In the Part 1, we covered intermediate strategies. Today, I will be going in deeper into the mechanics with timing and advanced strategies.
One very important thing to note is that your ship’s attacks are instant. You can freeze time and preserve your combo at any moment. You can use this mechanic to your advantage by waiting until your combo meter is just about to run out before moving.
In the time it takes for your combo meter to almost run out, you will regenerate 2 AP. In that same amount of time, approximately 12 new dots will spawn. Therefore, waiting before moving gives you as much value possible per second spent on the clock.
With this information in mind, you can safely go for moves that leave you with 8 AP (including hitting AP gems), because you can regenerate the two missing AP before you next move.
The one caveat with this strategy is that if you’re already maxed out on AP, the extra waiting doesn’t provide its full value (regenerating AP). You’re better off using that AP immediately if there are dots to hit.
Sometimes I will save the AP gems to float around until I need them. Even if they are 3-4 AP length away, I can go for them as a crutch “free move” to maintain my combo chain.
Right when I start a game, I will stay still for about 3-5 seconds to let the board fill up first. If you move immediately, there isn’t enough density to be worth it because you will have to wait for spawns anyways. You’re better off frontloading the wait.
In 1:00 games, I will go for a 50+ combo first, which takes about 30 seconds if you’re smart. I will then go for a 25+ combo and then wrap up the last 10-15 seconds to clean up and go for score.
In 2:00 games, I have a similar strategy, except I go for 100+ combo first. If I get lucky, I can get a 150+ instead. The second combo is either another 100+ or 50+.
In longer games, you have more flexibility to go for whatever strategy you feel like doing. Typically, it is a good idea to go for 150+ right off the bat to maximize how much you earn while building up subsequent combos.
Before making your moves, think about future moves that can help optimize your score. For example, you may want to hold off on going for a clump on the left side if there’s nothing nearby. Doing so cuts off your options afterwards. Instead, it would be wiser to take some smaller moves on the right side to let the left side populate a bit.
In that same vein, sometimes it is better to not blow up an entire clump if it doesn’t get you over the hump for the next combo tier. The reason being that if you blow up too much stuff, it leaves you with less stable options afterwards to keep your combo alive to get over that hump.