PathWize Beta User Guide

Game Play Scene

Game Play Overview

The objective of game play is to place path pieces on the grid to form a connected path for the car to travel over, such as shown below.

The length of the created path must be greater than or equal to the minimum path length for the shift. If the path is not long enough, the car drives off the end of the path and crashes, and the workday is over. If the path is long enough, a finish line will appear, the crowd cheers, and the next shift starts.

The number of shifts per workday changes with the challenge level and will be 6, 8 or 10. At the end of the workday, a score summary is presented and the workday score is converted to credits that can be spent at the depot.

Path Placement

To place the next path piece, touch any empty square on the grid. Path pieces are played one at a time, in the order presented. The next piece to be played in displayed in the path hopper. The hopper displays the next 4 pieces with the next piece positioned next to the arrow pointing toward the grid. Only the piece next to the arrow can be played. The next piece is shown below on the right end of the hopper.

Hints for placing path pieces:

  • Path pieces can be placed on any empty square.
  • The path starts in a fixed direction at the car location.
  • The car never turns at an intersection, it goes straight through all intersections.
  • The car turns only when traveling along a curved path piece.
  • There is no rotation - path pieces are placed in the orientation shown in the hopper.
  • Unconnected path pieces or segments that are connected but not on the main path are allowed (as shown above).
  • On Return to Shop shifts (with the Garage tile), the path must end in a fixed direction ending at the Shop.

The path start point is always from the car. Note that the small section of path points to the right in the example below. The car location and initial path direction are chosen randomly at the beginning of each shift.

Undo

The last placed path piece can be removed from the grid and placed back on the hopper. Touch the last placed piece to undo the previous placement.

One-way Paths

Some shifts will have one-way path pieces. As the name implies, the car will only traverse the path in the direction indicated.

Minimum Path Length

Each shift will have a different minimum path length, with the minimum increasing each shift. The minimum length is the number of path segments that are required in order to successfully complete the shift. The required path length number is shown in a box next to a crossroad (+) symbol icon. Note that the example shown is in the iPad Portrait orientation. The placement of the various controls and information on the game scene can change depending on the iOS device (iPhone vs iPad) and on the orientation - try rotating an iPad for example. (The iPhone display is always in landscape.)

As pieces are placed on the grid when extending the path from the car, the required path length counter changes to indicate how many additional pieces are required to complete the shift. Placed pieces that are not connected to the existing valid car path do not affect the required path length counter.

The path length is not necessarily the same as the number of path pieces placed. A crossroad (intersection) can count as 2 path lengths if a loop is made. (Making loops adds to the bonus score).

Return Authorizations

When the next path piece just doesn't fit anywhere obvious, there are several options to get rid of the unwanted piece:

  • Use a Return Authorization to skip the next piece in the hopper
  • Place the piece on some otherwise unusable grid location
  • Demolish some obstacles or other path pieces to make room

Using a return authorization is the easiest and most efficient piece rejection method - the piece is rejected, returned to the path piece manufacturing plant, and it won't clutter the grid. However, you'll only have a limited number of return authorizations, as indicated by the counter next to the 'Return' key symbol.

If you do have return authorizations available, just touch anywhere on the hopper to skip the next piece and move on to the next piece in the hopper.

Obstacles

At the beginning of each shift, a number of obstacles will be placed randomly on the grid.

Path pieces cannot be placed on any square with an obstacle. Obstacles can be removed with tools and/or demolition explosives. The amount of obstacles increases each shift. The amount and difficulty (type) of obstacles also increases as the challenge level increases.

Bridges and Tunnels

At the beginning of each shift, and depending on the challenge level, a number of bridge and/or tunnel path pieces may be placed randomly on the grid. These pieces are usable in building a path, and using one gives a bonus when the score is calculated for the shift. However, depending on their placement, bridges and tunnels may act more like obstacles, and like obstacles, bridges and tunnels can be removed with tools and/or demolition explosives.

Selecting Obstacles

Obstacles must be selected before they can be demolished. To select an obstacle, tap on the obstacle. The obstacle will be highlighted with a blue glow. The example below shows one barrel selected. Touch the obstacle again to deselect.

Multiple obstacles can be selected and then affected by a tool or demolition explosive. Obstacles are grouped according to the amount of damage that is required to remove them. When selecting an obstacle, to select all similar obstacles along with the tapped obstacle, just double tap. The example below shows the result of double tapping one of the barrels. The result is the same as if each of the obstacles was individually tapped. Deselection works the same way; double tap a highlighted obstacle to deselect all similar obstacles.

Select or deselect All obstacles by triple tapping any one obstacle. This is a good way to see all obstacles on the grid. Note that path pieces are also removable as obstacles. This includes all path pieces, whether they are bonus pieces (bridges and tunnels) or were placed from the hopper. In the example below, 3 bridges and a one-way curve are selected along with all of the normal obstacles.

Demolition with Tools

Once obstacles (or path pieces) are selected, they can be acted on by demolition tools and demolition explosives.

Tools are selected before the workday begins and last for one workday (they wear out with use). Explosives are more powerful than tools, but the number of explosive charges is limited per workday.

You'll only have one tool to start with, but additional tool box slots can be found in the depot supply packages. The example below displays 2 Tools.

Touching the tool causes the tool to be used on all selected obstacles. Each tool activation drains some of the life out of the tool. In the following example, the air hammer tool is almost used up and the tractor is about 40 percent used up. The used tool outline is green until 75 percent used, then yellow to 99 percent and turns red when the tool is completely depleted.

Each tool activation uses a specific amount of the tool's power. That power is shared by all selected obstacles (and only the selected obstacles). If a certain tool can remove one instance of a some type of obstacle, then it would take 10 taps on the tool to remove 10 of those same obstacles. The example below shows 3 rock piles selected and partially demolished.

