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According to the manual, Marble Drop was created when a crate of papers surfaced somewhere in the Vatican Museum. These papers contained a series of puzzles based on the idea of a perpetual motion machine and were allegedly created by Leonardo da Vinci. Naturally, these puzzles could not be created in reality, so the natural place to create them is on a computer.
Marble Drop consists of 50 different puzzles, all based on the simple idea of placing differently-colored marbles into a series of tubes, runners and other gadgets, hoping to place them in the correct bins at the bottom. Along the way, the marbles will travel through a series of diverters that change their path, sprayers that can change their color and devices that will split them in two or combine two marbles into one.
As an added attraction, several of the puzzles include locks that, if opened, lead the way to special puzzles where additional points can be racked up. Points can be used to purchase additional marbles to replace losses. Black marbles are especially useful because they will change to the appropriate color when entering any bin on the bottom of the puzzle. Steel marbles are also useful because they are very cheap and can be used as sacrifices when you need to activate particular parts of the puzzle to clear the way to the bins at the bottom.
As the puzzles increase in difficulty, new and more interesting devices are added to make the game harder. You can access any puzzle at any time, so if you find yourself without points to buy replacement marbles, you can skip back to earlier puzzles and earn some credit to buy them. If a puzzle has you stumped, you can skip ahead and try the next one. ~ Steve Honeywell, All Game Guide