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Swarm - The Bugs Strike Back

Swarm - The Bugs Strike Back Information
Click to play Swarm - The Bugs Strike Back! World:
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The setting is the Lost Desert. The good guy is a Yellow Wocky; the bad guys are a swarm of hundreds to thousands of giant bugs. Those nasty insects are invading Neopian Protection Zone 6b, an area in the Lost Desert, and it's up to the Wocky, who we'll call Bob, to blast them into oblivion with his specially-designed Wocky Tank.

Fortunately, the situation isn't too hopeless; Bob's bug-blasting tank can get some sweet power-ups, which can increase the tank's speed, shrink it to make it a smaller target and even increase its missile size, amongst other things. In fact, the game would be just about the easiest ever if it weren't for the fact that the bugs can launch small-to-large fireballs. Yeah, fireballs. Hey, don't worry; Jellyneo is here to help!

Instructions

To move Bob, who's always in his tank, you use the right and left arrow keys on your keyboard. You can't move him up or down, since that would get him either torn to shreds by the bugs or off of the screen, so you shouldn't even bother trying.

To make Bob fire missiles, simply press the space bar; remember, though, that once Bob fires a missile it goes straight up until it either hits and blows up a bug or flies off the screen. Fortunately, Bob never runs out of missiles.


Run out of missiles? Me? Not a chance!

Big, Nasty Bugs

So, there are two kinds of bugs in Swarm II: red ones and green ones. The red ones are the main offensive force, making a square or rectangle in front of Bob's fortifications and pounding them with their small but numerous fireballs. The green ones are quite different; only one is on the screen at a time, but when it hits the edge of the screen it'll fly right off, whizzing past the top of the screen with a flurry of about five to ten bigger, faster fireballs.

Green Bug
This screenie shows where the different bugs operate

All in all, they're a tough force to counter when put together, because while the red bugs are finishing off Bob's forts, the green ones come flying to bombard him with their better firepower. Get it? Funny, right? Okay, whatever... The bugs will attack you in 10 separate waves, with each one seeing the number of red bugs increase.

Power-ups

Okay, in Swarm II Bob can get a bunch of different power-ups that the bugs occasionally drop to give him the edge he needs, although two of them are actually bad for him. Just look at the picture below to get a hint of what you do and don't want to pick up:

Just by looking at the picture above, you probably don't really understand what everything does. The first row of icons, the ones talking about speed and size, affect Bob's tank; the smaller and faster it is the better. Speed you can probably understand, but why would you want to get smaller? That wouldn't be very intimidating, right? Well, that's easy: you become a much smaller target, meaning you are far less likely to get hit and lose one of your precious lives.

The second row isn't quite as obvious; the first one, "AP Slugs", may not sound too good, but they're honestly miracle workers. Why? Because they're a bunch of FIVE-FOOT-LONG, SIXTY-MILES-PER-HOUR MISSILES! With those things, you can start blasting bugs with at least twice your normal accuracy, not to mention twice as fast!

Anyway, the last three. The Wall Repair and Shield should be pretty obvious; the first repairs all damage done to the fortifications, even if they were decimated to nothing-ness, and the shield puts a protective barrier around Bob's tank. When hit, the shield will simply disappear, leaving not even one scratch on the tank.

The Laser icon is a bit harder to explain; it doesn't mean that the tank can start firing lasers, but rather that it can unleash one big beam that annihilates anything it touches. Actually, it's not quite that simple; the beam gets fired in a perfectly straight line from the tank, but if a fort is blocking it then it will simply do a bit of damage to the fort. Any bugs caught in its path, well... I think you get the picture.

Accuracy

I really can not put enough emphasis on just how crucial accuracy is to achieving a high score in this game. This becomes immediately apparent once you look at the scoring system. It is easily the most stupid and complex scoring system I have ever encountered. And I've encountered quite a few, let me tell you.

Note: After your first level, you will be told to press the space bar to continue. Do not do this! If you start a level by pressing space and hit the wall first, each bug will only be worth 3 points each rather than accumulating as described below. Instead, start each level by clicking your mouse within the screen.

Okay, so it's the start of your game, your tank is all polished and ready to go, and you've just nailed a red bug with a missile to the face. Take a moment to feel proud of yourself. Now look at your score; you will see that you have earned 3 points for this feat. Feeling a little more confident, you splatter another red bug. This time you'll notice that you have scored 13 points. From this point you will be rewarded with 13 points... *big upper-case note for emphasis* SO LONG AS YOU DO NOT MISS! If you complete a wave and then begin the next with a perfect shot your score will continue; this is why accuracy is so important.

So then what happens if you do accidentally miss? Well this is where the scoring system goes a little doolally. If you fire a missile and hit nothing but air, your run of 13-points-per-bug will end. The next time you crush a bug you will receive 7 points. Where this number comes from is anybody's guess; I think whoever coded this game just decided to amuse themselves. But it doesn't matter, you're back on track and you squish another bug into oblivion. This time you are awarded... 7 points. O_o See what I mean about it not making sense?

For the sake of simplicity, I will try to put the scoring into context:

You kill your first bug - you earn 3 points
You kill your second bug (without missing) - you earn 13 points
You kill your third bug (without missing) - you earn 13 points
You kill your fourth bug (without missing) - you earn 13 points
You kill your fifth bug (without missing) - you earn 13 points
You fire a shot and miss completely
You kill your sixth bug - you earn 7 points
You kill your seventh bug (without missing) - you earn 7 points
You kill your eighth bug (without missing) - you earn 7 points
You kill your ninthh bug (without missing) - you earn 7 points
You kill your tenth bug (without missing) - you earn 7 points
You kill your eleventh bug (without missing) - you earn 6 points
You kill your twelfth bug (without missing) - you earn 5 points
You kill your thirteenth bug (without missing) - you earn 4 points
You kill your fourteenth bug (without missing) - you earn 3 points
You kill your fifteenth bug (without missing) - you earn 13 points

And so the cycle begins once again. BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE!...

The Green Bug

For bonus hilarity, the scoring system for hitting the green bug is just as barmy. The first time you kill it, you receive 20 points, the second time you get 10 points, the third time you get 5 points, the fourth time you get 2 points, the fifth time you get 1 point, and for every subsequent hit you don't earn any points at all! Thankfully the scoring cycle starts afresh when you begin each wave.

Strategy

Hug the edges - If you stick close to one of the walls you improve your chances of firing accurately. If you fire at a bug as it comes across from the right and you fire slightly too late, you still have a chance of hitting it when it bounces back off the wall.

Tank positioning
Limiting yourself to one section of the game area also makes it easier to dodge fireballs

Patience is key - Take your time! There are no prizes for finishing off all the bugs in quick succession, so take things slowly and pick them off one at a time. The highest scorers on the leader board are also the most patient.

Ignore the green bug at the beginning of the round - Hitting the green bug requires a certain degree of skill, especially when it comes at high speed. Focus on the red bugs until you have whittled them down to the final three or four, then you can work on the green bug. Move into the bottom left corner of the screen so you have time to judge its speed and aim your shot. I would say to only go for it when it is moving reasonably slowly and once you have hit it twice don't bother aiming for it again; at this point the extra points aren't worth the risk of missing.

Massive thanks to Maipom for all of their hard work researching the scoring system.

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This game guide was written by: Daniel, Maipom & Weepit