Slorgs in Space: The Guide
Released August 20, 2009 (announced in the August 21 news), Slorgs in Space, game number 1146, is the fifth New Game Challenge. Attack of the Slorgs II, as this new game is also called, consists of groups of slorgs making their way through caves towards a city or space station - perhaps the Kreludan Mining Corp. - which you can see as a cluster of towers or stacks through the exit window in most levels. The first Attack of the Slorgs game made perfect sense, because the slorgs were going to eat your vegetables, which you worked so hard to grow. Perhaps that is one reason I like these slorg games so much - I have some real life experience.
In this new game, possibly most vegetation is grown indoors in the cityscape, and that is what the slorgs are headed for. We have to stop them, even though slorgs are one of our favourite spooky petpets, or there will be no more Vegetable Deluxe served in Grundos Cafe!
Slorgs in Space is simpler than Attack of the Slorgs I, with far fewer power-ups, and a much more dependable gun and aiming mechanism. I miss the frog, though. Even though it is a simple game, there are some details which might be helpful to you if you haven't figured them out yet. For you pros that have the game down pat, there may still be an interesting point presented that you hadn't thought of.
Hopefully you have a good mouse, because you want to be able to move the cross hairs to aim your gun very quickly and very accurately. Before you click on "Start Game", and at any point during the game, you have the option to turn off (or back on) the eerie space music and/or the shiny sound effects. I don't feel they affect your game play either way, so it is just a matter of preference. I leave them on, but I don’t always have my computer’s sound turned on. There is also an "end game" button during level play, but not between levels.
Simple instructions for a simple game: point and shoot. Groups of three or more of the same colour will disintegrate. You receive bonus points for taking out multiple groups of slorgs in a row. The rainbow power-up turns into the colour of slorg it hits, and the slow-down power-up will slow the slorgs if you shoot it. To proceed to the next level, disintegrate all of the slorgs before they reach the exit. I will now elaborate.
Don't those slorgs have such endearing smiles? They seem so happy; you almost hate to blast them. But you must. They lose their smiles and take on a frightened expression just before they reach the exit of the level. When you see that, you know you had better speed up the blasting a bit if you hope to continue to the next level. To the lower right of the screen, with the ability to rotate a full 360 degrees, is your slorgerizer gun. This new, modern space version never needs charging!
In the upper right of your screen is a number beside a slorg image, and the number equals the number of slorgs left - both on the screen and the ones still coming in. So in level one, when the first horde starts entering the cave, and before you start blasting, the number shown will be 20, even when only five of them have appeared. As you add slorgs to the row, the number increases, and it decreases as they disintegrate. In the upper left of your screen is your score. I will give you more details on the score in a bit. Note that there is no timer. The slorgs making their way to the exit do put a cap on your game time, however.
The game ends when either the slorgs reach the exit point in any level, or you clear all the slorgs in level 6, the final level. Occasionally the game will sit in limbo after the slorgs disappear at the exit, and you will have to click "end game" to end the game yourself.
At some point, you may find the slorgs getting away on you before you can finish constructing your elaborate sequence. There are three ways to slow their progress to the exit. First of course is the slow-down power-up. If your slorgs need slowing, then shoot this bubble every time you see it.
Secondly, when you explode a group of slorgs anywhere other than at the ends, with dissimilar slorgs at some point on either side, you split the group in two, and the front group will stop. Hurray! If you now blast some slorgs out of the middle of the second group, the front section of that group will stop, and you now have three groups, with the first two groups stopped, and so on. Even if you add more slorgs to the stopped group, they will remain stopped! The group will proceed again when the back group catches up to it. Before that happens, you can gain back some ground by putting a slorg at the front of a group that matches the back slorg in the group ahead. This will cause the group ahead to come sliding back to the group behind it, and explode the joining like-coloured slorgs if there are three or more of them.
The third method? Don't add slorgs to the front group except as necessary, because they extend the group further ahead. Instead, add more slorgs to the back groups, and try to keep smaller groups - you get more points for exploding five groups of three than for three groups of five, though not a whole lot more.
