How to get a pro score in Bumper Fish
When you’re ready to take a break from all the tranquil tank decorating, ranching, and playing with your BuddyFish, why not crank up the excitement with a bit of Bumper Fish? It starts off easy, but gets more and more challenging, especially if you’re not satisfied with a paltry single Superstar. If you want to gain the vaunted three Superstar score, you’ll need to master a few techniques.
1) Super speed!
In Bumper Fish, time is not on your side. Any second you can shave off will increase your score. The farther away from your BuddyFish you tap, the faster your Buddy will swim. You’ll know you’re hitting maximum speed when a burst of sparkles and bubbles emits from your Buddy.
Not only will this help you finish faster, but maximum velocity collisions will cause objects to fly farther and with greater force, allowing for easier combo collisions. Also, tapping rapidly is best for maintaining speed, b
2) Chain reactions
Speaking of combo collisions, do you know what they are? It’s simple: bump an object so it flies into another object. These combos increase your score. This is especially critical when you are going for treasure chests – chests give much better score when hit by other objects instead of your fish. Note that a combo bonus only works once on an object – if you hit the object more than once, it doesn’t give a better score.
3) Angle of attack
The more challenging levels have to be approached like the puzzles they are. Don’t just bump into whatever is closest to your fish. You can survey the level ahead of time by tapping and dragging to pan the camera around before pressing the Play button. Pay attention to “attack lines” where objects can be comboed. Often times, you’ll have to first make your fish swim up or down to get the right angle to knock one object into another.
In some cases, it’s like bowling – one object will be placed with several objects spread out behind it, and it can require a precision hit to knock the first object and cause its parts to scatter into all the other objects. If at first you don’t combo everything, try hitting the first object at a slightly different angle or at a different point of impact.
Finally, if you are hitting a group of blocks like one of the cat faces, aim for the dead center of one of the blocks. If you hit at the intersection of two blocks, it will count as your Buddy hitting two blocks – which means that is one less block being a part of the combo.
4) Don’t forget to Lasso
Master the art of Lassoing. You can tap and drag Stewart the Starfish down from the Bonus Meter, and then if you draw a circle around stars, it gives an even bigger score!
This Lasso is good, but could be better. Notice the three stars in the lower right that were missed.
The catch with using a Lasso is that it immediately cancels the Bonus Meter and removes all stars from the tank – even the ones you didn’t Lasso. So if you want the really big payday, you’ll want to Lasso the largest group of stars possible, since any stars outside the Lasso won’t increase the bonus to your score. Sometimes you might want to tap a few stray stars you think you can’t fit into a Lasso, and sometimes you’ll want to Lasso more than once – if, for instance there are objects far away from each other, you can hit one, Lasso the stars, then hit the other, and Lasso those stars.
5) Align the stars
You’ll obviously want to capture as many stars as possible, but did you know you have control over whether you can even get every last star? It’s possible to bump objects to the edge of the screen, which means when that object’s star appears, it might float off the screen and you can’t capture it. So, try to find optimal angles for hitting an object so that when it the stars appear, they aren’t at the very top of the screen (stars float upwards). You might want to hit an object downwards, or try an angle that tends to cluster the stars closer together for easier Lassoing.
Here we have a nice cluster of stars on the right, but those two stray stars on the left are a bit of a problem. If you’re good, you might be able to Lasso them all, but if you want to play it safe, you can tap the two left stars, and then Lasso the cluster.
6) Try a different order
Some levels offer more than one group of objects that can be comboed. If you see objects on both sides of your Buddy at the start, try changing up which one you hit first. Think about how the stars will be distributed based on the order, and consider how many times your Buddy will have to turn around to hit everything – turning around uses up time!
7) Go for the “juggle”
This can be a sudden opportunity to take advantage of, and doesn’t happen all the time. Let’s say you need to hit a far away treasure chest with an object. You bump into the object, but then you can see that none of the pieces are going to fly far enough to hit the chest. Don’t give up! After an object is hit, there are a couple of seconds before it disappears, and during this time, you can hit the object again! So if you see a piece that is not quite going to hit the chest, try to ram it again. You can even swim below the piece and then nudge it from underneath to give it a bit more lift!
8) Master precision movement
Once you get past level 10, you’ll begin seeing bumpers in the levels. Instead of breaking apart when your Buddy hits them, bumpers cause your poor fish to bounce right off! These levels are primarily about time – that is, getting the shortest possible run. Bouncing off the bumpers will slow you down. There are two methods for getting past these bumpers. At first, you’ll probably want to try the slow method. For instance, say you are approaching a narrow gap between bumpers, and you have to make a turn through that gap. You can tap far away from your Buddy to go fast until you get to the gap, then tap closer to your Buddy to slow down so you can precisely make the turn through the gap without hitting the bumpers.
As you can see with the two stopwatches on the right, you have to get in through a narrow gap, then out through another gap at a different angle. The slow method is safer but…
The more advanced method, which is more risky, is to just go full speed through the turn. This takes some practice. In the same scenario as above, you just tap far away from your Buddy the whole time, maintaining full speed. The hard part is making a tight turn through a narrow gap. You’ll have to be fast, tapping on one part of the screen and then quickly moving your finger far across the screen to change your Buddy’s angle while maintaining full speed. It’s hard to get right, so don’t be discouraged if at first your Buddy ends up bouncing around like a pinball.
9) DON’T combo the stopwatches
In the levels that contain stopwatches, you actually want to take the opposite approach than you’re used to. Each stopwatch will give you bonus time (and therefore better score) if you hit them with your Buddy, but NOT if you hit a stopwatch with another object (like another stopwatch). However, normal objects still benefit from combos, so you do want to hit a stopwatch into a block or a treasure chest.
As you can see, there are many ways to improve your Bumper Fish technique.