Chain Factor


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Rating: 4.6/5 (112 votes)
| Comments (29) | Views (275)

GriffPest ControlWe see clones of classic casual games everywhere—games with blocks that fall and lines that clear. But the ones that really shine through are those that build on a classic formula and make something new out of it. Chain Factor is one of the those games.

While the game may seem intimidating at first, with its grid of all sorts of numbers and the occasional boulder, it is actually deceptively simple. The game is played by dropping numbered discs into a grid, one by one, attempting to clear other discs off. A disc is considered "cleared" when it is in a row or column the size of the number on the disc. For example, if you placed a disc labeled 3 into a row of three discs, the disc of 3 would be cleared.

The downside to this creative approach is that it's virtually impossible to understand unless you know how it works. Luckily, there is a helpful FAQ available to explain how the game works, but the lack of an in-game help menu does create a slight barrier to new players.

The graphics in this game are not very impressive, but they are stylish and they maintain a sleek, chic look. Every disc is color-coded depending on it's number, but the colors are so similar that the effect is lost to some extent. Even the optional special powers have creative black-and-white logos.

Mentioning the powers brings up another point. This game, while simple at first, has an underlying layer of vast complexity. Special powers, available for use in Power Mode and Survival Mode, have to be unlocked, but not necessarily by you.

Now available for iPhone/iPod Touch!

There is a password for each stage hidden... somewhere. In the media, on the highway, anywhere they can stick it and get away with it. These passwords then have to be entered three times to unlock a new power. Interestingly enough, you don't have to supply any passwords yourself; once three people in the world find and enter the password for any one power, that power will be unlocked for everyone to use. Every new power unlocked adds another twist to the Power and Survival Modes, and, until all of the powers have been unlocked, the new powers should give you a reason to go back and play again.

Analysis: Chain Factor is a beautiful game. Aesthetically, the environment is clean and modern. The game play is novel and manages to offer something that I've never seen before. The way the powers are unlocked is also an innovation to appreciate. This game is what you get when you manage to pack a fresh idea, a great developer, and a whole lot of fun together into one game.

Play Chain Factor

Cheers to Spectre, Kevin, Gregory, Ian and Dave for suggesting this one. =)

29 Comments

Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage
<snip>

*sigh*

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^^^I think the link is broken, Jay^^^
lol

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The links are working for me. =/

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It's working for me on the dreaded IE. Original little game, I can see it becoming quite addictive. It did take me a couple of goes to get my head round it though.

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This is a very very good game. Innovative and smart. The power unlocking system is particularly neat!

One bug though... when I use bombs in Survival mode, sometimes a disc image remains despite having been blown or fallen away. Future dropped discs pass right through it, so it doesn't technically affect the play of the game, but it's confusing to think you have an extra disc when in reality it's just a phantom.

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I've been playing this for a while (45 minutes?) and I'm starting to get the hang of it. This is pretty genius.

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This also has features of an ARG, when you read the error codes. There is a wiki of all the errors and codes so far at http://chainfactor.despoiler.org/

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So has the highscore table been hacked or do I just really suck at this? :-/

Nice concept, though.

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I have only been playing for an hour and already I am addicted. Has anyone figured out how to unlock some of the powers in power mode?

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OK, this is way too repetitive... Which means, I've spent entirely too much time playing this game!

Nice job Chain Factor team!

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KrystalMaze November 21, 2007 3:43 PM

This is very addictive with an inovative twist on a familiar concept.

After about 15 minutes to get the hang of it I was having a pretty good run... you know the kind... concentrate so hard the everything except but the cursor blurrs and tears start to stream down your face. When it was over, I looked at my score and was amazed to find that I actually had a score worth posting... blew the top score out of the water.

While trying to figure out how long it would take to update with my new high score I suddenly realized, I was looking at the leaderboard for the wrong mode. I was a few HUNDRED THOUSAND from even making the list.

C'est la vie. I still liked the game.

(Been lurking for over a year, thought I'd finally join the fun. Love the site. Thanks KrystalMaze)

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Holy cow, this is one of the best games I've ever played. You can get out of some pretty dire situations by being clever, which makes for a good puzzle game in my book.

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Forgive me for commenting again, but my last comment didn't do this game justice - it's awesome and I have been playing it for waaay too long now...

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Good distraction.

The high score submission doesn't seem to work for me tho. I can't submit it. I enter my name, press the submit button but nothing happens. Not as if i wanted to submit my not-that-bright-at-all score but it doesn't seem to let me begin a new round until i do so. And then it doesn't let me do so. Nice try.

