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Hi! I'm Bart Bonte, a Belgian independent game designer and bontegames.com is where I blog about new interesting browser and mobile games. My own games are all in the left column (or at the bottom of this page on mobile). More info about me and my games on bartbonte.com.
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July 19, 2017

vertebrae [browser]

If you enjoy difficult puzzles you will like this new puzzlescript puzzler Vertebrae by Ali Nikkhah about a curious mouse on an island pushing boxes around. (Hint: the boxes can float on water. And like all puzzlescript games use the Z key to undo a move and the R key to retry a level)

126 comments:

User said...

Deviously hard! I'm already irrevocably stuck on the 3rd level. Really reminds me of Draknek's puzzles. Looking forward to more like this :)

veewee said...

hah! stuck on the first level here! I like it =)

palat said...

I'm liking this too but yes I seem to be stuck at level 1 too, heeeeelp :)

jj said...

So a hint for level 1: maybe you can push one box over the water using another box ...

jj said...

But is anyone able to do level 3? I'm so stuck after that bit of tail detaches...

User said...

Reload and try it... I think there's a bug... It worked properly when I reloaded the page (or something weird happened, I'm not sure which...)

veewee said...

I figured out the box pushing over water...but it's not yet helping me for lvl 1 - d'oh!

abi said...

*** HINT For level 3 ***

You can disconnect the tail at other points, other than the obvious first one where you push the third rock. You have to be at a place where the two parts of the tail make a corner and walk backwards. You leave the second part alone, push the third rock and rejoin the tail again. Still stuck on the last rock of the level though.

Hope it helps!

abi said...

*** another HINT For level 3 ***

For the last rock you have to push it all the way down with the tail (2 blocks). For the third movement you have to go down the path with the tail "cornered" and push from there with your tail. Sorry, i cant describe it better!

Again hope it helps!

jj said...

Another level 1 hint for pushing the box over the water: 2 boxes and 1 tail!

User said...

I'm stuck on 11... Can anyone help me?

Niki said...

On level three, third rock. Snap the last bit of tail off and push it in between the last two rocks(in the water), then back into it.

Long Peter said...

Did he changed the "first 5" levels today???

Unknown said...

I think the level I'm stuck on is level 2 (when I finally solved the first level, I had to do it twice more before it moved on to another level instead of reloading the same one, and then I had an extra bit of tail that I don't know where it came from, so I'm not entirely sure). It's the one with 4 rocks and 4 targets either side of a causeway, then another rock and target after the 4 barriers.

I can push things with a straight tail, or the side of a bent tail, but can't get into the right position for that to be useful: to get a rock onto the top right of the group of 4 targets, I can't see how to do it except by pushing it with another rock, which is then stuck in the water in its turn. Anyone get what I mean?

Anonymous said...

Have you tried detaching a vertebra?

Andy said...

I've gotten as far as level 8, but I CANNOT figure that one out.

Andy said...

Never mind, I got 8. On to 9...

Andy said...

Now I'm stuck on 11 as well.

And, in case anyone asks -- yes, I did stop and pick up the extra vertebra in level 10. It didn't help; when I entered 11, I'd lost it again.

Anonymous said...


Andy,

Yes, the number of vertebrae is predetermined for each level. I too am stuck on level 11, and have been for days! It seems, unless I've missed something, that you have to knock off at least one vertebra to push the first box onto its target, but the only places where you can knock any vertebrae off (before opening any doors) leave at least one vertebra in an irretrievable position so that you cannot later get to the upper target!
Indeed I think level 11 is impossible, which is a shame, as there are 30 more levels plus bonus levels it appears - please correct me anyone who has got past level 11!

Andy said...

Anonymous,

I've been suspecting the same (no solution to 11). I won't go through why I think that; I suspect it's the same as your thoughts. I hope someone can prove us wrong.

Long peter said...

I'm also Stuck at 11 for some time.

My new plan (didn't work it out yet)

1: go round Counter-clockwise lose 2 vertebrae between the 4 rocks.
one above the box, one to the left.

2: walk round CC again. push the right vertebrae down and the box in place.
--Upper door opens.

3: open lower door. And bring lower box in place.

