Isoball 2


JamesIsoball 2Return to the days of your childhood, playing with simple-shaped blocks to help a ball towards a hole in the addictive puzzle game Isoball 2, from Candyflame. Because as a baby you were apparently already a genius.

The rest of us probably were not. We all just stacked the blocks in shapes that followed our imaginations, which in the case of a boy would inevitably resemble a structure under attack from some menacing force. Inevitably that force would be, in the fit of Godzilla-esque fervor, the boy's fist. Perhaps the more industrious and less Tokyo-Monstered opted to try their hands at building bridges and I am sure that a manic genius here and there took on the early stages of decoding something's genome. But Isoball 2 takes the whole idea of playing with geometric shapes to a whole different and ultimately dumbfounding level.

If you have played the original Isoball then the sequel will be very familiar. Apart from tweaking the interface and cleaning a few things up, it's the same game, albeit much longer and with a much higher difficulty rating. Like the first you are presented with a isometric view of a grid. Given several specific pieces - ranging from cubes and flat blocks, flat and sharp ramps, direction changes and more versatile pieces like bridge builders, ball accelerators and teleporters - you need to guide a ball towards a hole by placing pieces on the screen with the mouse. This ball is pretty stupid, so it can't handle a wrong turn, a slight drop of someone sneezing on it. There is no margin for error: your approach has to guide the ball 100% of the way.

That is the Isoball series, more or less. The difficulty adjusts through how the ball and hole positions are changed, whether there are gaps to bridge and how creative you need to be with the pieces. It's also child's play until you start going past the sixteenth level...

Isoball 2Analysis: To be fair, completing Isoball 2 in the allotted time for this review meant I'd also have to be capable of curing cancer. So, in the hope that nobody one day accuses me of robbing mankind from life-saving medical breakthroughs, I might as well admit I did not make it through Isoball 2's fifty levels. The best I did was hit the halfway mark - and at this point it had gotten really hard. Browsing through the walkthrough it becomes apparent that things get a lot tougher. Honestly, it looks like the final few levels involve removing and placing blocks MID-GAME. Isoball 2 will take you a while to complete — and if it doesn't I think some scientific outlets might want to probe your brain... Or maybe I am just stupid.

This is a sequel, so it merits looking at how things have changed. First off are the fifty levels, a whole heap more than the original's twenty. The developers have done away with the countdown - you have all the time in the world to complete puzzles (and mercifully a level reset nullifies the timer as well, so your score takes less of a hit). In return, the game is a lot harder. Isoball had some whoppers, but Isoball 2 clearly benefited from some community puzzle suggestions. Or they have a bridge-building savant locked in a cupboard somewhere.

Play all the Isoball games:
IsoballIsoball 2Isoball 3Isoball X1

The game is very addictive, but it also becomes frustrating. Early puzzles can be sussed out by building from one point to the other and adjusting as you go, but later you really have to take in the whole scene and think of how the pieces can fit into it. To make things trickier, the game sometimes hands you more pieces than you need; for example, you might have five direction changers, but in the end you only needed four. It also soon does away with the notion that the best way forward is a straight line and hides a few other tricks that puts the puzzles beyond the scope of brute tinkering. This is not a game that allows you to fit a circle into a square.

But it is clever, well presented and just as polished. After playing the first game it is clear the bar has been raised to accommodate the game's existing players, but newcomers should at least get through the first fifteen levels before the going gets tough. If you are still going full steam by level twenty five, I hope the other - lesser - nerds pick on you. Because nobody likes a smart guy. If you breezed through to level fifty, I believe China wants someone who can build a bridge for them to the States... Or maybe I am just stupid.

Play Isoball 2

56 Comments

Simply an amazing puzzler. I haven't played the original, but it doesn't really matter because the rules are so easy to pick up. It's interesting in that there is a great balance between "easy to visualize, hard to build" stages and "hard to visualize, easy to build" stages.

Managed to get through the first 21 without too much of a problem, but 22 is kicking my butt. Hrmm...

19 is presenting me with a problem. I'm not a lateral thinker.

Aaaaaaagh, this game is difficult, 19 is being very annoying. The thing is the level difficulty increases drastically, the first set of levels is stupidly easy, then the next set or nothing too difficult, but then it jumps straight to crazy.

Also it would be helpful if you could just build off the hole, rather than have to build up to it. Because you end up having delete the whole structure over and over again.

It seems i'm not the only one having problems with number 19.... perhaps the power of posting will help me.

I'm also completely stumped by 19.. tried building backwards from the hole, nothing seems to work :(

Ah, I finally got number 19. Although I'm not sure if it was the intended solution; I had one leftover direction change.

The entire upper right section has big blocks on it.

Build to the goal from that and the rest should be pretty easy

Making progress, but slowly. I'm at 28 now.

