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Yin Yang

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Rating: 4.7/5 (48 votes)
Comments (223) | Views (16,149)
PatrickYin YangIn Yin Yang, the latest Nitrome game, twin gods team up across two parallel universes to beat level 25. Yin is a cackly faced imp boy who seems like a pared down Bart Simpson trapped in a blindingly white everlasting noon. Yang is a plucky bolt of Shakti energy, wandering the dark as a rare night-lite. They take turns exploring their respective universes, moving boxes (yeah! boxes!) and climbing ladders, flipping gravity. There's a dragon that will mimic your move in the other world.

The [left] and [right] arrow keys move you about, [up] jumps, [space] flips the screen, the [control] button moves boxes and reads signs. Get to the flags. Coins are good.

Analysis: Nitrome again delivers an interesting exploration of a concept, a platformer about metaphysical duality, and it offers a healthy plate of puzzle-levels to allow you to absorb all the flavors. Unfortunately, level design seems tailored to a more traditional kind of platformer, one about moving and avoiding enemies, performing key jump sequences, timing yourself, dodging through a gauntlet of spiked walls. This creates the situation of unnecessary death far too frequently; you have to replay the whole thing again, retracing all steps. Having a Braid-esque re-wind function or faster movement would help, or maybe check-points even. Designing more evenly paced, cerebral, riddle-like levels would've been more on point to the underlying dynamic of Yin and Yang, tag-teaming folds in time-space.

You can sort of take advantage of time-warping when you flip gravity. Its tricky, while its flipping you'll want to push the key opposite of the direction you want to go in. As soon as it completes the flip, switch keys, you'll roll right in that direction.

I really like seeing these platform games that start playing with things other than platforms. Reinvent a genre as many ways as possible, because a genre is only a mechanic, there are so many mechanic-sets that can make good gameplay. Its not like the casual-game equivalent of inventing Cold Fusion, but its probably as good as a Domino's Oreo dessert pizza.

Play Yin Yang

The game is also available to Play at MTV Arcade

Update 2: Although it looks as if the idea for this game came directly from a game design concept on another blog, Mat Annal of Nitrome assures me that the idea for Yin Yang is entirely their own:
"We really thought we had struck something interesting so it was disappointing to find that someone had had the same basic idea and had it before we had it and I understand people thinking we must have seen it."
"The idea isn't really that hard to fall upon if you're coding games in a certain way. We have used the bitmapData object most of our games since Sandman and basically what this does is allow you access to the pixel data of a bitmap so you can manipulate it (we used it for the sand in sandman which is why we started using it). If you're using it to make a platform game then it is logical to use different colours in a collision layer to represent different things you might collide with (red= ground/walls, blue=ice, yellow=keys etc). When you're coding like this it's not a giant leap to come up with the idea to have different things to act differently with the colours. I think the only reason nobody has came up with this before is that nobody really uses the bitmap data object for platform type games (they would tend to use tiles or vector line collision instead and then you wouldn't use colours as a way to interact with things). We could have had more colours involved but it made sense to not overcomplicate it and when you only have two black and white is the obvious choice."
-Mat Annal, Nitrome


I was wondering if anyone else had noticed how this is almost exactly the same idea that Sean Howard/Squidi has talked about in his blog nonstop for like 5 years


I absolutely noticed this. I really hope he sent some info to Nitrome, because there is no way these sort of things just pop into existence by coincidence.


This game is cool, but it would be nice if it were a little faster. Also: friggin' stop making me lose health when I jump on a worm to kill it! This part of the game is very frustrating -- it's hit and miss as to whether you'll kill a worm when you jump on it or whether you'll just lose health, to the point where it's almost advantageous to not jump on worms at all.


I was thinking the exact same thing...


Same here. I mean, wtf? And sometimes it KILLS you!


Aaaaa - the floor! It's turning around! But seriously: The colour puzzle thing here is really cool (though it seems that Nitrome can't take all the credits for the idea). Graphics are nice but I found the game too frustrating at this time of the day (it's half past ten p.m. over here). Well, I never liked level-stopping spikes anyway.


If you guys want to kill the worms 100% of the time, jump on its head, dont aim for the body. That's what I've noticed when dying from them too.


On level two - I cannot seem to jump past the spike floor gap - I push the white box in and get on the box - but when I try to jup the rest of the way across - my head just hits the ceilibg and I fall on teh spikes!

Anybody have a suggestion?


NEVERMIND - I was going the wrong way!


If you guys want to kill the worms 100% of the time, jump on its head, dont aim for the body. That's what I've noticed when dying from them too.


coolbetti, dont bother with trying to jump over the spikes.

Get Yin (black) to go below the spikes, then switch to Yang and go back up the ladder upto where you grabbed the white box then switch again and go towards the goal, then push the black box into the pit and switch and Yang should be able to jump high enough and over the wall to the goal.


