Spiky Atoms


  • Impassable walls often block the player’s progress.
  • Next to these walls are atoms that are covered in deadly spikes.
  • Some of these atoms only have spikes on one side.
  • By pushing the non spiky side, the player can use the atoms to break through the walls.
  • Level Design Function: theorytag_lock.gif Allows the player to move forwards by overcoming walls (basic lock and key function).

Basic concepts

Some atoms are shaped so they have a spiky structure facing one side. The player must not touch the spiky side or s/he will take damage. The other side of the atom is flat, and so the player can run into this side to propel the atom. If the atom hits a wall, it will break through it.

How does the player learn these functions?

Power-ups frequently materialise in the area. The moment they appear, a spiky atom will home towards it and destroy it. This provides the player with a demonstration of the destructive capabilities of the spike balls.

The rest of the stage is clearly visible behind the objects that the player needs to destroy. This provides the player with a clue that the object must be overcome in someway.

Big Size Technique

Although the germ world can only be accessed by the small player, the player can turn back into the big size to pick up the obstacles that block the small player's path.
advantage.jpg This quickly solves the puzzle.
disadvantage.jpg It causes much back tracking and wastes size changing reserves, as the player will have to return to the inner world through using an air vent again.
disadvantage.jpg The germs will be frightened by the removal of the blocking obstacles and flee their city. Although the player will be able to enter the city and buy objects, there will be no one to talk to.

Example of the puzzle in use: Example one


In this example, spiky balls fall at regular intervals into a chasm, making it impossible for the player to go past.


The player can jump across there is a lull in the falling atoms.


However, upon reaching the other side, the player discovers that the passage is blocked.


As the target marker on the wall hints, the solution is to the atoms into the wall before clearing the chasm (The player can jump back over the gap to complete this task).


In this example, the player pushed too hard and so fell into the chasm. Failure can also occur if the player does not push the spiked atoms hard enough, as they won’t have the momentum needed to break through the wall.

Example of the puzzle in use: Example two

In this example, the player is confronted with a field of spiky-ball atoms. Some only have spikes on one side of the ball, while others have spikes on all sides. In the field are groups of black and white molecules. The player has to avoid the black molecules as they could rebound him/her into one of the spiky atoms. The player must find a path through the area that will allow him/her to run into one of the single sided spike balls with enough momentum to break through the obstacle.

3D Concept Movies

Movie 3b & 3c - Demonstrates the spiky atom obstacle

Post a comment

Previous Section: Top Index Next Section:
Spores Library Level Moving flagellum bacteria
As this site is under construction, standard copyright applies. This may change once the main construction work is over. Details of the new license will appear here. Until, then Standard Copyright applies.