When a tool is used and an obstacle is fully demolished, the obstacle is removed from the grid. Only the amount of damage necessary to remove the obstacle is subtracted from the life of the tool. This means is doesn't matter whether or not multiple obstacles are demolished together or one at a time, the total drain on the tool is the same.

Demolition with Explosives

If you have demolition explosives available, a charge can be set by touching the plunger.

Each application of an explosive uses up one charge. The number of available charges is displayed next to the plunger and indicated by an explosive symbol (like a 6 pointed star). The number of available charges is limited per workday. Once used up, you'll have to wait until the next workday to get more charges.

There are 4 different classes of explosives and each class has 5 power levels. The classes and levels determine the power and range of the demolition effect.

Unlike tools, explosives have an effect on all obstacles within range, whether or not they are selected, except for path pieces. Path pieces must be selected or they won't be affected by an explosion. Therefore, with demolition explosives, obstacle selection is used for 2 purposes:

  1. Determining the center of the blast
  2. Inclusion of path pieces

Again, the 2nd point is that in order to be acted on by explosives, a path piece must be one of the selected 'obstacles'.

Checking Explosive Effect

As an aid for using the demolition explosives, a touch and hold (long touch) on the plunger will display the effective radius of the explosion. The next example shows one barrel selected.

A touch and hold on the plunger would display a red ball centered on the barrel. This indicates that the demolition explosive in use has an effective radius of 1.5 grid squares. The ball is red because at least one of the selected obstacles would be affected by the blast (the barrel).

Next we show two obstacles selected.

A touch and hold on the plunger would again display a red ball, this time geometrically centered between the 2 obstacles. The demolition explosive in use has an effective radius of 1.5 grid squares and the ball is red because there is at least one selected obstacle that would be affected by the blast (both of them). However, note the damage done from demolition explosives falls off as distance from the center increases, so these 2 obstacles would not get the full force of the blast.

Another example shows 3 obstacles selected.

A touch and hold on the plunger would again display a red ball at the geometric center of the 3 obstacles. The demolition explosive in use has an effective radius of 1.5 grid squares and the ball is red because there is at least one selected obstacle that would be affected by the blast. In this case, only the barrel would be affected because the other 2 are outside of the effective radius. But note that all 3 obstacles are still used to determine the center of the blast, and the barrel is offset slightly from the center of the red ball.

As a final example, we have the same 3 obstacles but only the horses are selected.

A touch and hold on the plunger would display a blue ball this time, at the geometric center of the 2 selected obstacles. The demolition explosive in use has an effective radius of 1.5 grid squares and the ball is blue because there are no selected obstacles that would be affected by the blast.

Using Demolition Explosives

Once obstacles are selected, and the effect has been verified (if desired), just tap the plunger to set of the demolition explosive charge. Each time the plunger is tapped, one charge is used up and the damage is applied to all obstacles and any selected path pieces within range of the explosive.

Another difference between tools and explosives is that the damage done to each obstacle depends only on the power of the explosive and the distance from the explosion to the obstacle. All obstacles are treated independently.

Timers

There are 2 timers that affect game play. The only hard time limit is on the workday. If the workday timer runs out, the workday is over. The base play time for a workday is approximately 30 minutes. However, this can be affected by selection of some efficiency equipment items that effectively modify the passing of time. The workday timer is represented by small pips on the timer clock.

The workday timer pips disappear one at a time as the workday passes. When there are 15 seconds left for the period represented by one pip, the pip starts blinking. When all of the workday timer pips are gone, the workday is over.

Bonus Timer

The other timer is the digital timer, and that one is the shift bonus timer. This is not a hard time limit. When the bonus timer gets to zero (0:00), it stops counting and there will be no time bonus for that shift. If a shift is completed before the bonus timer runs out, a time bonus is awarded for that shift.

Return to Shop

Some levels require returning to the shop. This is indicated by the shop ending path, similar to the car starting path.

The built path must end at the shop or the shift is incomplete and the workday will be over. Note that like the car starting location, the shop ending location has a required ending direction. It must be entered on the side that has the small path piece leading to the shop.

When returning to the shop is required, and the minimum path length has been met but the path does not yet end at the shop, the minimum path length indicator will change to a red 'G' (should be an S).

For example, the path below is plenty long, but the shop still needs to be reached.

Pausing and Ending a Shift

Tap the red stop button to temporarily pause game play.

The pause panel will appear.

Game time will stop. The game can be continued by tapping the Continue button.

To end the current shift, tap the End Shift button. If the path meets the minimum path length requirement, the shift is complete and the next shift will start. If the path does not meet the requirement, the shift is incomplete, the shift and workday will be over.

A shortcut for ending the shift is to double tap the car.

Scoring

When the workday is done (either by completing all shifts or because the current shift is incomplete), all of the shift scores and bonuses are calculated and displayed. The total score is converted to credits and added to your total.

Path Construction

Bonuses for placing extra path pieces beyond the minimum required length. Making the path slightly longer than required gives a small bonus. Making the path a lot longer gives a huge bonus.

Path Features

Bonuses for making loops, using bridges and tunnels.

Time Efficiency

Bonuses for beating the bonus countdown timer. Beating the clock by a small amount gives a small bonus. Working very quickly and finishing with lots of bonus time remaining gives a huge bonus.

Demolition

Bonuses for demolishing obstacles. The more substantial the obstacle, the bigger the bonus.

Shift Completion

Shift pay. The higher the shift number, the higher the pay. Like several other bonuses, shift pay is not linear.

Credits

The total number of credits added to you account. Spend them at the Depot.