Not a huge fan of these switch character games, but Nitrome has definitely jumped up from their Dangle-Toxic-Magic Touch slump. It's a little slow, which, along with the aforementioned worm problem, made me lose interest after awhile, but at least Nitrome is getting better.


answer to the spike floor:

Don't go past it - climb the ladder.


Once again, my interest in a good concept is hindered by sluggish game mechanics and a poor hit detection system with enemies. I feel like Nitrome needs to improve upon the former, mostly, especially since I feel like a number of their games suffer from this problem. I liked Platform Game better.

Sean Howard September 18, 2007 5:27 PM

They didn't give me any credit at all. That's kind of... sleazy... Or is that just me being selfish?


Wow, such a good idea, so badly implemented. Squidi's blog was the first thing I thought of when I saw this, too, but he was never planning on enacting any of his game ideas. He would have been fine with Nitrome taking the concept and running with it. But I'm pretty sure he would have wanted the platform mechanics to feel a lot more solid than this. About the third time a worm randomly killed me, I gave up on it. And why are all of Nitrome's games so slow?

The_Corruptor September 18, 2007 5:37 PM

I agree. Like all nitrome games, it's a great game idea built with great graphics on top of a very 'round corner' world. That's great, but there's far too much grey area in the hit detection for me to ever get into one of the games very much.

The exception is hot air 2, which is a wonderful game much because of it's excellent hit detection (due to likely, the player being two circles, whose hit detection is easy-ish.


Sean: I think it's pretty sleazy, since the idea is such a blatant build on your outline. Nitrome's getting less impressive with everything they do lately. The MTVGames link makes me think they've been slinging as many ripped-off, half-baked games as possible in hopes of attracting corporate sponsorship.


To those who have little or no love for the worms, but would rather not jump on them: A no-risk way of killing them is pushing a crate into them.


PS: I like the Lemmings sound when you finish a level, and I like the fat birds (no pun intended).


I finally beat it


Hey Dan, is lvl 20 the final one?


Ladies and gentleman, my name is Crocker The Great, and I'm here today to show you a little magic trick I call "THE DISAPPEARING BOXES" (some of you who don't like magic might call it a "bug"): if you push two crates onto each other (separated by the dimensional line), they become invisible! Don't you believe it? Well, I will show you: Push a black box onto a certain spot and switch characters (which must be upside-down compared to the other one). With the other character, push a white box onto the black box. Now switch characters again: where did those boxes go?


Thanks, thanks, next week I'll be doing the "INVINCIBLE WORM TRICK": you can jump on it as much as you want, but the one who ends up dieing is YOU! Don't miss it!

P.S.: Popcorn not included.


After playing it a bit longer, I have to say that this is definitely not up to par with Nitrome's usual stuff. I am pretty disappointed with this game, especially since the concept is novel and very cool (despite wherever the original idea came from). The game disappoints in a number of respects:

  1. No, jumping on a worm's head does not guarantee success. I originally thought that's what I was doing wrong, too. But there are plenty of times when I clearly jumped on a worm's head and I get hurt instead of it dying. There is clearly some problem with hit detection here.

  2. Bug: if there are multiple boxes stacked on top of one another, and you pull the bottom one out only slightly, the ones on top fall slowly and they keep going past the ground.

  3. Bug: I can sometimes get one of the characters to stand on no ground at all. Pic

  4. Jumping in certain places gives surprisingly little headroom. In particular, when playing level 10 and trying to jump with the black character over the very tall pits, the tiny little hair of the character is what seems to determine how far vertically I can jump, and made me fall into the pits numerous times. That little hair should not get in the way of jumping higher than looks possible.

  5. Spikes: I was a bit disappointed that while you die when you land on spikes, you don't similarly die if you jump up into ceiling-hanging spixes that are created by the positive/negative space effect.

  6. Sometimes unintended things occur due to level design. At one point (in one of the earlier levels), I got to the flag with one of the characters but then, through the magic of moving boxes, I was able to drop him entirely off the screen! Luckily I had already gotten to the flag so I was still able to win the level without restarting.

  7. On that note, sometimes you have to get to the flag with a character multiple times. Sometimes I come to a flag and I get the audible alert that I've successfully touched it, and then switch to get the other character to his flag and get the sound. However, sometimes I have to switch back and move the first character again a little bit before the level is officially won. This needs to be clarified: do I need to just touch the flag once, or do I need to have both at the flags at the same time?

  8. Other little glitches come into play: sometimes you can stand on the very edge of a drop with one of the characters, and if a moving block/tunnel comes to that spot, it can actually stick to the character and drag him along as it goes back, perhaps squishing him (and killing him) in the process or dropping him to an unwanted area.

  9. As I said before, overall the gameplay is very slow. It'd be nice if it were sped up, or at least had that option. This is a general complaint about all of Nitrome's games, though.

