Jezz on!www.jezzball.comJezz on!

Some Sound Advice
from Top Scorer
Dan Ellis

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  Hi !to e-mail Bud Cox

On August 14th 2000 you wrote:

My other life 

When I tell people that what I do for a living is "software engineer for the Air Force", a typical response is something like, "That sounds very interesting." I only wish it were so. It can be interesting, but it can also be pretty boring. The worst thing is that we can't play games or use the Internet for non-business purposes. No fun allowed!


I got some Java training and decided to test the job market.


So here I am on the Internet, having mastered a computer game. Revenge is sweet!

The Game

I have had the Best of Entertainment software for a few years. The games are, even by todayís standards, pretty decent. The ones that I have played the most are Pipe Dream, FreeCell, Taipei, and JezzBall. I really enjoy Pipe Dream, but I may have maxed out on it and I havenít found a good website to give me any new playing ideas.

If you JezzBall players think Jezz-freaks need to get a life outside of JezzBall, well, I had to play JezzBall in order TO GET A LIFE. This may be the answer to one of the worldís great mysteries: JEZZBALL IS LIFE.

Tricks and Tips

By following the technique shown in the JezzBall demo, I got up to a score of about 191,000 on level 15. You will inevitably lose many lives as the balls hit the red or blue lines. Maybe you can get a much higher score than I did playing that way. I personally don't care very much for the demo. The key to achieving higher levels and higher scores is to make traps without losing lives. How do you do that? As any good baseball hitter would tell you, keep your eye on the ball and make solid contact.

Notice in the images below, all the balls you see bouncing around are either in the middle of a square or on a corner of a square. This will always be the case. I actually view the playing area as the visible square grid overlaid by an invisible grid of diagonal lines which forms the "tracks" the balls travel on.

My playing style at the lower levels

For some reason, early on, I became more comfortable making horizontal traps than vertical traps. The vertical traps are made in a similar fashion. They just look a little different because the squares are not really square, they are wider than they are high. I draw all of my initial traps 2 squares high or wide. This is just big enough for a single ball to bounce into, or for two balls to trap themselves at the higher levels.

When a ball is coming into a 2-square-high horizontal trap, get your cursor in the vertical position and place it one-half square (on the grid line) from the end of the trap. Exactly at the moment the ball crosses the cursor, nail it, and you will enclose the ball in a single square. Translate accordingly for a vertical trap. You can string together a lot of balls this way.

My level 49 playing style

OK. In order to get on the high scorerís list, you need to understand a basic JezzBall fact: You must master level 49.

First, I set 2x2 traps up the right side of the grid, 7 total. When balls are trapped in them, trim off the two squares along the wall. And always trim off all the squares that have been taken out of the playing area.

jezzball image


When that is done, I set 2x2 traps along the bottom, 7 total. When all this is set, as many as 28 balls can trap themselves.

jezzball image


Next, I begin to close off these trapped balls on the right-hand side from the rest of the grid, catching some additional balls as I go.

jezzball image


By the time I close off the right-hand side, there will be just a few balls still bouncing around, as I prepare to close off the bottom.

jezzball image


When all the balls are trapped, I close off all but one. Then I switch to fast speed, and close off the last one.

jezzball image

jezzball image


Got it? See how easy that was? Normally, Iíll have over 40 lives left, 3000 - 7000 game seconds left, 91% of the area cleared, with a bonus of over 600,000. One thing I have learned is that if you want to be successful, you need a "repeatable process." I repeated this process over 300 times to achieve my final score of 221,097,539.

If you send me e-mail I can send you even more JezzBall tips. I will be happy to discuss Java also.

Now go practice and raise the scores on this list to another level!!!

On June 30th 2000 you wrote:

My story:
I actually have had JezzBall for a few years, playing it off and on.  Up until a few months ago, I had a high score of about 191,000 on level 15 or so.  Around Thanksgiving of 1999 I had some free time to kill.  I started playing it a lot, many hours a day, every day.  I was learning all kinds of little tricks.  It got to where I was having to set it aside and return to continue games hours later, or the next day.  Unfortunately, you know, we JezzBall freaks have to do other things like eat, sleep, go to the bathroom, and go to work.
At some point I discovered your website.  When I got over a million points, I started believing that I could get in the top 20 list.  At one point, I actually had enough points to get in the top 20, but an electrical storm killed my game.  I decided to invest in a UPS and dedicate my computer to JezzBall ONLY, and try to hit number 1.
It eventually got to the point where I felt like I could extend a game literally forever, the only limitation being how long my computer could hold out.  After repeating at level 49 a few hundred times, you feel that way.  And the rest, as they say, is history.  I actually could have gone much farther in this game, but I had to find a stopping point and give it a rest and get a life again.  If I had the incentive and could dedicate the time to it (6-8 months), I could hit a billion points.



GA flag Official Georgia Native


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