Speck Oppression


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Rating: 4.3/5 (22 votes)
| Comments (72) | Views (128)

speckoppression.jpgJohnBAn entry to our 3rd Casual Gameplay Design Competition, Speck Oppression by Komix (creator of Rings and Sticks and Tri-achnid) is an extraordinarily unique title that maintains stark simplicity while wow-ing you with deep gameplay and stylish visuals. The goal is to gather energy by trapping bouncing specks near collectors on each stage. New tools and obstacles are thrown at you almost every level, forcing you to adapt your strategy at every turn.

The basic mechanics are given extra oomph by introducing different types of "fences" that can be moved and arranged anywhere on-screen. Fences have arrows that allow specks traveling in the same direction to pass while bouncing others away, allowing you to set up traps to keep them near collectors. You also have to keep specks away from the vulnerable core, as if too many collide with it you'll have to start over.

One of the best features of Speck Oppression are the visuals. Each stage (and each time you repeat a stage) presents you with a new, neo-retro setup of bright colors, smooth speck trail gradients and mesmerizing dancing objects. It would look and feel right at home on an arcade machine in the early 80s, which is a very good thing.

Speck Oppression is a calm game of forethought and strategy, and sometimes you'll end up setting the pieces in place and doing little more than watch everything unfold. Impatient gamers may see this as a flaw, but it actually showcases smart game design that allows you to create your own solution every time you play. Your current setup may work if you let it sit for half an hour, but there's always a more devious (and faster) way to the goal.

Sit back, watch the laser show, and let your brain start churning.

Play Speck Oppression

zxoIf you're the kind of person who can get lost in the bizarre shifting smokiness of the various media player visualizations, then Speck Oppression is bound to mesmerize you! It's a beautifully programmed game that incorporates a unique herding mechanism slightly reminiscent of Jezzball. It does feel slightly unfinished — the levels seem to be rather un-ordered, there are some items that are introduced and then abandoned, and it's often confusing whether items can be moved around or not. But all-in-all a worthy game, one I can easily just stare at and zone out to... zone.... out....... ahhhhhhhhh..............

72 Comments

Sadly, attempting to play this game crashes my Opera browser as soon as I try to start level 1 (Opera 9.21, WinXP, FP 9.0.60.120). I have had no problem with other entries and I can play this in IE.

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Opera 9.01 on Mac OS X 10.4.10 works without error.

Tonypa - get a Mac? ;)

Update: oddly enough, I also have Opera 9.01 on my PC (Windows XP) and it does not crash that version either.

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Those neon trails, blurring, fading away... beautiful! Even the changing score does this.

I also love the physics concept, simple and appealing.

But I found the gameplay too complex, yet at the same time, too easy...! I'd like it better if the barriers still operated when in transit. More sense of control, and that means more fun (for me anyway), and I could focus on the puzzles, or whether I could arrange it into a pattern that sorts the sparks quickest. :)

I'm also unconsciously judging it by a commercial standard, because of the pointers to Kongregate, and I guess the general polish (apart from the English).

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Playing on Opera just fine. Nice game btw, awesome graphics and gameplay. Can't find a lot of influence from the competition theme though.

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Doesn't crash my computer...

It's great game anyway. The 'replay' theme isn't particularly clear, but it certainly made me 'play' to the end.

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Glad to hear its just me then with problem playing in Opera, maybe some sort of weird Opera/FP/Windows bug specific to exact version or something... Like I said other games play without problems and this works in IE too.

About the game itself, I think I played to level 5. It looka good with all the trails and color effects, but actual gameplay is a bit too confusing to me. Maybe im still upset about the crashing Opera to fully enjoy the game :)

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Hah, it's Maxwell's demon on LSD. Definitely my favorite so far. But I don't really get what it has to do with replay.

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great stuff LOVED IT!

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I find this game amazing to play, another great and unique concept, and nicely polished, too.

I find the replay concept a little strained here, but that doesn't take away from it being a really great game anyways.

