Don’t let the totem fall!
We’ve all played Jenga before. You know, that game that can turn grown adults six-year-old-kids jumping up and down, hooting and hollering, all of them waiting for that final moment that comes with a crash as little wooden blocks go spraying all across your living room floor.
Now you can have that same excitement with out all of the negative side effects; spending fifteen minutes getting the tower just right, crawling under your couch to find that one last block, and, the absolute worst, having your brother-in-law thrust his finger in your face as he screams, “IN YO FACE! WHOOOOOOO!”
(I prefer the subtle Randy “Macho Man” Savage flex myself, but some people just have to make a spectacle of themselves.)
Totem Destroyer sends you on a quest to collect priceless totems. You would think such a task would send you, complete with whip and fedora, deep into tunnels dug out by ancient civilizations as you dodge deadly traps, but in this quest there is nothing of the sort.
Don’t be fooled; your task is no less difficult.
Each totem is precariously perched upon a plethora of poorly positioned blocks which you must carefully remove in order to bring the totem within reach. Don’t let it touch the ground for while the blocks themselves aren’t hard and heavy enough to cause it serious damage, the grass must be made of adamantium for the slightest brush against the ground will render the totem broken and worthless.
There are three types of blocks that comprise each structure that keeps you from your prized posession; black blocks that can’t be destroyed, brown blocks which can be destroyed, and similarly destroyed green blocks that have a little bounce to them.
Each level requires you to destroy a certain number of blocks before you are awarded that stage’s totem.
The physics upon which this game is balanced (heh) are simply wonderful. There are some minor flaws, the most notable being how easily long blocks manage to balance up on end. But beside what are very minor quibbles, everything about the way the blocks fall feels very natural, and is consistent enough to be predictable, but not too predictable. Further, the bouncy green blocks are just blouncy enough to make the game challenging without being absolutely ridiculous.
In fact, there are few downsides to this game. At first the dead time between when you can destroy blocks may seem like an inhibiting factor until you come to the realization that the wait time only makes the game more challenging and forces you to think a little harder about how to proceed as opposed to just clicking away and hoping that the totem in question lands somewhere safe.
About the only real criticism I could offer would be the requirement to complete a level. This is based upon blocks destroyed, but this often leads to situations where you are gratuitously clicking on blocks that are already essentially out of play.
The game could be shored up a bit by instead possibly having a line below which you have to bring the totem which would also be a little more in keeping with the game’s admittedly gratuitous story line.
Also, this seems like the kind of game that practically begs for a level editor.
But these minor issues out of the way, this is the kind of game that should keep many of you busy for quite a while, leaning left and right in your seat (as if that would help), and desperately crying, “NOOO!” at your computer screen. Even if there’s no one else around to scream with you.
UPDATE: Level Hints.
I could write a full walkthrough for this game, but that would require pictures and some investment. Since my next walkthrough project will be a full on comprehensive walkthrough of the CHZO mythos series complete with hints and pictures, I’m just going to go through each level and give some general hints.
Level 1: Only two blocks need be removed from this one. Just don’t move those blocks that would through the structure off balance, and everything should fit together like a puzzle.
Level 2: Again, only two blocks need to be removed. In general, the two smaller blocks are your safest bet, but pay attention to the swaying of the structure, if you remove the second block full tilt…
Level 3: This crab is tricky. You’ll notice, though, that are two blocks towards the center that will both act like levers on a fulcrum if you remove the weight beneath them, thus pushing the totem upwards and off balance. Remove those two quickly, and the rest should be easy.
Level 4: The first one that you will need to remove all the blocks from. The trick here is to keep from getting too far off balance. Also, dealing with the “legs” can be a pain. Start by choosing the one leg that doesn’t bear load (you can do this through process of elimination, or you can look at the structure and look at which leg has more weight on it and which doesn’t. From there, get rid of the loose stuff, and try and keep your totem as centered as possible.
Level 5: The snake is tricky, and here you want to make sure that when the structure sways as a result of block removal, you give the structure time to correct itself.
Now, when you look carefully at the snake, you will see that two of the blocks will line up if you just remove the block in between them. The only problem is, removing that block will send your totem tumbling. Remember, shorter is stabler, so take the top block in the neck first–this creates a relatively short drop that won’t destabilize the structure too badly. Next, now remove that one block that is out of alignment. With this done, the structure should be nicely lined up and you should be free to choose which blocks to remove from here on out.
