Link Dump Friday №155

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Link Dump Fridays

DoraWhat ho, noble web traveler, and well met this fine Friday! You stand upon the precipice of a great adventure, one unlike any other that you could ever hope to encounter for the rest of your days. Your mettle will be tested (thin and slightly springy), the cards will be drawn, the players will be assembled, and cliched, vague fantasy portents will be used to imply something important. TREMBLE as you face alien sokoban puzzles. THRILL as you place molecules of pure air to protect the environment. BOLDED TEXT as a cheap device to draw your attention to this paragraph. So gird thine loins, good friend, and sally forth! Let the forces of the internet fall before your might! Brrrrrr-trrrrr-trrrrrr!

... that... was a herald's horn. Obviously.

  • TheiaTheia - Hey there, little alien guy! Headed to the center of the planet, huh? Well, that would probably be a lot easier if your controls weren't so stiff and awkward that navigating a three foot ramp is an achievement in and of itself. Bummer. Theia is a fairly simple puzzle game with a cute style that offers a lot of levels for your sokoban-sy pleasure.
  • SmogoutSmogout - Oh, internets. You're always trying to teach me something. (When will you ever learn?) This time it's about setting off a chain reaction to clean the air of pollutants. You have a certain number of "clean air bubbles" to deploy to remove a certain amount of particulate from your soupy brown air. Although, I would offer that if the pollution in your area is severe enough that the air itself resembles mobile chunky gravy, you should probably just move.
  • Neon RiderNeon Rider - Despite a title that sounds like it should be a terrifying 80's detective show starring David Hasselhoff as a spandex-clad bad-boy cop who plays by his own rules, this is actually a game about racing. If it helps, you can pretends the Hoff is inside.
  • Shields of GemlandShields of Gemland - Imagine if Bubble Bobble was designed by JK Rowling, only with more names with unnecessary syllables, and you have Shields of Gemland. It's a fantasy-themed, colourful game that's about as perfectly casual as you can get. It's strangely addictive and just challenging enough to make you keep playing.
  • Catch a StarCatch a Star - Apparently, the best way to catch a star is to trigger an elaborate set of physics puzzles made up of teetering blocks and other intricately balanced things. And here I always thought the best way to catch a star was to wait in a cabbage patch at midnight on the start of the Solstice while playing an ocarina to entice a star down into a bottle blessed by the tears of a child. Or at least that's how I tell the people on Etsy I get the glitter into the mason jars.


Anonymous March 5, 2010 2:36 AM

Shields of Gemland is so darn addictive aaarg
hurray xD


Neon Rider's pretty good. One thing that isn't pointed out that I discovered:

You don't have to be blue to run on the blue tracks, so if you know you're coming up to a red track, turn red early.

Acidifiers March 5, 2010 4:59 AM

This made my semi-daily task of reading each JiG review with a British accent significantly easier.


Neon Rider is quite interesting but it's painfully slow on my computer and actually caused the browser to crash at one point.


Surely the reference to Bubble Bobble for Shields of Gemland should be Puzzle Bobble?

That said Puzzle Bobble is a different game and it got me thinking what the earliest version of this game style would be. Off the top of my head the arcade game Chain Reaction/Magical Drop from Data East was from 1995 but I doubt that was the first.


If you lose a level in Smogout you have to start all over from level 1 again.

chibidani March 5, 2010 1:39 PM

Shields of Gemland is neat, but I can't solve puzzle 4. They give an option to "See Solution" which takes me to a Facebook page. I don't use Facebook, I never will. I have problems with games (and other things) that require you to sign up with ANOTHER site to see something that could be considered "integral" to the game.

Other than that, its a great game.

Anonymous March 5, 2010 2:41 PM

puzzle 4 of shields of gemland:

first shot at the space between the red balls
second shot at the green ones and third anywhere near the purple ones


Solution for Puzzle 4 there chibidani -

Shoot the farthest right blue ball in the pattern with your cannon. Nick the greens. And Voila! you're done

And wasn't Shields of Gemland given a full spotlight review on here once upon a time? If not it certainly deserves it. Perhaps it's a bit simplistic but it's a dang fun game. I played it all the way through a year or two ago.



