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Becoming a Successful Deckswabber


by _shakky_

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KRAWK ISLAND - Deckswabbing can either be a tedious chore or a lot of fun--from my own experiences, I know that many people are having difficulties with this game. Whether you're looking for that "Swabby" avatar or a trophy, this guide will help you. Although I didn't care to get a trophy, the ideas and strategies in this article will assuredly give you your highest score ever... If you want to know how well they work, I got the "Swabby" avatar in two tries using these basics.

For those of you new to Deckswabber, here are the facts in a nutshell.

You play as a Blumaroo, and you must change all the tiles of a level to a certain colour. This colour is indicated at the bottom of the game, where the word "Goal" sits. You must avoid enemies and water, and collect treasure if you wish.

For those of you trying to get the avatar, I'm ninety-seven percent sure the score you must reach is 825. I'm positive you need not score as high as 900. And another successful swabber told me they were certain that below 815 won't make the mark. (I personally scored 843 or so - not the 503 that my list of scores says. For some reason, Neopets couldn't or wouldn't post my score as my best. I got some frantic Neomails from that mistake... "What?! You scored 503 and got the av? My score is higher than that!")

Now for the tips:

1) Always go around your enemies, always. Never go through them, unless you absolutely must. (The only way you must is if they are surrounding you on adjacent tiles.) The enemies you will meet are these (ordered from least annoying to most annoying): Cannons, Myncis, Techos, and Skeleton Kikos. (There may be another one or two - but if you're just looking to get the avatar, you probably won't meet much past the Kikos.) Cannons will hop onto random tiles and are not much to worry about. Myncis and Techos will stalk you; the Techo does it much more avidly, and the Techo is probably the worst of your problems. At least until you meet the Kiko. A Kiko causes instant death if you collide with one. The Kikos are faster than the Techos, and stalk even more avidly. Thankfully your enemies do not have the intelligence to go around bodies of water to reach you. So if there is a canal separating you two, you should be safe. By the way, if a sword and enemy collide, they both disappear.

2) Never go into the water. Ever. Chances are you'll accidentally hop in to the drink sooner or later, but you should always avoid the water, unless you'd like a watery demise. It might help to think of water as a stationary enemy.

3) Be patient! This is the most important rule of all. Everyone likes to rush through the levels, trying to get a time bonus. Rushing will not help! The rush factor is why many people hop through their enemies. Once, my timer ran over six minutes while I was waiting for some enemies to disappear. Patience truly pays off.

4) Don't be afraid to do and redo. If you need to dodge some enemies, don't hesitate to erase some of your work. You can always redo your tiles, but there's no guarantee you'll be able to fill your health back up. In the latter levels, you will have to be willing to do and redo a LOT.

5) Do collect health flags if you need them. The last thing you want is to be low on health - if you die, you can restart up to three times, at the cost of thirty points each time. Although the health flags may look different, i.e. one is at half-mast, one is at full, they both will restore your health.

6) Get rid of those boxes. If you are new to this game, what they do is erase your work. They will change the surrounding tiles back to their original colour, making you have to redo. However, if you're going to finish the level before the box disappears, you don't need to do this. And sometimes the boxes will disappear without disturbing your work. It's really your choice, though.

7) Follow a pattern. In the early levels, it is in your best interest to follow a pattern. Don't go willy-nilly. For a simple example, in the very first level I just spiral inwards. In the later levels you will not be able to follow a pattern due to the enemies. You'll be having to dodge them, making your tiles looks like a mad artist's work... but that's okay, you can always fix that. Most patterns focus on spiraling towards the center, and this works very well. However, if you would like to vary your game, feel free. If you are starting at the center, spiral outwards. It's simple once you get the hang of it.

Lastly, collect treasure if you wish. Treasure gives a few small bonus points. You'll have to use your own judgement to know when to collect. It may mean messing up your pattern, or redoing several tiles. Generally, I like to collect any treasure no matter the denomination. But I always get anything higher than a twenty dubloon coin. (The different denominations are five, ten, twenty, a silver chest, and a gold chest, and a solid gold chest. A gold chest maxes out your treasure bonus. Spiffy!)

The maximum amount of points for each level is 40, but you'll be getting 30 much more often. These factors tally into your score:

Health
Time
Treasure

The most important is by far Health. My whole strategy is based on this - You have finite health, and infinite time. Don't compromise your health for your time. I am not positive that your time is infinite - but you should easily be able to finish your level in the time allotted. The highest my timer ever reached was over fifteen minutes - there was no time bonus. The highest it has reached where I have received a bonus was over six minutes. It was small, but it was there. If you follow these tips, be assured you will score higher than you ever have. Probably.

You may go through anywhere from twenty-five to thirty levels while trying to score over 825. By the time my score was sufficient, I was in the first level where Skeleton Kikos appeared.

Good luck deckswabbing!

(Interesting Deckswabber fact... when the game first came to Neopia, if you scored over 300, you won a dubloon!)

 
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