Everything You Need to Know About Pakiko
Summertime is the perfect time for vacationing at the beach! During these warm summer months, Neopian tourists travel far and wide to spend their days relaxing and swimming in the crystal clear waters of Kiko Lake. Lately, however, it's been difficult to get a clear view of the beautiful coral reefs from one of Kiko Lake's glass bottom boats due to all the bubbles building up beneath the surface. Archie, a friendly resident of Kiko Lake, and his pal Mr. Squiddy have devised a plan to pop some of those bubbles and help improve business for the Glass Bottom Boat Tours.
Archie has appointed you to man the bubble shooter he built in order to pop the bubbles in Kiko Lake. You will find it at the top of the screen. The bubble shooter can be rotated left or right for aiming, but cannot be moved from the center position. When you've decided in which direction to aim your bubble, you can shoot it by clicking the left mouse button.
Once your bubble has been released from the bubble shooter, it will bounce wildly around the screen, hitting other bubbles along the way, until it finally makes it to the bottom of Kiko Lake. Bubbles that you hit will change from either white or green to red and will be removed from the board when the turn is over. If you're lucky, Archie might be able to catch your blue bubble with his shell and you'll be able to use it again for an extra turn. Otherwise, Mr. Squiddy will continue to provide you with new bubbles for your bubble shooter until there are no more blue bubbles left for you to shoot. You can keep track of how many you have left by checking the number in the upper left corner of the game window.
It is important to keep track of how many blue bubbles you have left because you must pop all of the green bubbles on your screen in order to move on to another level. If your bubble shooter runs out of blue bubbles before you have cleared all of the green bubbles from the board, your game will immediately come to an end.
There are many different ways to earn points in Pakiko, and it's up to you to decide which method of scoring to focus on at the start of each turn. Sometimes it can be a tough decision, since there are so many different scoring methods and you might even see several of them used in the same turn. In order to make it a little easier, however, I've broken it down into a handy list:
1. White Streak Bonus — This is the first method of scoring you will probably notice while playing the game. As soon as you've released the blue bubble from the bubble shooter, it will bounce around the screen, hitting other bubbles and changing them to red. If you manage to hit 3 or more white bubbles in a row without hitting either a green bubble or a bubble that has already turned red, you will get a White Streak Bonus equal to twice the number of white bubbles in the chain. This will be applied to your score for every white bubble starting with your third one in a row. What this means is that you will get 6 points for your third white bubble, 8 points for your fourth, 10 points for your fifth, and so on. The points add up, however, so instead of only getting 10 points for having 5 white bubbles in a row, you actually get 6+8+10 for a total of 24! When you finally hit a green or red bubble, your White Streak Bonus will end, but if you happen to get another three in a row before your blue bubble makes it to the bottom, you will start another White Streak Bonus.
2. Green Streak Bonus — This bonus works the same as the White Streak Bonus, but is applied to a streak of 3 or more green bubbles instead. Since there are many more white bubbles than green ones, you'll have a much harder time getting this bonus. Even if you do get it, it probably won't last for long. To compensate for that, your streak will be multiplied by 5 instead of 2 in order to determine how many points your streak is worth. For a streak of 5 green bubbles in a row, you will receive 15+20+25 points. That's a total of 60 points! If you somehow manage to get more than 5 green bubbles in a row before hitting either a white bubble or a red bubble, the points will add up even more!
3. Red Bubble Scoring — At the end of your turn, all of the bubbles you managed to mark red by using your bubble shooter will be removed from the board. The first red bubble that's removed is worth 1 point, the second is worth 2, the third is worth 3, and so on. In this case, removing 5 red bubbles will earn you 1+2+3+4+5 points for a total of 15 points. It's certainly not as impressive as a streak of 5 white or green bubbles, but if you can manage to remove a lot of bubbles from the board on a single turn, it will be worth it. See if you can get 30 or more in a single turn!
4. Bubbles Remaining Bonus — If you manage to clear out all of the green bubbles before running out of blue bubbles for your bubble shooter, you will move on to the next level. Before you move on, however, you will be given a bonus of 25 points for every blue bubble that you did not use. If Archie manages to catch a bubble with his purple shell at any point in the game, it will help raise your Bubbles Remaining Bonus by giving you 25 points that you otherwise would not have received.
5. Percent Cleared Bonus — This bonus is also calculated after you've beaten a level in Pakiko. You must pop all of the green bubbles to move on with the game, but popping all or most of the white bubbles helps too. The percentage of bubbles you pop before moving on to the next level will be equal to your Percent Cleared Bonus. If you manage to pop all of them, you will receive a Percent Cleared Bonus of 100 points.
After the first level, you will slowly be introduced to new obstacles found under the surface of Kiko Lake that can't be destroyed using your bubble shooter. In the game, these are referred to as "Lake Features" and consist of different sized rocks, coral, metal beams, rotating platforms, and balls on chains. It is important to know how each of them work, so you can plan your shot accordingly. After all, you want them to work for you rather than against you!
1. Rocks and Coral — These are pretty common and are the first obstacles you'll find in Pakiko. They come in many sizes. If your blue bubble comes into contact with one of them, it will bounce off of the object just as it would bounce off of a white, green, or red bubble. They're usually not very threatening, but they can get in the way of other bubbles you need to pop. If you're smart, however, you can use them to your advantage by bouncing your blue bubble in a direction you wouldn't normally be able to shoot.
