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  1. With the tournament starting, I've decided to write up this small text to talk about strategies and what to think about in real time to achieve a better time in this game.
  2. This will be good for all runners I feel and maybe give you a better mindset to approach this game.
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  4. First thing first:
  5. This game is, in my opinion, very different from other puzzle games and it may look easy on the surface but it is deceptivly hard. Let's talk about the general stuff:
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  7. 1) The goal of the game isn't to clear the board completely or to survive as long as you can but to clear specific sections of the board (viruses) to beat the level and move on. Every board is different and need to be beat differently everytime. Every run is different so logic will be more important than speed.
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  9. 2) The pills are always the same size and are of only 3 different colors. Less options = easier? Think again. The fact that you don't have many options, the game will make you pay when you do a mistake and actually block options. Things can go south in a matter of a couple pills in this game.
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  11. 3) Pills drops faster the more time you take to beat a level. It's often not a factor on the early levels but deeper into the game, taking too much time to clear the first couple rows of viruses may cause you problems
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  13. Now let's talk about general strategies:
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  15. In my opinion, those are the 3 mains aspect that affect the lenght of a run:
  16. - Board management.
  17. - Pill management.
  18. - Execution.
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  20. Board management:
  21. The most important thing to think about while playing this game is having a plan for every type of pills that may come up at all times. There are 6 different pills you can get : RR, BB, YY, RB, RY, BY. In theory, you need a plan for those 6 pills in the back of your head. Maybe you don't have a perfect spot for a RY at the moment but you need to know where you will place it if you get one. The next important thing is to keep as much as possible an even distribution of the 3 viruses on the board. For example, let's say you have 7 viruses left and 4 of them are red, all the pills containing red should be placed on the red viruses to avoid waiting for a specific pill color at the end of a level. Less important but still worth mentionning is keeping your board as leveled as possible. You don't want your left side of your board almost cleared and having 2-3 columns of 8+ viruses on the right. Sometimes the pill you're receiving may create those situation but if you let things go, you will suffer a good time lost clearing towers.
  22.  
  23. Pill management:
  24. The most important pills in the same are the single color ones. They don't come by very often (only 11% of the time in a specific color) so you need to use them wisely. They will help you get out of trouble easily and clear viruses very fast without drop-time (will talk about this later). They have so many uses it's almost always a mistake to use those pills in a situation where a double-color will achieve the same result. Interesting enough, those pills can be too effective and create trouble for you if you get a good amount of them. let's say you get lots of BB pills in a short timeframe. You will clear blue viruses fast that's true but this cause trouble for the futur BR or BY pills because you won't have space a good placement for them. It's often a good idea to keep your options alive at the top of the board and place those sweet BB lower on the board. You will put the pills to good use and avoid to be forced to place pills on non-desirable spots. Another key aspect is to avoid drop-time as much as possible. It is the second worst time sink in the game (beside misplacing a pill). Often drop-time isn't avoidable and even desirable when the drop will clear more viruses and/or won't waste pills. You clear a red virus with a RY pill and the yellow part goes on a yellow virus this is good management and can't be avoided. But drop-time that won't get you closer to the finish is pure time-loss and you need to be aware of it. This is critical in the early levels. Let's say you have 2 virus left : one red very high and a blue very low. To make this a simple example, both of them are missing one part to be cleared. The next pill is a red-yellow and the next one in the queue is also red-yellow. You might want to clear the red right now but this will cost 5-6 seconds to wait for the yellow part to get to the bottom of the board. It's often better to just waste the pill as fast as possible to wait for a blue or a RR to avoid drop-time. This is a very simple example and it's often very hard to judge on the spot what to do but it's very important to be aware of it and aim to avoid drop-time as much as possible.
  25.  
  26. Execution:
  27. In a speedrun, often execution dictates how good your time will be. This game isn't one of them. You could be a very fast player and have a quick finger but your advantage will be nullified in a heartbeat if you don't apply everything I talked about in board/pill management. Good logic and gameplay will have a greater effect on your time than just your amount of pill per minute you can place on the board. It's very tough to convince yourself that playing slower will yield better time but it's true.
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  30. As a closure, you will learn a lot by watching other players. Play with them and decide where you would put the pills while they are playing. This is great practice because you don't really practice your logic while playing you mainly execute and hope for the best. Wathing other will make you think outside the box a little bit and might see better ways to play pills that you never thought before. Also, watch your past runs. I can't stress this point enough. The best way to improve is to watch your runs and feel the pain of wathing you missing a combo or finding a better spot for a pill you thought at the time was good. It takes time and patience to do but it's very useful. You don't need to watch the best player to improve your game. Just by watching you play you will see all the stuff you missed the first time around because you were too caught up in the moment.
  31.  
  32. I'll stop for now but I might do another one later this week or even few streams where I could talk about this while playing. Could be fun and informative.
  33.  
  34. Have a good one.
  35.  
  36. P.S. Don't mind the spelling please :)
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