Grid


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Rating: 3.9/5 (205 votes)
| Comments (39) | Views (481)

PsychotronicGridGrid is a moody, deliberate puzzle game from two-man development team Atomic Cicada. Don't worry. Their company name may sound ominous, but they can only attack once every 17 years*.

If you've played any other game about rotating tiles and connecting power sources, you already basically know how this works. Each level contains one source of energy and a network of other tiles with anywhere from 1 to 4 outlets apiece. Click on the right side of a tile to rotate it clockwise, and on the left for counter-clockwise. Your job is to arrange the available sections so that every space has power and none of your tiles have any unconnected ends.

The catch is that you can only rotate a tile if it already has power flowing through it, which bumps Grid up a few notches on the thoughtfulness index. The choice between rotating left and right is a necessity rather than a mere convenience, since you can easily cut yourself off permanently from half the grid with one ill-considered click.

That's where the wonderful, precious, life-blood-of-my-ancestors, oasis-in-the-desert, significant-other-surprising-you-with-a-sandwich-and-hot-cocoa, beautiful, sexy, irresistable Undo Button comes in. In what is surely the kindest display of humanity this year, Atomic Cicada lets you back up move by move to the very beginning of the level if you so desire, at the cost of only a couple of points per use. Take advantage of this feature by pressing [space], or by clicking the Undo Button, located like the Star of Bethlehem at the top center of the screen.

Analysis: Grid uses the same gameplay mechanic as Loops of Zen and probably dozens of other similar games, most of which employ randomly generated layouts. There is a fundamental tonal difference in Grid's carefully designed levels, though. Each one has its own shape and flow, which may be enough to keep you interested after you've already mastered all the basic solving techniques.

Later levels often feature at least one maddeningly isolated tile off in some corner, sometimes requiring you to re-route the entire level for its sake. Although 35 levels doesn't sound like much, by the end you are essentially solving each puzzle multiple times, and the cumulative effect of using all your tricks to pull together a giant mesh-work of obstacles is an epic sense of achievement.

That said, Grid feels like it should have more variety. I admire its purity—35 levels of nothing but a single power source and five different tile varieties—but it doesn't consider even obvious permutations on the formula, like multiple power sources and immobile tiles. It will only stay entertaining as long as your Frustration Level is less than or equal to your Goal Completion Satisfaction Quotient plus your Obsessiveness Factor, divided by your New Stimulation Requirement Threshold, or F≤(g+o)/S. Which for me was about midway through level 26. Results may vary.

Play Grid

* Now available on Jay is Games: entomology jokes!

39 Comments

What's the obsession with glyphs lately? First Alchemy now this! It's a really nice colour scheme and it's a nice take on a pipe type game.

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My biggest complaint about the pipe connection games is none of the good ones had very good graphics. This one has just trumped them all, and added a great new twist to the genre. I think I'll be wasting a lot of time on this one...

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chris martin December 30, 2008 8:27 PM

F≤(g+o)/S

what a hilariously entertaining review. That was better than the Onion.

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I need help!
In level 11...

I have the entire map filled but 1 single joint peice facing east in the top left corner of the block of pipes, and the only peice that is next to it is another single joint peice, that i beileve started downward... The problem is i cannot power the peice facing east because the only other peice that could touch it before it is moved is also a single joint...

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nevermind. power of posting!

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I think I know exactly the tile on level 26 that made you throw in the towel...

It's the same tile that made me stop the game and come back to finish reading the end of your review.

Nice game up until then. There's something so satisfying about when everything lights up at the end of a level.

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I love the concept and really want to play the game, but I can't play more than a level or two at once for two reasons:

1) The swirling graphics make me motion sick! I wish there were a way to turn them off.

2) This game runs extremely slowly on my computer, which is a little old but runs most other flash games with no problem. The time between levels takes twice as long as the levels themselves.

If there were a way to turn off the moving background and to eliminate the flashy effects between levels, I think that would solve both problems.

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Finished it. Level 35 was the only really stubbornly hard one, but the undo button is manna from heaven. I kept turning tiles the wrong way because I was clicking too fast to notice I'd slipped over the center line and reverse the turn. *worships the undo*

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I don't lie it when a game takes away points when even when you did a round perfectly.

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SonicLover December 31, 2008 8:21 AM

Beat it. Every single level. I don't think I used the UNDO button as often as the average person.

And just a quick tip... there's no time bonus, so whether you solve a puzzle in five minutes or five months won't affect your score.

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I got angry at myself sometimes for using the undo. It is a lifesaver when you move a peice and it no longer gets power, but when you move a peice the wrong way but it stays lit, you can lose points by hitting undo instead of just spinning it back. Example, I have a T shape, and i turn it CW, when i needed to turn it CCW. It stays lit because it was in a position in which it would stay lit when turned either way. If i hit undo, i loose 2 points and still have to turn it CCW and i loose a third point. If i simply turn it CCW twice, i loose a total of two points, instead of three.

The power of undo should not be praised under these curcumstanses

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Can anyone provide a hint for 31?

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finished with a score of 69650. Very enjoyable!

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Finished. I had a lot of fun with this. Last level was really annoying. Looking at the puzzle, find the path, before solving helps a lot.