Nitrome needs to go back and take care of these problems, 'cause it's a shame that such a great game concept is ruined by a poor implementation.

Bryce Herdt September 18, 2007 10:40 PM

10. Another bug: When you restart a level manually (i.e., clicking "Restart" in the upper left corner) before one character loses their 3 lives, lost lives carry over.


A good concept from someone else, but Nitrome fails in the delivery... again.


Important note for Mac users: You need to use ⌘, not ctrl, to push/pull boxes and to operate the help signs.

At least in Safari 2 (and choice of browser shouldn't matter anyway, since it's Flash), ctrl does not work for me.


Hey Crocker - I was just about to post about the disappearing boxes bu...er, magic trick myself.

I'm in line with those who keep becoming less and less impressed with Nitrome. Especially now that it appears that they have stolen an idea without giving any proper credit.


Outstanding concept in my opinion, but I agree with all the implementation complaints. Especially the sluggish movement.

I think with the worms, you have to actually have pressed the up key. Walking off of a cliff and onto the worm didn't work for me. But I didn't play enough to see if jumping works all the time.


level 25 is the last one, thankfully it's easy

the other ones in the 20s are a bit tougher


another bug:

when you get to the later levels... you can drop a black box onto a white box and vice versa

this seems to form a black hole where the boxes are stuck


LSN: I was able to kill a worm by falling off a ladder once.


It also doesn't work properly if you jump from a different level onto the worm, even if you pressed the up key. And you get hit if you jump on the worms while they're in the middle of their falling-from-the-ceiling animation. And there's some larger pig enemies later that don't seem to have the same problem. So it seems very likely that it's a hit-detection issue. I'm really surprised that they released something with such an obvious and omnipresent bug.


With all the Nitrome games being reviewed on here all the time, I thought I might have been the only person who thinks there's something wrong with them: the sluggish gameplay. I'm glad to see from these comments that others share this opinion.

I love most everything else about Nitrome's games-- the art is fantastic, and the majority of them have ideas that I haven't seen anywhere else... they're just so slow-paced that I get bored with them way too quickly.


im sorry if this is a stupid question but im stuck on level 1 XD
can anybody help me a little please


Great concept, lousy execution. Which, given the origin of the game, means "Well done, Squidi. Bad form, Nitrome."

All I can say is that I hope this inspires someone else to tackle the concept, and give proper credit for the idea.


urm, people, there is no worm bug. You simply need to jump on its body, not the head.

*shakes head*



I like the music, and the sound effects :)

Any tips for level 20 'Punch and Judy'?
Please? Pretty please? I BEG OF YOU!!



For level 20

use black guy and push box to right, jump over box and hill, then hit the switch to flip world. now push box to right so it forms a column for white guy to fall through.
space bar to white guy, go down that tunnel.
space bar to black guy, push box into box converter to change the black box to a white box
space bar to white guy, go left and use the box as a stand to hit the switch on the far left to flip world. now push one box into the hole. push the other box all the way off the left side and jump off too.
you should be able to finish the level now


I've just posted another update to this review. Yes, the ideas are very similar, but Mat assures me they came up with the idea for Yin Yang on their own, and provides an explanation of how they came up with it.


I think if you are on the same level or lower than the worms when you jump on them, you'll squish them every time.


Cheers danfox, I feel silly now :)


Not to be a suspicious-alouicious (simpsons anyone?) but I still think that it's a little strange that this game looks an awful lot like "Squidi's" concept -- I read through some of the concept pages. I don't know.


I have been communicating with Mat Annal for a long time now, and if he says they came up with the idea on their own, I believe him.

Yes, the ideas are very similar, but how far fetched is it to believe that an idea could be conceived by more than one person?

I think it's rather disappointing, especially given Mat's explanation and considering his previous track record for coming up with new original ideas for games, that anyone would continue to think that Nitrome stole Sean's idea.


There are elements in this game that Nitrome have used before in their games, like the changing gravity in the planet game (don't quite remember the name), so I guess there is enough originality in this game to make it a proper Nitrome product.

I just completed it; it has 25 levels and the same exciting ending as Nitrome's older game "Toxic"... (/irony off). Somehow I think the developers never managed to make the difficulty curve rise evenly. Some levels stand out as neckbreakingly difficult (like 24 and another one in the twenties), while others are trivial (25, as well as half a dozen others).

As always with Nitrome games, the chief reason for me to come back for more was the fantastic look of the game. And the fact that it wasn't too difficult overall. No wait, the two chief reasons were...

WeAreLumberjacks September 19, 2007 3:09 PM

Totally stuck on level 1 as well, Louise. Help anybody?


