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Totem Destroyer

  • Currently 4.7/5
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Rating: 4.7/5 (247 votes)
Comments (57) | Views (6,851)

totemdestroyer.jpgGrimmrookWe've all played that game. You know, the one with the wooden blocks stacked up like a tower that has the uncanny ability to turn the most reserved of adults into a group of six year olds on a sugar rush while you nervously load test each and every single block as you try and remove it without sending the whole tottering structure collapsing with a magnificent crash.

Yeah, that game.

Now, thanks to the efforts of Gabriel Ochsenhofer, the very same who brought you Armor Picross 2, you can savor the very best of the classic party game without all the annoying side effects. Side effects like spending half an hour just stacking the tower in the first place, or chasing down that last wayward piece after a particularly good crash, or, my least favorite, having to endure your brother in law jumping around the room screaming, "IN YO FACE!" for a minimum of twenty minutes.

Totem Destroyer is, to say the least, an ironic name for this little jewel of a puzzler, considering that the very last thing you want to do is destroy the totem. The goal of each level is to instead retrieve the tiny golden little idol unharmed. Doing so is easier said than done, however. Keeping you from your prize is the precariously stacked structure upon which its perched. Your goal is to selectively destroy the required number of blocks for each stage without letting the totem touch the ground.

You will find in your hunt for priceless totems black blocks which can't be destroyed, normal brown blocks which can be destroyed, and green blocks which are equally destructable, but throw some added challenge into the mix with their bounciness. Whips, Fedoras, and the ability to outrun giant boulders won't be needed on this expedition, just your wits and a little luck.

Analysis: There's very little to find wrong with this game. The physics upon which it is balanced (heh) are incredibly well done. I did eventually find it unusual that the longer blocks landed so easily standing up, but even this little hiccup is one that I didn't notice until after level twenty. Beyond that, the physics really make the game; providing a natural feeling reaction to your every move that is predictable enough to plot your moves yet provides just enough randomness to keep you second guessing. Also, the dead time between when you can destroy blocks at first feels like a game flaw until you realize that it forces you to slow down and find a logical way to reach your goal as opposed to just clicking like mad and hoping the totem lands on one of the indestructable black blocks.

One criticism is the fact that successfully completing a level is determined by destroying a requisite number of blocks. For many levels this works fine, but for many this puts you in a situation where the totem is safe and low and you are just gratuitously clicking blocks that are out of play. Further, once you've reached the goal, you aren't allowed to destroy any more blocks, which sometimes puts you in a situation where if you could just destroy one more your totem is safe, but instead you have to watch as it slides down to the deadly grass below while you remain helpless to do anything about it. An alternative possibility might be to have a line below which you could bring the totem so that you could "reach" it.

The other quibble I have with the game is that it's just too short. At 25 levels, you should be able to work your way through in a relatively brief amount of time, and while we are promised at the end that more is to come, by the time the game is over you're going to be wanting some more NOW! And indeed, this game screams for a level editor option where players can build their own devious towers for others to try and deconstruct safely.

But these are minor annoyances and won't take away from the game's inherent charm and seemingly infinite possibilities. Thanks to the underlying physics, there are numerous logical solutions to each puzzle, as well as a few that can be reached through some good old fashioned luck. And when you're done, you don't even have to hunt down all the blocks so you can put them away in your closet.

Play Totem Destroyer


Vogonviking July 10, 2008 9:35 AM

A nice little game but I am stuck on level 5! I'm sure someone will help me soon :)


yay yay yay...
i have finished it :p
i think the thought at all not the last level.
but level 24 :p


finished it quite quickly
the last level isnt the hardest, i thought that level 16 and 21 was harder.


finished it!
Throughly enjoyed the game, hard enough to keep you engaged, not not too hard till you pull your hair out.
Also, achievements are fun to get!


Great concept. I found from about 10 on (except for 21) I pretty much didn't need to plan at all, just click and react. Would have liked more of a thinking game I suppose, but can't say I didn't have fun.


The game from your first paragraph is Jenga... I think...


Got my score down to 191 seconds. Most of the levels the limiting factor was the recharge time. I suppose the trick to the ultra-low scores is

to get the blocks to fly off the screen so you don't have to click them.


Great game! Got up to level 24.


Thumbs Up for Totem Destroyer. I hope Gabriel Ochsenhofer decides to add more levels.

It's not rocket science... it's the essence of casual gameplay. Simple but adequate graphics, pleasant soundtrack that compliments the storyline (it would be nice to add a sound off/on feature), auto save so you can come back later if interrupted.

