I can remember sitting on the living room floor with my grandmother playing games for hours. Nan, as she was affectionately called, always made me feel as though I were her favorite grandson, and she loved to play games with me. And it didn't matter much what game we played, whether it was marbles, cards, board games, or dominoes, we always had the best of times together. In fact, it's probably due to her love for playing games with me that I grew up loving to play games. I will always have her to thank for that.
And it was that same fond reminiscence that came to me when I first played Domino Pressure. Created by Taro Ito, a Japanese game developer whom publishes his work under the name GameDesign, this domino-toppling game transported me back to Nan's living room floor where rows of dominoes and blocks often stood, precariously on end, awaiting destruction.
The object of the game is to find the one domino that, when pushed, will cause the entire set to topple and squash the tomato.
You begin the game with 20 seconds on the timer, which is the time limit you have for finding, and clicking on, the correct domino. If you select the wrong one, you lose one (1) second off the timer for each domino you leave standing. The new timer then carries over to the next stage. If you lose all seconds off the timer, or if you do not click on a domino before the timer runs out, the game is over. You may skip up to three (3) stages in a game simply by clicking on one of the tomatoes in the bottom right of the play field.
As a bonus for selecting the correct domino, you will gain a few seconds to your timer if you had previously lost any seconds from it. How many you receive seems a bit arbitrary, though 20 is the maximum you can have at any time.
While it sounds fairly easy, configurations appear at random and many of them have been designed to give you trouble locating the one starting domino. Twenty seconds is not a lot of time to begin with, and it is very easy to pick the wrong domino and lose several seconds off the timer.
The graphics for the dominos, blocks, and shadows are simple yet effective in conveying perspective. Configurations can be easily rotated to give extra mileage to them. The implementation of the timer is a brilliant way to increase tension and provide additional reward.
Overall, it's an elegantly simple design, very easy to pick-up and play, and an excellent casual Web game. The only score in the game is the stage number you can reach. My best so far is 17. What's the best you can do?
My sincere gratitude to Remister for introducing me to this wonderful game. =)