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Current Projects: Americana Engine (Game Engine Development)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The "Turtle Gets the Gold" Board

Strategic placement of two Hot Frog Shots to a curve clear, with a half a second of leeway. Red and Cyan highlights mark individual curves.

This board is notable since the curves are not linear as they seem (though the tunnels are still two balls in length), and it is possible to score at least 20 million here with a Spirit Turtle, and a proper turtle tank strat relying on Curve Clears and Fruit for points. It may have been possible to do it on the Gold Mine Board but Spirit Turtle didn't arrive yet, and it's a shorter length before the balls reach cover (12 balls compared to 18) and was more suitable for double gapping.

I'm actually running out of coins (under 5 million) so my 10M replays might not last much longer.

Strategy: Spirit Turtle, collect fruit, and clear curves. I have tried Spirit Beetle and Eagle to lesser degrees of success, reaching a max score of 15 and 11 million, respectively, and the gap / double gap is less effective than the curve clears in the long run. (There are no skulls on this board, but that doesn't mean you don't lose when the balls reach the end of the track.)

Tunnels can destroy this strat by denying curve clears, but combos can typically push balls back out of the tunnels (stalling balls at the same time), and this should not be a real problem with quick planning. Otherwise you'd have to rely on luck in hoping the right color ball is at the end for balls in the tunnel to roll back.

Recommended Powers: Inferno Frog, Epic Fruit, Timelord, Curly Fries, Spirit Turtle. Inferno Frog allows clearing 2-3 curves in most cases (adding time as well) and Epic Fruit, allows for getting more hot frogs. Bacon is also a viable strat for slower players, but you have to rely on sheer luck for lots of time balls, and you may spend more coins than you might feel comfortable in a week to get the RNG to be on your side.

Turtle Tank: Name is a combination of a Spirit Turtle and the Tank role in games. This strat relies on using Curly Fries, Hot Frog, Epic Fruit, Timelord, and enough curve clears (used for points and extra time) to get loads of extra time in to survive the timer for as long as possible (this is usually around 5-6 minutes), depending on fruit and curve clears for points.

Typically in the last minute of play a single curve clear can exceed the score from a gap shot by several factors and offers more points than a fruit. Note that a curve clear can be triggered only once per second, any sooner than that and it won't count.