You are most probably right, Jay. The problem is that I, as a regular gamer who doesn't run an incredibly popular (and great) site, don't always have the luxury of speaking with the developer of a game. I never meant to suggest I thought that Nitrome "stole" anything, really. I just know it's possible to come across something like an idea or a game concept and use it later without remembering you had seen the core idea before. When you see two similar ideas, I don't think it's entirely unfair to suggest that one might mirror the other. Would you agree, Jay?
And I do apologize if I made it seem like anything more than that. I guess I have just been disappointed with Nitrome, but I would never say they were thieves because of one similarity and because I don't like their games as much. Of course, if you keep reviewing them Jay, I'm going to keep giving them a chance because this site is probably the most reliable site for quality casual games on the web. And who knows? I'm hoping that Nitrome will improve their gameplay mechanics in their next foray into the casual game world. With graphics like that combined with less sluggish gameplay and a few other improvements, I'd be incredibly impressed.


Oh, I quite agree with you, Scramble. And that disappointment comment wasn't directed at you in particular.

In fact, I was the one to add the first update to the review pointing out that it appeared as if the idea originated from Sean's site after seeing several comments being posted about it, and then checking out the page with the idea on it myself.

Other than having read Sean's "A Modest Destiny" comic, I had never seen his "300 Mechanics" site before.

So no apology necessary, I just feel that someone should speak up for Nitrome after all the bashing that has gone on here, especially considering the creativity present in their previous game designs.

And one other thing: don't you think that IF the good folks at Nitrome had been inspired by Sean's work that they would have given proper credit?! I certainly do.


Is anyone else having the same problem as I am?

I've crossed the finish line with Ying and Yang, collected all the coins and killed the slugs. But it still won't let me complete level one for some bizarre reason.


Well, Jay, I'd certainly hope so (and expect from such a major gaming site that they would!)
I wouldn't necessarily call all of the comments "bashing." I think that much of the critique has been relatively fair (maybe some stuff has been over the top).
Still I think that ultimately it takes more than just a creative idea to make a good game(s). Implementation is key. I know that I have seen some of the most creative ideas from Nitrome (let's all give credit where it is due), but have felt more compelled to spend time playing that ancient "3D snake" game you added here long ago. That game was totally unoriginal, but was implemented so well that I couldn't stop.
As a side note: the last game of Nitrome's that I played with serious intensity was Roly Poly. That kept me occupied for several hours. So I guess it's their recent stuff I've found disappointing.


To detract more from the "ZOMG THIEVES" stuff floating around: I personally had a not dissimilar idea independently (but as I'm not a programmer, it was more along the lines of "it sure would be cool if someone did X") I've always stylistically liked negative space in art, so it just appealed. When I first found Squidi after that, my thought was "awesome, where's the actual game. I wanna play this!" Yin Yang is a more than acceptible adaptation of the concept, and honestly, it's more or less what you'd expect anyone to come up with if they were brainstorming with the keywords "Yin Yang" and "Platform game."

also, what the @$@^ is up with level 10? I have absolutely no ideas on it. none. nothing seems to work.


karpad: I also had a lot of trouble with level 10. Here's how I got it to work:

With white guy (Yang) push the first crate out of the way- I know this sounds crazy but you will be bumped to the top. Don't push it slightly so the other crates slowly slide down, since you will be KILLED if you stay under them..
Don't worry if you lose a life on the bird, it's easy to do. OK. Now you have made it to the top of the pile. Hop along the various platforms to the flag. DON't fall down and get the three coins- I'm not sure how to get up from there.
Black is easy, just hop him across.
Hope this helps :)


how do you get past level 10?
i did the trick which the box goes into the ground but i dont know how to get the white guy past the fat birds!!!!!?


ahh!! 1 of the boxes fell off the screen!!


I have a nitpick: The banner on this review page shows two Yangs. This seems to contradict the whole idea of balance that ☯ embodies.

Not that I think it's intentional. But it does look to me like an error. ☺


Update on last post: You get the three coins by using the same method as start. (Push first block etc.)



you don't only have to cross the finish line with both of them, you have to be "on the line" with both at the samae time.

Anyone, how many levels are there?


Oh, sure, Mr. Mat Annal.


Peter - the image is one part logo and one part badly cropped screenshot. Apologies for my rush to create a representative screenie for the game and getting the artistic balance imperfect. :)


bioLarzen, there are 25 levels- and guess what...

It ends with that STOO-PID confetti! Black and white confetti is NOT acceptable! RAAGGH!!

So, yes. 25 levels in all.


I have the feeling that by making the gameplay so slow (sluggish? okay, let's call it sluggish), Nitrome is aiming for a "meditative" atmosphere (though I know it doesn't feel very meditative to most of us) like the one in games like Flyguy.


This game was unplayable (to me) due to the slowness of the world rendering while rotating.

With regards to the 'stolen' idea... with all due respect to Sean, if you create a website with ideas for 300 different kinds of games, you have to expect that a certain number of future games will appear that seem to match one of these ideas.