Be careful though, the further the drop, the more out of whack things get, so you may want to leave the big block alone.
Level 6: This precariously balanced construct will topple over if you do nothing. Why? because it’s all balanced on a narrow bouncy block. Choose your timing wisely, remove that green block, and the rest of this puzzle should be a piece of cake.
Level 7: Mr. Hat looks harder than he really is. This is because of that single tiny block that separates the upper portion of the structure from the lower portion. Get rid of that, let the structure stabilize out, and it gets much easier.
From here, remember that the bigger blocks are going to bear most of the load, so in general they should be saved for last. Also, be careful of the “brim” of the hat. If those two blocks stay tight together, you have no problems, but that big block on top of them keeps them from creating a fulcrum like situation sort of like what I warned you about in the crab level. However you choose to deal with the top three blocks, the two narrow blocks should be removed very quickly together.
Level 8: More luck than anything else, you thankfully get to leave a lot of blocks undestroyed, which means that your goal should be to keep as many blocks under you as possible. Try to create an implosion as opposed to explosion of collapsing blocks, and you should find yourself coming to rest in a state of relative safety.
Level 9: This level isn’t so bad, but can seem daunting. The first thing to realize is that there are a lot of extraneous blocks that bear hardly any load at all, including the hat like structure that the totem rests upon. Get rid of everything that isn’t part of the core foundation which forms a kind of u-shape from the ground up beneath the totem. Be careful when removing the mr. hate structure, though, and get rid of the thinner pieces first.
Now it’s a matter of moving back and forth. Work with the smaller pieces first, removing first from one side, then the other, alternating as quickly as the dead time will allow. This will minimize the see saw action of the black block you now rest upon.
When you’re down to just the big blocks, you’re going to continue going back and forth, but be smart about it. If your totem is resting on the left side of the black block, remove a big block from the right side first, and then quickly get one from the left side. Let things settle, assess which side the totem is on, and remove the big block from the other side first, and then the near side and that should do the trick.
Level 10: Bottom’s Up. That’s the first approach you should take to this level. You want to remove the greens first from the very bottom, working your way up. But leave the center green square alone; it doesn’t bear any load and doesn’t really effect things, and you want to get to stability as soon as possible.
With all the green gone, use the see-saw back and forth approach we used in the last level to remove the slats, and that should get you to your goal.
Level 11: As the title would suggest, this puzzle will fall apart all by its self without any help from you, making you race against the clock. Further, the green blocks at the bottom makes every move that much more chaotic.
Also, you must land on the black block in the center.
Now that you know what to do, how do you do it? First, get rid of the two side green blocks. They don’t bear load now, but when you remove the center green block, they will send a shock through the system if they’re still there.
With them gone, get rid of the center green block.
This will send the structure lurching a bit, and that’s fine. Part of this level is picking your moments. You have a lot of Mr. Hat situations where two narrow slats are barely being held together by bigger blocks. The trick here is to let them start to separate, and when you think the totem will squeeze through them, get rid of the block above them to let it happen. This one may take you a little while.
Level 12: O M G! Yeah, this doesn’t look possible, but fret not, it is. Your mission, is to stay as centered as you can. For this, you can enlist some of the green blocks to help you. Drop the slat that you are standing on to bury yourself between the two lowere verticle blocks.
If you’re not able to squeeze through, don’t worry, drop the next horizontal narrow slat and that should give you enough bounce to get buried. Now that big block you are standing on is the one you want to stay on, riding it to the ground like you’re surfing. This means you have to carefully, but quickly remove the blocks beneath it in the back and forth method we’ve already discussed in a couple of earlier levels.
Level 13: This one is EASY. Let the whole structure come to rest so that the two black blocks are making a kind of wide v. you have to land on one of them, so choose one, and remove blocks in a matter that flattens out your chosen landing pad, and gets momentum for your totem moving in that direction. You should be good.
Level 14: Another easy one. What makes it easy is that you don’t have to destroy all the blocks, and you have five non load bearing blocks next to you, and one non load bearing green block over to the side. Get rid of them all, and then leave the big block you’re standing on, and the two green legs untouched, and get rid of everything else, you should be fine.