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I really like this game - my favorite of the bunch. (Though the only replay I see is the fact that I keep having to replay the level!) I'm sure I am being very slow, but I cannot figure out level 11! (Any help would be much appreciated.)

I also am unsure what the numbers up top mean. Maybe that would help me some?

Anyway, great game! I could play this one for a long time!

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Tyberius Prime July 18, 2007 1:40 PM

I love the concept, it's both fun and calming at the same time :)

I'm stuck at level 11 though - does anybody have a hint for me?

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It's a great puzzle game. I got hung up on level 11, which is a good thing because if I had gotten stuck on an earlier level, I wouldn't think it was such a great game. Graphics were beutiful and the concept was unique and challenging. I didn't quite get the "replay" theme other than restarting the stage.

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Sharakin July 18, 2007 1:45 PM

Great game! I got stuck on level 11 also. I've tried to make a narrow rectangle, but sparks start exploding, and i think that loses your sparks. I'm always just one block away from getting to the next level.

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Escapee Author Profile Page July 18, 2007 1:58 PM

Great - I liked this a lot - the graphics were nice, and it got hard enough to be a challenge (which incidentally I've not beaten yet!

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I experienced a glitch on level six in which the end of one of my fences got stuck outside the main game area, and I couldn't retrieve it. When I restarted the level, it remained outside, and I had to clear my browser's cache to fix it.

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mtheminja July 18, 2007 2:07 PM

To beat level 11:

Don't make a narrow rectangle, make a narrow diagonal strip so you have room to line up all the collectors without touching the edges or discharging.

Great game!!! Don't know if it fits the theme, but frankly, I don't care.

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Note, this game has sound (the generator thing exploding) even when it's set on mute.

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Theres a bug on level 11 in firefox. the info for the level flashes up for a fraction of a second then you're into the level, with no idea what you're meant to do. if i restart the level it starts again without the central horizontal fence, and if i go back to select level again it does the same thing. so, what are we supposed to do on level 11?

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Escapee Author Profile Page July 18, 2007 2:55 PM

What do the numbers in the top right mean?

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The numbers in the top right is the framerate. You can ignore it not that important. I found this game fun, but not very challenging. I didn't really get a "Replay" concept from it though, other than maybe the replay value? Great style but defintely not a shoe-in for this competition IMO.

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Escapee Author Profile Page July 18, 2007 3:08 PM

Perhaps the replay is that there are so many ways of doing it?

Still can't get number 11 even with a diagonal strip - almost get it then all my things slowly explode and it's lost...

Also does the game have sound? It sounds pretty good as it's loading and I got a noise when I exploded one of the 'things' we're meant to keep the specks away from, but that's it!

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Heretic July 18, 2007 3:10 PM

Great game!

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Level 11:

Rectangles work, but you have to walk a fine line between small enough to make the particles explode and/or the collectors discharge and big enough that the particles slow down.

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I like the graphics and the gameplay isn't bad (I'm stuck at level 11 and I just can't get it to work, diagonally or not).

I don't think the game has any sound (if it does I'm not hearing it) which is a pity, because it should have some.

Another thing is I too don't understand the "replay" part... besides maybe having to replay the levels (like level 11) to get them right, but that's something most games (especially puzzle games) have anyway.

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add me to those who are thoroughly enjoying themselves, despite being hopelessly stuck on level 11.

I have noticed a glitch- i only discovered it in this level, so i don't know if it affects previous levels too.

I have been able to make collectors 'disappear'- either i'm double clicking them, or i'm dragging and dropping it on itself, but it just fades away- note, it also makes it impossible to win the level, because the meter always registers it as being less than full (you can't fill it if it's not there).

just FYI :)

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Wow this game is actually really nicely done, my favorite so far for sure. As for TonyPA and his Opera problem don't go mac!! Go Linux :) if you need that and Windows just do both.

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I'm not getting any sound. Are there supposed to be sound effects in this game?