I don't think anybody would have gotten excited about the game's resemblance to Squidi's outline had Yin Yang felt like a finished game. At least I wouldn't have. Squidi's concept is more like a war between the dark and the light worlds and not so much like a co-op platform game.

But usually when an independent game developer releases something this buggy and unpolished, it means that the game is a rush job or a clone of something that's already out there, and it's hoping to stand on the strength of somebody else's concept work.

That may not be what happened in this case, but if Nitrome continues to release games without getting 3rd-party beta-testing, they're going to attract more and more negative criticism. All this bashing isn't coming out of nowhere. It's frustration with the fact that Nitrome's art, music, and originality are being hobbled by poor programming and quality control.


I cant get past the birds on lvl 5 what do I do to get past them?

Sean Howard September 19, 2007 9:12 PM

I never said the idea was stolen. When I started the 300 project, I said the ideas were free and that anybody could use them for whatever they want, just give me as much credit you think I deserve, if any. The thing that bothers me is the why. Why didn't they give me credit? And when asked about it, why deliver a flimsy lie as a response? I'm not going to make them take it down or demand any money or anything like that. So why so hostile in covering up the origin of the idea? I don't get it. What do they gain by doing that?

There's no good reason for a cover up. I mean, if they just came out and admitted it, they'd have my blessing. Heck, they still have my blessing. I don't care about credit. I just can't figure out what possible reason they could have to deny it.

I must admit that I am a little bothered by their response. Not only is it flimsy at best, it takes several swipes at how obvious and easy an idea it is. The same thing happened when people stole my pixel art (which I DO care about). Of course it is easy when you aren't creating something from nothing. That bothers me. Even an idea like Negative Space, which I consider flawed and unfinished, is the product of a lot of heavy thinking. The Negative Space presented on my website is the product of literally years of permutations, and they think they can just excuse it away as obvious and simple? That irritates me completely. What I do is hard, and to do it well is even harder. I don't need somebody riding my coat tails telling me how easy it looks.


But you are saying the idea was stolen, or at least that Nitrome got the idea for Yin Yang from you.

And I agree, it doesn't make sense.

The only rational explanation for not giving you credit is that they came up with the idea themselves, which as several people have pointed out here, is quite plausible.


Sorry, jay, but some of us believe that misappropriation is still pretty rational. It might not be at all ethical, but it is certainly not irrational.


For some of us, misappropriation is irrational, and it's just not an option.

Also, people are believed for their word.

We might get the wool pulled over our eyes occasionally, but when we believe the best about people, most of the time we are right.


I'm sorry but the statement from Mat Annal sounds very defensive as if to hide something.

If Mat would have just come out and said hey, it's great that someone had the idea before him and congratulated Sean, that would have been chill. Instead he tries to go and say that the idea was obvious. That doesn't really make sense. Ideas are not obvious unless you get them from somewhere. Usually they take much time to develop, and if so, you would not describe them as obvious ideas if they were your own.


@ Groogokk,

I could definitely see that being Nitrome's idea. And meditative doesn't necessitate "slow." I would compare what you are suggesting to Knytt/Knytt stories. Those were very meditative, contemplative, even superlative (I just wanted another "ative" word). At least in those games, your character moved much more quickly. I feel like this is a source of frustration for everyone in "Yin Yang."

I have a friendly suggestion for Mr. Annal and the Nitrome team: shouts and accusations of theft aside, don't necessarily trash this idea and move on. Build on it. Work out the hit detection kinks, speed everything up a bit, and generally take some of these comments and turn them into a positive. I think it would not be a mistake for Nitrome to experiment with differently-feeling (I am horrible with adjectives) gameplay mechanics. Many of their games seem to suffer from sluggishness...maybe they could re-release Yin Yang as a game molded from gamer complaints--not necessarily trying to satisfy everyone, but definitely breaking away from their usual "nitrome mold." That's not to suggest nothing from Nitrome is innovative--but instead of trying to come up with an undoubtedly brilliant new idea, try to astound us with an already fantastic idea that is perpetuated by surprising new mechanics. It may sound like a reinvention, but the beauty in all this is that they don't have anybody to answer to--no big name execs trying to push normalcy on them, no huge deadlines enforced by faceless CEO'd corporations--it's just Nitrome, working to put out some games. I think it's high time they try something really new.

That's just my opinion, of course. Take it or leave it :).


I am not really here to comment on the game, for I would not be adding much new-- agree that the idea is neat, but the implementation is sloppy at times.

I will say though, that I respect Mr. Annal's note, and to me, it did not sound flimsy. I did not think he was saying "this was an obvious idea"
Rather: "This idea developed naturally through using a bitmap-hit detection scheme."

I think this is believable, and though I admire Sean for thinking up bunches of awesome ideas, I don't think nitrome should be yelled at for coming up with a similar idea. Especially because they pride themselves on unique games.

