Attack of the Marblemen: a Trophy Guide
Attack of the Marblemen is an interesting game. It's a farming game, meaning you can get points by repeating the same action over and over. It's also one of only a few games with exactly no randomness; every time you play the game, it's exactly the same. There are other games that share these attributes, but Marblemen might be the only one that has both, and that puts it in a special position where everyone is on completely equal footing. Nobody gets special treatment, and the only thing that wins is having the best strategy and enough persistence.
The purpose of this guide is to give you the strategy and information to get a trophy, specifically a gold trophy, as easily and quickly as possible. This isn't a walkthrough; there's 70 different level designs and that would be way too much. Instead of focusing on individual levels, I'm going to lay out what I did to set myself up to play for the trophy. I'll be talking about 3 major parts of the game in this guide. The first part is just getting through levels 1-68. The next step is doing levels 69-97. You might be able to guess, but the final section will focus on level 98 and up. Interestingly, from level 69 to 100, there are only 3 different level designs. That's part of the reason I've split the guide up like I have, but we'll talk more about that later.
Before I get into the meat of this guide, let's talk about what this game even is. Marblemen isn't the most popular game ever, and there may be some people reading this who've never played it before. You play through levels trying to guide colored Marbles into a goal with the same color. The marbles are constantly moving and you have to click tiles on the floor to place bumpers and direct the marbles across the stage. If the Marblemen hit a wall or a bumper at a 90 degree angle, they will bounce off and start heading backwards. If they run into a bumper at 45 degrees, then they will turn 90 degrees and keep moving in the new direction. In each level, there can be preset bumpers you'll have to maneuver around, or arrows on the floor that force the marble in the direction it's pointing. You can find coins to pick up for extra points in some of the levels, and bombs that explode and cost a life if you run into them. There are also shields the Marblemen can pick up to safely walk across and destroy a bomb. The first few levels will give you plenty of practice learning how to move and control your marbles, so the best way to understand what's going on is to simply dive right in!
Step 1 - Level 1-68
In the beginning, don't worry about trying to get a high score. Right now, you're just trying to get through 5 levels at a time until you reach level 69. Every 5 levels there is a code you'll earn that lets you skip to that level the next time you play. If you can make it to the next code, you're making progress. You'll want to write these all down somewhere and make sure you save them. This is all just setup for the good part.
While you're going through these, you'll probably find a few (or a lot) of levels that you can't get right away. If this happens it's okay, you can just start again at the last level you have a code for. If you're getting stuck, take a screenshot of the level. Try to map out the path of each marble you need to guide before you do it again, and you'll be more prepared to take it on. Then when you make it to the next code, pat yourself on the back, and be glad you'll never have to play those earlier levels again unless you choose to.
There are also pages that show screenshots of each level, so you can plan out what to do before you even get to the levels. These help, but since you won't need them until you're already at the level, you can simply screenshot the stage yourself. This step is long and slow, but because of the level codes you don't have to do it all at once.
Step 2 - Level 69-97
You're much MUCH more than halfway there now. If you want, you can actually start trying to get your gold trophy now, or you can wait just a little longer and decide for yourself how you want to go for your trophy. Either way, your next task is to play through level 69 all the way to level 97. All of these levels are exactly the same.
You should be familiar with this level already; it has the same layout as level 66. This time, though, there are coins in front of the exits that you'll have to get out of the way first. You will need to bounce the marbles back and forth a few times, but once you get a routine down, getting through the levels becomes pretty easy, if a bit repetitive. During this time make absolutely sure you are still writing down level codes. You won't want to do this same level another 30 times if you slip up and have to start over. It's also just kind of cool to have a list of all of the codes, and you don't want to miss one.
With 3 coins giving you at least 30 points per level, these 29 levels can net you 900 or more points just for repeating the same thing over and over. You'll get even more points if you finish quickly! Don't stop yet, though; there's only one more step to go, and this is where you get a ton of points!
Step 3: Level 98 and Beyond
So you've finished repeating the same level 30 times, and you finally get a bit of a break. Level 98 isn't terribly hard, but take a minute to remember this level; you'll be seeing it again very soon. You've got plenty of time to guide your marbles and grab both coins before finishing. There's not much more to say about 98, so let's keep pressing forward.
Next is the level you've been waiting for. Level 99 is a wonderful freebie of a level. You have loads of time to guide 1 marble through a pretty open area filled with 25 coins - that's a whopping 250 points. That's the same as 7 or 8 more of the levels 68-97, in much less time and a lot fewer clicks! With those points alone, you almost have enough for a bronze trophy.
After level 99, you've basically finished. Level 100 is the same as 98, but now your time starts to get shorter and shorter. Eventually you'll end up with only 20 seconds to make finish which, although possible, is pretty darn tough. Find a fast path and try to pick up at least one of the coins on your way; this will make sure you're getting at least 10 points per level. Every 10 more levels you survive is another 100+ points on your score. If you can finish fast enough, you'll quickly get a good enough score to take not only a gold trophy spot, but first place. Bragging rights are important, you know! Make sure to save your level 100 code, too. Don't worry about saving any code after 100. There's no benefit in starting after that, since all of the levels beyond are the same,
Step 4: Getting your Trophy
Yep, there's a step 4. This is less of a step, and more just a collection of my thoughts about the best way to get your trophy. There are a couple options you can consider, and it's all personal preference. The farming portion of this game is from level 100 onward_ but you should think about possibly starting a little before that.
The first thing I want to discuss is level 99. You get 250 points in this level thanks to all of the coins, and you get those points whether you finish or not. I strongly advise you grab the coins on 99, and then don't finish, either waiting for time to end or pressing restart level, and get another 250, and then do it one last time to get a total of 750 points from that single level before moving on to level 100. At the time that I'm writing this, 750 points is enough for a silver, and only 300 points away from a gold.
The next thing to consider are levels 70-97. These levels technically start at 68, but that would mean using the level 65 code. I'm sure you're starting to get tired of this game, and the less extra stuff you have to do, the better; so let's just call it 70. These levels are long and boring. The paths aren't too hard once you practice a little, but you still have to pay attention or you'll lose a life. And every lost life in these levels is the same as missing 250 points at level 99. If you chose to do these levels, you'll be looking at another 900+ points. Even if you just start at level 95, you'll get around 100+ points for those 3 levels. If you choose to start at 70, you're looking at 1650 points minimum going into level 100, provided you don't mess up.
The last consideration is what to do at level 100 and beyond. There are two coins here, which means you can get 20-25 points per level after the time bonus. It's really tricky to get that second coin in time and still make it though... It might be worth it to just get the nearby coin and make sure you finish. You'll still be ending with 10 points or more each level, so just keep playing until you have the score you want.
That's it. That's all I've got to share about Attack of the Marblemen. This game takes time in the beginning just to get to the later levels, but once you make it there, you're pretty much set and ready to get your high score and a shiny new trophy. The beauty of having level codes is that you can always just walk away for a while, maybe take a break for a day or two and play something else, then come back and whittle off another 5 levels until you get the next code. This is very much a trophy you can work on in pieces. Good luck, and don't let any of those evil marblemen escape!
Thanks for reading! If you liked this guide, or have a question about something I said, feel free to neomail me. You can also check out my trophy guides page at /~jormungus for even more gaming goodness.