Signal


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Rating: 4.5/5 (39 votes)
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Signal

Artbegottifzzzzzzzzh...Hello? Can you hefzzzzhe? Is this thing on? Signal is a puzzle game by Arrogant Gamer where exploring the rules of the world is part of the curious fun. We don't wanfzzt spoil too much ot fhe game for you, but we can tell you that the [arrow] keys can be used to move around, and [space] or [X] can be used tfzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzhltimately the goal is to line up certain blocks on targets in a Sokoban sense, but how you interact with and push on somfzzzzzzzblocks can affect how you play the level.

SignalIt's hard to describe why without being spoilery, but you can tell a lot of thought went into Signal's design. The game knows when to teach you a new trick, and when to chafzzzzzzzzzzzhhe downside, the game is probably not colorblind-friendly, and distinguishing some colors might even be tricky for non-colorblind folks. Nonethelefzzzzzzhgnal is one of those rare puzzles where not understanding what's going on might be one of the more exciting moments of playing. When you get stuck, it might be helpful (if you've got the time) to restart the entire game and take in every detail again. After playing, click the "hack" link below the game to view the devefzzzzzzzzzzzhramming and get an intriguingly psychological description of how the game works from level to level. Can you figure out how to gain control of your surroundings and crack the meaning behfzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

Play Signal

Walkthrough Guide


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Signal Walkthrough and Tips

Level 1 (SIGPWR):

To complete the level, use the block with the green dot to push the black box with the upside-down L in the corner on top of the red spot (the red spot will appear in the hole opposite the L).

Level 2 (SIGURG):

Now there are two L-blocks to push into place. Make sure you push the block on the left onto the red dot on the left, and the block on the right onto the dot on the right. The dots are oriented to appear in different corners of the L-blocks, so you probably don't want to switch them around.

Level 3 (SIGSYS):

You'll notice that there are two L-blocks right next to each other, and their Ls are facing the same direction. When L-blocks are oriented similarly, pushing one will move the others in the same direction. To finish this level, just push one L-block to the right to the target; the other will move with it.

Level 4 (SIGALRM):

Just like the last puzzle, push one L-block onto the target, and its match will move as well (even with empty space and a wall between them). Do this with the other L-block pair to finish the level.

Level 5 (SIGSTOP):

You can push the L-block to the target, but it's not properly oriented over the red dot. To fix this, move your green block next to the L-block and press [X] to rotate the L-block into position. While there were alternate solutions to some of the earlier levels by rotating L-blocks and swapping them around, this is the first puzzle that requires it.

Level 6 (SIGCONT):

By pushing one block, both L-blocks can be moved to the middle of the screen. But notice that the L-blocks are vertically aligned, but the targets are not. To fix this, you'll have to turn one of the L-blocks so they do not match. You can then push both blocks into place separately, but don't forget to rotate both blocks back to the correct position to match the target.

Level 7 (SIGBUS):

Like the last puzzle, start by turning one of the L-blocks so they do not match, then push the blocks onto the targets, then rotate them back to the proper orientation.

Level 8 (SIGSEGV):

You can move one L-block to a target easily, but the other L-block is tucked in a pocket near the top. To extract that block, rotate the L-blocks so they match, then push down on one to pull the other out. If you position yourself directly between both blocks, you can push both L-blocks as a unit to the targets, then rotate them individually to line up with the red dots.

Level 9 (SIGSTKFLT):

You might've noticed before that when you try to move into the pink mesh, you can't move through it and you hear a raspy sound. However, one of the L-blocks needs to pass through the mesh to a target. Move one of the L-blocks into position next to the mesh (make sure it's turned to the proper position so it lands on the target correctly). Turn the other L-block so it matches the first, then push it to the right. You might need to mismatch, push back, rematch, and push the block again to move the other over the target. Once the right target is covered, mismatch again and push the remaining L-block onto the target.

Level 10 (SIGFPE):

Here's where the entire game gets flipped on its head, even though nothing changes at all. What color tile would you say you've you been playing as up to this point? If you think you've been playing green, you're wrong. You've actually been playing a red tile. In every level, there's been a single red tile, surrounded by pink "triangle" tiles (two white dots and one pink dot in a triangle shape). When you (the red tile) pushes on one of those pink triangle blocks, it moves all pink tiles. Coincidentally, there's always been a pink tile surrounded by green triangle blocks also, which moves all the green tiles around the map. So all along you've been playing as a red tile, which controlled pink tiles, which in turn controlled green tiles.

In this level, things get switched around a bit. The red tile is surrounded by green triangles, which means the red controls the greens directly. You can use a green tile to push on the pink triangle blocks, which (a) moves the pink tile at the bottom left and right, which (b) pushes the L-blocks out to their respective targets, and also (c) pulls two matching L-blocks out of mesh pockets. Once these two blocks are free, rotate them out of sync with the blocks below, push them onto the targets (you'll need to use previously-learned tricks to pull the top L-block away from the wall), and rorate them again to match the targets.