4: Place a box in the door upper door opening to keep it open.

5: Go round Counter Clockwise and connect the right Vertebrae while pushing the box down.

so far...
Plan is now...

Collect the box. and push it up true the upper door that is kept open by the other box. Not sure how...

Andy said...


Long Peter,

I hope you figure it out; if you do, let us know.

Ali said...

About level 11:
I have solved that level many times in fear of having made it impossible and it's definitely solvable. The level is indeed about leaving vertebrae and retrieving them in a way that the doors can still be opened and it is intended that the only spot where the vertebrae can be knocked off is the one you mentioned (not in one way, however). I list some other hints at the end, since you may well be the only ones who got that far and any future player would probably be stuck there too and I don't want all those other levels to be wasted (for future reference, I've tested all the first set of levels except the last two, which I will do someday, and they're all solvable).

I hope you can solve the level now either with or without the hints, and if you did, please tell me if it felt unfair and why you think that if you do.

1. There are several spots where vertebrae can be reattached after you detach them to push the block.
2. The button the block is supposed to be on is open in other directions other than the one the block comes from.
3. (and this is the key idea so don't read if you don't want the level to be totally spoiled) pastebin.com/VrtJQA6G

Anonymous said...


Hi Ali,

Thanks for responding to us who are stuck on level 11!

My suspicion is that perhaps we are not looking at the same level 11 as you are, as your 3rd hint above (though it makes sense in the context of level 8) doesn't seem to apply to what I am looking at on level 11! Are you certain that the code linked-to on Bart's site is that which you intended? For instance, the code that I can see seems to have a stray "w" on line 1789 which creates an odd segue from level 1 to level 2!

Great game BTW - would like to get to the higher levels!

Anonymous said...


Hi Long Peter,

I tried that, but unfortunately there appears no way to wrangle the middle box to the left or up (only to the right). Also, if you try to go through the propped-open door head first (pushing the box out of the way) your skull is crushed! If you reverse into it, your last vertebra is crushed - the latter is a neat trick to remove the final vertebra from the skull allowing you to then retrieve other difficultly placed vertebrae, however, vertebrae that are crushed are lost forever, so you still have the same problem with the upper target - 2 vertebrae, 2 boxes, 5 spaces!

Ali Nikkhah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ali Nikkhah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ali Nikkhah said...

The hint does apply to and is the core idea of level 11, you just have to look at it the right way. The other two are important as well. That w was the result of a mistake and unfortunately can not be removed since it leads to all saved progresses skipping one level. I may have to post the full solution eventually, but for now, I think you can solve it if you play around with the level and keep the hints in mind. I think you are alreadey pretty close.

Anonymous said...

level 11 solved!!
1. break the spine so that it is of length two, and one vertebrae (A) is over the block that is above the rock that opens the top gate. Go around the other side, to break the vertebrae into single piece and in the process open the top gate. Do not connect to the vertebrae
2. move one of block to open the bottom gate
3. move the other block into the bottom island
4. then go and grab your missing vertebrae (A) that is above the rock and in the process move the block to close the top gate.
5. move the two rocks in the bottom island against the top (closed) gate.
6. break the vertebrae so that you can move it up to the two rocks
7. go around and push the other vertebrae so that the two vertebrae connects
8. go back around the other side, and reconnect to form a full chain
9. use the bottom open gate way so that you can form an L shape that will allow you to push the rock back to open the top gate.
10. Push all the rocks back to their rightful place.

Hope that explanation helps, or at least provided a guide.

Ali Nikkhah said...

Good job! Looks like my refusal to just explain the solution led to at least one person solving the puzzle on their own :D

Ali Nikkhah said...

Good job! Looks like my refusal to just explain the solution led to at least one person solving the puzzle on their own :D

Anonymous said...

but now perplexed by level 15.. I might just go do some h/w first and then try again

Andy said...

Okay, yes; that was good. Now, I'm stumped on 12 -- but at least now I'm sure it's possible, so don't tell me... yet.

Andy said...


Ali, if you're still reading: In level 9, is the door/trigger pair in the upper left just a red herring, or is there a solution that actually uses them? The solution I found doesn't.

Ali Nikkhah said...