2. Metal Beams — In my opinion, these are one of the trickiest things you'll come across. They come in many different lengths and can be angled in any direction. They are often used to block off entire sections of bubbles, leaving only a small opening for your blue bubble to pass through. Hitting one with your blue bubble will also remove some of your bubble's momentum, so they aren't often as useful as rocks and coral for reaching other bubbles to pop. The angled beams will control the direction in which your bubble rolls after it has lost all momentum, and it's usually not in the direction you want to be going. The worst thing about the metal beams is that the horizontal ones can force your blue bubble to stop moving altogether. If that happens, your blue bubble will disappear and your red bubble score will start being calculated. Once your blue bubble has come to a complete stop, there is no way to pop any more bubbles during that turn.
3. Rotating Platforms — These pink coral platforms come in different shapes and sizes. Some act like seesaws and will rotate according to the weight of your blue bubble, while others are shaped more like windmills and constantly rotate in one direction. The latter type will be slightly affected when you hit them, but will continue to move in the same direction regardless. Rotating platforms can be tricky at times, but are generally better than the metal beams.
4. Ball on a Chain — These obstacles look similar to big rocks, but the chain allows them to swing back and forth after being hit by your blue bubble. They can't be used to pop other bubbles for you, but they can hit and collect the power ups that you will also come across later in the game. Depending on the speed and the direction the ball on the chain is swinging when your blue bubble runs into it, it can either speed up or slow down your blue bubble. If you want to use it to your advantage, you'll have to time your shots just right!
5. Archie — Okay, Archie is our friend and we all know he's there to help us, but I'm adding him to this list anyway just so I can mention how he sometimes acts like a moving bumper of sorts. His purple shell doesn't always catch your blue bubble, but sometimes your bubble will bounce off the edge of it and go soaring back to the top of the screen. While it may be disappointing when he doesn't end up giving you an extra turn, the bouncing feature can really help you in a pinch, especially if there's literally no other way for you to reach the last remaining green bubble.
Pakiko also has several power ups that you will start seeing by the third level. In the game, these are referred to as "Collectibles". Each one has its own special function, and you don't have to worry about avoiding any of them because they're all there to help you! Here is a quick explanation of what each one does:
1. Score Multiplier — This collectible power up will multiply every single red bubble removed at the end of your turn by the number shown. It does not, however, affect the amount of points received for the White Streak Bonus or the Green Streak Bonus.
2. Bomb — If you manage to hit the bomb with your blue bubble, it will explode and turn all of the bubbles close to it red. Don't worry, though! Your blue bubble will not be harmed and will continue to bounce around the screen as it normally would.
3. Multibubble — After getting this collectible, two more blue bubbles will enter the board, one in the upper left and one in the upper right. You will also keep your original blue bubble and your Bubbles Remaining Bonus will not be affected since the two new bubbles are given to you for free!
4. Shell Extender — It's certainly nothing to go out of your way for, but this collectible will make Archie's purple shell bigger until the end of the turn. In other words, you have a better chance of Archie catching your blue bubble and allowing you to reuse it.
5. Free Bubble — This collectible looks like a yellow plus sign and will give Mr. Squiddy another blue bubble to hold for an extra turn. You don't even have to worry about Archie catching your current one!
Hints and Tips:
Now that everything has been laid out for you, it's time to discuss strategies! Obviously every player will have their own preference for how to play the game, but I can share with you a few of the things that helped me get that beautiful, golden Pakiko trophy. Perhaps some of it will be helpful for you, or maybe you'll find a better way to play the game.
First and foremost, you want your first turn on every level to be the best that it can be. After all, when the turn is over, you'll have less bubbles on the board with which to score points. Thus, your chances of getting a ton of points on a single turn become less and less as you continue to play through the level. Since the blue bubbles have a natural tendency to move toward the bottom of the screen, it's usually better to aim for the far left or the far right. By doing this, you have the opportunity to pop more bubbles before your turn is over. Don't worry about the White Streak Bonus or the Green Streak Bonus on your first turn because there are just too many ways your blue bubble could bounce with so many white and green bubbles on the board, and it's unlikely that it will work out the way you had planned.
Popping the green bubbles should always be the focus of the game. If you don't pop them all, your game is over. If you manage to take the majority of them out on your first couple of turns, however, you probably can afford to spend a turn or two focusing on getting that White Streak Bonus or improving your Percent Cleared Bonus. Just be sure not to leave the most difficult to reach green bubbles for last!
Last but not least, ALWAYS have a plan! It rarely pays off to shoot your blue bubble in some direction you chose at random. Working from top to bottom is usually a good basic plan. You might accidentally bounce your way into a cluster of green bubbles at the bottom after you've taken out a few at the top, but it's much harder to bounce your way back up to the top if most of the bubbles at the bottom are gone, especially when there are obstacles blocking you from aiming your bubble shooter directly at the upper ones. You'll need to rethink your plan for each new level, though. Sometimes a shot aimed straight to the bottom can be beneficial if it means you might get both the Score Multiplier and the Multibubble collectibles on the same turn. However you choose to play the game, I wish you luck! Most importantly, remember to have fun and enjoy the summertime at Kiko Lake!