Super Mini Puzzle Heroes Multiplayer, or simply Super Mini Puzzle Heroes, is a video game hosted on Nick.com. Unlike most Avatar games, Super Mini Puzzle Heroes features characters from both Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra, due to its crossover status.
Nickelodeon characters face off in a puzzle game that tests their agility and eye for detail. The player must choose a Nicktoon and help the character defeat all other foes. Going multiplayer brings up the whole new challenge of battling a random person over Internet connection.
- Down arrow key – Accelerate falling orbs downward
- Left arrow key – Move falling orbs leftward
- Right arrow key – Move falling orbs rightward
- Space-bar – Rotate orb pair
Super Mini Puzzle Heroes has two distinct divisions: story and multiplayer. Story is for one person to go against a CPU, while multiplayer is more complex – multiplayer lets a person interact over wireless Internet connection with another person's computer, allowing him or her to challenge a random player from anywhere in the United States. Due to their uniqueness from one another, each version of Super Mini Puzzle Heroes has its own subsection with further details underneath it. However, the core basics of gameplay present in both story and multiplayer modes are in the below subsection.
Overarching gameplay basics
Two characters, whether both of them are being controlled by humans (as in the case of multiplayer) or if only one is being controlled (as in the case of story), face one another in a puzzle match. The left side of the screen belongs to the player on that computer, while the right side belongs to the opponent. Therefore, the left player manipulates the orb configurations only in the left black box, and the right player manipulates the opposite side; to reiterate, on either player's screen (in the case of a multiplayer game), a person will see his or her character on the left side of the screen and the opponent's character on the right regardless of what the opposite player may see on his or her respective screen.
The game commences and colored orbs drift from the tops of the black rectangles toward the bottoms; they fall at the same rate in the boxes of both participants. Orbs always fall in pairs, with two falling orbs of possibly the same or different colors being attached to each other as they fall. Once they land, the player can no longer control their motion or movement as he or she is now manipulating a new pair of orbs. This is to say, when a pair of attached orbs hits the bottom of a box, it becomes immoveable and the player seamlessly transitions to controlling a new pair of orbs which began to fall immediately after the previous pair hit the bottom.
As touched on earlier, orbs are meant to be manipulated into intricate and purposeful patterns that accomplish the goals of the player. A pair of orbs can be moved left and right with the respective arrow keys, and the space bar spins the orbs so that they face different directions. For example, if a pair of orbs that is vertically inclined, the lowermost orb being yellow and the uppermost orb being pink, begins to fall from the top of the box, the left and right arrow keys allow the player to move it over into whatever destination he or she chooses. The space-bar rotates the pair from its vertical position to a horizontal one, with the pink orb now facing the right side of the screen and the yellow orb facing the left. Pressing the space-bar again would result in the pair returning to a vertical position, with the orbs being in opposite color configuration than it was when it was last vertically inclined. Finally, pressing the space-bar again makes it horizontal once more, the orbs now facing oppositely to their previous horizontal order. In order to speed up the process of an orb pair hitting the bottom of a box after the player has spun it into the desired state, the down arrow key may be used to accelerate the orbs to the ground; doing so, however, is not required, and the player may have a strategy that does not impose the need to speed things up.
There is an intrinsic reason for why a player should take care to move, rotate, and accelerate orb pairs: the player's opponent is doing exactly the same thing for the identical reason of defeating the opposite player. A player wins the game by getting the opposite player's orb-holding rectangle to fill to the top with orbs (see image to the right). In order for this to occur, the player must mix and match the orbs on his or her side. For example, if there are two pink orbs at the bottom of the box in the leftmost corner, and the player's currently falling orbs are a pair of pink orbs (one of which lights up and has a star symbol in the middle of it), the player should use the left arrow key to move the falling pink orbs until they are drifting down directly into the pink orbs located on the ground. As they have already landed, the orbs on the ground have an electrical spark between them, denoting that because they are the same color, the are compatible for explosion (read on for further details). When the normal pink orb and the pink orb with the star on it land on these other two pink orbs, the electrical spark is transferred to them as well, as they share the same color.
This is where the star orb comes in. It has a special appearance not for decoration, but to overtly state that is a catalyst to the explosion of orbs that match its color. Now that our pair of orbs that includes a pink star orb has hit the ground on top of two other pink orbs, all four of the orbs "explode". No matter how many pink orbs had been accumulated in one area with an electrical spark between them, they would not have exploded until a star pink orb had connected with them. This process is the same for the other orb colors.
After any number of orbs explodes on one player's side, repercussions are felt by the opposite player. An equivalent number of orbs falls into the rectangle of the opposite player once the other player's orbs explode, making it far more possible for him or her to lose when a moment before, that would not have been the case. This is for multiplayer mode, however; in story, depending on the mode of difficulty the player chooses (see here for difficulty details), a different number of orbs will fall on the opposite player's side when orbs explode. This process of exploding orbs continues on both sides of the screen until one player manages to pile orbs onto the opposite player's side; if that player is unable to clear some of these orbs and counterattack, they will pile to the top and the match will end with a win for the player who piled the orbs.