As an aside.. I think i like nitrome games.. yet i never get past 2-3 levels on them... I'm not sure what it is about them...


Pluto was independently discovered three times.

And then it turns out to not even be a planet! Go figure.

In science, many ideas are re-discovered again and again - why should video games concepts be any different?

Mitrome can't give credit to Sean for inspiring them if he didn't. And since I'm not God, and my mind-reading is getting worse and worse, I have no basis for doubting them (although "unconscious copying", from Copyright law, is always a possibility - who knows?). But they can give him priority for being first (as they have above).

My suggestion is to state this within the game itself, and on their website. That is, that Sean had this idea first (and leave it at that - ignore the issue of copy vs. independent, either way. It really doesn't matter).

In fact, some mutual cross-linking in a co-operative spirit would be mutually beneficial, traffic-wise, since it's really cool for someone to implement one of Sean's ideas (even if independently conceived). I'm really impressed with Sean's idea, and I (for example) would love to have a link to one realization of it.

As for a "flimsy" excuse: if I think of a really cool idea, and work hard at creating it, but then discover someone else already had the cool idea 5 years ago, it's pretty disappointing and deflating. Not a flimsy excuse at all (in my opinion).

I'm really disappointed in the bitter negativity in this thread. It makes a creative person (who tend to be on the sensitive side) wonder if it's all worthwhile. Even when for profit, the people who do the creating are still real, individual human beings. I guess you just need a thick skin, if you want to create things.


@ yow,
You're definitely right about having to be thick-skinned when creating things. I think it's an unfortunate truth, and I think this thread proves that even a welcoming and friendly community like JIG can sometimes fail to foster good attitudes towards creative attempts.

However, I think that negative criticism can be used positively, as long as people do not express them in a "YOU SUCK DIE DIE" kind of way--it follows, of course, for me to restate that I think that most of the comments here, although sometimes stated rather harshly, have valid points behind them. Overall, if you're going to share a game with the world, I think you should be open to praise and criticism.

Not to get even further off-game topic, but I think personally, after having followed JIG for a few years now, I get a little defensive about its quality and community. I hate seeing something getting everyone so up-in-arms, but I think that it's important that, if some people are unhappy with a game that is posted on JIG, they voice their opinion. Sometimes it's good, but sometimes things sort of escalate.

Finally, Nitrome seems to be having relative success, and also appears to be a group of people rather than just Mat Annal himself, and as such I think they can handle some criticism. Not that that excuses hostility or rude comments of course--it's just something to bear in mind.


@ Scramble125
Thanks - yes, totally agree on the importance of praise and constructive. eg. JIG reviews highlight negatives as well as positives. It's bitterness etc that I don't like. But maybe that's necessarily part of any community, just like hey! a yin-yang symbol.


yow, the prize for incorporating the game's theme into a discussion that now only vaguely refers to the game itself in what is now a semantic debate over criticism vs. bitterness in a situation having nothing to do with the game goes to you. ;) I am only kidding. Besides, I have no trophy to give you!


On Macs, players should use the Apple Command key (key next to the space bar) rather than the Control key (as the instructions say)

Sean Howard September 20, 2007 4:07 AM

What the bloody hell is wrong with you people?! It's the EXACT SAME IDEA! It's not similar. It's not sorta like. It's the EXACT SAME IDEA. There is no way they came up with this idea, to this exact specification, without help!

After Three Hundred was linked to by Kotaku, I was contacted by a man from Mtv's New Media division (the one in charge of web games). He wanted to take me to lunch to discuss the 300, and he wanted me to send in my resume (which I didn't). I don't know if this Mat Annal guy ever saw my page, but somebody he works for sure as hell did.

Why is this so god damned hard? Why do I have to go to such lengths to prove the obvious? I posted the idea months ago on a very public and popular indie gaming website. I can prove that I had the idea first. Why isn't anyone demanding proof that they actually had the idea at all, much less second? This doesn't end at he said, she said. If they had the idea, they can present actual proof to that statement. The fact that they gave that claptrap as a defense is embarrassing.

The burden of proof lies on them. They need to do a whole lot better at proving that they didn't take the idea and you guys need to be a whole lot more skeptical in what you believe and agree with. People, especially when cornered with an accusation, aren't to be believed without evidence.

How can you guys just sit back and let them do this? The fact that some of you aren't just letting it slide, but actually creating excuses for them is just monstrous.

Creators shouldn't be afraid to share their creations, but I am. That's not right. Creativity is about the open flow of ideas, not the paranoia that some jerk is going to use and abuse you for their own personal gain.

Hon. David Kulessa September 20, 2007 5:26 AM

"Pluto was independently discovered three times.

And then it turns out to not even be a planet! Go figure."

Yes, but wouldn't it be different if the guy who discovered Pluto first posted about it on the internet, and the second guy posted about it quite a while later?