Aim carefully. If you do miss, you can fix it, either by adding more of that colour to the one you just added in order to remove it, or by adding two more of that colour to the opposite side of your chain. When adding the same coloured slorg to another, you can aim just about anywhere on the slorg, and the new one will be beside it. When adding a third colour between two colours, aim for the dark line between them. To add a slorg to the front of a group, aim for the front eye of the front slorg. It is much harder to add a slorg to the back of a group - aim for the back quarter of the back slorg and hope for the best. Practice aiming for a few games to see what works best for you.
At times in the game you will have a colour in your gun which you do not want to add to your slorg horde, such as when the row of slorgs is already quite long and you don't want it getting closer to the exit by adding another slorg to one of your chain links or by starting a new link in your chain. Just quickly shoot the balls off into space until you get a colour you need.
A chain of slorgs, for the purpose of this article, is a group of slorgs with two of one colour in the center of the group, with same-coloured slorgs on either side of that center, and same-coloured slorgs further out from the center just past those slorgs, and so on. The opposing sides must add up to three or more slorgs. Let's say part of your slorg row is GGRPGRPPGG (G=Green, R=Red, P=Purple). If I add two purples to the right of the middle green, a red to either red, a purple to the right of the left two greens, and a green to the centre green, I now have GGPRRPGGPPRPPGG.
Now I just add another green to the center, and those greens will be the first explosion, followed by purples, reds, purples and the greens. That is a chain of 5 explosions. Important: as soon as you shoot the center of the chain to start the explosions, DO NOT shoot your gun anymore until your chain has completely disintegrated. Don't start working on a new chain in the group behind your chain; don't shoot balls off into space; don't shoot the slow-down power-up; just don't shoot your gun until your explosions are finished. If you do shoot while your chain is exploding, you will reset your bonus points for the current explosion to the lowest bonus point level, and start building up from there again. I will explain the bonus points in more detail further down.
After all of the original slorgs have made it onto the screen, if you destroy all slorgs of a colour, that colour will be gone for the remainder of that level - you will get no more of that colour coming out of your slorgerizer gun.
When the slorgs are making their way into the cave, if you blast all the visible ones before the next one comes out, you will get a rainbow bullet. This would work best on a slower computer, though there is really no point in doing it as far as scoring is concerned.
Very rarely, a glitch can occur where the slorgs come in part way, and then another group comes in beside them, and so on. You can’t shoot them when that happens, so just restart your game.
Fortunately, you can pause between levels. When someone calls you away from the computer "right now!” just finish up your level quickly, and the game will wait for you to get back and start the next level. If you were trying for a high score, though, put a "do not disturb" sign on your door - you don’t want to finish the level quickly when you need to make a lot of chains!
Each level has a row of slorgs come in on the lower right corner of the screen, with the number in the row being equal to ten times one number higher than the level number. In level one 20 slorgs enter (10 x (1+1)), 30 in level two (10 x (2+1)), 40 in level three, 50 in level four, 60 in level five, and a seemingly never-ending 70 slorgs in a row in level six. The total number of slorgs you disintegrate will be higher than those numbers, of course, because you will be adding slorgs to those rows.
The exact spot at the exit which will end your game when reached by the slorgs is about a third of the way across the exit. In level one and two, it is when the front of the first slorg reaches the left edge of the black shadow in the doorway.
Level one gives us red, green and purple slorgs, level two adds starry slorgs, level three adds island slorgs, level four adds pink slorgs, level five adds pirate slorgs, and level six adds brown slorgs. Aren't you glad they didn't add invisible slorgs?
Level one and two are similar rocky caverns, with one easy-to-see curved trail. In level one the slorgs come in from outside through a large cave opening, and in level two they enter through a square opening similar to the exit in level one and two.
Level three is a green tunnel with a circular support beam which the slorgs follow as their path to the exit. Level four is the same as level three, but brown and with stained glass window sections in the tunnel. Again the slorgs follow the first full (other than the broken part) circular beam, and at the straight beam in the bottom right corner they start to angle in toward the next curved beam, which they reach at the bottom center of it, and then continue angling up to the next curve, which they reach just before the next straight beam. Now they start to look scared as they curve more sharply into the tunnel opening and then vanish - if you let them get that far. In level three they start curving up to the exit sooner than in level four.
