How the hell do you play hopeless?

I'm so confused. What's a "neighbor"???? I just randomly click on things and most of the time they disappear; I can't work out what the rule is for whether a tile will disappear or not?!?!

Comments

  • daviddavid REGISTERED, GLOBAL_MODERATORS, ADMINISTRATORS
    edited March 4 10.0.0.206

    Consider hopeless to be a grid of blocks. The blocks next to each other in any cardinal direction are "neighbors". This is shown visually in the game by the neighboring blocks connecting to each other to form blobs. Clicking on a blob removes the whole blob. To fill that empty space, blocks above the blob will move down. If an entire column is empty then everything to the right of it moves to the left to fill the space. At that point all the neighbors are recomputed and drawn as new blobs.

    It's a little confusing because even though we draw the connected blobs, each block acts individually when it's moving down or to the left.

  • Apart from the way that blocks above and to the right move, as David described, I'd say there are two keys to understanding Hopeless:
    1. Borrowing David's technical jargon, you can remove only "blobs" (two or more neighboring blocks of the same color); single blocks cannot be played. [Incidentally, the all time highest score of 35,820 was achieved when the game had a bug that allowed individual blocks to be played. So anybody who's trying to approach that score for https://greenfelt.net/hopeless?game=1193945202 is doomed to fail.]
    2. Scoring is based on the number of blocks in the blob. It's non linear, and it varies depending on the version of the game you're playing. For Easy (3-color), the formula is NumberOfBlocks squared times 3. So a blob of 10 scores 300 points (10x10x3), while a blob of 100 gets you 30,000 points.

    So in the simplest terms you can think of the game's objective as being to assemble the largest possible blob of a single color. (In some cases, though, you can reach a higher total score by leaving one or two blocks out of the principal blob in order to maximize the size of the secondary blob.)

  • And you practice a lot. I used to think the games with 10,000 plus scores were"errors" until I finally managed one myself. It took me a very, very long time. Good luck, and don't give up. That first 30,000 score is a real treat!

  • DeusExMachinaDeusExMachina REGISTERED
    edited March 5 73.66.191.142

    For me, the fun part is hunting for boards with the potential for high scores. The admittedly arbitrary bar that I like to clear is 24,000 pts. The key is having a disproportionate number of one color. The grid is 10x20, so there are 200 blocks. So in the 3 color version, a perfectly balanced board would have a distribution of 66/66/67. Things get interesting when you find a board with more than about 85 of one color. To have a shot at clearing the magic 30K bar, you’ll generally need to be upwards of 92. Of course it helps if the blocks in the most common color are collected in big blobs to begin with so you don’t have to burn too many of the other colors to assemble a super-blob.
    I spend far more time hunting for eye-popping boards than actually playing games.
    When you find a high-scoring game, consider pulling up short of the last play and waiting until the High Scores board resets (assuming, that is, that the board is filled with scores from replaying dusty old 30K games. Which is a pretty good bet because several people relish doing that every *#@$&;#= day!) That way you can share your finds with others who like their big fish _fresh_.

  • long blobs... long blobs... just the longest blobs

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