Remember the Jelly Jumper from a Link Dump a while back? Well, the glowing jiggly dude is back, and this time he's brought his friends! Er, enemies. 'Cause you usually don't blow your friends to smithereens.
Jelly Battle pits your Jelly gender-nondescript person against three others in a multiplayer, turn-based, fast-paced, destruction-laden, free-for-all battle OF DOOM!!! It's also one of those dastardly games that make it oh-so-easy to play "just one more round."
Use the mouse to jump around the playing field, landing on weapons and power-ups, while hopefully avoiding the mines. The field will shift down one row mid-jump, so aim one square lower than the space you want to land in. All four players will land at the same time. Then, the squares will activate in the following order (there's a lot of possible order combinations, so please excuse me if I am slightly mistaken):
- Handbag power-ups activate in a random order.
- Teleporters move the jellies to a new random location.
- Debonus removes any power-ups from enemy jellies.
- Other non-weapon squares are activated (healers, mines, Triple Jump, Freeze, Shield, Jelly Rage, Invisible) in a random order.
- Weapons (Air Strike, Handbag, Nuke, Random Drop, Laser, Blast) fire in a random order.
To get you started, there's a tutorial, as well as three AI difficulties of the real game. It shouldn't take you too long to master these levels before you are ready to enter the multiplayer arena. Like Zwok! and other quickie multiplayer games, you do not need to bother with setting up a game and inviting others to join. Just click "Multiplayer" and the game will put you in a foursome to wage battle.
By providing a sizable range of weapons and bonuses, Jelly Battle creates a number of different possible strategies for victory. However, the short time in which you have to choose your next move requires you to think on your feet to avoid mistakes. Ideally, you'd like to try and predict each player's next move, but in reality there just isn't time. Your best bets are to figure out a few key things to check for when planning your move, such as if there is a Nuke within jumping range of another player, or avoiding landing on a spot next to a Blast within jumping range of another player. If you can learn to check for the big stuff by habit, you'll avoid enough damage to hopefully outlast your enemies and attacking them when they are trying to heal.
On the surface, Jelly Battle seems to be highly dependent on luck, and in very specific cases, that's true. It's difficult to completely avoid in a game where the board is generated randomly, weapons fire in a random order, weapon targets are randomly selected, and ties are randomly broken (when two or more jellies land on the same square, only one stays and the rest get knocked into adjacent squares.) There are situations where you can lose 100% of your life simply by attempting to enter the same square as another jelly and losing. However, cases this drastic are rare, due to the generous selection of options offered to each player. In the middle of the board, you can jump to any of 25 squares, although in the corners it can reduce to as few as 9. Still, having that many choices goes a long way in overcoming the effects of a lousy streak of luck, or avoiding one altogether.
At some point it may ask you to register (it is, after all, an advergame for Logitech), but I found I was able to play on after registration without ever leaving the site, so you can simply enter fake info if you are wary of providing the real stuff.
So, if you're in the market for an addictive, fast-paced strategy battle game, give Jelly Battle a shot. Betcha can't play just once!