Thanks for mentioning that, I had forgot to put a door in the middle!

Ali Nikkhah said...

Thanks for mentioning that, I had forgot to put a door in the middle!

Andy said...

Yes, I see the update; couldn't figure out the new solution at first!

Unknown said...

I started a new game and it turns out I had missed a level, perhaps because of the typo in the code - I hadn't seen level 2 and it was level 3 I was stuck on (so now the comments about that level make sense), and the one I've been stuck on for days now must be level 5. There's a movable block in a pool surrounded by walls; I can push it down so it's in the water just above the target, but not farther. I can't reach it with a bent tail to push it, and I can't pull with a bent tail. If I push it to the left instead, I can get it onto the path, but then it's stuck to the end of a wall and the only way to go is back again. What am I missing?

Andy said...


Unknown,

If you break a piece off of your tail, you can push it with a bent tail without joining it. That may be the technique you need.

Anonymous said...

can anyone help with level 4?
i can solve the 2 upper crates, but the 2 at the bottom (one besides the other) are a mystery to me!

Unknown said...

Andy,
I think you're probably right, thanks! But there's a level I'd forgotten (perhaps the one I was stuck on before I started a new game was level 6?), so I've got to try and remember how I solved that ...

Anonymous at 15:58,
I was just wrestling with that. You need to get the other 2 crates part-way there before breaking off the tail segment and lining the top 2 up. If you have one on the lower left switch and one in the water to the left of it, you can still get past to reconnect your tail after putting the others in position.

Anonymous said...

Thanks about level 4, Andy

but how do you even get the lower crates there?
the blocking rock and narrow bridge got me stumped

Unknown said...

Anonymous,
I'm not Andy, I was replying to Andy.
You need to put them on the causeway (narrow bridge), then push them down with a bent tail (which is where the other blocks would get in the way if you did them first).

While I'm here and before I forget any again, let's list the levels I've seen so far:
1 learn to open doors, and push with tail
2 learn to break the tail
3 has long push over water, one of the tricky bits is working out where you can break the tail without losing it
4 has pond next to rock, see comments above
5 maze where you can't go backwards
6 pool surrounded by walls, thanks Andy
7 maze and long push over water, you have to do them in the right order
8 long narrow pool, deliberately close a door
9 learn to hold doors open with crates

and then I ran out of time.

Anonymous said...

big thanks! even with that info it took me a while to get it.
(and sorry about the mistaken identity, i realised it as soon as i posted)

Anonymous said...

hint of level 14, please !!!

Anonymous said...

i have played to level 39, except for 14 and 37,
i suspect both are impossible, (37 is 1 box and 2 doors!)

Anonymous said...

wow.. level 15... gotta love that solution... not what i was expecting

Ali Nikkhah said...

Thanks for mentioning those, I thought no one will get that far so I procrastinated on double checking the last ones (I removed a box in level 37 because of the unnecessary complexity, but the level was solvable, both with 2 boxes 2 doors and 1 box 1 door).

And I'm really sorry if anyone got one box over in level 14, but wasn't able to finish or tried to make sense of how the button was positioned there, I just forgot to lower the location of that button. Again, really sorry for that one and hope you come back to it if that was the case with you.

Good to know the other levels are solvable and not unfairly difficult, and good job on solving so many of them (I just checked 39 to 41 and fixed some issues there too, there is a bug in the mechanics that makes one possible solution to 39 impossible, but the other solution isn't that much harder).

Anonymous said...

20, you can carry bones through left side of wall and button
22 etc, when bones are at border, they can't be connected.(bug)
27, is it possible to carry bones through water? too far away, i used other route

(37 i carried to both buttons because 36 opened 2 doors lol)

Ali Nikkhah said...

20, thanks, fixed it!
22, that's intended, I just didn't want levels to get too big, so ideally you should be able to extend your tail how ever long you want. When you encounter a situation like that in a level it means you don't need to do that (it doesn't necessarily imply otherwise if there is room for extension, though).
27, I don't know what you mean by that. That level was broken anyway, so it's now fixed.
37, haha, yeah, that could be misleading, I removed one of the doors in 36.