When people are using pigeons to communicate, of course things like that are going to happen. Of course, I accept Mr. Nitrome's story, because it is entirely feasible that two people could come up with this idea.

What I don't like about this game is that there are so many bugs that you have to alter the way you play in order to get around them. Bugs shouldn't do that. I don't play games to challenge my memory: "whoops, can't jump on that worm if I'm on a different height or I'll die".

And of course, the common "slowness" of Nitrome's games.


The jury says that Nitrome is NOT GUILTY. They tried to think for a new idea, and it ended up being like one of Sean's ideas. We could tell that as COINCIDENCE, but, as someone saidm, there's no such thing. Only the INEVITABLE. And, therefore, Nitrome is NOT GUILTY.

Court Dismissed. Now go play.

We Are Lumberjacks September 20, 2007 9:51 AM

@ Louise: LEVEL 1 HELP

I figured it out! You can pull crates as well as push them. Hope that helps!


To get past the birds in Lvl 5:

They need a bit more 'black' space on top. That way, they can go higher, and you can comfortably walk through.
To get this extra space, get the black guy to drag a black box over each bird in turn (The box will come near the flag). Start with the first birdie, and work your way right.

I will throttle ANYONE who dares to post a reply saying they don't understand it! :)


any hints for lvl 16 jekyll & hyde, having a real awful time with the black dragon killing yin!!!


Well, I must say this is a good game. However, I'm still stuck on level 1. Just goes to show how cognitive my mind is. But whilst playing this level, I noticed the music had some strange reversing sounds in it. So I recorded the music whilst it was playing using Microsoft Sound Recorder. Then in the Effects menu I reversed the song - it sounds almost the same - but a different song?! Weird sh**! (And no, I'm not into devil worshipping)

Level 2 here I come!


@ zakorath about lvl 16: Move Yin so that Yang can go up the ladder to push the box down. Now if you jump after the box with Yang and run him (or her?) into the box from the left side and keep going without pushing (this walking on the spot), the black dragon will move off to the right. By doing this you can get it so far away from Yin it will never bother you again.


"After Three Hundred was linked to by Kotaku, I was contacted by a man from Mtv's New Media division (the one in charge of web games). He wanted to take me to lunch to discuss the 300, and he wanted me to send in my resume (which I didn't). I don't know if this Mat Annal guy ever saw my page, but somebody he works for sure as hell did."
-Sean Howard

Well, that's interesting. Does anybody else find that interesting? I think I'm going to have to go back to my "Nitrome is pumping out sub-par clone games in order to court corporate sponsorship" stance, impolite though it may be.


I was dying of boredom last go- for the reason that i got to level 12, then the game started going slow. The longer I played the game after that, it went slower, and slower, until Level 14- it took me TEN whole minutes to finish the last little bit of the level. When Level 15 started (Bacon and Eggs) I quit. What makes it worse was that it was an easy point-scoring level.
That tested my patience to the limit, and I don't know what caused it.


i dont get level 16!!!! please help!!!
the dragon guys are in my way!!!


Wow. This is bigger than I thought. I'm now going to change my stance to "Wait and see how it all shakes out before developing any more strong opinions about subjects I am not an expert in."


Hey Blechy, there's a walkthrough to lvl 16 just four posts above yours.


I was enjoying reading the game ideas on the Squidi site last night, but now it appears to have vanished! I am sad about this.


I wouldn't worry too much about Sean. This has been a unique idea for a long time and to finally have someone reach the same conclusion probably comes as a shock. It will probably take a few days for him to be even consciously able to give Nitrome the benefit of the doubt.

The good news is, he should come away with a better understanding of the creative process. If you follow a path for long enough, chances are you'll find someone who's walking the same path.

(He has already realised that there is no possible reason for Nitrome not to credit his work, and Jay's word that theft is not within Mr. Annal's character. The obvious conclusion will come through in the end.)



heh, just got to level 18 and saw the black guy fall off the screen exactly like someone mentioned here earlier :)))


Quoting Sean:

"What the bloody hell is wrong with you people?!...Why is this so god damned hard?...Why do I have to go to such lengths...Why isn't anyone demanding proof...How can you guys just sit back and let them do this?"

Sean: nobody's judging you; your idea is great; it is actually possible for different people to share similar creative ideas; relax.



If you don't mind, I would like to take this space to address sean, because I dont see another place to do it. If you would rather focus on the game in question, feel free to delete this post.

First, I think it is a shame that you have shut down your 300 ideas site. I really do. I think it was awesome that you were airing out your ideas, and it is a pity for you to have closed up that wealth of creativity.

secondly, I read your blog entry. let me quote:

    That's what's so frustrating about all of this. It's not that these Nitrome guys used my idea. They are welcome to it, credit or not. It's that there's a whole bunch of people trying to explain how mummies can bleed, completely ignoring the obvious, simple answer standing right in front of them. Occam's Razor says that the simplest and most obvious explanation is usually right. So when the obvious answer is "dirty", why would people rather believe a convoluted fairy tale instead? Why, when faced with evidence, does the destination stay the same at the cost of an increasingly complex and bizarre journey there?