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Level 11:

Here's an image of how I did 11
http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u14/abdiel_00/IMAGE.jpg
The two in the middle can be moved to control the amount on each side.

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This game is great, it is really addictive. I also had a hard time on level 11 but solved it using the solution linked below.
As long as you don't make it cramped so the particles explode then its just a case of filtering them equally.

Only thing that is missing is some proper sound/music, all I get is a small sound when the core dies. My apologies if there is sound!

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I did that mystery lvl 11 this way

Group them by 2, distribute the sparks equally by moving the barriers, and don't let any explode they are precious in this level!

>--------

>.X....X.

>^^^^^^^^

>........

>vvvvvvvv

>.X....X.

>^^^^^^^^^

>........

>vvvvvvvv

>.X....X.

>--------

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theOppressor July 18, 2007 6:55 PM

Well, while you guys were tripping up on 11, I made it to 16. *Rips hair out violently* It's impossible.

Levels 12-14 are cool, 15 is EVIL (Can YOU light up a collector with only 6-7 specks?) Love this game, and I bet it wins!

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About the sounds in this game:

Apparently Komix did not read the specifications on the game announcement page with regards to how to handle sounds in a game that is loaded externally as this one is. English is not his first language, so we'll forgive this little oversight. =)

I've made the necessary correction to his code and uploaded a new version that enables all the sounds in the game.

You must empty your browser cache to get the update.

(and my apologies for not catching it sooner for those of you that have already played through. Thanks for tipping me off to the problem through your feedback.)

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I knew they would only get better and better....

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This is the 4th entry, JIG =)



[Edit: 5 by my count. =) -Jay]

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Brandon July 18, 2007 8:16 PM

I'm sure it's very easy, but I got kinda stuck on 5 and then completely stuck on 6. It goes from blindingly obvious to completely obtuse way too fast.

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Level 16 is like level 11, but worse. )':

I would try the version with sound but the idea of stomaching level 11 again is too much. :P I guess I'll just wait until someone comes up with a solution.

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Emptying your browser cache does not mean you have to start over from the beginning!

Your progress in this game is automatically saved using the Flash local Shared Object, which is not stored in your browser's cache. Your saved progress will remain even after you empty your browser, or even change browsers.

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Speck: Help, help, I'm being oppressed!

(Somebody had to say it!)

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I think 11 was the second hardest of them all, after 16. But I finally came up with a solution.

Played through it again with sound which made this game perfect.
The only question I have left now is

Are you meant to be able to win Level 10 so easily (Putting The Generator over the teleporter) or is this just an oversight?

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eh. Didn't like the wait time in between finding an arrangement that works and the point where the sparks finally all find themselves close enough to the detector to charge it properly. Beautiful game, but not quite interesting enough to keep me waiting all that time (I ended up quitting at like level 4.)

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Corsaire July 19, 2007 2:57 AM

Great game, I really like it.. thanx!

Komix: If an update is planned, can you add an option to disable the trails? On slower computer, at 5fps, it's unplayable.. :(

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Unstoppable1 July 19, 2007 3:07 AM

There's lots of Kongregate branding and even mention of an achievement badge to be earned but I can't find this game on Kong, which makes sense as I thought one of the entry requirements was that the game wasn't published anywhere else. Maybe he just plans on releasing it there after the contest?

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ZedTheMyuu July 19, 2007 5:59 AM

I think that it would be better if there was a *explode* button, meaning you only explode the particles after arranging your items. It would also be great if there was a *speed up* option, so you don't have to wait for the particles to reach your target to win the level. All in all, it's a pretty great game, but due to my impatience, I quit at level 11.

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Ooh, pretty... I like this one.

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I'm really stuck on level 14... any help please?

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color correct July 19, 2007 1:36 PM

The one major thing I don't like about this game is when the game doesn't have a black background. For me it makes it really hard visually. Colors are fine, just only black as the background color.

