Caution: Quills may be sharp Circulation: 99,276,740 Issue: 197 | 1st day of Swimming, Y7
Home | Archives Articles | Editorial | Short Stories | Comics | New Series | Continued Series

Swarm - The Bugs Strike Back - Guide

by jeffc_7227


NEOPIAN PROTECTION ZONE 6B – With a sticker on the back of his tank that reads “My other mode of transportation can also blow things up!”, one has to wonder if he’s really onto something, or just plain nuts.

The thing that makes such a game as Swarm fun is its addictive nature and fast paced action. With a great music track that loops the entire game and painless controls; it’s easy to see why anyone can master such a game as Swarm.


The basis of the game is that you, a Wocky, have a job to do, and a swarm of evil fire spitting bugs aren’t making your day any easier.

With a tank at your control, you must strafe left and right, behind large walls, and return fire as wave after wave of disgusting creatures continue their assault. Walls serve as protection for your tank, but can be effortlessly destroyed if the enemy bugs are not dealt with quickly.

Power Ups!

Power ups are dropped at random, and will either help or hinder your Wocky hero. It’s best to memorize which power ups do what, as no one wants to be stuck with a slow, bulky tank on the open field.


Speed Up (Green Cross) – A great item to have during the early parts of a stage. With this, your tank will move much faster than normal, and allow you to cover more ground. Just make sure to watch out and not to go speeding into oncoming attacks.

Shrink (Red and Grey X) – Another one of the must-have items that bugs drop. This will cause your tank to decrease in size tremendously and form a much smaller mark for the bugs to hit. Take advantage of your new shape and take out as many of the enemies as possible.

Laser (Wide Blue Horizontal Line) – By far one of the best items any Wocky can get. Our own Wocky hero makes sure not to leave home without one, as they can destroy an entire row of bugs if timed and aimed carefully enough. Watch out! Once the laser has been fired, you are back to your normal weapon!

AP Slugs (Slug Icon with Yellow Flashing Lights) – One of the other must have power ups found in Swarm. When acquired, your tank will be powered up with five much larger, and much faster slugs. Use them carefully, however, as you only have five to work with.

Shields (Blinking Blue Circle) – These are helpful for when you’re down to your last life. Shields will allow your Wocky to be hit once by an enemy attack and have his tank remain intact. Once you’ve been hit though, the shield will malfunction and you’ll be returned to your unarmoured state.

Wall Repair (Bricks) – This will completely fix and recreate any walls that might have been destroyed any time during a stage. This is a great item to have during the end of a stage in the later levels, as it will provide some greatly needed cover.


Grow (Grey Vertical Line) – This will cause your tank to increase in size and form a much larger target for the enemy bugs. Because of this, it is best to avoid this power up at all costs. If you happen to pick up this power up, try your best to stay behind the walls and fire only when not being fired upon.

Slow Down (Purple Horizontal Line) – This is another power up that will only worsen your chances of making it to later stages. If you happen to acquire this power up on accident, attempt to stay behind your walls and only come out when the coast it clear.


The enemies in this game are evil fire spitting bugs. The bugs move in groups and seem to have a dislike for Wockies and tanks. The enemies are classed into two different groups, and are worth a different amount of points.

Drones (Red) - Drones move in groups and do most of the grunt work. They are worth a randomly selected number each, and tend to score about 3 to 6 points (As the stages move on, and the number of bugs increase, the number range that you are randomly scored will also increase). It is best to start from the sides and work your way over, when dealing with large groups.

Fire Storms (Green) - These are the worst of the enemy bugs, and appear erratically during each stage. They will move from left to right, and unleash a storm of large fireballs. Their attacks are normally situated on one part of the field, so timing is key when it comes to avoiding the attacks. These bugs are worth approximately 60 points.


In each level the enemies are arranged in different ways.

Stage 1 – Drones attack in a 4 by 4 shape

Stage 2 – Drones attack in a 5 by 4 shape

Stage 3 – Drones attack in a 5 by 5 shape

Stage 4 – Drones attack in a 6 by 5 shape

Stage 5 – Drones attack in a 6 by 5 shape

Stage 6 – Drones attack in a 6 by 6 shape

Stage 7 – Drones attack in a 7 by 6 shape

Stage 8 – Drones attack in an 8 by 6 shape

Stage 9 – Drones attack in an 8 by 7 shape.

Stage 10 – Drones attack in an 8 by 8 shape.


Undeadfortune’s - The best way I have, and others have found, is to take out a side of the drones, and work from there. This helps for later stages, when there are more than fifty drones on the screen at one time, and you may or may not be down to your last life.

After you take out an entire row on the side, the drones will move to fill up this gap when they strafe left and right. When this occurs, move your tank between the 2nd to last, and last wall on either side, and position yourself so that your slug passes just along the wall and upwards. If you do not have a wall, continue to move to the spot that the Fire Storm bug is not attacking, and return fire.

Jeffc_7227’s - My personal favorite strategy, which I would argue to be better than Fortune’s, involves taking out the central rows of bugs.

By doing this, bugs are not covering the whole screen, and tend to make things better for finishing a stage. The rows bugs do not get any closer to other rows, so the far left and far right rows will always be the same distance apart. This gives much more area to move around, and you only have to avoid fire from the Fire Storms.

Then when you have only the outside rows remaining, you can then shoot all but one bug in either row. Afterwards, this leaves you to take out the last bugs at your leisure, while racking up points by taking out the Fire Storm as it passes by. All there is left to do now is shoot the final bug and move on to the next wave.

We hope these strategies help you defeat the swarms.


The game of Swarm is an enjoyable game, while it is straightforward in its game play. I am very happy that it was updated, and its graphics and layout were improved from its original version. Now if only I could get this blasted trophy!

- Fortune / Jeff

Search the Neopian Times

Great stories!


How I Saved Neopia From the Gleep: Part Two
"I believe it is traditional for you to…take us to your leader? Yes, that will do fine for starters…so, Neopian! Take us…to your leader!"

by tambourine_chimp


Razzle Dazzle
"Okay, so we can't dance traditionally. That doesn't mean that we can't do modern dance."

by battlesunn


Pickles do really weird things sometimes...

by victoriavp


The Cheesy Neos
What kind of fool do you think I am?

by justduckygal

Submit your stories, articles, and comics using the new submission form.