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Blastoids: The Game Guide


by aucontraire__

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Also by fia_tje

Introduction

Oh no! Neopia has once again found itself in grave danger and its fate lies in your hands. As we speak, there are comets on a destruction path with Neopia and, unless we find a way to eradicate them, the planet is doomed!

Now, that all sounds pretty bleak, but there is a bright side: the ever dependable Space Faerie has equipped her ship with blastoids which are able to destroy the comets. Not only that but you have been selected to pilot the ship, getting to shoot things and save the planet while you're at it! Pretty cool, right? But with great coolness comes great responsibility and you only get three chances, so be sure to give it your best shot!

Need to know information

Luckily, there is only one way for you to lose a life and that is by letting a comet hit Neopia. If this happens, you will be forced to restart the level. Therefore, to progress in the game, you need to destroy all comets within a level. How do you do this, you ask? It's a fairly simple premise: when you match up three (or more) blastoids of the same colour, they will explode into nothingness.

You aim your shot using the mouse and you fire the blastoids with a click of the left mouse button. First things first, each level will have a pseudo-randomly chosen layout, meaning that Neopia is situated in a different location every level and the path the comets will take towards Neopia also varies. Some of the layouts will prove to be tougher than others, and you will find that it is these layouts which are selected for the most challenging levels. If this doesn't complicate things enough, there are also static asteroids in each level that can block your shots. All this means is that you will occasionally get a colour blastoid you can't directly line up with another of its colour in the comet. You can get rid of these blastoids by shooting them at the aforementioned asteroids or into space. That being said, you need not worry about spending a lot of time shooting blastoids into space because they're not the right colour; only colours that are part of the comet will be available for shooting.

When starting a level, you will notice that the comets move at a relatively high speed. Once you become more advanced, you can shoot blastoids at the comet successfully in this stage. When you're just starting out, however, you might be better off waiting until the comets have slowed down, as they'll start moving at a much more reasonable place after the initial rush.

While you were busy making combinations to save the planet, you may have noticed the small yellow bar at the bottom of the screen filling up. That bar is the Space Faerie's amulet meter and you fill it by making blastoid combinations; the more blastoids in a combination, the more it fills up. Now, that's all well and good, but why is filling up this meter is a good thing? Every time you successfully fill the meter, you are rewarded with a super blastoid - an apt name: this blastoid is made super by the fact that it works like a bomb. When fired, which is done by hitting the space bar, it will destroy a few blastoids within a comet regardless of their colour. You can store up to three super blastoids at a time, but sadly they won't transfer over to the next level when unused.

As you progress in the game, you will face more comets per level and the comets will contain more blastoids. And if that's not enough, the instability of the comets will cause them to fire plasma flares. These pink flares will drain your Space Faerie's amulet meter if they hit the ship. Protection from the plasma flares comes in the form of a power-up: a green capsule that will provide the ship with a temporary shield when it's hit with a blastoid. The green capsule is one of only two power-ups available in the game. The second power-up looks like a red planet and when you collect ten of these you will regain a life you've previously lost. Just like the super blastoids, if you don't utilise a power-up when it appears, it will disappear upon conclusion of the level.

This leaves us with just one special feature to tell you about: the translucent blastoid. This very special blastoid is only available as part of a comet. It is the way in which you destroy them and the after effects of destroying them that makes them special. When they are hit with a blastoid, no matter the colour, the translucent blastoid explodes and the blastoids that were behind it in the comet will form a new, separate comet. The new comet will act slightly different from the regular comets, however: a blastoid shot at it will count for two, so when you shoot a blastoid into the new comet it will gain two new blastoids. Each disadvantage has its advantage, though, because this also means that if there's one, for example, blue blastoid, it will only need one other blue blastoid to create a combination and explode.

Scoring

Now you're aware of how the game works, let's talk points. The scoring, once broken down, is also very simple: for chains of three, the basic score per blastoid in a chain is 100 points; for chains of more than three you're rewarded with a bonus of 50 points for each additional blastoid within the chain (for example, if you shoot four blastoids in a row with a fifth, you would gain 500 points for the chain and another 100 points as a bonus); when shooting with a super blastoid you will gain 150 points for every blastoid destroyed, but no additional bonus points. Collecting either of the two power-ups also means a points reward - making them doubly beneficial - the green capsule power-up is worth 50 points while the red planet power-ups are worth a further 250 points.

A slight downside, however, is that if you lose a life you will also lose all the points you've scored in that level. This also holds true for when you self-terminate your shot at saving Neopia by pressing the X in the upper right corner. So keep in mind that you have to successfully complete a level to retain the points you scored in it.

Level Guide

To defend Neopia to the best of your abilities, it is vital that you're aware of what to expect in each of the levels, which is why we're providing you with some level specific information; after all, we wouldn't want our neohomes to get hit by a comet.

