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PILE (1Button)

03-06-2014, 01:57 PM
Joined: Apr 2013
Location: France
Posts: 185
PILE (1Button) ==> Testers needed


Our upcoming game PILE will hit the App Store on March 20!

Full video: https://vimeo.com/87087223

We initially released PILE in 2012 as a very simple iPhone game. It was a complete commercial failure but it was downloaded about 400K times thanks to several price drops. Players loved it, we loved it. And we had many new ideas. So last summer we decided to work on a small update. And the small update eventually became a HUGE update ^^.

We've redesigned everything. We've added everything we wanted to add and improved every single aspect of the game. We've been working more than six months on PILE 2, which is probably risky as we can't spend a dime in marketing…

PILE 2 will be released as an update. The app will become free, including optional in-app purchases (I'll detail later). We pulled PILE 1 from the App Store until March 20 so that nobody buys it.

PILE 2 includes:
- Colorful edge-to-edge graphics
- 3 modes (Classic, Missions, Special)
- 15 upgradable power-ups
- Game Center (leaderboards, achievements)
- iCloud sync
- 13 languages

I'll detail the game mechanics later. In a nutshell, PILE is a fast-paced match-three with an original gameplay that emphasizes strategies and combos.

Don't hesitate to ask me if you are interested in trying the game before its release.
Cloudpuff and Bronxsta are already on my list

Last edited by 1Button; 03-08-2014 at 12:13 PM.
03-06-2014, 01:59 PM
Joined: Feb 2012
Location: Germany
Posts: 3,500
I'd like to try it

Game Center: sink_or_swim

03-06-2014, 02:08 PM
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 5,772
Same here
03-06-2014, 02:11 PM
Joined: Sep 2013
Location: uk
Posts: 3,602
Can't wait to try it, if it's even a fraction as good as your other titles you've nothing to worry about.
03-07-2014, 11:56 AM
Joined: Apr 2013
Location: France
Posts: 185
I sent the app to Cloudpuff, Bronxsta, sink_or_swim and TheFrost
Anyone else interested?

I'll try to post daily about different aspects of the game. Today I'll talk about blocks. As you may have noticed, blocks are the raw material in PILE. There are several kinds of blocks.

Color Blocks
If you line up at least 3 blocks of the same color (horizontally or vertically), they disappear. You start with only 4 colors in the Classic mode but new ones are added over time.

Bomb Blocks
Line up at least 3 bombs to make them explode. They blow up all the blocks around them. The explosion will even propagate, as shown in the gif.

X Blocks
These blocks can only be cleared by bomb blocks and power-ups.

Shiny Blocks
A color block can sometimes become shiny for a limited time. Clear it to score points and earn coins. Clearing a shiny block will also clear all the other blocks having the same color. Of course some shiny blocks are more likely to appear than others. The rarer the shiny block, the more points you score. Shiny blocks often appear at places that are difficult to reach.

All these blocks appear with variable proportions during the game. We spend a lot of time to finely adjust these proportions.

Tomorrow I'll post about what makes the difference between PILE and the other match-threes : its core mechanics!

Last edited by 1Button; 03-08-2014 at 12:12 PM.
03-07-2014, 12:12 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 115
looks like a winner
03-07-2014, 12:18 PM
Joined: Sep 2013
Location: uk
Posts: 3,602
Just like I thought this is as good quality as your other games, you get gently eased into the game and I like how you give the player plenty of time for the player to get the hang of the mechanics before introducing the next elements, a lot of games bombrd you with everything at once. The speed etc feels to increase at a nice even rate so you don't feel suddenly overcome, but at the same time being challenging as the screen fills, you need to plan where to drop the blocks to get the best matches while also being against the clock.

I love it. I'll chime in with impressions on other elements as you post about them if that's ok.
03-08-2014, 12:03 PM
Joined: Apr 2013
Location: France
Posts: 185

Today I’m gonna talk about what makes PILE so different from the other match-three games: its game mechanics.

PILE can be most related to Columns (Sega) and Dr. Mario (Nintendo). In such games, there are blocks that fall, one at a time, from the top of the screen. The player has to rearrange and position them while they are falling. The blocks then land either on the floor or on top of previously fallen blocks. If several blocks of the same color are connected, they disappear, making the blocks that may be on top of them fall.

Youtube link | Pop Up

In Columns, each turn the player is given a new column of three blocks. The player can swap the blocks' position within the column while it is falling.
In Dr. Mario, a new capsule (two blocks) appears and the player can rotate the capsule in the four directions while it is falling.
In both games, the blocks appear one at a time and the next column/capsule is displayed. This way, experienced players can build strategies. Triggering combos is quite hard as we only have a limited number of blocks to begin and sustain the chain reaction.

In PILE, we wanted to design a match-three game that would emphasize strategies and combos, even for novice players. Instead of just showing the next group of blocks, our solution is to directly give several groups of blocks to the player. He can play them in any order, which means the blocks don’t fall automatically. They are stored in a dock at the top the of game area. Of course the player can switch the colors of each pair with a tap, even while it is already falling.

We decided to give four pairs of blocks at each turn. With that much blocks to deal with, the player can build strategies (which one should I play first?). And because the blocks will disappear only after all the four pairs have been played, there is enough material to easily make impressive combos.

For each turn, there is a timer. If you don’t play all the four pairs of blocks before the timer ends, a penalty line of blocks is added at the bottom of the screen. Thanks to this timer, we can finely tune the difficulty curve and create an interesting rhythm.

Next time I’ll talk about the Classic Mode and the clever difficulty curve we designed!

Last edited by 1Button; 03-18-2014 at 11:53 AM.
03-08-2014, 12:58 PM
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,994
I downloaded and played the original about six months back, when I discovered SEQ and your other games. I liked it but think I got sidetracked by other games and forgot to return to PILE. I'm definitely looking forward to the update/upgrade.
Keep up the good work!
03-08-2014, 06:31 PM

I haven't played many Tetris style games so I'm sure other games have had a similar mechanic. Due to the urgency of timer, PILE does for matching/Tetris games what Word Mage did for word games. It's fast and challenging, as you only have seconds to scan the board, think steps ahead, and figure out the best place to place your blocks. The additions of power-ups and special blocks only add to the arcadey vibe.

I'm really enjoying PILE. There's a whole wealth of content here: the regular Classic mode, a Missions mode which I've yet to unlock, and a Special mode. Beyond that, you can also upgrade power-ups, which range for slowing the clock and clearing columns to negative effects like hiding the colors of the blocks.

Two questions:
1) Sometimes I'd have a group of blocks like this
But they wouldn't clear till the next turn. Is there a reason why, like a rule I'm missing or something?

2) Is there a reason to activate a bad power up? I've just been avoiding them

Last edited by Bronxsta; 03-08-2014 at 06:45 PM.