Trism Strategy Guide, version 1.0

Trism, a delightful and innovative game for the iPhone, has recently become one of my obsessions, especially after spending over 15 hours on an airplane. Despite netting a reported $250K since its launch and gaining over 20,000 registered users, there is apparently no definitive guide to the strategy of the game.

I’m by no means an expert at the game, but I’ve come across a number of tips that may be able to help you make the jump from a beginner to an intermediate player. 

Read on for more, and send in your ideas for v2.0 of this guide!

First thing first: Before you continue, make sure you master the very basics of the game. Run the tutorials, and make sure you understand how each of the bonuses are earned, and how to tilt properly to make matches. You will not be ready for any of the following tips unless you are pretty solid on how the basics of the game operate. You should understand how to get your tilting ready for any match in advance in order to conserve as many holes as possible.

With that out of the way, here are some more advanced strategies, specifically for Infinism.

New trisms hide on both edges so check both directions independently when looking for a match. You are probably comfortable knowing that on the edges of the board there are “undiscovered” trisms. However, bear in mind that each left/right edge has its own specific hidden trism that are only uncovered by a INITIAL scroll in the right direction. For instance, moving the first line on the board RIGHT initially uncovers a hidden GREEN. Moving the same line left initially uncovers a star trism (a result of an earlier match I had made.) You can never uncover more than one hidden trism per move, so this means the initial direction you choose to move will actually govern which of the uncovered trisms you find, regardless of which direction you ultimately move the line

Moving to the right reveals one hidden trism ...

Moving to the right reveals a green trism ...

While moving to the left reveals a DIFFERENT trism

While moving to the left reveals a different trism.


Keep several stars on the board, always. I only use stars for two reason: to eliminate locks and bombs. Other than that, I let them hang out. Wise use of stars will allow you to progress to very high levels before you find a bomb you can’t defuse. Learn how to starwalk.

Clear bombs and locks ASAP: Think of them as pollutants and focus your energy on removing them above all else. Remember that in many cases, it is easier to move the bomb itself rather than peices around it. 

Move locks away from corners: Deliberately make matches underneath a lock to get it to slide into the center of the board. This will usually make finding a match much quicker. Locks near the corners are nearly impossible to match (unless you are lucky.)

Always try to match all pairs with other pairs first. A pair matches to a pair without leaving any holes assuming you tilt the board in the right direction. Holes are very very bad (see discussion below). If you can’t find any pairs, at least look for chains where the triad you match will allow a hold nearby to fill. Your goal is always to make matches that are “hole neutral” (either removing or maintaining the number of holes.)

Hole management is essential — the big points come from random cascading events that benefit from full boards. Focus your efforts on getting rid of holes unless there is a lock or a bomb on the screen. For very long chains (and thus, high points) you have to maximize the potential of matches. Each hole eats away at that statistical likelihood of making a match when pieces slide.

A rombus hole

A rombus hole




Seek rombuses — a UP hole and a DOWN hole can be slide together to make a rombus hole that can fill in with new pieces from the board. See picture for an example of a rombus.

Understand luck is a factor, and intended to be by the developer. I personally hate this aspect of the game — it feels very random when you are suddenly denied a great game because of a badly placed bomb. However, Trism’s creator has made it clear that luck is intended to be a big factor in the game — he deliberately made starwalking more difficult for example, to prevent the game going on forever. Version 1.0 was supposedly much more “fair” depending on how you look at it.

Here is the rough order of priorities I use to make decisions on what to match

1) Eliminating Bombs

2) Lining up two or more pairs that can cascade together later

3) Eliminating Locks

4) Causing Locks to slide into more favorable positions

5) Making stars (check both sides)

6) Moves that eliminate holes

7) Matching two pairs

8) Normal trisms (single to a pair)

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