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Londonbrig0 January 1, 2009 6:12 PM

I love this game, but I'm tearing my hair out over level 27

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Christine January 1, 2009 7:21 PM

Me too ... Stuck on 27 .. please help

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I really enjoyed this game and would love to see another version come out. There are only two tweaks I'd like to see. One, have the current grid level next to the score since I sometimes lost track of which one I was on, especially when I wasn't paying attention after completing a level. The second tweak would be to allow more time to view the level after completion. When I turned that last tile the grid would melt away not allowing me to bask in my success and admire the resulting pattern. Other than that I thought the game was great.

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Wow! I haven't come across a puzzle game I liked this much since Bloxorz! I like the "auto-save" feature. The only thing is the music's a bit repetative, but since you can turn it off, np. Great find!

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christine January 2, 2009 12:48 PM

Please.. I would be eternally grateful. Help on 27?

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Ive been stuck on 27 for ages

I almost get there and then I get distracted and forget what i was dong !

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@Steven

I completely agree with the background comment. It really 'niggled' me that it was continuously moving and when the balls were closest to me they were really bad detail. I thought it was just me being obsessive. It does really put me off though.

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l need help with 27 as well... XP

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For level 27
There are many single ended tiles in this level and I guess this is what makes the level confusing. Try to construct the body first and then deal with the single tiles later.

At the end, the power should face

right. You can configure the whole accordingly.

If you need more help,

First turn the power facing down. Starting with this part may help you to see how to arrange single ended tiles. Then turn the power facing up. It should be easier after this point.

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Sarah Betambeau January 5, 2009 7:03 AM

Hi. Many thanks for the hints but I'm still stuck as some options you HAVE to take but that leaves bits stranded, me and hubby been at this level for hours over two days! Please help further!!!!

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Anonymous January 6, 2009 3:22 AM

Any help for level 35 please?

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I'll try to explain level 27 as much as my English lets me.

1

Turn the single ended tile down which is connected to the power. Then turn the power down,

2

A small portion of tiles are lit. Non of the single ended ones are in right place.
When you finish with this part, you will have a stair like shape that is descending through left.

3

Turn the power to the up. In the middle top, there are two single ended tiles which are connected to a T and I tile. Turn those T and I in horizontal position and the majority of the tiles will be lit.

I don't know what I can say more because there are many details.

If you need more help, check

my blog, by clicking the sign near my name under this post. You will find the videos of all levels of Grid.

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Sarah Betambeau January 7, 2009 8:07 AM

Aygun - thank you so much, you are an absoute star and your english is just perfect! Thank you for taking the time to preserve the sanity of the Betambeau household!

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:) I am really glad to be able to help Betambeau household.
Yay!

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Wow. It got pretty hard by the end. I think the last one took me about 30 minutes. But I am now "the grid master!"

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Fibonacci January 20, 2009 2:39 AM

Hi all!!
Till lvl 27 there was no problem only a little with 25, but leting the game in peace for a couple days and getting back to it I managed to do it...
But lvl 28 is really hard!! The upper body-part won't stay in the perfect form :(

pls help with lvl 28

[Edit by Kayleigh]

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I love this game. I've beat it twice now and I'm going for a third time. I hope they make a sequel

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joeynow July 8, 2009 10:00 PM

Level 34!!

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joeynow July 25, 2009 3:11 PM

Grid Master!!!!!!

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Level 27 Solution!

I tried to take a screencap, but ended up being a bit late about it. You can see the actual in game solution, but the scene started to change. I went ahead and made a rough MS paint version for you guys needing the correct solution. Here's the link to the solution:

This level was a pain for me too. It took me 12 tries and the willpower to keep playing.

Enjoy the rest of the game!

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NashVOLcat October 11, 2009 12:14 PM

I have went through the levels so many times now I think I got them memorized.
I need more levels. Graphics are fine game play is fine just need more levels.
Please

Thanks

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orig67shelby November 19, 2009 5:04 AM

I need help on level 18. I have been trying and trying for over 24 hours. Please help

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Carny Asada December 1, 2009 2:11 PM

My (g+o) must be very high, because I came back to play this game because I finished Gridz and wanted more. Compared to the sequel, the early levels of Grid are ridiculously easy. But by the mid-teens, it started hitting an acceptable level of difficulty and now, in the 20s, I'm starting to pull my hair. I am impressed by how much challenge the designers were able to wring out of a single power source and look forward to becoming a Grid Master.

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i just didnt like it. the undo button is testament to the fact that the only way to keep this game interesting was to have puzzles where you absolutely had to undo. i hope i dont get hate replies just because i am the sole dissenter. most puzzle games i play have no undo because you can "reasonably" expect to solve the puzzles with brain power. i couldnt tell which way the tiles were connected and it seems like the designers purposely did that to add "difficulty" and then the undo button after testing to insure that it was "possible" to win and not have completely waste time and cause frustration. just my opinion. im not whining or yelling. i just didnt like the game and this is why.

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oh damn everything was pretty logical until now, I'm stuck on the 29. level and just can't do it. Everything is fine up until I get to a part where I start running in circles. I'm afraid I won't get any sleep because of it... :(

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