Squishy Bugs Alpha 5

Today Squishy Bugs received its 5th update. Here is what’s new:

  1. Fixed the “super fast falling tile” issue. Occasionally tiles, when knocked down, would fall too fast to squish. I suppose if you were really quick you could do it but they really shouldn’t have been falling that quick in the first place. The cause? The tile was being copied into the list of falling tiles too many times. I still have no idea why. So instead of 1 update per tick these tiles were getting 2 or 3 updates, causing them to zoom down the screen. Now the list at least checks if the tile is already present before it adds the tile.
  2. New power up: Knock out same-color groups of tiles. By default groups of tiles that both match the color and the icon of the initially-hit tile will all fall as a group. When this power up is active, all neighbouring tiles of the same color as the initially hit tile will all fall as a group.
  3. New power up: Knock out same-icon groups of tiles. When this power up is active, all tiles neighbouring tiles of the same icon as the initially hit tile will fall as a group.
  4. New power up: Split shot. When you toss a ball it travels a short distance and then splits into 2. I’m still playing with this power up. I don’t know if I want to leave it as a timed power up (currently set at 15 seconds, same as all the other power ups) or if I want to put a limit on the number of split shots that can be thrown.

All these power ups stack. So you can get a bouncy ball power up and a split shot power up and start tossing bouncing split shot projectiles. Or maybe get both same-icon and same-color power ups and potentially knock out half the board in a single shot.

I’m still balancing the score system. When the game is “done” I expect scores in the hundreds of thousands to be a normal thing. Presently my highest score is 30736, and it’s likely only because my dated phone (Motorola Milestone) chugs at times so the game sometimes plays in slow motion.

Looking for a higher score yourself? Here are some tips:

  • The more tiles falling at the same time, the more a squished tile is worth.
  • “Squishy Bugs” are worth 2x as many points as regular falling tiles.
  • Squish the squishy bugs before you squish the other tiles.

A squishy bug by itself is worth 226 points. A squishy bug falling with another tile is worth 2×226 for a total 452 points.

3 regular tiles falling at once, when you manage to squish each one, works out to 3×113 points + 2×113 points + 113 points for a total 678 points. However any tiles that fall off the bottom of the screen will lose just as many points. So don’t knock out more tiles than you can handle.

Next update should see at least 2 more power ups, and perhaps an update to the visual style of the game. I wanted a nice “retro” look but the charm seems to be lost on most people (my wife included). I’m considering how I can brighten up the game without confusing the action on the screen.

Have fun squishing bugs, and as always you can leave suggestions, comments, or bug reports on the WaggSoft forums.

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