I liked the fact that it automatically reloads a level if you don't succeed. A simple feature but one that more designers should think about employing. I know I failed, and I just want to try it again!

It's unpredictable enough for me to want to come back and replay. It's definately more fun than "that game". :-)

Nice offering Gabriel!

Sheer_Cold July 10, 2008 12:38 PM

I'm pretty much stuck. I'm laying on a black brick, and there's a green block with only 1 COLUMN OF PIXELS SHOWING. And 1 more to click. Fix this. Please.

Tranchera July 10, 2008 12:46 PM

I don't like that if I click on two blocks quickly and move my mouse over a different block before the second block is removed, it'll remove that different block instead.

That's the only thing I can find wrong with this game though. That and the shortness! :/

Horrigan July 10, 2008 1:05 PM

Finished it. Won't play such games anymore. Stupid, stupid Tot!


I loved this game all thru. All 25 levels were challenging anough but not nearly impossible. None required thorough pre-planning.
All thumbs.


O.O It refuses to work when I press play. It seems to load very stop-starty as well. I updated my flash and it still failed to work.


Fun game. Reminds me a lot of Boom Blox on the Wii.

Armor games is really kicking butt lately, it has become one of my regular casual game spots.


not sure if it's the game's fault. Maybe your computers'? See, lots of us played it with no problem...

Shostie July 10, 2008 2:31 PM

Just finished it. Level 24 is a doozy. I think I beat it by dumb luck.


Anyone have any hints for 24? All the others were pretty easy to plan out, this one is making my head hurt.



I can't seem to get anything that's going to work every time, but this seems to usually put me in a good spot:

As you're starting, frantically click the third from the top (second green block down). As soon as you take that out, start frantically going at the bottom block until it's gone.

This should leave you with two green blocks and the brown one balancing on top with the idol roughly centered. Sometimes (best I can tell, it comes down to luck here) it just falls, but it won't a fair number of times too. Watch the sway and try to take out the upper green block to move the idol to the center (take it out when the idol is moving towards the center but is not past it). Now you can do either from here if you're centered. If not you're pretty much sunk.

I have gotten this one is about four seconds, but I can't seem to repeat that.

Ainegue July 10, 2008 4:15 PM

Fun, but easy. I think level 16 was the hardest.


For the the first few levels,

you can just remove the blocks from the top one at a time, then try try to just let it sit on the ground

then later

you can just get Tot over one black indestructible block, and remove everything else.

For those "building" type ones,

just try to get the Tot to slide sideways by remove a block holding up another block.

For those "other ones,"

just get the block resting on 1 or 2 blocks already on the ground.

For the "Snake" type stacks that you all seem to be having trouble with for some reason:

Level 5

From top to bottom and ignoring the ones that have been already deleted by clicking (so if it's 1231, it'd be 1 block under the top block, then 2 blocks, then 3 blocks, etc):1,1,2,1,1

Level 24

Try to make sure the tower is leaning to the LEFT before you click something, then once it's hovering directly over the black block, try to keep it centered there: 1,2,1,1,1 (read Level 5 spoiler if you don't get it)

Fun game, but could use some more. Like a level editor and different blocks and stuff... dunno.

Ainegue July 10, 2008 4:28 PM


Enter cheat codes in the box in Settings.
sicktot - Menu's AI idol turns green like the Hulk.
crazyai - Menu's AI destroy blocks faster, making it easy to get the Virtual Mastermind achievement.
goths - In-game idol turns black and Goth-ish.
voteforpedro - Unlocks all levels.
thisisnotalevel - Code for secret "bonus" level that's not really a level because it's ridiculously easy.

Patreon Crew SonicLover July 10, 2008 4:44 PM

For the record, Grimm, you were thinking of Jenga.

ThemePark July 10, 2008 5:05 PM

This game by far has the best credits screen I have ever seen in a game. ^^


Nice credits sequence. And yeah, a level editor would be cool.

The overall game was pretty fun. Level 24 took me the longest. Here's a couple of tips from how I beat it:

I took out the brown block last and used the swaying of the tower to try to position the idol right above the black block. Try to be patient and let the blocks settle as much as possible.


Tons of fun. Epitomizes the idea of a "casual game."


It's not working for me when I click play either. I've got the debug player on this machine, and i'm getting this error. Hopefully someone from the game will see this?

TypeError: Error #1009: Cannot access a property or method of a null object reference.
at TotemDestroyer/MusicMenuStop()
at totemFinal_fla::submenu_play_61/goSack()


Sounds like a Flash Player versioning issue. What version are you running, jaykay?


