satisfying! heheh

Could be annoying after a while, but OK if not too loud or obtrusive.

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Excellent feedback, yow. I agree that would push this game right up to where it should be.

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Its ok.. but not my kind of game. I feel the levels don't progress quickly enough for me. I feel the game would benefit from a level select mode - where you can just select and try to beat the puzzles one by one, skipping to the harder challenges as you wish. Then for those who like to compete for scores: keep the current mode as a "survival mode".

That's what i feel, anyway...

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Superslash May 24, 2007 3:37 AM

Fun game and the physics are definitely tuned just right, but the first few 3-ball levels seemed to be a bit too long. Other than that the only thing I can say is that an optional circus soundtrack would be priceless.

Btw is it me or do the balls suffer from breakout syndrome? They seem to bounce off the air just above the paddle and the edges of the paddle don't seem all that solid.

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Eytan Zweig Author Profile Page May 24, 2007 8:41 AM

I agree with theprogram00 - now that I'm good enough to consistently get through level 1 (and usually 2) without dropping a ball, I find them pretty tedious. It takes nearly a minute to get through each, so that's quite a time investment in order to get to the higher levels - in fact, I've never seen level 4 yet because most of the time I started I get bored around 500-600 points.

The problem is basically the less balls you have, the longer you stay in a level, since ball speed is the same and you need to get the same amount of hits per level. One thing that could be done would have the point threshold depend on the number of balls - use 600 points for level 1-2, 800 for level 3, and so forth for higher levels.

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There needs to be some sort of verification on the high scores.

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Wow, Jay is juggler :-) Me too, or actually,both of us from oopixel.com. I didn't really like this game anyway. Far too long levels at least (100 bounches). Also game goes on too slowly.

(3 balls, three balls with small paddle, four balls, four balls with small paddle...)

Hiscores were badly hacked too.

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Just a question... isn't it "air borne" ... or "airborne"? The phrase "air born" in the review conjures an image of a wholly impractical holistic birthing technique...

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spacediver May 26, 2007 1:56 PM

pfft, some of you need to work on your attention spans.

the beauty of a game like this is to facilitate a flow state of mind.

stage 6 on first try. Gonna give this one some attention tonight.

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Anonymous May 29, 2007 10:19 PM

I love this game but it makes me so mad! I can actually juggle (and have been for about a year and a half) and I can only get to the 3rd level. That and the fact that my paddle will be a fraction of an inch off and it wont hit it! But awesome game. I agree with most of you guys with the music thing of something.

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Whoa! I have to get some practice on this one. Pretty hard starting out.

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Love how the balls travel and drop at equal increments!

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saphira July 16, 2008 5:14 AM

I absoloutely HATE this game.I can NOT get past the first level,AND it forces me to enter my hopeless hiscore.

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