Playing Tips and Tricks
The following are tips and tricks as well as general strategies that can be used to help you win just about any Zaxxoids level.
- Don’t panic!
- You can replay a level as often as you need to in order to complete it successfully. Assume for difficult levels that you will not be able to win on your first attempt.
- Survey the level.
- At the start of each level, be sure to take a look at the playing field configuration (scroll if necessary) to see where Zaxxoids, initial balls, spawning cells, critical cells, etc. are.
- Take a breather if you need to.
- Use the right mouse button or the ESC key to pause the game when you need a moment to think, rest, or enhance your calm.
- Do initial gate flipping.
- At the start of a level, flip gates to prepare a path to or away from Zaxxoids so you’re ready once balls are spawned. You should also flip gates so that balls cannot pile up near critical cells. If there are initial balls, you may wish to flip gates around them to ensure they will fall in a useful manner once you need them to.
- Note which balls are locked and which are not.
- This applies to Zaxxoids as well. The key to solving a level may require using locked balls and Zaxxoids in a particular way.
- There are many ways to eliminate Zaxxoids.
- Remember, placing balls of the same color on top of an Zaxxoid isn’t the only way to eliminate it. Consider placing the same color balls UNDER the Zaxxoids. Or use a bomb. Also, try guiding unlocked Zaxxoids to where they can be eliminated with the fewest number of additional balls (e.g. in line with other Zaxxoids of the same color).
- Know when not to eliminate balls.
- For some levels, you will need to allow balls to accumulate in order to reach Zaxxoids that must be eliminated by placing balls beneath them. Also, beware of destroying locked balls that are preventing other balls from rolling away until you are ready.
- Use locked balls to “hold” other balls.
- This strategy can be used to both hold needed balls until you are ready to use them or hold unneeded balls so that they do not impact other areas of the playing field or block critical cells.
- Note unreachable balls and Zaxxoids.
- Some Zaxxoids or balls may be placed where they cannot be eliminated in their current location. They may be held by locked balls which must be destroyed first.
- Keep things clean.
- Try to guide unneeded balls (especially black ones) to portions of the playing field where they will not interfere with your solution strategy.
- Use balls wisely.
- When there are no spawning cells on the playing field, the balls initially on the playing field are the only ones you will get. Do not eliminate balls that do not need to be eliminated in order to win. You may want to count how many balls of each color are available so you can devise a plan.
- Use bombs wisely.
- Use bombs to destroy black balls or as many Zaxxoids or colored balls as possible. Be careful not to destroy balls that you may need (e.g. locked balls that are “holding” other balls)
- Watch the flying ball delivery robots
- This will give you early warning of what color of ball will be released so you can plan accordingly.
- Sequence counts.
- Many levels require that certain balls or Zaxxoids be eliminated before others in order to win. Also, you may need to move balls in a particular order.
- Check for time limits.
- Many levels have time limits. Timers are implemented by having balls (typically black ones) pile up uncontrollably until they reach a critical cell. Some levels have critical cells in locations where balls or Zaxxoids must eventually be placed in order to win.
- Use flags.
- Click the center mouse button on cells to place a flag. Flags can be used to mark no-bomb cells, locked balls, or gates that you don’t want to flip by mistake.
- Consider a bottom-up approach.
- Some levels are best solved by eliminating Zaxxoids near the bottom of the playing field before those nearer the top. This will help you avoid burying bottom Zaxxoids with extra balls. Also, when you have a choice, use balls closer to the bottom of the playing field. There are fewer opportunities to use these, so take advantage of them when you can.
- Consider a top-down approach.
- Some levels are best solved by eliminating Zaxxoids near the top of the playing field before those nearer the bottom. There are typically fewer balls available to eliminate Zaxxoids nearer the top of the playing field, so eliminating these first may make completing the level easier.
- Be fast and efficient.
- For the highest possible score, complete the level quickly and leave as few balls as possible on the playing field.
- Make things easier.
- If you need to, try playing the level on the Easy difficulty setting. This will slow things down and increase time limits.
This article was last reviewed on 25 Aug 2004.
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