Robert & Margie Peter's Jezzball story
Welcome to my Webpage. My name is Margie Peters and I am a homemaker, previously a bookkeeper, age 51 and have been playing JezzBall for about a year. When I tear myself away from JezzBall, I enjoy traveling, camping, logic puzzles, listening to a wide variety of music, some played on keyboards by Bob, my husband, and occasionally going for an ultralight flight with Bob, who is an instructor.
We have found that mastering George Thomas's method of creating the traps without losing a life, which Bob is very good at but I must start practicing, and pinning the balls in side by side are very important to obtaining high scores. To date I have pinned in as many as twenty balls in one continuous stretch. I also use the pause key to ensure the area is clear before I shoot. It is slow and tedious but does save lives once you get used to it. Also, it is important to play only when you are relaxed and able to concentrate.
The screen set-up that works for me is to create seven horizontal traps down each side and five vertical traps centered on the bottom. I create the longer top left horizontal trap last and use it to pin the balls. There is room so that when there are only a few balls left to trap I can draw a vertical line down each side. This both creaes a new trap and closes off the side traps so they can be trimmed.
Here is some more details of our techniques:
Back when we were just starting out, we were just separating the balls and compressing the space to complete the levels, not knowing any better. Then we decided to watch the demo and learned the basic art of setting more efficient traps, albeit sacrificing a life per trap, but our scores improved dramatically as well as our ability to reach higher levels. Then we learned that Margie's youngest sister and her family were also playing JezzBall and racking up much higher scores than we were so we picked up the tip from them of building another wall while the first one was in progress, learning to time it so as not to lose lives in the process. Shortly after that, we had a system crash and lost the copy of the game we had gotten from a now defunct local BBS in pre-Internet days when the 386sx25/VGA system reigned supreme (they had it tucked in their shareware lists), and, since we had no backup of it at the time and were now online, we went hunting for a replacement and discovered your webpage in the process, about the time when the highest score was in the 4 million category and neither of us had broken level 20 as yet. Needless to say, we had a lot of boning up to do to get anywhere near that level so we started reading the tips your top scorers had to offer and trying out the ones we were able to decipher at the time, such as setting up traps for balls to capture themselves, etc. After numerous untimely deaths and discovering a number of tricks on our own, such as pinning the balls down instead of simply walling them in, it wasn't too long before we surpassed our relative's scores by leaps and bounds. This is where being happily married to a spouse just as addicted to the game really comes in handy.
As most of us well know, the thinking processes of the two genders work differently from each other in certain areas with the result that the combined result can often be greater than the sum of the two individual processes on their own, such is the magic a good balance can achieve in a marriage. Ideas often beget ideas as well, and, by sharing our individual discoveries with each other, we both were greatly enriched with a wealth of different strategies. Examples:
1. When setting up self capture traps, the cursor can be positioned so one simply has to watch the corner of the previous trap and, when a ball rebounds straight out of it, be ready to nail it as it passes the cursor to form a penalty-free wall, a la George Thomas. (Margie's) At slow speed, this one's practically bulletproof for a person with healthy reflexes. My contribution to this one is that a person can focus on an imaginary corner along any edge and position the cursor at the corresponding co-ordinates to achieve the same effect.
2. I have noticed that the horizontal/vertical differences between the way balls are trapped differ from left to right corresponding exactly to the vertical differences between top and bottom with the left and top behaving the same way as each other and the bottom and right sides behaving the same way as each other as well. A good example of this is if you were to form a short wall on each of all 4 sides (where the long portion is destroyed by a ball) positioning the cursor the exact same cellular distance from each edge, you will find that the top and left walls are longer than the bottom and right ones are by one cell in length. Balls are more easily pinned in from the top down and from the left toward the right. Margie, as she has much more time on her hands during the day than I do, had figured out how to extend a trap that had been rendered useless by a pair of balls trapping themselves at the entrance with a minimum of penalty. Combined with George's method, it can be accomplished with no penalty. I turned around and used the above observations and we both learned how to do the same thing from the opposite side. The methods of blowing off leftover cells are also dictated by the above left-right and top-bottom differences.
3. When we went back to Melody's to show them a few tricks we'd picked up in our travels, we had no end of trouble as their cursor kept disappearing whenever the ball would get within striking distance of it. After considerable research in this area, I found that this nonphenomenon (I like to think of phenomena as positive entities) could be corrected by installing at least a 2mb graphics accelerated video card and using the factory drivers. A person can also set up the ballistics on the mouse to improve handling. BTW, setting to a higher colour mode such as 24 bit True colour will slow things down slightly as well as give JezzBall a more polished appearance.
Thank you for visiting and good luck to all and enjoy Jezzball!
Also see my thoughts on personal Web Etiquette and You.