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Sunday, December 07, 2008

2.1 Million Points... On Hexic!

Vicki's recently been playing a lot of Hexic, which comes free with the XBox 360. It's a game where different coloured pieces drop down and you have to rotate them to put 3 together, at which point all 3 disappear, you earn points, and more pieces drop in to replace the ones that went away. You keep doing that until you're stopped by a bomb, which is a special piece that drops in and has to be matched (with 2 like-coloured pieces) within a small number of moves or else it blows up and it's game over. Or, at least, that's how I would've described the game when she first started playing it, because we hadn't really gotten to the point where we understood some of the finer aspects of it. And in those days, it was a big deal if she ended the game (Marathon version) with something close to 100,000 points.

As she got better at it, though, she started utilizing some of the tips that show up on the level-up screens. One talks about putting 6 pieces of the same colour around in a circle (rather than fitting 3 together, as above), which will form a silver star for you (as well as awarding lots of points). That silver star can then be rotated clockwise or counter-clockwise, taking all 6 pieces that touch it around in a circle. Hmmm... that's pretty cool, and it opens up all kinds of new strategies!

Next came the revelation that, if you can get 6 of the silver stars to form a circle, you can create a pearl (really, a black beetle of some sort). The pearl has the ability to swap pieces around it (in a triangular motion), which creates even more opportunities. Once she'd made her first pearl - which was quite a challenging task, since accidentally getting several of the silver stars next to each other causes them to disappear before you can even set them up to form a circle! - then we noticed that fitting 3 pearls together allows you to "win" the game (up to that point, every game had ended with a bomb detonating). Making 1 pearl was hard enough... but now she had to figure out how to make 3 of them!

Around that time, she and I discovered that you could do all kinds of amazing moves if you got a pair of silver stars close to each other, such that one could rotate the other around, or they could "hand off" pieces from one to the other. That breakthrough made the production of more silver stars and pearls much more easily achieved, and she was off to the races!

A few nights ago, she won her first game, having cobbled together 3 pearls and fit them together perfectly. Her final score was just over 750,000, roughly doubling any score she'd achieved previously. We were pretty ecstatic! On the Hexic leaderboard, though, she hadn't even cracked the Top 10,000 positions!

Then we found out that you can also win by putting 6 pearls around in a circle, and so that was last night's quest. We started around 10:30, and just four a half short hours later (yes, 3:00 a.m.!) she slid the final pearl into place! That earned her 2,100,195 points (almost triple her previous high score) and shot her all the way up to... 5,723rd on the leaderboard! What the -?! There have been 5,722 scores better than that?! How much more could there be?

In the course of all this playing, Vicki's also earned all of the Gamerpoint achievements that the game has to offer, except the "play 100 games of Hexic" one... and I'm pretty sure she'll get that one, too, the way things are going...

1 comment:

Vicki said...

4+ hour marathons of spinning! I see these pieces in my sleep! And no I don't do this by myself, Matt helps see the moves too. Fun fun.