Hint-through for 19:

You have one more directional arrow than you need.

Count up your ramps; you have enough to drop from the ball's cave to the floor, then back up to the hole.

You'll need to use two arrows in "midair" (using bridges) to align yourself with the solid ground to the left.

With that in mind, try and descend as much as possible in "midair" before you get to solid ground, rather than building a single huge ramp off of the floor. This will free up some large blocks to use later on.

The ball will touch the ground only once, on the very southernmost tile (and there will be an arrow panel there).

I'm having a bit of trouble with level 14....

Yeah, I've got nothing on level 18. I can't seem to make out how you could possibly cover that many spaces with only 4 bridge pieces...

I'm stuck on level 9 :-(

I really hate the disappearing bridges that they give you after level 40. These completely change the nature of the game. For 40 levels it is a puzzle game, and then suddenly it is a timing game? Very disappointing.

For level 29:

The first image on this page is level 29. To get the bridge to the correct location, you have to put a single layer platform down first, set the bridge down, set a double next to it, then remove the single platform.

can anyone help me with level 23? Apparently you cant use conveyors to turn, and I cant find a way to get the ball at the right angle with only two turns.

Nevermind, power of the post. For level 23:

Start by going down with a small ramp

Then use all the conveyors

Then turn and cross the gap with a bridge and a small ramp

Then turn and make a ramp to the finish

Hmm, I completed level 19 with building blocks to spare. Is this unusual?

I hate red herrings ...

http://i47.tinypic.com/50ocag.png

Hmm, apparently it isn't so unusual. Poop.

Very cool. Stuck on level 16 and too tired to figure it out. I seem to have trouble with bridges anyway, so am guessing that is the problem. I'm hoping for the power of the post to come to my rescue!

@cheeken:

My understanding is that you don't have to use all, but get more points for a longer trail.

I haven't figured out how to save the game. I keep having to start over again from the the beginning. Please help as there are a lot of levels. Thanks. other then that its a fun game.

Err...

Has anyone noticed that you can roll the ball over the gaps? As long as the ball is on the bottom level, it acts like they aren't even there. Found this when I was stuck on 25 (still there!) and tested on other levels.

@wjguest: If the game is not saving your progress between sessions, check that you are allowing it to save data. Right-click in the game and choose "Settings". Click on the icon of the folder, and check the slider there. If it says zero, then the game won't be able to save your progress.

(This is different from your browser cookies -- well, same idea, but specific to Flash. Click the little question mark for all the juicy details)

24? I can use the ramps, use the provided block but i still run out of ramps to get it back up the other side

or if i were to use the ramps to get it up there, i find i havent used 1 ramp and therefore dont have enough speed

Wow, I sped through the levels up until 49. That one was just out of this world.

Who could guess that you need to erase and replace on the fly? Not me. Once I got the idea though, 50 was easier than 49.

GREAT game. Well done, it's been a while since a puzzler has been so fun.

Thanks for the pic cheeken, 19 was driving me nuts, even with hints from other. ;)

Hmm.. I'm pretty stuck on lvl 17 ];
this stuff is addicting.

h-help please? ):

Warning: I crashed flash (and my browser) by creating a loop with conveyer belts that continuously increased the ball's speed to the point where the ball just vanished. I managed to get back to the menu, but loading a level brought up nothingness. Had to restart my browser to get it back up :P

It was in the sandbox where you get points for how far the ball traveled. I was going to create a loop where the ball would go around forever, and when I got bored, erase the arrow at the intersection and let it continue to the exit. Should work as long as you don't keep increasing speed...

The sandbox modes are the best, but it would be good if you could rotate the puzzle and start the ball from wherever you wanted to.

@Bryan: I did as you suggested and found that the setting was at the half way mark so I set it up a couple of lines further. Still didn't work. I did read all the stuff there but being a Great-grandma that's not to savvy with the technical jargon I really couldn't tell what most of it meant. Do you or anyone else have any other ideas I can try. Thanks for your help.

I agree that this was a great game until the introduction of the disappearing bridges and the required rebuilding while the ball was rolling. Totally changed gameplay for the worse.

Fun game indeed, but I agree with Danny Boy. This game shouldn't be a timing game.

It helps that the ball can roll over ghost pieces (pieces you're still holding, not having clicked), but the on-the-fly building... either it should've been introduced earlier as a core mechanic, or not at all.

I also would've liked a "stop" button. If you know you've messed up (the ball rolls back off the hill), it's tedious to wait until it stands still.

Otherwise, a very nice puzzler indeed!

Wow, this is one of the toughest puzzles I've ever played. In the later levels (and by "later" I mean 30 or so) there are so many blocks and so much freedom to build around that it's impossible to see a solution without spending a good chunk of time experimenting. That's not to say the game isn't good (quite the opposite, it's pretty fun), but I don't think I'll be finishing this one any time soon.

