Project Alnilam. Alnilam. Al-nil-am. Say that five times fast. Thankfully, Smartcode's simple puzzle game (also available for iOS and Android) is easier to explain than it is to pronounce. It's a game of green things, red things, and gray things. It's a game of spheres, cubes, and cylinders. It's a game where you must get all of the green shapes in the level to the goal of the same color, avoid dangerous red things, and do so in a limited number of moves. Use the arrow keys or a swipe of the mouse to move all the pieces on the board in the direction you you choose. The real trickery comes from the fact that each shape of piece moves in a different way: Balls roll along in one direction until they hit something, cubes move one space at a time, and cylinders do both, depending on whether you're moving them end-over-end or on their sides. All of this seems like a pretty good setup for a Unity-based puzzler, right? Until you realize, much like a rebel staring down the Death Star for the first time, that's no Unity. That's Flash, and if you think the care and attention given to the graphics is impressive, just wait til you get to the rest of it, baby!
Project Alnilam's attention to detail doesn't stop with the shiny, shimmery, modern-art-deco-y graphics. (Although there is a small, harmless visual glitch if you change the graphics' quality on the title screen.) This is a devious, dangerous, mind-squeezer of a puzzle game guaranteed to leave you scratching your head at least once. Many of its solutions require out-of-the-box thinking, especially where that move limit is concerned. It's all too easy to find yourself in a position where you're just one move away from being able to get that ball and that cylinder into the goal at the same time, but you spent your last move getting them into place, and now you've got to figure out how to optimize your motions. Yet the clever simplicity the levels demand makes for real lightbulb moments once you figure them out. There's even a helpful undo button to help you try out different solutions!...Though you will have to restart if you use up ALL of your moves. The game is also quite well-balanced. There's only three distinct piece shapes, but three is all it needs. It provides several different motion styles for you to keep track of without being an overload. The concept's good, the levels are good, and the prettiness is darn good. Project Alnilam is pure puzzling deliciousness ready to test your spatial awareness and your ability to think ahead.
Project Alnilam (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad)
"do so in a limited number of moves."
Like timers, I always find these a lazy way of making puzzles harder.
@jeblis: Actually they're not that strict, and in quite many levels you can go under the move limit.
Though, the number of levels are worrying - only 60 in the mobile versions as of speaking. I finished all it in like within an hour or so.
Just had a crazy glitch on lvl 29. The axis of the cylinders suddenly were not parallel or perpendicular to the board. They were suddenly canted at about a 30 degree angle and instead of rolling, were tumbling all the way across the board a** over teakettle. It was pretty fun!
You can sometimes explode the green ball with an orange ball without the game telling you there was an illegal explosion.
You can also rotate the board and look at it from the underside if you keep doing a move that causes no balls to move.
I learned those two things on level level 11. I'm also stuck on level 11. :-(
The weird rotated nature of the way the board is oriented makes it sometimes difficult to remember which direction is which.
Also, if you zoom the browser window to make the game bigger, the fading vignette doesn't also expand, so you end up with a weird rectangle in the upper left corner.
Now I'm stuck on level 12.
Power of the post help me with level 21! :-D
Woo. I got to the end. But, I watched some youtube walkthroughs a few times because I wasn't really that into this game. Just sort of kept at it to waste time.
BTW the android game is not free. Just thought you should know.
Firstly, thanks Smartcode for making a great 3D style game without the changing viewpoint which makes many games unplayable to those of us who get motion-sickness.
While I'm loving the puzzles, I'm getting soooo frustrated with the move limit. Sometimes you just need to fiddle around with the puzzle to find the answer and the 'out of moves' model doesn't allow this.
I strongly suggest moving to the model of a 'goal' number of moves is provided, but gameplay is not stopped when number of moves is reached - this would make a really nice game much more playable.
How did you get through 11?
Use the orange balls to release the other orange balls and the last orange ball releases the green one. It goes in a kind of circle.
L D R U L
Thanks. Now I'm stuck on 21.
You'n me're havin' the same difficulties. :-)
The solution to level 21 is
to press the gray blocks into the white ones at the bottom by
D L D D R