I caught up with this, and it's a cute little puzzle game!
(Semi-Obvious) key strategy tips for his game:
- The size of the planet determines how many hits it can take as you loop around to get the shield generators.
- You do NOT have to do one of those "hit every planet to clear the board"; only what it takes to get out. So the whole point of his designs is there are lots of red herrings, both big and small.
- It turns out though without a level counter that I could see, I got to level 7, because it's , aka one of the big direction choices is the red herring because it leaves you in the wrong place to finish the board, and sometimes they run deep.
Some less obvious ones:
- Unlike composed chess studies, sometimes there are alternate solutions. (What is the word for that? Isomorphic?) Level six has a beautiful symmetrical butterfly look to it, and I think it has at least a twin solution.
- Turns out Level 7 is the last one. So my tip is look at the section with the guarded shield gate and count the number of paths connecting the shieldgate planet between the two sections. Ignore all the chaos for a bit and use a bit of game theory to think about directionality in the final couple of steps. This game has some nice similarities to old puzzle books I used to read as a child. (Do they even make those anymore in this web age?)
With those tips I beat the game on my second try, so I rate it Phoenix-easy, which was nice. : ) (I luv being able to rate games at that level!)
From Deozaan's Post Partum blog:
What didn’t go so well:
1. The problem with it being a puzzle game is that I couldn’t judge how hard or easy or fun it was. Since I was designing the puzzles, I already knew all the solutions, so it seemed a little boring and easy to me. I probably should have gotten a couple of people to play it while I was working on it to see their reaction to help me judge the difficulty of the game. Though from the feedback I’ve received thus far, it seems even other players can’t agree on the difficulty, with some saying the difficulty curve was just right to others saying they got tired of losing so much and didn’t finish it.
Edit: Since it's public now, I'll just re-post the final level 7 here, and people can ponder it in the comfort of eating pretzels before they start re-playing the game.
I felt quite free to use the level reload by pressing "r". Seeing how far I get this time...