P. said...

Hi,
Is there any hint for a desperate mouse? I 'm seriously stuck in level 15 for several days...
(and thanks a lot, Ali, it's a gorgeous work!)

Anonymous said...

27, i moved right-right-up-down, passed door with bones fully connected,
is this level intend to send bones through water to pass door in short length?
but water was too vast

Ali Nikkhah said...

Oh man, yep, don't know how I missed that. Yeah, you need to retrieve one vertebra later, which is why the button/door arrangement is in the way.

Ali Nikkhah said...

P., you can do something with 4 vertebrae that you couldn't do with 3 (the rest of level 15 and the next level build on that idea, too).

P. said...

No! I get it!
I lie if I say your hint really helped me: I know for a long time ago that I need 4 vertebrae (with 4 vertebrae I can draw a big « ? » etc..etc…)
But you give me some hope …and some rage !
I feel better! Thanks !

Andy said...

Okay, now I'm pretty sure I'm missing something. I've been seriously stumped on level 13 for several days now. I'm pretty sure I need to somehow push a box through the door on the "east" side of the upper island, but I can't figure out a way to do that. Can someone at least tell me whether I'm on the right track or not?

Ali Nikkhah said...

Yes, you are on the right track.

Anonymous said...

i tried 40-15* and solved 40-41, 2*-7*, 9*-12*

1*, i made 5-6-2 structure but can't move effectively
8*, each right or left move on bridge, vertebrae becomes straight and door closes

Ali Nikkhah said...

1*, oops, 'nother last minute catastrophe, I suppose.
8*, don't know what you mean by that, but the level's solvable (I was stumped for a while, but the solution was easier than what I thought I had let it to be). I don't know how you solved the level before it and some other levels with the same theme, but you should apply the trick on the other side of the bridge if you solve the level correctly.

Thanks for mentioning these, I'd appreciate it if there were some other levels you thought were suspiciously easy.

Unknown said...

I was stuck on level 13 like Andy, and I don't remember exactly how I solved it. It involved a box holding the door open, a tail-piece 2 vertebrae long, and at least one move where I thought the door would close on my tail but it didn't (as well as lots of times where I had to Z out of a position where it had).

Now I'm stuck on level 14. I can pick up the loose vertebra, or push it off the path, or push it along the path, but I think I need to push it along the path and then off (or vice versa) so that I can pick it up from beyond the door, and I can't work out how.

How could Anonymous of some recent comments skip levels, and what's this about levels with a * in? Puzzlescript doesn't have a levels menu (that I can see), or display the level number.

Ali Nikkhah said...

You can view the numbers in the source ('hack this game' link on the bottom), I commented out level 13, so what you're referring to would be levels number 14 and 15 (the level was an unnecessary iteration on an earlier level). You can play individual levels by holding Ctrl and clicking on them, though you may ruin surprises or leave important knowledge behind if you skip levels.

Anonymous said...

i solved 8*, rests are
1*
13* unlike 12* can not cross at button-door
14* boxes aren't connected
15* need to retrieve 3 boxes but not enough length (though very long)

are they solvable? hint please

Ali Nikkhah said...

1*, I half-tested it yesterday and it should be possible (hint: you don't need the whole structure for all the buttons).
12* had an alternate easier unintended solution, which may be the one you got and so the reason of your confusion on 13*, go back and solve 12* again (the alternate solution to 12* now has the same obstacle as you mentioned 13* has).
14* is fixed now!!
15*, nope, think of earlier levels!!!

Anonymous said...

1* yes, i have to break structure to make solo boxes, and become unable to move box.
i solved 12* again, and in 13* i carried 16 boxes but can't carry solo box on water
14* has no goal '0'(solved)
15* i omitted a box for right-above button, and retrieved left-above box but both below...?

Ali Nikkhah said...

1*, yeah you're right, sorry, the button + the door underneath were one block too low and I didn't catch that the first time.
I don't know how you solved 12*, but 13* is solvable.
I'm surprised you can retrieve any box after leaving it in 15*.

All the levels should be solvable now, but 9* and 10* are at least the ones I know that are still totally breakable (in more than one way).

Andy said...

In the interest of helping meaningful discussion, is there any way of numbering the levels without the need to look at the "hack" source code? I must confess, all this talk of level numbers with and without asterisks is confusing me no end.

