Link Dump Friday №87

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Link Dump Fridays

JohnBThis week's Link Dump Friday reminds me of baking soda, white vinegar, and a dab of dish soap. Well, not so much the concoction itself, but its many varied cleaning uses. Well, not really the cleaning part, more of the — you know, I just saw the word "bubble" and thought about the mixture. There, I said it. I feel better now.

  • icon_assembler.gifAssembler - A fun little physics toy/puzzle game where you move boxes to hold the green box in the outlined goal. Where you grab shapes determines how they move, adding a nice realistic feel to the whole thing. And I love slinging things around and listening to the satisfying sound effects!
  • icon_bubblespinner.gifBubble Spinner - Clear all the bubbles from the board and score as many points as possible. All you have to do is fire and create groups of three. The mass of bubbles is affected by your shots and spins, so move it wisely and prevent it from growing to the edge of the screen.
  • icon_expeditionweek.gifExpedition Week - Created to promote National Geographic's Expedition Week, the online game tie-in sends you on a series of hidden object quests to earn stamps and cash that allows you to customize your avatar. $200 white t-shirt, anyone?
  • icon_pitchblack.gifPitch Black - Billed as an online cartoon puzzle game, Pitch Black features a series of comic-style panels you must drag and arrange in the correct order. There's no speech to fuss with, so use clues in the illustrations to guide you.
  • icon_sugarcubes.gifSugar Cubes - A short movie by Nekogames guru Yoshio Ishii, author of Cursor*10, Hoshi Saga, and more. Stylish and abstractly interesting, it features a series of vignettes showing sugarcubes going about their not-so-daily lives. Is it wrong for me to be emotionally moved by sliding cubes?


Pitch black could really use some kind of feedback to tell you if you're on the right track...


Last level of assembler was really a pain !!!
Otherwise the game is really fun and nice !


Yeah. I don't know what the proper way to do the last level of Assembler is, because I'm pretty sure that's not what I did!

honeybeebear November 7, 2008 2:19 AM

i have no clue about the pictures order....except I'm fairly certain that

the boy putting the dvd in, than the boy switching the tv on, than the black screen

but I'm not sure exactly where in the sequence they go


Well, the basic story of the strip, as far as I can figure is

Boy wakes up, gets ready for work, goes to work, realizes it's sunday, gets dvd, gets groceries, turns on tv, tv breaks, wakes up realizing it was a dream

But I can't figure out the exact sequence


Got it!

Wake up, brush teeth, check fridge, drink coffee, check watch, car dies, push to subway, got on subway, notice poster, smile by video store, get video, get groceries, put in dvd, turn on tv, go dark, wake up monday.


The ending for Assembler was very anti-climactic. It's fun but very short. I wonder what sort of stuff people would come up with if it had a level editor.


Can't seem to get my type-key or JIG membership to work but wanted to say well done to Yoshio Ishii for Sugarcubes and also to JIG for putting it up there.

As a film-maker who is utterly passionate about games (and by default so passionate about JIG)it's really nice to see the crossover between the two so evident and equally that it's being presented here.

There's the continual debate about games and films and people tend to slip easily into thinking about the Tomb Raider game/film side of the debate however it's films like Yoshi's that show it's more in depth than that. I'd say that Sugarcubes has a stronger link between the two with something like the Knytt series being the balance on the other side.

It's more about feelings, aesthetics, sound and a sense of thought being expressed in the same medium that makes me think that the bond is one closer shown in games presented here.

Well done everyone, you make me happy to be part of both worlds!



My health plan won't cover any of these glasses. =(

Is there a rule as far as game-making goes regarding the amount of set-up/avatar-customization time one should build into a game vs. the amount of time spent actually playing the game?

stupidcheeseboy November 7, 2008 8:09 AM

Hey JohnB !
Another great LDF to finish my week with a smile.
Thank you

Anyone want to share their wisdom on level8 of Assembler...they're all round and rolly y'know?


About Bubble Spinner.
I loved the original game! And this one has a very interesting twist. However, I belive they crossed the line between challenging and frustrating. the extra balls come way too fast.


Cheeseboy, for the level with lots of barrels and a couple sticks:

You need to make a pyramid.

Put the two sticks horizontally, one in the bottom left and one in the bottom right.

Then place the barrels between them to make a nice stack, with the green barrel at the top.



Take the two long beams and lay them on the ground long side down at opposite edges of the play field. You're using them as "stops" so that in between them you can build a pyramid of the round barrels. The topmost barrel in the pyramid will be exactly where the target circle is - what a coincidence! :)


I cried at the end of cubes

Where the cubes all break :(

Is that wrong?


level 8 on assembler

you need to build a pyramid to get the green ball to the top

put the boards (flat pieces) flat on the ground on both sides and build up the balls between them

stupidcheeseboy November 7, 2008 12:56 PM

oh yeah! thanks read!


For level 8, I found another way:

Tear down the barrels.
Put one board horizontally across a 1-deep layer of barrels.
Put the other board vertically on top of this one directly under the goal.
Put the key barrel on top.

Rather elegant :)


My cat would like everyone to know that Bubble Spinner is a very good game, especially if you have a nice human whose lap you can sit on, and who will let you occasionally give the screen a poke to see if you can catch one of those bubbles.