Level 11 (SIGTRAP):

In this level, you have four differently-oriented L-blocks which must meet in a square in the middle of their section (note that the bottom two L-blocks will have to switch positions in the final square), plus one L-block in the middle which you have access to. You will need to push that middle L-block many times to control the other L-blocks. Unfortunately, this gets a bit tedious as you'll be pushing and rotating many times, since you have a tiny space to work with. When trying to move one L-block many times in a row (say, the bottom-left L-block to the right), each time you need to push the controlling L-block back into position, rotate it to match an L-block that's already bordering a wall (or another L-block) on its left, so the blocks stay in place when you don't want them to move. Once you've formed the square, push the controlling L-block to the corner (remember to rotate it to match one of the top L-blocks in the square, or else you'll push one of the bottom squares out at the last moment) and rotate it to match.

Level 12 (SIGLOST):

Like the last puzzle, you'll need to move four blocks to form a square, but you do it by pushing a separate block many times. The problem is, you start out with two L-blocks with their L in the lower-left corner, and none with an L in the upper-right corner. You'll need to move one of those two lower-left L-blocks on top of or to the right of the pink mesh. Once it's in place, you can move up to the pink triangle blocks at the top to pull a pink tile out of a nook, move it next to the L-block you just moved, and rotate the L-block so its L is in the top-right corner. Move this L-block back to join the others and finish building the square and cover the last target as before.

Level 13 (SIGQUIT):

One important thing to notice about this level is that the pink triangle tiles are scrambled around the red tile, so pressing up moves all pink tiles to the right, pressing right moves left, etc. However, a pink tile is adjacent to green triangles that correct all of the control scrambling, so pressing moves green tiles up, etc.

Start by using a green tile (normal controls) to rotate the two L-blocks on the left to match the L-block in the right chamber. Using the pink tile (scrambled controls), push that L-block to the right, moving the other two L-blocks away from the wall. Rotate all the L-blocks to different orientations, and get one of the left L-blocks in position to slide through the mesh to the target in the middle (remember to check its orientation). Match the other left L-block to it, and push-unmatch-return-rematch-repeat to move the L-block to the middle target. Once that's done, you can match your controlling L-block to the L-block on the right and move it into its target nook, but remember that the pink block's movement may get in the way or push/rotate the L-block inunwanted ways. Once that L-block's in position, put the last L-block in its place.

Level 14 (SIGILL):

This puzzle revolves around moving (and shuffling) the square of L-blocks in the middle section to the lower-right corner, one block at a time. You'll notice that the pink tiles can move one block left and right, and a different block up and down, and pressing the rotate button changes both of the blocks affected at the same time. Use these sliders in tandom to rearrange the blocks and get them to their desired positions in the bottom portion of the grid, then make sure you move the sliders back to the top and right to finish the level.

Level 15 (SIGINT):

Ready for another unexpected twist? There's a bit of a gap in the green triangles surrounding the red tile, which reveals another quirk it possesses: The red tile can swap places with adjacent grey tiles. You'll need to use the green tiles and the old push-unmatch-return-rematch method to push L-blocks across the mesh (bearing in mind that you'll have to change the red tile's position when switching between up/left movements and down/right movements). Once the L-blocks are across the mesh, the red tile itself can be used to adjust their positions/orientations on the right side of the mesh.

Level 16 (SIGCHLD):

This level combines the push-unmatch-return-rematch technique for extracting an L-block from a wall and pushing it across mesh with the "broken" controls from the last level, except now there are two broken control sets: The red tile controls the pink triangles, and the pink tile controls the green triangles.

Level 17 (SIGKILL):

Along the top edge of the level, you'll see an L-block that is not covering a target. That block is the one that will do most of the "controlling" of other blocks in this level, so you need to get it out of the corner it's tucked in, and you basically have only one chance to do that.

Start the level by rotating the L-block immediately under the red tile to match our controller, and push it down. (You'll also move down one of the other targeted L-blocks in the process.) Follow the path of grey tiles around the bottom-left corner of the screen and work your way up to the top-middle of the screen. Change the controller to something else for the time being, then push the other L that popped out back into place.

Choose an unused L-block rotation (I'd suggest upper-right) and turn your controller and the three lower blocks to that orientation. Go back up top and push the controller left as far as it will go. Then, work your way back over to the triangles in the top-left corner. Use the green "down" triangle to push the controller far as it will go, then start pushing the pink "right" triangle until the controller is in the last spot BEFORE it's below the target space. Then, use the pink "left" triangle to move the pink tile back into its pocket to the left. (It's at this point in writing this walkthrough that I realize there was also a pink tile in the top-right that could've pushed the controller to the left, but no harm done.)

This next step is hard to explain succinctly, but if you've reached this point in the game, you've probably got the knowhow to pull off what needs to happen. Using the controller block, maneuver the three L-blocks into the pockets at the bottom. Once they're in position and rotated properly, you can return to the green triangles to push the controller L-block into its pocket.

Level 18 (SIGLAST):

Courtesy of the excellent Parse:
For the final stage:

The trick is to bump the L-block beside the pink controls onto the mesh. To do that:

1: move the blank cell over the L-block.

