I had a hell of a time with this game, but I came up with some good techniques. Here are some tips for the ten levels I think are the easiest to explain and play. Why walk you through these ten levels, you may ask? Well, if you complete these ten on normal, hard, and crazy; you will have finished 30/41 of the levels needed to get all the badges!
Please anyone, tell me if you have better ways, particularly for crazy difficulty (which I haven't tried some of these with yet).
Images: See the following post.
Scroll down for images to go with these ten levels, and other levels I can be bothered to capture images of.
- Upgrade to level 2
(which is to say, upgrade once): solar stations.
- Upgrade to max level
: missile stations, and mines ONLY when you're speed-mining the whole level.
- Don't upgrade
: everything else.
- Use this: To beat these.
- Basic lasers
: Fighters, Rings, Missile ships, small amounts of Swarmers (on hard or greater), missiles fired by Missile and Mother ships. Use a wall of lasers, at least 5 (good enough for red fighters). For tougher enemies use two-layer zig-zag walls
- Missile stations
: Missile ships (bit overkill usually), Swarmers, Exploders, Mother ships.
- Pulse lasers and THELs
: They're rubbish at everything.
- If you don't upgrade things and they are not damaged
, you can sell them at full value. This means that if you have the time, building a repair station actually effectively gives you minerals.
- Big blobs of basic lasers are a LOT better than you think. Best thing about them is you can sell them at no loss.
- The important thing to note in mining levels is that each enemy wave is timed after you have mined a certain amount of minerals.
- The easiest 10 missions in my opinion are the 8 main missions (through the middle of the "map") and the first two Response (repairing) missions.
Mission 1, 2, and 8
: Goal is mine 1/3 (Mission 8 is: Last of the miners)
- Two level 2 solar stations (and one energy relay so all asteroids are in range). Three solar stations on mission 8.
- Place a mine. Turn all mines off. Put fast mode on. Place pretty much as many mines as you can fit on the screen. Every asteroid should have at least three mines in its range. If it's on mission 8, upgrade them all (you can do it on fast). I built 20 on hard, 21 on crazy, all upgraded.
On normal or hard you can now turn the mines on and win. On crazy missions 1 and 2, build some basic lasers in the path of the enemies. On crazy mission 8, you should put it on SLOW, then turn the mines on, then build a missile station between the solar stations. Upgrade it (all the way to max) the moment you can afford to do so, then put it full speed back on.
: Goal is mine 1/3
- On mission 3, enemies arrive distributed from a whole side of the screen. Because of this, the start of mission 3 is the hardest bit of all the mining missions. Most of this is relevant for crazy difficulty; on other difficulties you can just follow the instructions for missions 6 and 7.
- Start with two level 2 solar stations (build the second straight to the right of the first) and six or so mines. Now build a repair station just next to the starting solar station and a missile station between the solar stations. Once you can afford to, turn off the mines and upgrade the missile station once. Now turn on the mines, put it on slow, and keep building mines until you hit 20% mined. The enemy wave will now come, so sell the mines. Build an energy relay off towards the right, and two more coming off it at angles: these will tempt enemies close together, making it easier for the missile station.
- Repair, do mining to 40%, then the next wave will come. Sell the mines. On crazy it's Rings at 40% and 60%, so you need to build a BIG wall of basic lasers -- I made 12-16 of them. At 70% there's swarmers; just upgrade your missile station and don't bother with lasers. After this: pause, mine everywhere so you'll finish before the next wave.
Mission 4, 5
: Goal is survive 5 minutes
- Mission 5 on crazy is a bit different. You start out with a LOT of minerals, but you need to get a lot more mining done at the start so you can survive later. Also, start off with two extra solar stations and a maxed mining station.
- Start out with the three level 2 solar stations, an energy store, and a repair station. Get a wall of at least five basic lasers (this is enough on normal, probably not on crazy) blocking wherever the first wave comes from.
- Once they're done get about 12 mines, and keep buying basic lasers as more enemies come in. For mission 5, or 4/5 on crazy, build a missile station and upgrade it asap. Perhaps build another repair station too.
- The rest of this level is hectic and hard to guide, but basically just keep moving those walls of basic lasers to intercept the enemy waves. It's really incredibly important you don't let stuff through to your middle section. Remember to pause.
- You should have a long thin wall of basic lasers, and once the first (red) enemies are all dead, you can start to sell the oldest bits of your wall. You might need to move your repair station.
- Make sure to keep about 12 mines -- that gives you enough mineral income. Preferably do not let anything get destroyed, you can't afford that!
- If it looks like things are going badly, sell things that are vulnerable, then start building long chains of energy relays for enemies to follow.
Mission 6, 7
: Goal is mine 1/3
- Enemy waves start in tight formation from the bottom-right and then progress slightly clockwise each time.
- Start out building five or so mines, and upgrade your starting solar station to level 2.
- When you hear the alert noise; pause, sell all your mines (or turn them off if appropriate, THEN pause), the build as many lasers as you can afford (eight for me), saving enough for a repair station behind it. Then put it back on fast. See the next post for images of suitable laser placement.
- Sell off your basic lasers and repair station and mine again. Once you have the spare minerals, build another two level 2 solar stations and an energy store.
- After this point it's mostly up to you, but I tend to get a maxed-out missile station when I can afford one, turning the missiles off until there are swarmers and motherships (and the exploders on hard difficulty and above). That's usually enough to beat everything on normal. On crazy you need to add another missile station. It's a long mission. :/
- Mission 7 is basically the same, but you start off with more minerals and stronger enemies. Just build more solar stations and bigger laser walls! Exploders first come at 30%, so you best have an upgraded missile station by then. Massive swarmer crowds at 80%, make sure you have a second missile station by then.
Response 1, 2
: Goal is repair the outpost
- These are incredibly easy. All the enemies blindly go for the outpost without paying any attention to your stuff.
- Pause, build this
, then put it on fast. Ignore the minor damage you take from time to time.
- Response 2, basically the same but also add a maxed missile station as shown here
You should have no problems with the medium badge and half the hard badge now, and have a better idea of how to do the rest of the game.