A New Spin on Spinacles
If you keep an eye on the news, you’ll notice that we have a new game roaming in the Games Room: Spinacles! At first glance, matching or even beating AAA’s score may seem like a daunting or impossible task, but if you follow this simple guide, you’ll have your prize and possibly a new trophy in your cabinet sooner than you think! Now enough with the babbling; let’s start this out by examining the controls.
The controls are pretty basic. Use your mouse to aim, and click to shoot the sphere. Use the space bar to switch between the two spheres you’re given to shoot. The spheres that aren’t of a certain color do special things. The bomb sphere clears spheres within a certain radius, usually a 3-4 sphere radius depending on where you place it. The perimeter sphere will clear spheres in the perimeter, and can be dangerous for destroying the combos you’ve been building. The free shot (has a plus sign), won’t subtract from your meter, and will become a colored sphere when dropped. Use this one wisely, to build combos or avoid clearing them. The last of the special spheres is the rainbow sphere, which will work with any other sphere to help you clear spheres. Be careful using this one so it doesn’t clear you before you want to.
Now that you’ve got a grip of how to use your mouse and keyboard properly, along with knowledge of what the different spheres may do, you think you’re ready to take on Spinacles. If you’re like me, or anyone else who played a game like this for the first time, your first instinct will be to try to clear the level as soon as you can. While this strategy may work for other games, like Faerie Bubbles, it will not help you in achieving a high score for this game. The secret to the game involves being able to stay on lower levels as much as you can and build up your spheres for lots of points since you don’t get some type of point reward for finishing the levels early or efficiently. Yes, you’ve heard all this correctly; for parts of the game, you get rewarded for your bad aim!
Set a Diverse Base
After a few minutes of playing the game, you’ll notice that if you clear a bunch of spheres which were carrying spheres of other colors on top of them, they’ll get cleared too. As you can imagine, this poses a big problem for the base of the game, the dark gray spinner which sits at the center of the screen, where your spheres are placed. If your whole base is only one color, like red, and you accidentally clear it, you end up clearing the whole level. Since we want to build up points early, this is a bad situation. To avoid it, simply try to put spheres of different colors on the base. If you’re having bad luck and all upcoming spheres are the same color, try placing them one space away from each other, so that they don’t touch. By setting this diverse base, you’re guaranteeing yourself more time at that level.
Clip the Corners
The biggest danger you have in the game is losing at a sudden time because one of the sides of your large sphere creation touched one of the walls in the game. While this may be inevitable in later levels, it can be avoided in earlier levels if you pay attention. I will usually advise against using the bomb to clear anything, but in this situation the bomb is your best friend. If only one or two sides have expanded to be a little too close for comfort for you, simply shoot a bomb over to the very top of the extension and it will make things a little more comfortable for you. If you do not have a bomb in your disposal, however, you have to be a little more creative. Usually those long sphere extensions you accidentally build are a little skinny, and will have two or more same colored spheres somewhere on them. Use one of the two spheres you have in your disposal and clear it, which will make any spheres that rely on it fall off as well. Even though this could potentially take away some points for combos in the future, it will save you from an untimely game over.
Build the Chains
The key to winning the game is right here: building long chains. If you clear spheres, you will normally get +1 for each sphere cleared. But if you clear those spheres, then use your next sphere to clear more spheres, those cleared spheres will be worth +2 each. This can keep on going for a long time; the highest I’ve gotten is +12! The best thing you can do for this in early levels is to purposely miss. As in, instead of clearing when you get the chance to do so, put the sphere somewhere it can’t clear immediately, and do this for as long as you can. If possible, try to have as many pairs as possible. When it gets big enough, you can unleash your furry. Since the points for clearing spheres early on (usually +1 to +4) are low, try to clear those two pairs you built in the beginning. As the points per sphere get bigger, try to clear the massive groups of the same colored spheres for major points. After you’ve felt like you’ve done enough damage, build everything again! Ideally, this would be done best on level 7 or even 8.
Master the Walls
Many people will tell you to avoid bouncing the spheres off the wall as much as you can, but I encourage it! Sometimes the chains that you want to build or the chains you want to clear are on the other side, and thus impossible to reach by just aiming directly at them. This is when you need to take your geometry book out and practice your aiming skills. The easiest way to do this is to place your mouse on the wall where you think you can form the best angle, so you don’t miss what you’re intending to do. Imagine a straight line from the sphere to the wall, and then another line from the wall to wherever this imaginary line extends to. This might take some practice, but it’s worth it in the end.
Dump the Junk
There are times where you’ll get a sphere that you don’t want to use, and the next sphere isn’t very good either. Well, depending on how big the center is, you can get rid of that sphere. After a sphere bounces about 8 times on the wall, it’ll disappear and never bother you again. The most accurate way to do this is by aiming the cursor as far up and to the right as you can, so that the little brown arrow is at a ninety degree angle (forming an imaginary square for example). This will have the sphere bouncing from left to right and barely go down, forcing them to disappear soon. This takes practice, so try it out in the earlier levels if you can. Do remember that even if the sphere disappears, it’ll still count towards a sphere used.
Get a Trophy
Now that you’ve mastered the art of Spinacles, you might feel like you’re good enough for a trophy. In order to make sure you have the best chances of obtaining said trophy, play early in the month, when the high scores aren’t incredibly high yet. It’s a long game if you do it right, so make sure you’ve gotten plenty of rest, and can sit in front of your screen for up to two hours. If you make a mistake and get a game over, don’t lose hope; just keep trying!
Well, I think I’ve taught you all that I can about this wonderful new game. Keep playing hard and the AAA prize or trophy can be yours soon, just be patient and be alert. Happy gaming, and good luck!