In-game tutorial and difficulty mode differences
After pressing play on the title screen, the player is given the option of choosing easy, medium, or hard mode; there is a checkbox below these buttons, which is selected by default upon entering this screen. If it remains selected when the player chooses a difficulty setting, a tutorial will commence after the player decides on which character he or she wishes to control, as opposed to the tournament just beginning once a character is chosen without the tutorial box checked. It is recommended that beginner players accept the tutorial, as Super Mini Puzzle Heroes is considerably more complex than most of Nick.com's other Avatar minigames. However, the details presented in the tutorial and more have been compiled here and may have been read already, so it may be foregone in place of Avatar Wiki's less visually assisted instructional guide if one prefers.
After deciding whether he or she wants to participate in the tutorial, the player should click on one of the three difficulty settings, which will act as a confirmation that the player is ready to commence with the game. If the tutorial option is selected when a mode is chosen, the tutorial begins, but otherwise the player is taken directly to the character selection screen.
The difficulties are easy, medium, and hard. The only difference between them is that each one presents a distinctly variable challenge for the player. Easy has orbs of the same color on the player's side fall conveniently at a high frequency, making it more likely for the player to see opportunities for explosion. Furthermore, when orbs explode, a large number of orbs is transferred to the opposite player's side. Hard mode is the opposite of this, added to the fact that the CPU becomes much more of a challenge than it way in easy. Medium, by definition, takes the middle ground between these two modes.
Tournament layout and unlocking characters
Unlike multiplayer, story has only one method of play: a tournament. In order to actually win story mode, the player need defeat not just one opponent, but seven consecutive opponents. After each won match, the next one proceeds first by the computer choosing a random new character to go against the player. If the player loses even one match during the tournament, he or she has lost the entire tournament and must begin all over again.
However, if the player manages to complete an entire seven-match set, regardless of which difficulty mode was won, a new character may be unlocked based on whichever character the player had used during the matches. For example, using Korra to win a set unlocks Aang for the player's use. Unlockable characters and the conditions necessary to unlock them include:
- Aang – Korra
- Dark Bloom – Bloom
- Dudley – GIR
- Fanboy & Chum-Chum – Timmy
- Hiro – Jenny
- Jimmy Neutron – Danny Phantom
- Patrick – SpongeBob
- Pink Ranger – Red Ranger
- Private – Po
- Splinter – Enter code "t3amturtl3"
- Note: Unlockable means that the player cannot use them without meeting the above conditions. However, they can be fought by the player before they are technically unlocked. Furthermore, unlocking characters is the catalyst for earning badges, which are unnecessary sidequests in the game that give the player more points.
There are three ways to play in multiplayer mode: Quick Match, Multiplayer Tournament, and K.O. Mode.
Simply put, the player is matched with a random player over the Internet and fights until the orbs are stacked in either player's favor. The first to stack the necessary amount of orbs wins.
The player is pit against a number of other random multiplayers who have chosen the tournament. Each player fights three matches until he who wins three matches earns the tourney cup. However, just like in the story mode tournament, if the player loses even one match, he or she is out of the tournament and the player who defeated him or her progresses onward. Although the losing players do not watch the tournament continue, the matches resume whether or not "the player" (or more simple, you) wins.
Meant to be more fast-paced than the others, K.O. mode requires both players to strive to smash the most orbs possible. The first player who smashes one hundred orbs wins the match.
Score is an erratic and immeasurable variable in Super Mini Puzzle Heroes. The amount of points totaled by the player depends on how many orbs he or she explodes in one go, on the level of difficulty a tournament mode is won, and numerous other factors in multiplayer mode. However, points are not the main objective throughout this game and are not a major factor in progression.
The stats screen compiles all of the wins, losses, smashed orbs, points earned, and more that accumulate throughout story and multiplayer modes. These stats remain on this screen and continue to be compiled until the player shuts down his or her computer, at which point the stats screen resets and all progress is lost. The exception to this rule is the badges, which, if the player has a Nick.com account, are collected on his or her profile and do not disappear when the computer shuts down.
- This is the first time Korra can be seen in chibi-like form.
- Battles against Aang take place on Crescent Island in the Fire Temple's sanctuary; he also triumphantly stands here if the player chooses Aang and wins a set of seven consecutive battles. Battles against Korra, on the other hand, are fought on a dock of Yue Bay with Republic City in the background, and she stands triumphant in the same place after winning a set as well.
- Upon winning a set, Aang says, "If you want to be a bender, you have to let go of fear. Appa, yip-yip!" However, Appa does not appear in the game. Korra proudly exclaims, "You wanna go toe to toe with me? Hah!"