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Khrisper July 19, 2007 5:29 PM

Level 11 was easy, you all made it look complicated...

Now, my method:

Do not move the generators, make the lines move either side of each generator to the one below like this:

|o| |o| |o|

| | | | | |

>

| | | | | |

|o| |o| |o|

Make sure its a tight fit so the sparks cannot escape and it shall work. May be a bit fidley at the start, but you need almost every spark to be in, and try to get equil ammounts. (Did it a second time to confirm that it worked - and it did.)

Hope my method was easy to understand :D Looks more simple then the other design.

Good game, deserves to win :) Theme - Replay - Dont see how it fits but I don't care, I like it.

Khrisper

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Escariot July 19, 2007 8:00 PM

I can't get past level 6 at all, so I'm not even worried about level 11.

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11 was okay - sixteen has me stumped. One note to those on earlier levels - slight adjustments make a big difference.

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Abeisgreat July 20, 2007 12:03 AM

I cant get through 9 plz help

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christina July 20, 2007 3:52 AM

I'm glad I'm not the only one who found the waiting part boring, although having a speedup option defeats the purpose. It would be nice to have a strike rate displayed so you could tell more accurately if your setup was going to gain or fail. The other big problem I had was with the colors - some combinations were nearly impossible to see what you were doing, and there was no option to change it. (I tried to use the color picker on the menu, but it seemed to have no effect on the level, all I could do was restart and hope for a better combination.) Other than that it's gorgeous, unique concept, a good challenge, and great sound.

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Escapee Author Profile Page July 20, 2007 5:11 AM

Level 6:

Drag all ends of the triangle til they touch the wall. This makes four triangles, put your conductors in each of the three new triangles. Then adjust to make them smaller :)

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Khrisper July 20, 2007 5:14 AM

EEK! Level 14 has had me stumped for along time now, can anyone help me out?

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eh, sorry about complaining the game crashing earlier, turned out I had some non-final FP installed. Replacing it with current official build solved the problem.

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Unstoppable1 July 20, 2007 12:31 PM

Well this is definitely on Kongregate now and is even this weeks card challenge. That's a little surprising as I thought games had to gain a certain level of popularity before becoming a card challenge, and this game has just been uploaded in the past 24 hours.

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This game is great! It's a lot of fun, although I'm not seeing the replay, just like everyone else. I'm stuck on level 11, too. And I can't make any of the solutions work. But the colours are cool, so I'm just going to keep trying.

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W00oo, beat level sixteen.

My solution:

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Nice going Daniel. I "knew" it had to be a star pattern, but I couldn't figure out how to do it right!

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Level 14 solution:
http://img164.imageshack.us/img164/7216/level14su9.th.jpg

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I think the "Replay" theme is in the fact that you have to re-play the specks to the collector, cause hitting it once isn't enough, you have to make them go back until it's full.

It's far fetched, and probably only makes sense in dutch, but i love the graphics so much, it can't loose because of the theme (i think...) ^^.

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This is my favorite game - by far - in the contest. Visually stunning and enjoyable to the end.

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guys if you are stuck in level 11 check out this video http://youtube.com/watch?v=Z-C1n0UB4TY

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I need help with 15, i tried just inclosing everything but the sparks dont hit the generators enough

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While all the effects are pretty, this game uses a ton of CPU on my machine, probably due to inefficient coding combined with flash--this is probably some of you are crashing.

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An absolutely wonderful game! I hope I manage to work out how to vote for it before the end of the competition.

It's a great puzzle and so very pretty to look at. And different too.

I love it!

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Does anyone know how to do level 15?

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Stale_Eyez July 29, 2007 9:44 PM

that lvl 14 image is too small

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Yo guys how do you do level 10?

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hi can anyone help me on level 15 please?

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congrats to komix for making one of the most anal games ever.

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and yet at the same time, the least anal game ever, seeing as how the specks can go through walls. hmmm...

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What about level 12? I can't figure it out

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