Touch Pack: How to play Microsoft Blackboard

To play Blackboard, you must be running the Microsoft Touch Pack for Windows 7, a program for Windows Touch users. For more information, see What's the Microsoft Touch Pack for Windows 7?

Blackboard is an intricate game of physics in which you solve a puzzle by creating a fanciful machine on a blackboard. You’ll test your mind as you use gears, fans, seesaws, and other objects to propel the balloons and balls toward the light bulbs and victory.

The goal of the game

The objective of Blackboard is to complete each level by getting the balloon or ball to the light bulb.

The game has different levels that you can choose from. The levels get more difficult as you move along.

Starting the game

  1. On the opening screen, tap Play.

  2. On the next screen, tap the forward or back arrow to select the level you want to play.

    The first time you play, only level 1 is available. As you progress in skill, additional levels become available.

  3. Tap Play to begin.

Playing the game

The game takes place in the blackboard playing area. You’ll see pieces on the board in what looks like a half-finished puzzle. With your finger, drag game pieces from the bottom of the screen to the pegs that are provided.

If a game piece turns red when you move it, it won't fit on the peg you're moving it to. Game pieces turn green when you drag them to pegs where they'll fit. Use your fingers to move playing pieces in different directions. You can also use your fingers to make some game pieces bigger or smaller, depending on how strongly you want them to perform.

After you position all your game pieces, tap the play button (the green triangle in the lower left corner) and watch the balloon or ball head toward the light bulb.

Strategies and tips

  • Try to solve the puzzle one piece at a time, starting from the beginning and working your way to the end.

  • Small changes in rotations of a piece can drastically change the desired result.

  • There can be more than one way to solve a puzzle. Look for shortcuts.

  • You don't need to use every tool and peg to solve a puzzle.

  • You might need to resize or rotate some objects before you can place them on a peg.

  • Some puzzles require finesse while others require force.

  • Be creative, think outside the box, and have fun with the physics of this game!

Objects in the game

Objects in the game include game pieces, fixed objects, and key objects. The following tables describe each object.

Game pieces

These are objects you can move onto the blackboard to complete the puzzle. Some of these pieces are already on the playing area, where you can manipulate them with other pieces.

Game piece
What it looks like
What it does

Wall

Picture of the wall

The wall can cordon off an area and stop the balloon from hitting hazardous objects.

Fan

Picture of the fan

The fan blows the balloon in the direction you point it, and can also change the rotation of a seesaw. You can change the strength of the wind produced by the fan by changing its size.

Gear (clockwise)

Picture of clockwise gear

This gear only turns clockwise and helps push the balloon or ball in that direction. It can also rotate a seesaw.

Gear (counterclockwise)

Picture of counterclockwise gear

This gear only turns counterclockwise and helps push the balloon or ball in that direction. It can also rotate a seesaw.

Spring pusher

Picture of the spring pusher

The spring pusher pushes the balloon or ball in the direction that it’s facing. You can't change the size of a spring pusher.

Round bumper

Picture of the round bumper

The round bumper repels the balloon or ball in any direction, but the force it produces isn’t very strong. You can change the size of a bumper.

Seesaw

Picture of the seesaw

The seesaw is similar to a wall except it can rotate at its center. The force from fans, balloons, balls, and gears makes it rotate.

Fixed objects

You can't manipulate these objects. They're hazardous to your balloon and ball, so keep those items away from fixed objects.

Fixed object
What it looks like
What it does

Round spikes

Picture of round spikes

Round spikes can pop the balloon and ball from any direction.

Straight spikes

Picture of straight spikes

Straight spikes can pop the balloon and ball from one direction only.

Key objects

These are the key objects you must control to complete the puzzle and finish a level.

Key object
What it looks like
What it does

Balloon

Picture of the balloon

The balloon is the object you must guide through the puzzle to get to the light bulb.

Ball

Picture of the ball

The ball is similar to the balloon except it's affected by gravity all the time.

Light bulb

Picture of the light bulb

The light bulb is the final goal you must reach to complete a level.