Thursday, 6 September 2012

General High Score Tips and Tricks for "Cut The Rope"

To know how the score is calculated and the various bugs and changes, read my article: Score System in the "Cut The Rope" Games.

ZeptoLab is porting the "Cut The Rope" games to more and more platforms and devices but even for the iOS platform alone, there're some gameplay differences, read: Gameplay of "Cut The Rope" is slightly different for different devices.  I already asked them to solve this problem more than 1 year ago (on 18th April 2011) but so far they haven't changed the game physics at all and it could be a difficult problem to solve, so I think things will stay the same for a long time.

Initially I thought of writing some detailed articles like what "Purple Dream" (using iPhone 4) did in his/her Chinese forum http://bbs.weiphone.com/read-htm-tid-2544879.html but it would be a big headache when you want to explain all the differences as some techniques can only work for certain devices.  I wrote an article on this previously, read: Tricks usable in iPhone 4 but not in iPhone 3G.

So I've decided to write this article teaching you the general high score techniques which can be applied to most or all platforms and devices.

Bubbles

(1) Pop bubbles as early as possible.

Air Cushions

(2) For "touch" devices, use a "strong" finger to press air cushions when you need maximum speed.  For "mouse-driven" platforms, you would have to click the mouse button fast.  I mentioned a very good example (Level 3-19 in "Cut The Rope") in my article: NEW "Electric Sparks" Bug in "Cut The Rope" ver. 1.5.

Rope Cutting Techniques

(3) You may need to cut a rope as fast as possible or introduce a short delay in order to get the best score possible.  A good example is Level 1-5 in "Cut The Rope" (this is also Level 1-3 in "Cut The Rope Free" for iOS platform).  Refer to my articles: Individual Level Top Scores for "Cardboard Box" and Tricks usable in iPhone 4 but not in iPhone 3G.  To get the best score, for iPhone 3G you have to add a bit of delay but for iPhone 4/4S/5 you have to cut the 1st rope as quickly as possible.

At the start and any other stage of the level, you have to observe the candy carefully.  If it's attached to some rope(s) and it moves, sometimes it's better to cut the rope(s) as fast as possible but at other times it's better to add a bit of delay.  You have to try out the various possibilities like delaying by how much to know what works best.

Minimizing the Total Distance Travelled by Candy

(4) In general, you want the candy to travel the shortest distance possible.  So you have to adjust the ways and the timing when you cut ropes, pop bubbles, press air cushions, etc.  There're some exceptions, read the following tip.

Speeding Up the Movement of the Candy

(5) Sometimes you may want the candy to move a bit more so that it can touch a rebounding platform or bouncing pad which can speed up the candy's reverse movement.

This tip is quite general, my tip #2 mentioned earlier for air cushions and the "Extreme Techniques" mentioned at the end of this article can also be included here.

(Rebounding from "Tightened" Ropes)
This is an advanced technique used to speed up the candy's movement.  The tighter the ropes get, the faster the candy can rebound from them.  So sometimes we purposely swing the candy with a greater force or use the air cushion to blow it more forcefully to make the candy rebound faster.

(Special Trick)
This works for iOS devices but it may or may not work for other platforms and devices.  You can speed up the movement of the candy when you tap on the "Ghost" element (introduced in the 12th box "Spooky Box" of "Cut The Rope") quickly to switch from e.g. bouncing pad to bubble just when the candy is about to touch it.

Smoothing Out the Movement of the Candy

(6) This is an advanced strategy.  To execute it properly, your timing must be good and you may have to try many times.  When the candy stops moving halfway or it jerks, it'll take a longer time to reach its destination, that's why we want to "smooth out" the movement of the candy as much as possible, and also minimize the total distance travelled by it as well.

You have to cut ropes, pop bubbles, press air cushions, turn on or off anti-gravity devices, etc. all at the correct timing, which is difficult for some levels.

Handling the Scrolling Animation

(7) There's a short scrolling animation at the beginning of some levels (this feature may or may not be the same for other platforms).  Most of the time you want to wait until the scrolling animation is over then you start playing to get the best score, e.g. for Level 1-15 in "Cut The Rope", as you would lose some points if you stop the animation earlier, but there're exceptions.  Read my article Tricks usable in iPhone 4 but not in iPhone 3G for more details.

Multitasking

(8) Actually the "Cut The Rope" games are more suitable for "multi-touch" devices like the iOS devices (iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad) because the gameplay is more natural and interesting as we can use more multitasking techniques, like using a few fingers to play.  For example, you can use 2 fingers to turn 2 wheels simultaneously, or use 2 fingers to move 2 levers/rope hooks and 1 or more fingers to cut some ropes ALL at the same time.  This would greatly reduce the total amount of time spent to complete the level and result in higher scores.

Some older types of Google Android devices don't support "multi-touch", so you cannot perform multiple actions at the same time like the iOS devices.  Mouse-driven platforms have the same limitations.  But you can still perform some limited forms of multitasking.  For example, in the "Valentine Box" of "Cut The Rope" where the candy is split into 2 halves, sometimes you can let 1 half of the candy rise up in a bubble while you quickly play with the other half.

Finding a Faster Method to Complete the Level

(9) Part of the fun in playing the "Cut The Rope" games, especially for those players aiming for top leaderboard positions, is to discover new strategies and techniques in a level.  To get higher scores, you would need to try out all kinds of methods to see if you can discover a faster method to complete the level.

("Extreme" Techniques)
In order to achieve the highest scores possible, sometimes we purposely skip the use of the tools/objects provided, especially bubbles, as they would slow down the candy's movement.  Instead, we swing the candy attached to rope(s) very quickly by moving the levers/rope hooks (introduced in "Foil Box" of "Cut The Rope") or rotating the record handles (introduced in "DJ Box" of "Cut The Rope") in a certain way.  It's a trial-and-error thing to determine what is the best direction, speed or momentum to move the levers/rope hooks or record handles, and it all depends on the "springiness" of the ropes in the platform or device.  Another technique is to avoid using bubble or pop away the bubble when blowing the candy with air cushion(s) to speed up the candy's movement.


David