Jenga mode allows unlimited play. It’s basically spending ~US$10 so you can build up your coins and with the Jan-16 update, to some degree gems as well. Once you get all your bots past level 5 or so, you start needing a LOT of coins. You can earn 10 gems every other day, and pop a few pigs too, but the main benefit is gold coins.
At the beginning of each run there is a bot selection screen. It also shows your progress towards each daily challenge, which is currently 300 points per day. Once that day’s challenge is achieved you either get 5000 bonus coins (shown) or 10 gems (not shown). So far, it appears these are either alternating (every other day you get gems or coins) or random (50/50 probability that you get gems or coins). If you do not complete the challenge, the next day your counter is reset to zero.
You get to select the bot for each phase of the run, (1) Vehicle then (2) Walking & Shooting. When selecting these bots, only 17 of the currently available 29 free bots are an option to use in Jenga. (The count of “29” does not include Nemesis Prime, Rodimus Prime or Shockwave, which were only available for limited times.) Basically, only the “sharp-shooters” can be used, and any bot whose weapon causes widespread destruction cannot be used.
Bots that are not currently available in Jenga include:
– Terence variants (Sentinel Prime, Heat Wave)
– Blues variants (Bluestreak, Prowl)
– Sound**** variants
– Grimlock variants
– Exclusive bots (purchase): Nemesis Prime, Rodimus Prime (their weapons cause massive destruction of blocks)
– Exclusive bot (competition prize): Shockwave, whose laser weapon is similar to Galvatron and thus not very destructive with blocks, is also not available
In each round there are two phases:
(Phase 1) A bot in vehicle form, tries to drive through and clear away blocks that are stacked in front of the main target. You long-press the accelerator button **while on the ground**, to build up speed. You need speed to blast through the blocks as well as jump over some gaps. If you don’t make the jump, you ‘die’ and phase 2 starts. If you get to the end of phase 1, you’ll have cleared blocks making phase 2 easier and adding to your score.
Some people like to purposefully die early in phase 1. This leaves the blocks in front neatly stacked for easier targeting in phase 2, but they are “in the way” of shooting the Gold cubes which might be your preferred target. In the past, with Grimlock or Soundwave, it was easy to clear the blocks away and still get all of them behind. This is not true any more now that we only have “sharpshooter” bots to choose from.
(1a) Initial ramp, to let you grab a few coins hanging above you. At higher bot levels, go for it. At lower levels, ignore them and save your acceleration for the upcoming gap.
(1b) The first gap. Not very wide, but if you’ve spent your acceleration getting the coins in the air, or wasted it by tapping the button while you’re in the air, you might fail this jump.
(1c) Land on first ‘island’, blast through a stack blocks. Sometimes your bot will bounce after crash landing into the blocks. This makes accelerating difficult, so try to land the jump on the first flat part of this island. Hopefully you saved some acceleration since the blocks slow you down, and use it to launch off the ramp at the end.
(1d) Clear the gap to land on the second larger island in front of the main tower behind you. The stack of blocks is bigger. If you made the second jump you’ll make it to the end. The goal is to disrupt this stack as much as possible, since it is blocking your line of fire in phase 2.
(1e) Drive off the second island into a third stack of blocks near the end. Try to ‘fall off’ the end for the most damage. Alternately, rapidly tap the accelerator to get your bot to bounce up off the island and then back down into the last stack of blocks. This is not easy and takes more luck than skill.
(1f) At the end, at the Jenga banner, your vehicle bot transforms and waves at the next one to start.
In phase 1, a big enemy called a Mortar Tower walks along side you, the kind that in the normal levels shoots magma balls. It doesn’t shoot at you in Jenga mode. When you die it scratches its head and keeps walking. At one point in the evolution of this game, you could blow up this mortar tower, but it is now invincible!
(Phase 2) A different bot in normal/walking form tries to shoot blocks, pigs and most importantly Gold cubes. They are stacked inside a big frame, that looks like the physical toy ABT-Jenga game you can buy. Buying that toy includes an unlock code for Jenga mode. You get coins for shooting everything as well as “points” for your score. Once you are in front of the main area, the game switches to super-slow-motion, which let’s you blast away a little easier.
At the end of each Jenga run you get 3 things:
– Points (no value except towards the daily challenge of 300)
– Pigs popped (only a few are in each run, and sometimes none)
– Coins (up to a max ~3000, before using a 2X video)
The configurations for the main blocks are not random nor game generated. I have observed 7 of them so far. The blocks are sometimes stacked in 2 walls, one in front of the other, with the Energon Cubes in the second/rear wall, partially or completely hidden behind the first wall.
In the early days, the coin-haul from each run was pretty low: about 300-600 per run, (not doubled with a video). In various updates, they made the Energon Cubes stronger but yielding more coins, introduced squad bonuses, and added the Daily Challenge. The video double has gone back & forth between being virtually unlimited vs. only having a few available to watch each day. Obviously when they are limited, you might want to save them for your better runs, probably at least 2,000 coins.
This table was created with data collected when Soundwave and Grimlock were still available as the shooter. So, the maximums still apply but don’t feel bad if you are not achieving the max. No one will with “sharpshooter” bots.
Configurations #5 and #7 you can see the many Energon Cubes. Configurations #1 and #6 are also very nice, with several Cubes hidden behind the glass blocks in front. As one person posted, if they see #2 (no Gold cubes) they ‘abort’ to the map and start again.
WHY BUY JENGA
Once you get your bots to level 7-ish, all of the upgrades are over 100,000 coins, and levels 10+ are over 200,000 each. The total cost of upgrading from level 1 to 15 is 1,666,000 coins. Since there are presently 29 bots to unlock and upgrade, that’s over 48 million coins needed to progress to the limit of the game. And since the highest levels also force you to wait >1 to 3 days each for the upgrade to finish, you will be spending many months playing this game without spending $ on gems.
If you decide to pay ~US$10 to unlock Jenga, you might wish to choose 2 “go to bots” to play, and then preferentially upgrade those two. Having them at at least level 8, you will reap more coins from Jenga making the $10 spent more worthwhile.
Good luck !!
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