FWIW, I did solve "13" (the one two levels AFTER the one we all thought had no solution) and the one following as well. Both solutions came to me more or less by accident, but now that I've seen them, I can reproduce them easily.

Ali Nikkhah said...

Sorry, I could try numbering levels with sprites on the corner of the levels or something like that. But I find there hasn't been much confusion among the ones who got that far (even when you mentioned you were stuck on 13 I knew which level you meant).

...ok, levels 1-40 have show numbers now. I kinda worry that that now could lead to more confusion since there are already a bunch of comments here referring to levels with their old numbers, but not that many, except for Anonymous', who was the only one to solve more than 15. I should have done this way sooner, but I did it now anyway for the sake of completion.

Andy said...

Thanks, Ali. It should make things a little easier.

Unknown said...

Andy (last-but-one comment) -
Any hints about the second of those? Am I right that it takes all the vertebrae, including the loose one, but you somehow have to pick up the loose one _after_ passing the gate?

Andy said...

If by that you mean "14" with the new numbers (Thanks again, Ali!), then, yes. Putting it where it CAN be picked up requires learning something new.

I hope that's not too much help; I'm trying hard to give enough without giving it away.

Unknown said...

That's what I thought, but I already tried everything I can think of, so I guess this is where I give up.

Andy said...

Okay, here's one more hint: It's something you can do with four attached vertebrae that you can't with just three. I really don't want to say any more; as it is, it's verging on too much.

PetitePatate said...

Ali, I am stuck on level 13 for weeks now, I'm desesparate. I can put box1 in the right door by pushing it with a 2 vertebrae long segment, but I am not able to retrieve box2 wich allowed me to break my spine because I'm too short, and if I push box1 more or try to reconnect with the segment, a vertebra is crushed.
Also, could someone who succeded in completing a lot of levels (maybe the creator?) could write a walktrough or screen-record the resolutions (which is less painful both to do and to use)?

PetitePatate said...

Apparently calling for help unlock something in my mind, I solved level 13 (and feel pretty stupid).
Hint for people like me: You do not need a box to break your spine the way you want.

PetitePatate said...

And now I'm stuck on level 14, same as Unknown (Andy's hint didn't help me).

Andy said...

For those who haven't found it yet and don't expect to, here is the new trick to learn in level 14.

***SPOILER ALERT ***

From the beginning of the level:

RRDDRR

You are looking across the water at the loose vertebra.

UDLLRRLR

The "loose" vertebra is now attached.

UURRDDRLUULRDU

Your tail is "hanging down" to your right. Go right one step, and you break off the last vertebra without the need to back up against anything. (Pretty slick, huh?)

LDDRLUULRR

You have just moved the loose vertebra above the door. Go through the door; it will close just behind you without breaking anything. Now, with a little wiggling around, you can back up to the loose vertebra and re-attach it again. Finishing the level from this point should just be a series of things you've already learned to do (including the new trick, probably).

Anonymous said...

i solved 1*, 15*(i think i have never used this method)

12* i cut 2 boxes on the bridge(totally 3 separate boxes)
13* i cut 4 boxes and cariied totally 15 boxes (previous comment 16 boxes was wrong), but solo box is on water in vain, i think solution of 12* doesn't help 13*

Ali Nikkhah said...

Again, I still don't know how you are able to 'cut' off boxes and solve 12*, maybe the new altered versions would help you make sure you don't have to (and in fact shouldn't) do that.

15*, how did you solve 35, 36, 37, 38 and 6*, 7*, 8* then? That level can be solved by implementation of a combination of general ideas those two sets of levels were based on.

PetitePatate said...

Hello again! (and thank you for your help Andy)
I am now stuck on level 19. I do understand that the ways on the right are for pushing 4 cut vertebrae on the south part, but I only manage to pass 2. Help again, please please please?
Also, what is the deal with the '*' after the level number?

Andy said...

I can't help with 19, sorry; I'm stuck on 16 myself, although I do have a few ideas. The "deal" with an asterisk after a level number is that it's one of the "bonus" levels after the first 40.