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One more thing. It's a good basic idea decently put - but for e it's nothing more. I don't see why it should stand out of those "games with blocks that fall and lines that clear." I see it as just another one. Not better not worse .

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This is actually an ARG related to a new episode of Numb3rs.

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WOW... just wow! its been a long time since I played a game I like as much as this. lots of innovation, terrific game play, reward for being clever, I think this game will be on my favorites list for a long long time.

The different modes add tons to the game... I have been having a blast trying to figure out the best use of some of the powers. Brilliant!

Thanks for posting this Jay! Thanks to the guys that created the game.

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Boy do I feel stupid. Turns out my internet was off, but I had already gotten on the site. oops

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Okay, so I'm confused. These hints for the powers, are they only found in USA?

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Great game, but I scored my highest score so far on my first go. Since then I have been unable to come anywhere close to my first score. I know I'm thinking too much about it, but I don't know what to do about that.

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I just got this error code, what the heck is it??

ERROR 081

LEVEL 3 / CODE PPT

* +++++++++++++
* Exhanger
* Debtmiser
* Everyworker
* Cherrybiter
* Eldylabor
* Mightdealer
* Coquetry
* Macker
* +++++++++++++

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Oh, wow. This is an ARG?! The wiki is bringing up some really interesting stuff... I can't wait to see more!

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I got an Error Code too, thought I'd share it for those who like the ARG aspect. I just like the game-pretty design, wonderful Reich-like music. Addictive.

ERROR 002

LEVEL 2 / CODE NNN

* SCORING?
* s, i don't understand why we are collecting scores at this
* point. do we collect high scores only or every score?
* -F

* I want all the scores added to Table A, not just high scores
* don't worry about it, I'll tell you why later.
* /s

* will do
* -F

* By the way, try this... text "chain" to 38383.
* /s

* works. very hot. LOL
* -F

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This is absolutely wonderful, and exactly the sort of thing I think of when it comes to "casual gameplay". It requires thinking, but ultimately is a nice fifteen minute tea break sort of thing.

Intriguingly, it resembles a board game more than anything else, but I don't see how it could be reproduced outside of the computer environment. The hidden value discs add a pleasant amount of uncertainty to the game, and aren't the sort of thing one might be able to do easily on a game board.

Thank you very much for finding this.

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I finally hit a halfway decent score of 241,018 in Power Mode, still over 500k from even the daily high. And that score alone, ended by death on level 34, took a ridiculous amount of luck. I got 6/7/8 chains on a regular basis. I used Promote, Postpone, and Thrive.

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I am totally in love with this game... every time I think I am about done with it, something new comes along... I just unlocked a new power and had to figure out how to make the most of that. Brilliant.

At the end of some rounds you get these errors... they dont interupt the game or anything but they include the programmers comments and they have been geting funnier and funnier as you go along. So far its been kind of light chit chat about how neat some function or routine is. I cant figure out if they are doing this on purpose or not. The first few really looked like ligit programmer comments.

I just got a new high score for myself at about 429,000 and I got the best one yet!

ERROR 023

LEVEL5/CODE D

* WARNING
* S, I'm serious, I have backdoors coded all through here and I'm
* tired of taking orders. i know you want to chainfactor the primacy $
* into $$$ i want a piece of that or i will take it my way
* -F

* I am coming over to discuss this face to face.
* /s

If this is a joke its pretty funny! If its not a joke it is hilarious! The dude created back doors and wants more money!!! He is blackmailing the company. LOL

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LOL... turns out the error codes are part of a meta game!

The weirdness of the error messages is because this game is actually produced by CBS, based on a recent episode of their show Numb3rs in which the villain is a character named Specter (the /s in the error messages) who wanted to merge the gaming world with the commercial world, link everybody, and make the government ineffective, making their corporation the new world order. This website is Specter's evil plan in action.
This is why the "error message" conversations are what they are, and why the puzzles containing the codes to unlock new powerups are hidden in mass marketing locations, such as billboards and banner ads on various websites. See the FAQ for more info on that.

Wiki explaining the powerups, code puzzles, and listing all the error messages: http://chainfactor.despoiler.org/

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sadly, all codes have been entered.

the thrill has officially worn off...

and I was looking forward to getting a code.
Oh well, we can still look for error codes... which are pointless now that we have all the codes...

im gonna go beat myself up now...
later!

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lycyfyrsam Author Profile Page October 25, 2012 3:58 PM

fabulous game, fabulous FAQ philosophy. love that it gets more complex the more you play--& you figure out new rules w/o having been taught them.

i'm very late in the day on this one--still, still it's just as good as i say, even now, competing against far more startling whistles & bells.

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