Aww, tigrita, that has to be the cutest comment I've seen here in a long time! ^_^

Chasmosaur November 7, 2008 2:29 PM

"Walkthrough" for Pitch Black


Jai had the storyline correct - Guy wakes up and gets ready for work, realizing it's Sunday, goes home and then realizes it was all a dream.


PICTURE ORDER (Broken down into rows and pictures in case you think you've ALMOST got it)

Row 1 (Pics 1-4)


Guy waking up, seeing clock says 6:30.


Guy brushing teeth.


Guy opening refrigerator and finding it empty


Guy drinking coffee.

Row 2 (Pics 5-8)


Guy walking out to his garage.


Guy not able to start his car.


Guy angry in the street on the way to subway (see the sign in the upper right corner of the panel).


Guy on subway.

Row 3 (Pics 9-12)


Guy seeing "Sunday Sale" sign.


Guy smiling in front of "Video City".


Guy picking out a DVD.


Guy buying groceries.

Row 4 (Pics 13-16)


Guy putting DVD in machine.


Guy turning on TV/DVD.


Lights going out.


Guy wakes up and sees it's 6:20 on Monday (see calendar on wall).


FULL PICTURE ORDER (not broken down):

You sure? This is the whole thing...

1. Guy waking up, seeing clock says 6:30
2. Guy brushing teeth
3. Guy opening refrigerator and finding it empty.
4. Guy drinking coffee.
5. Guy walking out to his garage
6. Guy not able to start his car
7. Guy angry in the street on the way to subway (see the sign in the upper right corner of the panel)
8. Guy on subway
9. Guy seeing "Sunday Sale" sign
10. Guy smiling in front of "Video City"
11. Guy picking out a DVD
12. Guy buying groceries
13. Guy putting DVD in machine
14. Guy turning on TV/DVD
15. Lights going out
16. Guy wakes up and sees it's 6:20 on Monday (see calendar on wall)



Regarding Bubble Spinner, you might be making the same mistake I initially did. The extra balls aren't timed, but instead are related to how often you don't make matches. At the bottom of the screen, there's a row of dark grey bubbles. One of them will disappear every time you shoot and don't make a match. When the last one disappears, you get extra balls thrown at you, and the row comes back.

The only thing I can't figure out is what determines how full the row is when it comes back. I've had it come back with one miss available, or sometimes with six.


Assembler was fun but very short. Not too difficult.

Bubble Spinner needs more explanation. As Vlad says (it took me a while to work out too) you only get a "wave" of new bubbles when you run out of grey bubble "lives". You start with 6, and when you've failed to eliminate a set of bubbles six times, more bubbles are added and you get 5 more lives. Then 4, then 3, and so on until you have just one life. Then it resets to 6 lives again.

The strategy is to always try to eliminate bubbles if you can, regardless of how the thing spins.

Expedition Week - good, but seems a bit buggy - sometimes I click an item, and the game registers both the item and a failed click. Also, does it end? Do I have to fill up all 100 passport pages?

Pitch Black - I had to resort to hints from the comments to solve it :(

Sugar Cubes - meh.



Thanks, that's good information! I didn't know that. Cant't answer your question, though. One of the most frustrating things was that sometimes I get extra balls twice in a roll! miss -> extra balls. Miss -> extra balls.


I wonder if the creator of Bubble Spinner had in mind the goal of completing the game, or whether the goal is simply to rack up as many points as possible before you die. The instructions are ambiguous.


@ zxo

I managed to clear the board once (racking up 2008 points in the end) - the game continues but you get +2 for each bubble cleared rather than +1.

Anonymous November 8, 2008 6:17 PM

I'm having some difficulty with the level with

4 right-angled triangles, one long stick and two short sticks

Any help?


Expedition Week:

Like Tom, I have also experienced the problem where an item is clicked successfully, it's removed from inventory and then points have been deducted.

As you progress the levels get very pixel sensitive and you have you make sure you are exactly on the item and nowhere near the edge of it.

Any help on identifying the following would be appreciated:

round thingie; test subject; sky blue lightweight; and Georgia's Finest

Also where is the

radiation sign in the underwater scene?



An enjoyable variety of selections JohnB. I think Assembler was my favorite.


@ Blue

You can use some tools to identify clues.

Round thingie

Wheel (of stone)

Test subject


Georgia's Finest


Radiation sign

It's a brown symbol on the large ship in the foreground, between the dolphin and the badminton shuttlecock ("birdie").


I may be 14 and have a short attention span, but sugar cubes was one of the most boring things I have ever watched in my life...


I'm really enjoying Bubble Spinner, and I normally bore very easily with Snood-type games. Excellent challenge.

@Diego & @Vlad:
It looks to me like you start with six grey balls, but each time the extra balls fly in, you get five, then four, and so on, until you only get one, then it starts back over at six.

604 points is my record so far :)

Michlerish December 4, 2008 3:44 PM

Expedition Week is very annoying, with the overly-sensitive click.
If I click, and it's correct, why subtract time from the SAME click!?

I really like Hidden Object games, but this one is buggy.


The scene in Sugar Cubes with the stairs made me sad, for some reason. I guess that it was mainly because most of the cubes got left behind.


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