If you want to look at them, click on the "hack" button at the bottom of the game and then scroll the left window down (a lot; it's several dozen pages' worth, at least). To play one of those levels -- or any level, for that matter -- out of sequence, do a on the image and it will pop up in the upper right window. I don't recommend that myself, but that's how it's done.

Andy said...

Sorry, I mad the mistake of using less-than/greater-than characters in my previous message, which turns the text into HTML tags. What I meant to say was "... do a ctrl-click on the image and ..."

P. said...

Hi,
You can try to do a special (and funny) shape for 19 …
16 is the only level I skip on my puzzlescript-player ’s life.
20 seems to be impossible.

PetitePatate said...

I still don't figure out 19...

But I can walkthrough you the level 16:

***SPOILER ALERT***
(sorry for my English, it's not my native tongue)

Push the box against the south part of the southern door:
ULLLDLUU

Get into a reverse-pan shape and push the box inside the door by passing on the southern button:
DRRDUDLLUDRURDUUU

Get into a staircase shape and push the box north of the door:
RRDDLLLLDURDURDUUUU

Go on the south-west part, get into a staircase shape and push the box even more to the north:
DLLDLLUURLDUUDLRDULRDUU

Go in the north part and push the box so it is under the northern button:
DDDRRURRRRUUUUULLLLL

Go on the south-west part and push the box on the nothern button:
RRRRRDDDDDLLLLDLLUURLRLDUUDDDUUU

Go to the final door, level finished!

Ali Nikkhah said...

Based on your comments on 19, it seems to me 17 might have an unintended solution, otherwise 19 can be solved somewhat easily knowing the intended solution to 17. So can one of you tell me how you solved 17, because I couldn't find the unintended solution this time.

Also, level 18 seemed to give away the intended solution pretty easily and it also had an unintended solution, I tweaked it so that those are not the case anymore and now it also involves an action that is also needed in level 20, so if you are stuck on 20 maybe solve 18 again if it's not too much trouble.

In case I forget to mention it later, thank you all for your feedback, it really helped refine many of the levels (and fix them if they were breakable or impossible).

P. said...

Thanks a lot for the walkthrough, PetitePatate (french too?): I really missed the second shape to lift the box two steps after the door.
I pause it here, and I ‘ll try to figure out the following by myself …
Ali, I’ll try to do 17 again and explain to you: in my head, it was pretty simple, and I don’t used what I needed in 19!
I have a look on the new 18 : why are you so cruel ?!
Ok, I understood 2 things: I got a lot of work and, until now felt smart…by chance !

P. said...

Level 17
After I put my box up at the top, I managed to make an "L with the bottom bar up", I pushed it so that a point is on the ground of the left vertical path ... Is it clear? intented or unintented?

P. said...

Ok, i solved 17 with the "new/old" trick, too ...
You should watch again the improvement you do on 18 : I think it's now The easiest level !
(and if I forget too, or take a break: thank you, it's really a good and hard one, very impressive!)

Ali Nikkhah said...

I couldn't reproduce your solution, but I got the general idea and no, it's not intended and I understand how that version of the level would have allowed for your solution. It should be impossible in the new version, and hopefully it's now easier to deduct what's needed from the new, better emphasized structure of the level.
So if anyone's stuck on 19, you could try solving the new level 17.

Ali Nikkhah said...

Yeah, I caught that with 18, it should be fixed if you reload or try to play it again.

Andy said...

Petite Patate, let me add my thanks to P.'s. I had already gotten into both of those shapes, but hadn't realized what they can do; there's no way I would have happened on both of them at once by accident.

Anonymous said...

12* other player (in message board of my native language) solved to place 2 boxes on the switches, with method like level 24.
so now i understand how to pass bridge without cutting boxes, but surrounding rocks make it impossible to solve this and next level too.

13* i can place 2 boxes on the switches without cutting boxes, but when i try to move the box on bridge upward, the gate closes easily.

18 was there a rock in old version? i can't make a bone in new version.

Ali Nikkhah said...

Right, sorry if it mislead you, that was just a miscalculation on my part, both are now fixed.

13* the door shouldn't close with you moving the block holding it unless you step away again. The level is/was solvable (with the exception of the top part, which you mentioned and is fixed now) and it has a similar solution to 12*.