Levels 1 and 2:

The opening couple of levels will help you gain a basic understanding of the game. The first level features only one comet which contains six blastoids. To help you with your aim, you are provided with a grey ruler that shows you where your blastoid will go when you shoot it. The second level is very similar to the first, but it is made only slightly more difficult by the inclusion of four additional blastoids in the comet. You should still be able to handle this with ease.

There is no need to worry about plasma flares and translucent blastoids just yet; they don't appear until the next stage in the game.

Levels 3 and 4:

With the third level comes a further, more noticeable increase in difficulty: there are now two comets heading towards Neopia, each consisting of six blastoids. This is also the level where plasma flares start appearing and you could encounter your first translucent blastoid.

As with the opening two levels, there are many similarities between levels three and four; however, in the fourth level you will encounter two comets that are both seven blastoids long. This is also the level the game decides you no longer need your training wheels, so to speak: the grey ruler that helped you aim will no longer be present.

Levels 5 and 6:

The fifth level is another distinct increase in difficulty; the number of comets threatening to destroy Neopia is increased yet again so there are now three comets for you to decimate. These comets each contain seven blastoids. Once again, the sixth level is markedly similar to the fifth with the main difference being the addition of another blastoid within each of the comets, so nothing we can't handle with a bit of practice, right?

Levels 7 and 8:

These two levels follow the pattern we have seen in the previous levels: the seventh level sees a further increase in the number of comets heading towards Neopia, taking us to four; while the eighth level sees another increase in the number of blastoids per comet, meaning they're made up of nine blastoids each. Hang in there; things are getting tough, but you're close to saving Neopia!

Level 9:

The penultimate and the toughest level you will face in the entire game. You will need to destroy five comets, each containing nine blastoids - you're going to need all the skills you've accumulated thus far to beat this level. Try and destroy the comets as quickly as you can, because the later comets can end up blocking your shots, which will result in certain failure as you will no longer be able to destroy the earlier blastoids.

Level 10:

The final level; the only thing that stands in between you and accomplishing your goal of saving Neopia! This time there is only one comet out to destroy the planet. Don't get too comfortable, though; this comet is super-long, containing fifteen blastoids.

There is a further level, a very special one: the bonus level. This level is a great aid in boosting your score, so is a must if you are aiming for one of the coveted trophy spots. The bonus level is able to be unlocked once per regular level, with the exception of levels nine and ten. In the bonus level you have an unlimited supply of super blastoids that you get to shoot at ten comets, which are each five blastoids long. To make things even better, if you accidentally let a comet hit Neopia, the bonus level will end, but it won't cost you a life! How do you unlock this fantastic bonus, you ask? You simply have to shoot at least one combination of five blastoids or more in a regular level. If you're having trouble achieving that, take a look at the following tips and tricks section.

Tips and Tricks

The most important trick to master is how to make blastoid combinations that are longer than three. You can't simply keep shooting blastoids to line them up, as shooting a third blastoid at a line of two will cause all three of them to explode. What you need to do is create a chain of alternating colour pairs. Then you shoot a third blastoid at the middle chain, which will explode and cause the chains on the side to make one line of four. Shooting this line of four with a fifth blastoid will be enough to unlock the bonus level, although you could always make longer combinations by applying this method a few times in a row.

As mentioned before, unlocking the bonus level after levels one through eight will greatly increase your score. It is, however, not the only thing you can do to increase your score. This method will sound slightly counter intuitive but does work: instead of finishing each level as fast as you can, draw them out by eliminating blastoids until your comets are down to two or three colour, then, instead of destroying the comet keep making combinations until you absolutely have to finish the level. Remember that as soon as you're down to one colour you will only have blastoids of that colour available and will be forced to destroy the comet.

If you're not sure of your aim, hitting the translucent blastoids might present a problem. In order to bypass that, you should try and destroy all of the other blastoids in the comet, leaving the translucent one until last as when it's the sole blastoid in a comet it is much easier to hit. If you would rather deal with the translucent blastoids straight away, then you should try and shoot at them with blastoids that are the same colours as the blastoids directly adjacent to the translucent one. That way, if you miss, you're far less likely to create problems for yourself.

We would also recommend that you play with the music and sound effects off, as they only work to distract you and add little to the game play experience.

And for our last tip, we present you with the improvised pause button. While this game enables you to have a break in between levels, you sometimes just need a pause button, which it doesn't have. Or so you thought: if you ever find yourself in dire need of a pause button, you can pause your game by simply clicking the X in the top right hand corner. Upon doing this, you will be asked if you're sure you want to leave Neopia to its doom - which, of course, you don't want to do. You can, however, leave the game at this screen while you take your break, then when you are ready simply press no to resume your paused game.

That's all we have; the rest is up to you. Remember, practise makes perfect, so if you want to succeed in this game, apply the information we have given you and start playing.

 
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