I really liked this game. Challenging to play, but never so challenging as to be frustrating. Nice look and feel, too. Very well done all around.


The realistic physics of this game and the "you gotta fall inward" strategy are excellent. This reminds me a lot of a typical good game from the early Casual Games contests.


I love the idea, but I wish the game's puzzle aspect is a bit more pronounced.

Too many levels (if not all) can be solved by random clicking and trying to land the totem on the lower black block. Since this "landing" block is almost always at the center, almost every level boils down to "don't let the structure collapse on the side". What's worse, even if the structure DOES collapse, odds are good the totem will land safely on the block somewhere and the level is essentially solved.

Nevertheless, the game is a pretty fun distraction and I enjoy the overall physics engine it uses. I hope designer further develops this idea and we see a much more difficult and puzzle-oriented sequel.

Anonymous July 11, 2008 8:24 AM

Brilliant little game, one of the only games I have bothered to play to the end!!!!


Nice game, if a bit easy.

But I'm mostly commenting because I've just noticed this site doesn't seem to force usernames to be unique! That "Dom" up there... isn't me. Weird system! :-/


Usernames must be unique, but your display name may be anything you like.

I see it as a feature, because you can still be "Dom" even if someone else had that username first.

You could add a "(UK)" or something afterwards, or some other prefix or suffix to further identify you as unique. :)


Okay, has any one else had a problem trying to submit their highscore? I've been trying to get all the achievements, and the final one remaining is submitting my highscore, but every time I try it seems to just lock up and do nothing. It says its been submitting for the last 30 minutes... :(

Any ideas?

boyofcheese July 11, 2008 10:57 PM

What is That game, it sounds interesting

mexicanwave July 12, 2008 6:52 AM

This games is great. I love games like this. you know, physics based puzzle games. They're great! kudos to whoever made this.


Just finished great game, but a lot of levels were won by luck more than anything,I really like the auto reload feature. More levels and a build your own level option would be good

Cassie! :D July 13, 2008 3:56 PM

I finally did level 16!


I've just completed all the achievements. No other reward though... :(


Great game. Actually, I think that the pause between allowable clicks is there to force you to make each move stand on its own. Many times there are two blocks that serve as counterweights. Being allowed to click both in rapid succession would be just like pulling the tablecloth out from under the dishes in one move when subtler strategies are wanted.


I cannot figure out how to do 16 for the life of me.

J0e Cool619 July 16, 2008 8:15 AM

On level 24 if you want to beat it, if you notice, the tower swings back and forwards. when the blocks start to head towards the middle of the swing. Click any block to slide them even.


Ainegue July 17, 2008 9:23 PM

I enjoy this game well enough,
but something it REALLY needs is... well, more.

The creator of this game obviously tried to give the game "more" - with the useless Cheats Codes and the plainly time wasting Achievements.
Perhaps in place of that they could fix up the graphics a bit, or add some sound for the bricks falling, or make the levels a tad bit harder (like level 16). This is a great concept, but I feel like part of it is wasted. This could be so much better...

I supposed the worse part of the game is that it seems ridiculously easy. It's as if it slowly gets harder and harder, and then right in the middle the difficulty goes right back down.

Overall, though the game is fun and challenging at times, at others it's just the opposite - it just doesn't seem fun enough.


I'm italian and i'm playing this game. wat's the ai menu?


I am having the same problem as Dom was, it loads fine, but when I click on the Play/Continue button, nothing happens. Everything else on the menu works fine.

Anonymous July 21, 2008 9:21 AM

im stuck on lv 9 ive tryed it at least 35 times somebody help me


I can't verify this for sure, but it looks like the problem with it not working when you click 'Play' is due to lack of an audio device.

Cassie! :D July 25, 2008 6:35 PM

yay i beat it! ;D

Anonymous =O July 26, 2008 12:37 PM

Ok....there was a game rather like this on this site a little while ago. It involved getting a certain number of blocks off the playing field and you used a cannon-type thing that shot balls at them...there were like slimy kind of blocks and explosive blocks and it waas in a different language....anyone know what I'm talking about? I loved that game but now I can't find it...


I believe the game is called Boom Blox. It's actually a game for the Nintendo Wii, but we featured a Flash demo version of it a while back in a Link Dump Friday:



I couldn't figure out how to submit high scores.

Anonymous October 17, 2008 2:49 PM

I can't get past level 11.

Any ideas on what I should do?


I can't get past level 24! Please help


How do you do level 16???
i need someones help ive been doing it for ages!!!!


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