Level 12-7 Video

I just finished a game of Zuma.  I heard some requests for level 12-7 video.   I don’t have a video camera, but my regular camera (Canon PowerShot S500) takes low quality, 30 second films, so I recorded it in 3 parts and uploaded to YouTube.  I was my own camera crew and didn’t have a tripod, so this is my best shot.  Once I have a chance to borrow a camera from someone, I’ll put up a better quality video.   

Here are my stats from the game I just finished (no lives lost): 
Total points: 2978210 (I think, hard to read)
Extra life bonus: 1550000, for 30 lives
Total time: 1:50:06
Combos: 1090
Coins: 164
Gaps: 143
Max Chain: 14
Max Combo: 5


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  1. * RebelScum says:

    Hey, nice vids.

    Can you share some of your playing strategy? Like, how do you decide where to shoot balls?

    I’m not sure if my strategy is off, or I’m just not fast enough (or both).


    Posted 11 years, 7 months ago
  2. * Sacha says:

    Thanks for the question, RebelScum.

    I’d say the largest percentage of the time when I’m choosing where to shoot a ball is to create a combo. I like combos because, not only do you get a bonus, but the line pushes back. But I prioritize getting coins and accuracy balls (the target-looking ones). Did you read my article on beginners strategy? Maybe it’s too basic for you. I’ll do a post later this week with intermediate strategy. After that, expert strategy. Keep checking back.

    As for you not feeling fast enough, the more accuracy balls and combos you get, the faster you will feel. It’s an illusion.

    Posted 11 years, 7 months ago
  3. * David Arnold says:

    I am looking forward to the advanced strategy. Indeed, I wonder if most people are even consious of what their advanced strategy is. So far, the intermediate strategies you posted are pretty straight forward. But here are two advanced strategy tips that I think I have ascertained. I am in the same boot as rebelscum. I am wondering if I am fast enough, or whether my strategy is fundamentally flawed. I have all but given up and you are shooting those balls awfully fast for a mere mortal. But here are two observations. 1. Know the board. Each board has its own little trick. Some have easy coins, some don’t. There is usally a place where it is best to place balls. Which leads to 2. You should shoot where the ball travels the least. This is as important as the accuracy ball and the Zuma. It’s all about time for the 2 million. Which leads us to 3. Try to shoot in a single general area and don’t deviate from that unless it is necessary. My biggest take away from your video. You are shooting at one spot and only deviate if you have run at of balls to shoot at, don’t have an obvious shot in the area but there is an obvious shot elsewhere, or are cleaning things up. It only makes sense that less motion is better for 2 reasons. First is that motion is time. So the less you are moving around, the quicker you are going. Second, is the aiming deal. Whenever you move to somewhere completely new, there is a little bit of aiming involved which takes time.

    I am curious if these points are things you were considering for your advanced strategy. Congratulations on the math major. I was a philosophy major, going to be a professor at one time, and now am just a corporate cog, so I envy you.


    Posted 11 years, 7 months ago
  4. * David Arnold says:

    Which leads me to my burning strategy questions.
    1. When the line is collapsing, is best to anticipate where the line will stop and shoot at it, or wait until it is done and then shoot?
    2. Is there a way to maximize the ace time bonus since it does NOT seem to be a simple calculation?
    Figuring out how that ace time bonus works would be a great math puzzle for you. I ahve seen 15 second bonuses add up to 15000 (1000 per second) and also seen the 2 seconds for 900. So there is something going on in that calculation and perhaps there is a way to maximize the bonus.

    Posted 11 years, 7 months ago
  5. * Sacha says:

    This is excellent. I really appreciate all the feedback. I will have to read this in detail later to properly respond, but I at least wanted to comment on your last point. Reverse engineering the ace time algorithm has been a interest of mine on the back burner since I graphed it ages ago and couldn’t see an immediate pattern. Now might be the time to take another look at this. Maybe I will post the data I have on this issue and you can help me figure it out. 🙂
    Off to finish homework now…

    Posted 11 years, 7 months ago
  6. * David Arnold says:

    One of the first things that come to mind on that algorythm is that it is related to the percentage you beat ace time by. So in the early rounds, if ace time is 30 seconds and you get it in 15 you have beaten it by 50%. But in the later rounds ace time is say 2:30, then 15 seconds isn’t that big of a deal.

    Posted 11 years, 7 months ago
  7. * Sacha says:

    Hi again David,

    I have the advanced strategy post mostly ready, but I was holding off on posting it until next week. Maybe I’ll do it early. We’ll see.

    To answer your first question, yes, item 1 (play to the level strengths) is already in the advanced post and you’re so right about the coins. I have to keep telling myself in some levels “ignor the coins, ignor the coins.” If I allow myself to focus on them, then I end up having a high time.

    Item 2 (shoot at close stuff) is definitely something I consider, which could have been included in the intermediate strategy, had I thought to do that. If you don’t have the accuracy ball it does take way too long for the balls to travel all the way across the screen – especially in Riverbed Mosaic realm. I will keep that as a note for next time.

    On item 3, I’m not sure I’ve actually thought of shooting in a singe area. Certainly this is ideal. Every time you move you lose time. Nice observation. I wonder to what degree we can control this. Do you do this?

    As for your burning stratey questions:
    1. Oohhh… tough question. I used to wait, but now, especially if I have accuracy ball power, I just shoot as the line collapses. It really depends on your level of play. For someone at the high end of intermediate, I’d say you should start working on shooting while they’re moving. For a beginner, definitely wait. It won’t help you to have to constantly clean up after misplaced balls. There will be a video out soon demonstrating this tactic, so watch for it. I’m hoping that’s up
    towards the end of next week (not me putting it up or it would be done already.)
    2. The bonus vs. ace time is fairly consistent within each stage. It is not a perfectly linear relationship, but very closely, especially for lower times in level 8 and above. I think most of my tricks and tips aim to lower times. Keeping the line as far back as possible before the gauge turns green will certainly help. This way there are less balls to shoot once they stop coming out.

    Thanks again for your insights. It’s great to be able to bounce ideas back and forth. You give me a lot to think about.


    Posted 11 years, 7 months ago
  8. * Kalirion says:

    Man, I didn’t think any human could play like that. I don’t have an Xbox360, but I have the PC version of the game. You’d think that with a mouse pointer on the screen I’d have an advantage, but for the life of me I can’t beat 12-7….

    Posted 11 years, 6 months ago
  9. * Nan says:

    I’m stuck on 12-5, although I got to 12-6 once or twice. I don’t know what the problem is!

    In answer to one of the questions above, I definitely think it’s best to keep on shooting when the line collapses, rather than waiting for it to stop.


    Posted 11 years, 3 months ago
  10. * Sacha says:

    Thanks Nan! Keep practicing – you’re so close!

    Posted 11 years, 2 months ago

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