Clusterz Tips and Tricks

If you enjoy playing the online video game Clusterz at the Shockwave site, you may find these hints useful.

General

Game Play

On any given level if you bounce a ball off the top so that it comes all the way back down to the bottom, no new balls are added, and the colors of all the existing balls are changed randomly. So if you are stuck, you can try bouncing off the top until the randomized coloring gives you a cluster you can zap.

Back-up Files

Occasionally, Clusterz will kick you back to level 1. If you are careful always to click the "Menu" button before closing the Clusterz window, you'll lessen your chances of being kicked back.

If you make a back-up copy of your configuration file before starting each new level, you can restore back to that level in case you get bumped.

The configuration file is called
"WellGames_Clusterz.sol",
and is located in a directory dependent upon your operating system. Use your file browser's search feature to locate this file, and make a copy of it in the same directory called something like
"19 WellGames_Clusterz.sol",
where "19" is the level you're about to try. I have back-up files from
"20 WellGames_..." through
"34 WellGames_..."
(I haven't made it to level 35 yet).

To recover from a kick-back (so to speak), exit your browser, and copy the back-up file over the WellGames_Clusterz.sol file. Then restart your browser.

Avoid the Ads

If you don't want to wait for the ad video to play before getting to the game, you can go directly to the game by entering the URL
  http://www.shockwave.com/content/clusterz/sis/Clusterz.swf?hash=X
where the X at the end is a hash specific to your account. The hash is a 32-character alphanumeric string, e.g., 2ad538547a10d3105b686ebc7da99f1b
(NB: This hash won't get you to your game--I just give it as an example.)

You can find the value of your hash by viewing the HTML source code for the "regular" URL,

  http://www.shockwave.com/gamelanding/clusterz.jsp
and searching for "hash=". Just substitute your hash value for the X in the above URL. (To view source in Internet Explorer, right-click on a blank part of the page you're viewing, and select "View Source". An editor--probably Notepad-- will open with the HTML source in it. To search for "hash=", press Ctrl-F, and enter "hash=" without the quotes.)

A side benefit of this is that the playing board is larger (because Shockwave takes full advantage of the window in which it is opened). And a bigger playing board gives you more leeway with your mouse positioning.

Open Maximized Without Toolbars (in IE)

Using Internet Explorer (v.6--probably also works with other versions), you can open Clusterz to a full screen window without any toolbars (assuming you have Visual Basic scripting installed), so that the board is as large as possible on your monitor.

Save the following code to a file called Clusterz.vbs (or similar name, with the .vbs extension):

  Set objExplorer = CreateObject("InternetExplorer.Application")
  objExplorer.Navigate "http://www.shockwave.com/content/clusterz/sis/Clusterz.swf?hash=X"
  objExplorer.ToolBar = 0
  objExplorer.StatusBar = 0
  objExplorer.Width = 1024
  objExplorer.Height = 768
  objExplorer.Left = 0
  objExplorer.Top = 0
  objExplorer.Visible = 1
where To run the code, just double-click on the file's icon.

Level-Specific

Level 30

Keep restarting the game until you are given the pink-red initial pair of balls, and clear off the lower part of the screen and the center of the screen all the way to the top. Keep plugging away until you get rid of all balls of one color; then it gets much easier.

Level 31

Keep restarting until you are given the lt blue, lt blue, dk blue initial triplet of balls, and clear a path to the top as quickly as you can. Bounce balls off the top, being extremely patient to wait for clusterz you can zap--don't make any mistakes.

Level 33

Keep restarting until you are given the pink, dk blue, red, dk blue initial quadruplet of balls. Drill a hole on the right side with them, then clear a path in the center to the top ASAP. Then bounce the balls off the top, patiently picking off pairs until the only balls left are the unreachable ones near the top. Bounce balls off the top until the random recoloring gives you fewer than 6 ball colors. That's your chance.

Send Me More Tips/Hints

If you have any additional hints/tips/tricks, email them to me at JWinston82269@roadrunner.com and I will post them here, time permitting.

Goodbye and Good Luck.