18, that was supposed to be the challenge in the old version, the level is the same, except for some minor tweaks that (you probably broke off a vertebrae using a rock the last time, which was the unintended solution).

Anonymous said...

i solved 12* 13* and 18

24 you can carry the box downward through water to avoid right bridge structure, maybe unintended solution.

thank you, i enjoyed and suffered so much!

Ali Nikkhah said...

24 is pretty easy anyway, so I guess you could give them that whoever tries to solve it that way.

Thank you for playing and helping where you could, I naturally didn't have any playtesters and you can't have a solver in PuzzleScript so having someone play through all the levels really helped a lot.

PetitePatate said...

FINISHED (finaly)
It was an amazing game: simple, mindbreaking, not requiring speed skills or luck.
Awesome.

Ali Nikkhah said...

Good job and thank you!
I went through the later levels again and found 37 should have been impossible the whole time and I'm curious how you (and the other player who finished the game) solved it (there is a box right below the top most button which for whatever reason wasn't there before).

PetitePatate said...

Is the level 37 you are talking about is the one commented 37 in the hack ? If yes, I can try to solve it again if you want

PetitePatate said...

Oh I see ! when I solved it there wasn't a box, so I put one of the 3 boxes on the last segment (x-axis), between the 2nd top most button and the rocks just under (y-axis), cut a vertebra, put it just below that box, made myself short to be able to go back and pushed up

PetitePatate said...

Nothing to do with previous messages, but did you made other games? I cannot find a page or a blog when I google your name

Ali Nikkhah said...

Ah, I think I get the idea. I'm not gonna change anything just yet, the intended solution to that level is brutally difficult and I need a real tester anyway.

There are only two other (PuzzleScript) games that I've made that are out there. You can play Sorx-Aubi, it's both on Bonte's blog and on itch.io (which has the refined version, but I don't remember if I ever tested the whole game at once), the other one is not worth playing if you ask me (but if you insist or are interested in improving, etc., here: puzzlescript.net/play.html?p=965508fd29cf39f57df2a1a65e0b4000).

I didn't share Vertebrae on Twitter, since virtually no puzzle game playing person followed me at the time, but you could follow me @alinikk_ for future games and updates. Thank you for your interest!

PetitePatate said...

Just finished both games, they were good! (both!) Please continue :)

Andy said...

Okay I'm up to 37, under current numbering. I know there have been some changes in the last few weeks; is this one still solvable? I'll be honest, I have no clue how to approach it.

No, I'm not asking for a clue; I'm just saying I don't have one, yet. But I am asking if it's solvable.

Andy said...

Ali, at one point you asked that we tell you if a level seemed too easy. I'll make the following two comments:

* the extra tailbones in levels 10 and 22 are superfluous, and

* level 36 seems nuch easier than I would expect for that high a level.

Level 37 still has me baffled, though, but I've only been on it a day or two.

Ali Nikkhah said...

It is solvable, I just solved it, but it's like I said, brutally difficult and I'm not exaggerating. The other two players solved it through an unintended solution, which I didn't make impossible. I now know better, of course, and have an idea as to what other level(s) I could've inserted before it to make it more fair. But I just went ahead and changed the level structure anyway, just so the goal is clearer. Again, this level involves enough ideas to make its solving take several hours of thinking, so if you'd like, here are some (rather major) hints:
- There is an arrangement of vertebrae and boxes that solves the level by pushing the top block and retaining the others.
- You should be able to conclude that it's impossible to carry it if you have a tail.
- Everything else is secondary and should be straightforward, but not in terms of implementation.

Andy said...

Thanks, Ali... I think. I will confess I don't know what you mean by "carry" (in your second hint); also, in your first hint, what do you mean by "block"? I would have assumed you meant "box", but you also refer to boxes in the same hint, so I'm confused. Anyway, I'll continue working on it.

I've also been meaning to tell you, since you aked once that we tell you about suspiciously easy levels, that the extra vertebrae in levels 10 and 22 aren't needed, and level 36 is really too easy (IMHO) to be that high a level. Actually, I thought I'd already posted that, but it doesn't appear here, so I guess I didn't.