Brilliant fun, but how do i mute the whole thing? It's three times as loud as my music.

James: just wanted to comment on a great review! i love equal parts witty/hilarious and threatening......totally sucked me into this painfully addictive game.

I love it, but... Maybe not enough to play it when I have to reload the game after every level because the ball gets stuck.

argggggg Got all the way to level 16 yesterday and had to quit. Today its back to level 1.. I just cant figure out how to make it save my game. This also happens in Hoshi saga ringo. Can someone please help. Thank you.

I am like stuck on level 16 and it's super ahrd.I CANT GET THROUGH IT:(:(:(:(

Awesome game. Made it past all 50 levels in the end. I didn't see the point in the sandboxes after the first couple, at first, but I kinda got into number 6.

I also really don't like the flickering bridges. There's something pleasing about moving pieces while the ball's going, though - a bit like juggling in Desktop Tower Defence.

Really good puzzler.

How can I pass the level 23? that's impossible to me. Please, can anyone help me?

note to thiago:

level 23 is tough, but the target hole is very high. You're going to need a lot of concentrated power to get the ball up there. (You might also want to study the first screen shot of the review above.)

Isoball 2 is one of the best puzzlers of late, but the difficulty does not increase throughout the 50 levels. The toughest ones are in the middle. There's really only about a half dozen that are real troublemakers.

And finished... great puzzle game. Definitely a 5/5 from me

Can someone please help.. A few posts ago I asked and received help about saving the game. I went back and reread everything about settings until I came to understand it. I then set the slider all the way to the right and it still doesn't save my game. I have had this trouble with only 1 other game. Is there something else I can do?
Thank you.

HELP!!! Im stuck on level 29. i know that u need 2 put the bridge in 3 blocks after the corner but i cant get it 2 be low enough to put the ramp on top! any ideas?
Thanx.

Amber I am in the same position as you are. I am stuck on same bit as you are on Level 29 and I have found no way around it and it is really annoying me but there must be a way but listern to me girl the best thing to do is to keep on trying.

there are posted solutions to level 29 all you have to do is look, i personally did it on my own but with much problem. to put the floating bridge, first use a 1\2 step block on either side, and add your bridge. after adding this, put your treadmill on top. remove one and only one of the bridge ends, replace it with a full step. repeat on reverse side

illustration of the final project is at the very top of the page on the game advertisement. this is a big hint on level 29 and how to get past it. :-)

I loved this game. Getting through all the levels was engrossing and challenging (although I agree with several who said that the sudden addition of a timing factor in the last two levels was out of place).

Does anyone have a recommendation of another game that I'll enjoy as much as this one? I'm new to games, so I don't really know where to look. I like thinking, not speed.

im stuck on level 24 any hints or tips how to make it so you dont run out of ramps because im stuck

hey im stuck on level 24 can anybody give me any help? i keep runing out of pieces when I try to go up the other side

okay level 24 was pretty difficult and i noticed someone was in need of some help, so here it is (step by step):

but first.. i didnt know how to say the directions of the arrows so here is what i think they are:
northeast (NE)-- up towards the right
northwest (NW)-- up towards the left
southeast (SE)-- down towards the right
southwest (SW)-- down towards the left

first off... place a big box below the ball and put a small ramp on top of that big box.

then... put a small box in front of that with a speed arrow on top ((facing SW)).

next to that.. place a big box with an arrow ((facing NW))

then... put a small box in front of that with a speed arrow on top ((facing NW)).

after that arrow box... put a big box

then... put a small box in front of that with a speed arrow on top ((facing SW)).

a big box with an arrow ((facing NW))

another big box with an arrow ((but this one's facing NE))

then... put a small box in front of that with a speed arrow on top ((facing NE)).

now its time for the BIG ramp to get to the hole:
first.. a big box with a small ramp on top.
next.. a big box with a small box on top and a big ramp on the top of that.
lastly.. 2 big boxes stacked and a small box with a big ramp on top.

here's a picture of the finished level... i took the pic and posted it on photobucket because i dont think i explained it very well. it is my photobucket account and well heres the link to my pic:
http://s803.photobucket.com/albums/yy317/fefe720/level%2024/?action=view¤t=isoball.jpg

OK on level 29, i did it exactly like the diagram, except the bridge will not go down a level so that i cant put the conveyor on it. no matter how much i try it wont work!!! please help!!!!!! :((((((((((

any tips on lvl 22 looks easy but its kinda hardd and i cant get passed it???

Level 29 you need to put the smaller block down first, add the bridge & conveyor and then erase the small block and replace it with the larger one and arrow.

First off jean, you did a wonderful job of explaining level 24 thanks! It helped me.

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