Columns III Forum  /  How much luck is really involved in this game?
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It seems to me for this game like there is a great deal of skill involved to have any hope of beating the sphinx or putting up a speedrun time for Hard (the only difficulty anyone has taken interest in thus far) but also, the luck of the gems that fall (even the same sequence for both players for fairness) no doubt contributes to the overall times possible in a given run.

There is one additional factor that also contributes to luck to me in this game: the behavior of the mummy and to an extent the sphinx, mostly with aggressive/conservative build strategies with the mummy.

Sometimes, for the mummy in particular, it will use the speed it has acquired by going through the pyramid to build high very confidently, raising the possibility of beating it very quickly with the right timing of attacks from people who would actually speedrun this on Hard, and quite a few victories under 30 seconds for one round have happened against this character. And I did once find out for sure the mummy was doing it this way both games while I beat them both. The mummy seems to be random with this build-high to clear an early chain strategy or a more conservative one more like the witch, making for more work for the player to build crush bars on this mummy and making it take longer.

Even the sphinx can sometimes get reckless like I described with the mummy, but it's really freaking fast, so one hesitation or mistake and my plan to defeat it could be ruined. Still, this could make for a miraculous comeback in the end, especially if you got a few "magic gems" which can be used to just crush bar the sphinx to death that way by just using them one after the another, or just one of two or two of three where you think that will be enough, especially if you have it coming up "for real!" I've used this strategy to defeat the sphinx, and did use one of those in my final game for my speedrun when I was at 10 lines clear (20 to get the magic gem normally, but occasionally sooner) and "carried" the resulting two crush bars on the sphinx to my magic gem "for real" and ultimately won after successfully using it. It is especially good combined with a barrier so the sphinx can't break it, particularly as it intentionally targets your magic gems, breaking it every time it gets the chance to!

So here's the information I thought could be useful for people looking at this.

So, what do you think are the overall roles of luck and skill are for this game as opposed to other games that are speedran?


Sphinx (this also applies to Mummy) has a tendency to build a chain, however knowing when that piece comes is key, bonus points if that color is droughted because the sphinx doesn't know what to do in that situation other than do a breakdown of the stack, however it's easy just to spike if you have another chain setup pre-emptively because the last 2 stack far right and far left quite often at the start which makes them extremely vulnerable for spiking, 60 points should be enough to spike them no problem, but 80 is optimal because they seem to get above 10 points before you can get the chance to lock them out.

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