Breaking Blocks - Breaking My Will to Live.
If you are a gamer or an avatar collector like me, then chances are you love a challenge. Neopets loves to set us some fun and achievable goals to be able to earn those colourful avatars or shiny trophies but they also love to throw a curveball and set a ridiculous goal to achieve before you can show off!
Destruct-O-Match 3 is one of those games.
A game of multi-coloured blocks laid out in columns with various power-up blocks hidden amongst them. Game play is simple. Clear clusters of blocks of matching colours in an attempt to clear the screen. Simple right? Ok, so that's not quite all of it... Each level has a set number of blocks that you need to clear before you can advance to the next, even harder, level. Yeah, not quite so easy now!
They do like to reward us if we can do it though. If (and on later levels it is a big if!) you manage to clear the entire screen, you will achieve a 100 point bonus. This bonus alone can make a huge difference!
Various power-ups are available to you throughout the game, however I'm undecided whether these are to help you or just to stress you out that little bit more, maybe even to make you lose focus as you mess up that lovely huge combo by hitting the
Wildcard power-up when you don't have an undo to use!
I will run through them anyway.
Timer Boulder - This boulder is available from level 1 through the entire game and counts down from 15 seconds. If you don't manage to clear it, all matching colour
adjacent blocks will be turned to an indestructible boulder (a black boulder with cross bones on) which cannot be cleared. Leaving some indestructible blocks will affect your high score hugely as it means you will be unable to achieve your 100 point bonus for clearing the level.
Extra blocks power-up - This block can be any colour and shows a picture of 3 blocks on the front.
This block drops a whole row of new blocks on to the screen. Great for boosting your score. I find the best time to use this is when you have cleared all other blocks and are left with one colour. All blocks dropped will then be that one colour that you were left with! Woohoo extra points AND that 100 point bonus!
Explode Block - A black block with a volcano on the front. This block destroys all adjacent blocks. Where possible, leave this block until the end to grab some last minute points or to destroy your last few remaining boulders.
It is worth noting that although the explosion may clear up to 4 blocks, you will only earn one point for clearing this particular block.
Multiplier Block - A block in any colour with 3 (what looks like) chicken drumsticks on. Multiplies the score of the set of boulders by 3. You will see this power-up from level 3 onwards. This is one of the most important blocks in the game.
It is your key to achieving a high (and hopefully avatar) score.
Try and get as many blocks linked to this block before you clear it to get the maximum from the multiplier.
Colour change boulder - This boulder shows a coloured cross. The boulder will randomly change colour to any colour that is available on screen. This can be helpful for linking large combos.
Wildcard boulder - A black boulder with crossed spear heads. This block can be very helpful as it represents one block of any colour. It does not require a matching adjacent colour block so it can get you out of sticky situations!
I try to use this to help get my large combination blocks linked together.
Shuffle - A coloured block featuring Glubgar from Volcano Run. When you collect this block you will unlock a wing on the two tiles below your play area. Clicking this wing will allow Glubgar to fly across the screen and shuffle the remaining blocks.
Boulder structure will remain the same but boulder colours will change randomly. I only use this tile when i am running out of moves and haven't reached the goal that i need to advance to the next level. Sometimes it is great for achieving a few last points, other times it ruins the game completely.
Dino block - This is basically an "undo" button. Collecting this power-up will unlock the dinosaur footprint on the tiles below your play area. Using this power-up will undo your last move but it will not work if you have used a power-up on your previous move. Keep an eye on whether the block is shadowed out. If you see it as a shadow, you cannot use it at that moment in time. Not an overly useful power-up, but it can be handy if you've broken a large combo by mistake. Phew!
When playing in Extreme Mode you will also see a Scamander block. This block keeps one column of blocks from rising but they move fast! Get them when you can, but don't lose your game for them.
There are 5 modes of Destruct-O-Match 3 that you can play but only playing in Classic Mode will earn you an avatar. This is the only mode that i ever play in as i chase that elusive multi-coloured mini picture. But yep, i am still chasing!
Overall, the general game play is easy to grasp. I mean, who couldn't click colourful blocks to clear them?? But achieving a 2500+ score? FORGET IT!
The difficulty lies in lining up blocks to allow you large combos and clearing enough blocks to advance each level. Later levels can only be cleared by linking combos and hitting the multiplier block. This is where i begin losing the will to live.
High scores in early levels is essential.
It is virtually impossible, i am sure of it. The people proudly displaying this avatar must be Jedi's or something!
I have literally dreamt about clearing those rainbow blocks before now and i STILL have not managed to earn myself the avatar. It is one of 4 game avatars that are still eluding me.
Thank you for reading my rant guide... Off i go to go and smash some more boulders!