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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 20th day of Collecting, Yr 19
The Neopian Times Week 127 > Articles > Frumball... YEAH!!!

Frumball... YEAH!!!

by whositbop

VIRTUPETS SPACE STATION - I've never played Zurroball or Gormball, but I love Frumball and play it at least once a day. I highly recommend a trip to the Virtupets Space Station for a game! Even though my Mystery Island Wocky, Dibblewiggie, felt a little out of place there, we did enjoy ourselves. At the beginning, after playing the lower levels over and over, I was really getting curious as to what lay beyond. Now I can tell you that I have been as far as level 40. I think level 15 is very hard, but I can't tell you more than that, as the levels were recently switched and I haven't been able to revisit them all yet. Here are some helpful tips. With these, maybe you can get up to some of the higher levels to see them for yourself.

The basics of the game are that you must use your intergalactic space bat, which is a semicircle at the bottom of the game, to hit a small ball against larger, colored balls in order to make the larger balls disappear. You get 5 points for each ball that vanishes. Power-up balls fall from some of the colored balls as they vanish. There are also metal balls that do not vanish, but usually act as obstacles. Some balls require multiple hits before they disappear. The main challenge is that since everything is a round ball, it can be hard to know which direction your ball will bounce after hitting something.

To help you get started, I will describe some of the power-ups and their pros and cons.

Speed related power-ups - G, L, P:
Some of the more common power-ups are balls that change the speed that your ball travels. A power-up with the letter L will slow your ball down and S will speed up the action. I like to catch an L power-up when the colored balls I am trying to hit are arranged close to the bottom of the screen. This gives me more time to react when my ball bounces back to my bat. The P power-up does the opposite - it speeds your ball up. I'm going to include another power-up here - G. This will give your bat an invisible coating of glue. Your ball will stick to the bat each time it returns to you. This allows you to slow down and take a breath, or go get something to eat, etc. You can then reposition your bat to aim the ball to hit a colored ball of your choice. After some practice, you might be able to predict which direction the ball will go in.

Bat related power-ups - E, S, T:
These power-ups relate to your intergalactic space bat. A power-up with the letter E will enlarge your bat. This is really great if you have slow reaction speed. The drawback of an enlarged bat is that the ball can fall between the bat and the bottom corners of the screen. The bat apparently does not close that gap. An S power-up will shrink your bat to half its normal size. This is trickier, but not too bad. A T power-up will give you a triple bat. Triple bat is made up of three smaller bats, which makes the bat wider overall, but the direction your ball will bounce off it is less predictable. The three separate as you move them closer to the edges of the screen, but so far I haven't lost a ball between the three bats.

Life related power-ups - X and 3:
If you are lucky enough to catch an X power-up, you will gain an extra life. Even better is a 3 power-up. This gives you 3 extra lives!

Ball related power-ups - B, D, I, M:
I like power-ups B and M. B will cause an extra ball drop from the top to help you hit the colored balls. The bad news is that you have to keep two balls in the air. The good news is that if you drop one of them, you still have one left and therefore don't lose a life. M will cause 3 additional balls to enter the game! Challenging, but often very helpful! If you catch a D power-up your ball will become almost invisible. There is another power-up which is light pink, and it looks like it is a D. I think it may be an O, however. It does something else and is not very common, so I will skip it. Power-up I makes your ball go straight through the balls. I like this because it makes the path of your ball more predictable and it eliminates more balls each time you hit it. It also eliminates balls that normally require multiple hits with just one hit.

There are other power-ups, but they are less common and you can discover them for yourself. Some give extra points, and one can take points away! Just know that you can only use one power-up at a time. If you have an enlarged bat and catch an S, for example, your bat will shrink. However, if you catch an X, you will not lose the extra life if you catch another power-up afterward. Here a few tricks that have helped me.

As I said before, the colored balls that are closer to the bottom of the screen are the ones to worry about. When your ball bounces off them, you have to react quickly so that you don't drop your ball and lose a life. When each level starts, your ball will move slowly for a short time. Try to get the lowest colored balls first while your ball is slower. When you catch the B or M power-ups, the additional balls move more slowly. This can help you when more than one ball is heading down and you don't know which one to save first.

Sometimes it is helpful to bounce your ball off the metal balls in order to hit the colored balls. An example is in level 11, where all the balls are above a row of metal balls. I start with my bat just below the right edge of the line of metal balls so that my ball will hit the metal ball, bounce to the right and up, bounce off the right wall, and then head for some colored balls. There are other times when the metal balls will make your life miserable! An example is level 15, where uneven vertical rows of metal balls make the path of your ball very unpredictable.

I almost always avoid the P power-up if I can. It speeds my ball up and I just can't keep up with it. Obviously, this would be different if you have a slower computer or slower connection than I do.

One last hint is to try to get your ball to bounce around between the top of the game and the colored balls, or between rows of colored balls. You don't have to work as hard rebounding it and it hits ball after ball, racking up your points.

Good luck! Dibblewiggie and I hope to see you around the space station!

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