Level five finds us in a dark cave with abundant fungi growth and a lovely pool. The exit is a smallish opening, with large smooth stalactites, at the end of a grey, easily discernible path. Don’t let the slorgs cross into that opening! Level six, the final level, is the deepest into the mountain, with magma at the bottom of the brown cave and a nice visible path towards the opening at the middle, which shows the space station through a yellow haze this time. This is the only level where the slorgs did not look worried before they reached the opening; they kept smiling - maybe because they knew they were near the end - until they disappeared upon reaching the middle of the opening. But perhaps you will never witness that because you will destroy them all before they get that far!
If you play the game without trying to make combinations, in blissful serenity just blasting the slorgs, on a reasonably fast computer you will score about 10,000 and get game-over in level 5.
During the New Game Challenge, a score over 3500 beat Abigail to win a Slorg Wash, a score over 16500 won a Slorg Hat for beating AAA, and a score over 4000 would beat Lulu and win Slorg Slippers if you had an NC Mall NC Challenge ticket.
For the first few days of the game, a score of 4000 would net you 1000 neopoints, and you could earn that in less than two minutes, which made it a great neopoint earner. However, before the first week was up they had changed from the great 0.25 ratio, to 0.04, meaning at this time you have to gain a 25060 or higher score to earn 1000 neopoints.
Anatomy of a chain. Each successive explosion, or link, in a chain gives you base points of 100 times one less than the order number of that explosion, plus points per slorg equal to ten times one less than the number of slorgs in that explosion. Let's look at my previous example chain: GGPRRPGGPPRPPGG. First the center green, once you add a third green, then purple, red, purple, green. The center link will always give you 0 base points (100 x (1-1)), and 60 slorg points (10 x (3-1) x 3 slorgs, or 20 points/slorg). The second link, the P and PP on either side of the center green, will give you 100 base points (100 x (2-1), and another 60 slorg points. The fifth and last link will give you 400 base points (100 x (5-1)), and 120 slorg points (10 x (4-1) x 4 slorgs, or 30 points per slorg).
To get a high score, you need to explode lots of slorgs in long chains. To do this, particularly in the lower levels, don't finish off all the slorgs in a level until they are getting too close to the exit for comfort. As you practice the game, you will learn how quickly you can finish them off, and thus know how close you can allow them to get to the exit before you have to blast them all. Also, not only do you not finish off all the slorgs, make sure you leave more than one colour!
When you are down to one colour in the slorgs and in the gun, the next shot that hits a slorg will end the level. I like to keep three colours, so at the ends of my chains I make sure to leave unmatched single slorgs of three or four colours. Two colours would also work, and pairs of slorgs will work instead of singles, but singles take less room. In the last two levels, you don't have to worry about adding singles for quite some time while the long train of slorgs continues its entrance.
After your chain explodes, start to work on a new one. As the group gets closer to the exit, you should be building shorter chains, so that you can quickly finish them off before they reach the exit. Note that if your chain is shorter than six (five pairs plus the center) you won't be able to hit the center when the front curves down close to the exit. So either have a longer chain ready to go before they reach that point, or just blast them wherever you can to get rid of them before they reach the exit. It takes a bit of practice to learn how long you can make your chain before you end up at the exit with no time left to finish preparing your sequence.
To get a higher score, you need to use an older slower computer, or play when your computer is in a laggy mood, so that you have time to set up the chains before the slorgs reach the door. Theoretically, if you have lightning reflexes, you could do this on a fast computer.
Remember what I said about five groups of three in a chain giving more points than three groups of five. To make a longer chain, try to limit most links to just three slorgs after pairing (one on one side of center of your chain, two on the opposite side). If you have time and room, though, it doesn’t hurt to have links of more than three – they do multiply the points as well. On my old computer, in level one I can get chains of ten, level two - eight, level three - six, level four - four, level five - two, and level six I’m just blasting them to keep up, setting off chains where they naturally occur.
Go. Play. Have fun. Thank you, TNT, for a great game. :)