Level 15: This one looks tougher than it is. Much like the Slime Totem level, your goal is to stay centered. Remove blocks in such a matter that your totem doesn’t get knocked about to one side or another. focus on the bigger blocks than the little blocks more often, and don’t mess with the foundation green blocks until you are very low to the ground.
Level 16: This one is tricky, and requires a little finesse. You have to land on black here, and everything is very delicately balanced. You are a little off center, so you want to move your totem a little to the right, but not too far.
This means you are going to have to selectively and carefully choose which blocks will give the structure a very slight lean to the right. Interestingly, the large green block on the right doesn’t bear much load, so you can get rid of this, and from there you want to get rid of smaller blocks to the right side of the structure first.
You’ll have to gage as you play when the right time to destroy a block is, but if you find yourself resting on black, you’re good to go.
Level 17: This one is just plain fun. You have a black landing pad you must hit, but you are far off to the right.
How do we do this? The goal is to find a focal point of destruction that creates a collapse that pours your totem into the right spot. Take your time, study the structure, and figure out what you need to do to do that. The way i did kept most the vertical blocks in place, destroying the right horizontal ones such that basically the top platforms tipped my guy to the right place, and the verticals just guided him home.
Level 18: Another fun one. you have two black platforms over head, and you have to land on one. Try and bring them both down using back and forth tactics. The right one should go flying off the screen. It doesn’t matter. We need the left one.
Keep bringing down the left black block until it is level with you.
At this point, the two inner small blocks (the inner most block for each “leg”) can be removed to tighten up the structure and give it a little stability. Now continue to work the black block to the ground. it should be relatively close to directly below you. Select the right blocks on the leg that you are standing on that will tip you onto the black one, and you’re home free.
Level 19: Not too hard. You don’t have to destroy very many blocks to progress from this one. Simply take care to destroy the green ones, and ride the avalanche to safety.
Level 20: Much like the temple, but now you have to travel the whole width of the screen. Shouldn’t be too tough as several of the most recent puzzles have given us plenty of practice at “pouring” or tipping our totem to one side or another.
Level 21: This is board is a little lucky, or at least very careful eyesight. You must finish up on the black block, but to do that, you need a major jolt to the system to move you in the right direction. To do this, you need to remove the green leg at the bottom first.
Now, you can just keep doing this until you are directly over the black block using luck, or if you pay very careful attention, and watch the arms for when the momentum shifts left, that will help too.
Once on the black block, don’t get cocky. Make sure the green blocks beneath you are destroyed, and take care not to tip your totem by destroying the wrong block below you.
Level 22: This level is a piece of cake. All you have to do is burrow your way through the center carefully, and you should land on all black.
Level 23: You gotta land on black, and this one is tricky to do that. You’re in your happy home, which means you need to destroy your foundation to get to safety.
How to do that. Well, look, you are off center to the left, and you want to stay relatively in the center, so start by destroying the lowest block beneath you that is on the right side, then, when you get centered, destroy left, then right, and you should come to rest on safety.
Level 24: This one is a pain, but remember the snake? Similar principles solving this one as that one, it just takes a much more delicate hand.
Also, you don’t want to ride the platform for very long.
I’m not going to lie to you, this is probably the toughest level in the game, and you need to be very mindful of the way the structure is swaying. That swaying should be used to generate momentum needed to center your totem over the tiny landing pad you are given.
The order you need here is the second green block from the top is the first to go, this should, if done right, give you a very straight shot to the bottom. Now you want the top green block.
Let it settle.
When the structure is as stable as you can get it, you need to ditch the platform. What happens after this is if you still have the platform, it’s going to see saw in one direction or another, and you don’t want that to happen.
With two green blocks, destroy the top one, let it stabilize, and then destroy the bottom one.
Even still, you’re probably going to need to do this one several times before victory is yours.
Level 25: This is just another burrowing level that you need to act quickly upon or else it collapses without your help. get your guy in the center and try and keep him over the black blocks as the structure crumbles about you, and you should be fine. Not a hard level, just a little overwhelming.
And there you have it, leave me questions if you have any.
Also, you can get the cheats here.