2: Move the green square down two spaces

3: Move the pink block left one; doing this bumps the L-block over the green square

4: Turn the L-block by the pink controls to match the L-block over the green square, then bump it up with the green block, then bump it left with the 'main' square.

You can now access the rest of the screen, and should be able to solve the rest on your own.

17 Comments

That was a cool mechanic revealed as you progress through the game. :D
Makes it very interesting to play the game the second time now that you know what's really happening.

And the dev comments in the source code was interesting too.

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Brilliant game! There are very few games that give even more on a second playing.

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For the final stage:

The trick is to bump the L-block beside the pink controls onto the mesh. To do that:

1: move the blank cell over the L-block.

2: Move the green square down two spaces

3: Move the pink block left one; doing this bumps the L-block over the green square

4: Turn the L-block by the pink controls to match the L-block over the green square, then bump it up with the green block, then bump it left with the 'main' square.

You can now access the rest of the screen, and should be able to solve the rest on your own.

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I...have no idea what's going on, couldn't pass the second level even with the walkthrough, and the hack link revealed nothing.

Can anyone explain what on earth's going on?

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arrogant.gamer Author Profile Page December 2, 2013 6:30 AM

Hey! First off, thanks to Steve for a very cool review. One of these moments when review is art!

The walk-through is a really interesting idea: I hadn't thought of providing a walk-through. I would like to mention, though, that it looks like it is missing something ^o^//

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@Rangeet: How the games works in general:

As the player, you control the square with the red centre. When you move up/down/left/right this character presses switches which controls the squares with the pink centres, which in turn control the squares with the green centres. In the first few levels the directions match the switches, so when you move left the squares with green squares move left and so on. To win each level, move the squares in such a way to push the blocks over the red lights. Press "X" to rotate the blocks. None of this is explained anywhere, you have to work it out as go along

Solution to level 1:

RRD RRRR DRU

Solution to level 2:

UULLL URRR DRRRRR DRRU LLLL

I hope this helps!

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An 'undo last move' button would be helpful because sometimes the block moves two spaces instead of one, almost as if my arrow button is sticking (which it quite possibly could be, or not)..

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There IS an undo button. I think it was Z.

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Amazing game! It's so satisfying to figure out the mechanics, and even more so to realize how they applied in the early levels. I'm loving PuzzleScript more and more for making this sort of game possible.

It seems no one has mentioned the extra room yet! I won't tell what it does (it's a very "OH SNAP" moment), but I'll say this:

There's a hidden room below the last level.

There is more to the red dot than meets the eye!

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arrogant.gamer Author Profile Page December 3, 2013 6:14 AM

@Donut, thanks for playing! You got it! I'm glad so few people do.

@jcfclark The undo button is super useful, and I'm sad that a lot of people don't notice it. The instructions are there on the title page. (I even added a sweet sound effect for it).

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Ewan Whosarmy Author Profile Page December 4, 2013 9:38 AM

That was great fun - one of the best games i've played since click drag type - nearly every level seemed to have a eureka moment.

@Donut - thanks, i thought something funny was going on when

a green drone appeared from nowhere in the last level

I'm pretty sure it happened in one of the earlier levels too. i'll have to replay it now :-)

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This game is kind of epic. Every level has a new reveal. The rules change without them actually changing. This game would be an excellent base for a player pack. I think you should open it up for that.
The only change I would make to this game is larger and brighter squares of color on the color blocks. It was very irritating to try to figure out which ones were filled before moving them. And maybe a little delay on the arrow keys. This game doesn't lend itself to continuous movement, so we shouldn't be able to accidentally move twice with one click of a key.
Overall, 5 stars. It was a little short, and I find myself craving more levels, but this was the best game I've played since Portal. I will expect a sequel. Great Job.
~Dartania T.

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arrogant.gamer Author Profile Page December 4, 2013 1:20 PM

What is a "player pack"? If it is a bunch of levels created by a player, you are in luck: the game is already open to that! Signal was made in puzzlescript, and the source is available to "hack". If you played Signal on GameJolt, the hack link is not immediately obvious: it is buried in the comments; just search the page for "hack".

I very much agree about the colours: the game is currently inaccessible for people who see colour differently than me, and this is not intentional. Just another careless oversight by a privileged dude! I'm not sure how this could be improved (other than by, as you said, making the colours brighter) as it is important that everything look "the same" on some level.

Delay on the arrows is brilliant: I will implement that right away.

Sequel! Ha ha, don't think I haven't thought about it. I will probably make a few other things for a while, and maybe come back to Signal when I feel I've "improved" as a game designer. However, there is a fellow interested in "remaking" Signal with nicer assets, and challenge levels a'la Portal. We'll see where that goes!

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Absolutely brilliant puzzle and mechanics design, another proof that PuzzleScript is really incredible versatile.

I found the "true" pilot-dot at the end too, quite a nice surprise with "ooooh" and all. :)

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arrogant.gamer Author Profile Page December 5, 2013 3:35 PM

Or... did you?

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