I've wasted a whole Friday, I'm on level 40. The puzzles are starting to get too hard.


Gemland is not like Bubble Bobble in any way. It resembles Bust a Move, which only feature Bubble Bobble characters.

That said, Gemland is pretty nifty. Definitely it is worth a play.



I must be dense because I can't push the rocks on the tutorial levels in Theia by using the arrow keys like it tells me.


Regretsy reference is win!

loversrequiem March 6, 2010 7:36 AM

Gah, can't get past Level 15 of Gemland. I mean, I got Level 16, but you need 15 to go on. Starts making me crazy. I tried it for like... 20 times and I just can't make it! HELP!

loversrequiem March 6, 2010 7:40 AM

Oh, huh, complaining helps. Just made it xD Can't believe it..

*Jacob* March 6, 2010 9:46 AM

Anyone get the solution for Puzzle 9 on Shields of Gemland? I'm super stuck because it looks so SIMPLE. No me gustaaaaaa

*Jacob* March 6, 2010 9:48 AM

Ha, magic of the post--I tried it again, totally got it. It IS super stupid simple.

Hunky Dory March 6, 2010 10:53 AM

Did anyone solve puzzle 21 on Shields of Gemland? that's the only one I'm missing and it's the last level... Thanks!

Jonny_s March 6, 2010 7:59 PM

Neon Rider would be an epic replacement for Line Rider if there was a level editor and a save map system. And if they did away with the annoying soundtrack. :)


Dora, I signed in for the express purpose of letting you know (in case you *happen* to be unaware) that you are HILARIOUS. I quite enjoy reading your reviews, just to see what humorous quips you will come up with next, and have even read some of them out loud (like this one). Before you raise your eyebrow (put it down!), I read them out loud to my husband, who is usually doing something else when I'm on the computer. Yes, he is a real person. XD

That said, I am on level 42 of Gemland, have solved all the puzzles except one without help (puzzle, I WILL solve you!!!), and agree with Aaronzdad that if it hasn't had it's own review, it should. Match three popping games are a dime a dozen, but the thrown in puzzles and "weapons" really made this one stand out to me. I actually *want* to play level 42 over and over again, despite feeling like I'm trudging through a puddle of peanut butter, grasping for that last shield!!

Hey, does the music remind anyone else of the old-school World of Warcraft??


I think Theia should also be worthy of an independent review. The soundtrack and overall adventure is awesome! Though I can't get past level 8.

AbbiNormal March 7, 2010 4:46 AM

In Theia:
Does anybody have any tips for how to

navigate past the sand without getting squashed in level 10?

AbbiNormal March 7, 2010 4:57 AM

Nevermind. The power of posting strikes again.

Anonymous March 7, 2010 6:36 PM

Is it only me, or the difficulty of Shields of Gemland is a bit strange?

I mean, some levels are just impossible until you get a certain upgrade... but to get the upgrade you have to bash your nose against those very levels again and again to build up money.

If it was me, I'd have made the levels hard but fair to nonupgraded players...


If anyone is still reading this, I'd love some help on the puzzles.


AbbiNormal: well if you figured it out, you could have posted it !


PS, I had to give up on gemland. I'd gone all the way through, solved the puzzles and beaten all the levels but now trying to go back through and get three stars on everything. 42 is just insane but I've run into something of an issue.

First, it's not a lag, it's an unresponsive click. And it usually comes when I'm moving so I"m firing off gems in quick succession but one will get sent to a long row that invariably pushes past my 3 star line.

Second, the colors change. You have to keep your eyes on both what you have loaded and what is next as well as the current field. When you see red in your cannon and aim for two reds and suddenly it's blue, that's disheartening. If I can get a video of it I will.

Some of the upper levels are just too frustrating. I think an added bonus to freeze the advancing rows would be useful. I have no idea how to get 30 coins in one go.


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