Mastering Nimmo's Pond
Ah, Nimmo’s Pond: a nice, peaceful pond where a small, green Nimmo enjoys spending countless afternoons resting upon the lily pads. But unfortunately for the Nimmo, his pond is far from perfect; every once in a while, the current creates havoc on this resting place, causing the lily pads to zoom in every direction at great speeds, out of control. Who can stop this madness and save the Nimmo from potential doom? You, of course! With the help of this guide, you will not only learn how to brave the dangers of these lily pads, but you may one day find yourself sporting a new, shiny trophy representing your mastery of this underestimated, perilously fun game.
In Nimmo’s Pond, you play a green Nimmo. Your objective is to stop all of the lily pads gliding around the screen. Using the spacebar, you must send fire at the incoming lily pads until they are destroyed. Once you have destroyed every lily pad, you will advance to the next level. But it’s not that simple. Medium and large-sized lily pads always break into three smaller lily pads. The smaller lily pads take fewer shots to destroy, but are quite annoying when you have many of them whizzing across the screen and can be more difficult to fire at. By default, you have three bombs, which appear on your screen as three brown dots above your health and paddle power meters. They are activated by pressing the “B” key on your keyboard, and are vital to the game. Be sure to use them wisely. Pressing “V” will allow the Nimmo to use its tongue to grab nearby flies, or power-ups, as well as any nearby lily pads, so make sure you are aware of your surroundings before you use your tongue.
Power-ups are the key to passing many levels and retrieving a high score in Nimmo’s Pond. They are as follows:
Red fly: adds a small portion of health to your health meter. If your health meter is full, this fly will have no effect.
Blue fly: adds a small portion of paddle power to your paddle power meter. This fly may not be very useful to you—you’ll learn why later.
Black fly: gives you an extra bomb only if you have less than three.
Green fly: upgrades your rapid shot, which is what you are given by default.
Orange fly: upgrades your launch shot.
Yellow fly: upgrades your spread shot.
Changing fly: this fly is no particular color. Rather, it can be any color. Occasionally, this fly will change into another color fly. For example, if there was a red fly on the screen, it may suddenly turn to blue, and then green, and so on. Always be wary that a passing fly may change into a different color, which in turn, will have a different effect on the Nimmo. Sometimes it may be best to miss this fly if you have a high level shot, especially spread or rapid 5. If your fly changes the second you eat it with a different type of shot than the one you are using, it will change and revert to the first level, regardless of what level you were previously on.
Flies and Fire: The Good and Bad
From experience, I believe that rapid shot (the green fly) is the best one to use. It may not seem like much at first, but when it is upgraded, it’s definitely something to be feared. Plus, you automatically have spread 1 the very moment you begin the game, so it only takes four flies to reach its final level. And just as its name says, rapid shots travel fairly quickly, as opposed to the speed of spread and launch.
Spread (the yellow fly) is also a strong power-up to use; however, rapid shot is more powerful since its shots are closer together and do spread apart. With spread, lily pads at a far distance require more sets of fire and time, though it can be beneficial when you are trying to fire at many lily pads at once, especially closer ones.
If you are aiming for a high score or trophy, it is crucial that you reach either spread 5 or rapid 5. 5 is the maximum power level for each of the three flies. You can get as many flies of the same color as you want after 5, but it does not upgrade your power-up. This may not be a good idea, since the changing fly may shatter your perfect power-up level, and on high levels, using something as weak as spread 1 is likely to lead to disaster.
Launch is less productive than spread and rapid for a number of reasons. The distance a launch shot can travel is limited; rapid and spread can ascend across the entire screen even at level 1. Also, launch consists of only a single shot and not a set of shots no matter how many times it is upgraded. Most importantly, launch serves as a poor defense against close ranged targets. The only advantage this type of shot has is that it will inflict damage to all lily pads that happen to be nearby, not just the lily pads it hit directly, but when weighing the pros and cons, spread and rapid are much more efficient choices for successful game play.
The Center Technique
This technique has no name that I know of, so I made one up. Basically, the Center Technique is where you never move from the center of the screen throughout the entire game. Because you are not moving, you must attack all lily pads that are heading towards you to avoid losing health points and save your three bombs until you absolutely need to use them.
Is not moving better than navigating around the lily pads? Definitely. Why, you ask? First, moving around the screen requires paddle power, and running out of paddle power instantly spells game over. Staying in one place practically eliminates the worry of running low on paddle power. Second, once you start moving, there’s no going back. No matter what you do, the Nimmo is forever lost in the powerful current. When the Nimmo is moving, it becomes hard to control and increases your chance of accidentally colliding with a lily pad. Third, gliding from one side to the other by exiting the boundaries of the screen is dangerous as you may run into an unseen lily pad in the process, and it can be confusing to predict the exact area where your Nimmo will appear. Finally, this may sound a little lazy, but removing the constant need to use your arrow keys to carefully navigate around lily pads may reduce the amount of brainpower needed and stress brought up while playing this game. So generally, not moving means less work. In short, stay in the center of the screen. If this technique is new to you, it will take some practice to get used to, but with time and determination, you will improve.
If you are short on health points, out of bombs, and are seconds away from being bombarded by lily pads and there’s no way to stop them, move to a safer location, but only do this as a last resort.
Mastering Nimmo’s Pond requires much practice and dedication. Always be aware of every lily pad, and only use a bomb when you are entirely sure that you need to. Lily pads increase in speed as you move further into the game, so it is important you have either spread or rapid shot on a high level. Also, knowing what each color fly does is the difference between an average score and a gold trophy. Lastly, it is critical that you remember to never move from the center of the screen—not even the slightest inch. You will not be able to stop once you begin to move. With these tips and a confident mind, you are sure to improve your game play, and possibly reach heights greater than you ever expected. Who knows? A new trophy may someday find its way to your user lookup!