NOTE from August 18, 2007: With the help of cyrus_d_great, I have updated the scoring section.
NOTE from July 7, 2007: It has come to my attention that TNT has recently changed the scoring system of Swarm. So, until I figure out the new system, this guide is just a bit outdated.

Introduction: Welcome to my Swarm -- The Bugs Strike Back! guide. If you are here, then I assume your goal is to get a Bronze, Silver, or Gold trophy in my favorite flash game. Read everything here, and with some practice you will accomplish your goal and have a nice new shiny trophy in your collection. :)



Description of the Game: You are a brave Brown Wocky defending Neopian Protection Zone 6b (whatever THAT is...) in the Lost Desert. Get in your stone tank and go blast some evil bugs to smithereens. But be careful because the bugs can also shoot back, and if you are hit three times by their fireballs it is GAME OVER for you.

Controls: Use the RIGHT and LEFT arrow keys to move and the SPACE bar to shoot bombs! This is very easy to remember and comfortable on the fingers.

Aim of the Game: The aim of the game is to destroy 10 waves of bugs....



The above screenshot is of the first wave. *note: If the screenshots don't show up, refresh the page.
There are 16 bugs in the first wave and they move slowly to the left and to the right. When there are only a few bugs remaining on the screen, they speed up and can also zig-zag forwards and backwards. Once you shoot them all, you get to go on to the next wave. As you progress through the game, you will notice that each wave has more bugs than the preceding one. The tenth and final wave looks like this:



That sure looks like fun, doesn't it!? Don't get discouraged by all those bugs and fireballs, though. The beginning of the higher levels is actually quite simple. Since there are more bugs on screen you don't have to put any effort into aiming your bombs! Just shoot randomly into the thick of bugs and you are bound to hit one of them. However, one downside is this: With more bugs, you have to be very good at dodging the plus fireballs.
If you are new to this game it will be a bit difficult to dodge the bugs while shooting well-aimed bombs at the same time, but with some practice you will get used to it and you'll think to yourself, "This game is easier than I thought!

Power-Ups: There are eight different power-ups. Sometimes when you blow up a bug a special power-up will appear and it will float to the bottom of the screen. Maneuver under the power-up, let it touch you, and you will be granted with something special (or damaging):



The three power-ups that I have circled in RED should NEVER be used and the one outlined in light blue is not recommended. Let's look at each power-up more closely, starting with those that should not be picked up...

DARK BLUE: Your tank will double its size making it very easy to hit. Avoid this at at all times. Remember: BLUE is BAD. :)
PURPLE: You become irritatingly slow with this and will have a very hard time dodging those pesky fireballs.
GREEN: This makes you faster. Surely, you wonder, being faster makes it easier to dodge the fireballs and hit the bugs? No. Being faster doesn't help dodge the fireballs. It makes you unwieldy, and many times you will accidentally go too far and get hit and die because you weren't able to stop. You survive by being foreseeing and by intelligently placing your tank in a safe spot. The bugs shoot at RANDOM. The bugs are STUPID. They don't follow your movements and they don't specifically try to shoot you. If you are good at the game Ice Cream Machine, then great! You have some extra practice at dodging and you know what I am talking about. :).
LIGHT BLUE: New players love this power-up. Advanced players avoid it at all times. Since you are trying to get a trophy, you must avoid it, too. Why? This power-up gives you a powerful laser beam that can only be used once each time you pick it up. This laser beam will wipe out multiple bugs at the same time. If you position your attack correctly, you could wipe out an entire ROW of bugs in the blink of an eye! That sounds pretty good at first, doesn't it?
The light blue power-up must be avoided because the points you receive for wiping out a row of bugs will be a minimal 3 per bug. You would get more points by hitting each of the bugs individually, and in order to get a trophy in Swarm, you must get as high a score as possible! If you use the light blue power-up you will not be able to do this. The scoring of this game is discussed in detail further down...

Avoid getting any of the above. Here is an easy way to remember which of the power-ups are good and which are bad: Avoid the last colors of the rainbow. Green, blue, purple, and light blue.
Next, let's look at the useful power-ups:

RED: This makes your tank tiny. It's very helpful because you become difficult to hit.
YELLOW WITH A BOMB INSIDE: If you touch this power-up you get 5 special bombs. These are bigger and faster than the ordinary ones. Use these with special care. It is important not to miss bugs and since these bombs are super fast, you must time the moment of shooting differently.
ROUND LIGHT BLUE: Didn't I suggest earlier to avoid the last colors of the rainbow? Well... here is an exception. The round light blue power-up gives you a special shield and it surrounds your tank like a protective force-field. If you are hit, the shield disappears but you can keep playing. This power-up is equivalent to an extra life.
YELLOW BRICK: The five brick walls in front of you will be restored if you get this power-up. It's pretty useful, but remember that you can't shoot through these walls and thus, you have less space and opporunity to attack.



The above is a screenshot of the round light blue power-up, which gives you the protective shield.


Thank you for visiting and good luck in the game! :)


EvilPeeky is constantly changing colors and species thanks to the lab ray. Who knows what he'll be tomorrow?

Also: I love feedback, so if you have a comment, please don't hesitate to neomail me.


For a list of games and other great guides, don't forget to check out the following page:




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