Excuse me, but to me Occam's Razor would suggest that they happened to come up with the idea on their own. Coincidences DO happen. Its just a shame that you are taking this (in my opinion) way too seriously.



From my point of view, the unfortunate thing about this case is that it seems so likely that the concept was copied, what with the pictures and explanations on squidi, that blog apparently being rather well-known among game developers, the self-made time pressure on Nitrome (who seem to be dedicated to creating a game a month, or maybe they have to now they teamed up with Mtv). It seems so likely it was copied that it would take proof to clear my doubts - but I can hardly see how any proof can ever be given. Yes, it may be a coincidence, but it just as well may not be.

So, while I love Nitrome's work and while I deeply respect Jay's opinion on their developers, there will still be the flaw of doubt.


Well, the idea could have come from the 300 ideas site of Sean Howard, but I wonder why he posted those ideas in the first place, if he didn't want anybody to have a go at them.

To me that's akin to someone saying "For a lemon cake you need flour, butter, sugar, eggs, lemon zest, baking powder and lemon juice." and then the person gets annoyed when someone actually bakes a lemon cake...


In level 25 there are two coins that seem to be unreachable (on the bottom right). Has anyone found a way to get these coins?


Wow, I didn't realize Sean was the same person to take on Penny Arcade a while ago (I vaguely remember reading about that). Not that anybody cares, but I'm definitely stepping out of this argument for now.


please can i have some help with level 20

sploilers apreciated

please help


hey how do you do 11??


Can i have a spoiler for level 20 plz really hard!

Anonymous March 10, 2008 6:32 PM

Yeah, HOW DO YOU DO numba 11?
It really confuses me.


Can someone help me with lvl 19 cat and mouse???


I need help on lvl 19 can someone help??

Emily G. March 31, 2008 3:11 PM

Level 11:

Look at the boxes, they will help you, remember you can push and pull them.

Anyone Level 23 (Batman and Robin)

(If you describe the level I can probably help)

lalaland April 3, 2008 8:16 PM

can someone help me on lvl 12 like how to use those special boxes




ahh i am so stuck on level 16 jekyl and hyde the one where the dragon follows you

someone help PLEASE


xdrngy May 2, 2008 6:54 PM

I found a major glitch. On level 10 if you push the first box forward just a little bit the boxes will sort of fall into eachother. If you then proceed to mess with the boxes they will fall into the other dimension. If you are standing on them at the time you will render the game unbeatable by building a sort of tunnel out of the boxes. You will notice the white boxes in the next black part, but these don't do anything. White looks so at home in the white world, pity he can't go to that flag (or black for that matter).


HELP ME! lvl 16 is soo killer i havent got past it can u help PLEASE!



IF you can help me with level 24 (or anyone else) That'd be GREAT! THX PPL!


How do you do level 10.

Visitor July 9, 2008 12:22 PM

Sorry Nitrome but I don't like it! Way too hard. Although after a few months I've fnally finished it. Here's my favourite monochrome game, which you don't see everyday:

Shift 3.


Level 20 - Punch and Judy

1. Yin. Push the black box to the right, to make stairs which Yin can climb over and switch the gravity arrow. Drag the black box a little way to the left so that a black shaft is created down which Yang can fall.

2. Yang. Fall down the newly-created vertical shaft, then move the white box to the right a little way so that when you reverse the gravity it won't get lost down the black shaft.

3. Yin. Pull the black box through the converter to send it into Yang's space.

4. Yang. Move a white box to the left so you can reach the gravity switch. Switch the gravity. Push a white box into the gap in the floor with a tai-chi symbol in it. Now push the other box off the edge of the cliff and follow it down. Push the box to the right but not beyond Yin's black steps.

5. Yin. Walk right to flick the gravity switch. Now go through the white box to your flag.

6. Yang. Go all the way right to your flag.


I can't seem to pass level 23. It's so hard! I managed my way through this game by myself. Not that I'm looking for help. There isn't any.


Please help me with level 19.


I beat all 25 levels took me a while though.


I can't get past level 2 (chalk and cheese) HELP!

When I'm ying i can't get past the spikes. I put the white box there but the tip of the spikes are showing so I die.

And after that I don't know what to do with yang.


Is there any way you can help me on level ten? Both me and my friend are stuck on this level.
your friend
-guess who

funlerz June 2, 2009 6:03 PM

I found a glitch, if you are standing on a box after hitting a gravity switch, when the gravity switches, if you are still on that box, the box falls while you stand still and get stuck in the box so you die before having a chance to move


Someone plz help me with level 16 "Jekyll and Hyde". I can't move the monsters without them eating Yin or Yang!!!


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