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Chainz Game Puzzle: Game Strategy
Introduction to "Chainz" Game
The "Chainz "® game puzzle by Mumbo Jumbo® (also distributed by Game House® Games), can provide hours of fun and entertainment, or frustration. At first, it seems like a very simplistic game, and on one level, it is. It can be mindless button-pushing entertainment, or it can involve quite a bit of strategy, almost like chess.
Unlike chess, however, there is an element of the unknown, as with all the other puzzle games of the "match 3-or-more" genre. In these games, all of the game pieces are not on the board and visible at once, since there is a random generator at work in the background selecting what pieces will fall in to replace those blown out and scored as matches.
What is neat about "Chainz" is that you are not locked out of higher levels. You can play any level you wish to try at any time, with no pre-requisite of completing earlier levels first. There are three starting places, called 'rounds.' You can begin at round 1, 5, or 10.
Upon completion of any round, you automatically advance to the next level. The levels, of course, get progressively more difficult. Level 1 is easy, and the game play at its most basic.
The main purpose of the game is to fill the colored links of the vertical chain 'bar' at the right side of the game play screen. The game can be easily paused, but unless you are playing the 'action' mode, there is no time limit--you can take as long as you want in the 'normal' mode.
Game play requires matching of 3, 4, or more same-color links by rotating their direction, either vertically or horizontally, with a mouse-click.
The strategy comes into play in trying to maximize your points for fastest progression to the next level. This is done by creating matches of 3, 4, or-more, as mentioned above. You must be careful. There may be already 3 links together, and two others of the same color in the same row. If this is the case, you do not want to click the next-door link, as you will have made a match, and end up with an 'orphan' link (unless you get lucky with the random replacement).
Instead, rotate the link of the same color that is away from the already-joined links, then go back and rotate the one that will join the batch of them. Bingo! You have just created a higher-scoring chain. You can use this technique to match up to 7 links: 3 on one end, 3 on the other, and then, rotate the center one to join the chain. The more often you can do this, the more chain-reactions you will cause, and the faster your score will advance.
Remember: the mouse-click rotation of links represents the 'space' between...and there are 2 spaces in a set of 3 items, and 3 spaces in a set of 4 items. Be careful, and watch what is going on! If there are already 3 links together, they will not blow out by themselves unless they become part of a cascade. You will be able to rotate a 4th link into place to score. However, if there are two links already there, and you rotate in a 3rd, it will 'blow out' and score. Plan ahead, and you will be rewarded handsomely!
Scoring Larger Chains
While you are setting up a chain reaction, you can temporarily rotate any link out of alignment, in order to preserve your multiple-link chain setup.
Then, when everything is as you wish, rotate it back in as the joining piece for your chain.
Just be careful when doing so that it does not match up with another set in the other direction, or you will have fouled yourself up!
Level 2: Wild Card Links Appear
Beginning the Round Progressions
Now, as you progress, there are more twists to the game in the form of extra bonuses. At round 2, you will encounter rainbow-colored links that will match up with any other color link. Use them wisely. If they are on the corners, they are rather useless unless there are at least 3 other same-color links adjacent. In the middle or on the edges of the board, however, they are real gems.
Also at round 2, you are presented with letters spelling out "CHAINZ" at the bottom of the screen, and corresponding letters will appear overlaying various links. Collect all of the letters in the process of matching your chains, and you will cash in an additional 25,000 bonus points! Not too shabby! Helps that 'goal' bar on the side fill up faster.
Naturally, the letter appearance and distribution is also subject to the random generator, so you may not always be able to get the letters filled in. However, at this early level, it is relatively simple, and you just have to watch the board and do some additional planning. Often, it is even possible to manage to get two of these bonuses in one round.
Level 3: Bonus Points Available For Spelling!
New Round with No Surprises
At round 4, no new elements are added. Just enjoy the game, and practice gaining your "CHAINZ" bonus. Sometimes, in trying to get things to line up to collect the letters, you will find that you must sacrifice larger chains, and blow out the minimum sized ones in order to make letters line up. It is a judgement call.
Do you want big chains, or the letter bonus? The answer will differ for each person.
Every now and then, I wonder about the random generator, and question, "just how 'random' is it?" There are times, especially at the higher levels, when all you need is one more letter , and it is not already on the board. No matter how many skillful chains you create, it will NOT give you that needed letter . At this point, I accuse the game of having a built-in cheat!
Level 4: Just Keep On Truckin', No More Bonuses
Next Rounds and Additional Features
Round 5 tosses in a new element: black links. These must be worked around--they do not rotate. They do not match up to any other color, except the rainbow-colored 'match-all' links. They get in the way, and are quite pesky. There are more and more of them as the levels progress.
Level 5: Obstacles Added!
Multipliers: The Final Bonus Reward
Round 6 adds multipliers. Some links will be overlain by an "X2" or "X5." These indicate the scoring multiplier. Any chain made including a link with "X2" will multiply that chain's score by a factor of two; likewise the "X5" inclusion will cause a score multiplication by a factor of five for that chain. Sometimes you can manage to get both of these in a single chain! Woo-Hoo!
Level 6: Multipliers!
How High Can You Go?
Rounds from 7 up add nothing new (that I have discovered). I've made it a few times as high as level 13, but all that happens is ever-increasing difficulty.
Level 8: It Gets Tougher
Level 10: Tougher and Tougher
The End of the Game Eventually Arrives
When you find that you have to start really searching hard to locate a match, chances are the dreaded "no more moves" monster is very near. Of course, you can always use the 'hint' button, but do so sparingly--it costs you 2,500 of your hard-earned points each time.
It is extremely rare to encounter the "no more moves" end of game in the first level, or even the first 2 or 3, but it can happen. I've only come across it once, and that was in the process of writing this article, with the game open to take screenshots!!
Naturally, there will be times when you miss something, and need to go back and "slap yourself upside the head" for making a dumb mistake. It happens. It's only a game. No harm, no foul--you're having fun , remember??? ;-)
Best of all, re-do's are free! No extra quarters to plug into a machine!
And there you have it. How to get the most out of the game "Chainz."®
© 2010 Liz Elias