Andy said...

Ali, I did find a solution to 37; thanks for the hints. I don't know, but I think you were wrong about it being impossible without the box at the top (no, you didn't say it in your reply to me, it was in a previous message). When I get a chance, I'm going to try it and see.

Ali Nikkhah said...

That'd probably be another unintended solution then, but I have no problem with it at the moment. Thanks for pointing out those levels, I changed level 10 a while ago and I can't find a way to break it now, maybe it's fixed, the vertebra in level 22 is just there for consistency purposes (the level after it needs 6 vertebrae). I don't know how I missed that in level 36.

Andy said...

I looked at 36 again. I don't think now that there is another solution that doesn't waste a vertebra, but that is an option (which isn't necessary, if the door has been opened and the topmost vertebra is still in place).

Jeff said...

Ali, any further hints for 15*? I'm trying to push a variation of a 7x7 box from the middle after breaking off all boxes attached in one continuous section, but never seem to get it right. Not sure if I'm headed in the right direction. I was able to do all the levels until then. Your hint about using a combination of 35, 36, 37, 38 and 6*, 7*, 8*, hasn't helped, yet.

Jeff said...

Nevermind...15* was hard.

Jade said...

Totally stuck at no 23, run out of ideas. Have been trying for weeks now. Any suggestions? I like this game, but maybe it's just too difficult for me ...

P. said...

I took my break on the 23 in august …
When I came back, I understood it by doing the following levels: it’s a kind of basic.
You have to be able to wind up, starting from the top, by raising you so that you can place your head under your box by lifting it (without cutting anything)
This game is very hard.
And furiously addictive.
I can’t even tell that I’m done: I don’t understand 8 *. And I don’t even try the 15 *: screen too small in « hack this game".

Jade said...

Thank you, P.!! I finally solved it. What a relieve :-)

peter mandas said...
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peter mandas said...
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marie said...

very good game !
but i'm stuck on level 18 for ages, and it's a bit frustrating :-(
any help ?
pleaaaaase !

Psilent Knight said...

Any strong hints for Level 13 please? i solved level 12 easily, so maybe i didn't do it the 'right' way and therefore didn't learn what i need to do for 13. i have the idea as others have mentioned to break off 2 vertebrae and use them to push a cube through the door from right to left, but it's going to crush the vertebrae right? and i need all of them to complete the level right?

Psilent Knight said...

Never mind, 13 solved! I'll be back shortly no doubt.

Psilent Knight said...

I feel your pain marie. i've staggered through to level 18 now and i'm similarly perplexed. how to drag the cubes away from the edges? then again i've only been looking at it for 1 day, a relatively short time in terms of some of these levels, so i'll keep plugging away for now. good luck!

marie said...

psilent knight, thank you for your support : i tried again after your comment and just solved it !
(and to drag the first cube away from the edge : bottom part of the snake is like a U and up-right part is like a L with the bottom part up... i hope it's understandable)

Psilent Knight said...

18 done!!!!!! i can help you now marie if you're still stuck on that one.

I have to say big thanks Ali for this game, sooo tricky, and so satisfying when i make a breakthrough and discover a new trick. i actually started laughing when i solved 18. eureka and also relief!

Psilent Knight said...

Lol, coincidence! well done solving it marie.

Psilent Knight said...

The box at the start of level 27 is not needed to complete the level.

Jade said...

Something strange happened. I had reached no 27 (or 26, don't remember exactly), didn't play for a while and now all of a sudden I can only play a no 1, and when I solve that, it starts again, so I cannot go further and I lost all my results sofar. How do I solve this?

marie said...

still need help for levels 23 and 39 :-(
very difficult but very goooooooooooooood game !

Ali Nikkhah said...

Sorry for that, Jade! It's probably because PuzzleScript recently switched to https and now all the local data (or at least a bunch of them?) is lost or inaccessible. You (and anyone else who has had the same problem) can click on the "hack" link under the game window, comment the levels you've already played by putting parentheses around them in the source (they're at the very end of the source code, and you can comment all of them at once) or just play them individually by ctrl+clicking on them.
Sorry again for this! And thanks for all the flattering comments!

 

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