Kavel: Scoring Strategy

A deep dive into getting high scores. Strategies, mechanics, and methods.

 

Introduction

In the game’s tutorial, you learn the basic mechanics of creating matches. It gives you everything you need to play the game but perhaps you’re looking at the leaderboards and wondering… How the Heck!?

That’s understandable because the game doesn’t offer up its deepest mechanics too easily.

Scoring Points

The points you score are determined by the % of the board that you clear with a single match. When a Tetromino is in a valid matching position, the clear% will be shown on the top right above the board. This is essential information.

When you make a valid match, you will earn bomb(s). The same section of the UI also informs you how many bombs will spawn together with all the new shapes coming from the top after a match. You can earn up to 4 bombs with a single match.

How many bombs you earn also depends on the %.

  • Less than 50% is 1 bomb
  • Between 50 and 90% is 2 bombs
  • Over 90% is 3 bombs
  • 4 Bombs will be explained later

Using Bombs to Clear the Board

A regular match without a bomb removes 4 shapes from the board and accounts for about 5% of the board. This won’t get you very many points.

Matching bombs can make you more effective. You can match up to 4 bombs at once. The effects are different based on how many you match at once:

  • 1 bomb: Clear all attached shapes of the same type.
  • 2 bombs: Clear all shapes of the same type on the whole board.
  • 3 bombs: Clear all shapes of the same type on the whole board AND sort the board by shape type.
  • 4 bombs: Clear all shapes of the same type on the whole board AND upgrade all the bombs.

This is an example of matching 2 bombs at once:

Bomb Upgrades

Matching 4 bombs at once “Upgrades” all the bombs on the board.

Normal bombs have a fully opaque center, when they get upgraded they have a little inset core shape.

They’re visually different and their effects differ in two ways:

Multiplier

When you successfully match an upgraded bomb, you will earn a multiplier. This multiplier will simply multiply the points you score for each match before adding them to the total.

In the UI you will see BONUS +X. This is the extra multiplier you got from matching one or multiple upgraded bombs.

The height of your multiplier depends on how many upgraded bombs you match at once:

  • 1 upgraded bomb is +0.5x
  • 2 upgraded bombs is +1x
  • 3 upgraded bombs is +2.5x
  • 4 upgraded bombs is +5x
Omni Bombs

If you match 4 upgraded bombs you won’t upgrade all bombs again. Instead you will earn an extra fancy bomb, the omni bomb.

This bomb has no color and no shape. It can be part of a valid match as long as all the other matched shapes create a valid match together. For example like this:
This means it’s very flexible and can be used in all various bomb and shape combinations.

For each omni bomb that you successfully match you will also earn a bonus Tetromino. The amount of bonus Tetrominos is indicated in the UI. This means that instead of the game ending at 50 Tetrominos you can extend that playtime to 51 and beyond. This is very important for getting super high scores.

If you manage to match 4 omni bombs at once, you will get 9 bombs. This is the best move in the game essentially. For the highest of scores, you continually want to move the game in this direction.

Upgrading bombs, then creating omni bombs and finally matching 4 omni bombs at once.

Valid Matches

For the best scoring potential it’s important to know all the valid match configurations. There are a few that are not immediately obvious but are part of advanced strategies. I’ll list them all here:

The Classic Match

All four shapes must be the same.

The Rainbow Match

All four shapes must be unique and they can’t be bombs.

The 4-Bomb Multi-Match

All four shapes must be bombs. When this is the case, any combination is allowed.

The Omni Match

Omni bombs have no shape or color. They will just assimilate into any valid match.

Strategy Phases

What I’ll describe here might not be the most optimal strategy. In fact, since there’s quite a bit of randomness in the game, it’s hard to really conceive that there is a right answer to any particular board layout or whatever. But maybe I’m wrong, chess has been elevated to strategic science so maybe this game can to. But I don’t think I’ll be the one to do it.

Here we go.

Setup Phase

The idea of the setup phase is to generate bombs onto the board. You start with 3 bombs but I think you want to get to at least 8 and probably closer to 20 or so. Why? Well, we’re working towards generating omni bombs because they will ultimately provide us with the most points.

To get an omni bomb you need 4 upgraded bombs. To get 4 upgraded bombs you need 4 regular bombs to match and 4 regular bombs to upgrade. That makes 8. But, since it will be almost impossible to align those 4 newly created upgraded bombs in such a way on the board as to match them, we need more.

It’s hard to know when to stop. When do you have enough? For me it’s generally between 15-20 Tetrominos matched. At that point I have a whole bunch of bombs on the board and I’m ready for phase two. You don’t want to stretch this too long because you’re not generating any substantial score at this point.

Explodey Phase

Now it’s time to build our multiplier and get some omni bombs onto the board. Try to make your matches as big as possible. Try to line up 4-Bomb Multi Matches with as many colors as possible. Try to always keep your match % over 50% for those extra bombs. You don’t want to run out of bombs, you want to get as many as you can.

Once you have 4 omni bombs on the board you can start to think about matching them. Generally they won’t sit well together and you have two options. First is to just keep going and make more until they start to cluster well. Or two, you use a 3-Bomb match to sort the omni bombs. Then use a line piece to match them and get those sweet 9 extra bombs.

Stretch Phase

If you’re doing well by now then you’ve added perhaps a few extra Tetrominos beyond your 50. This is good, this is important. Now the goal is to just keep staving off the end. This isn’t easy and the end will come for you, but you can delay it. Omni bombs will still add extra Tetrominos at this point so just keep trying to generate them and match them. Keep your focus on big 4-Bomb matches and make it last as long as you can.

Once the game is over, any leftover Omni bombs will be converted to +1x multiplier but I’d say you should do your best to match them all. I think the yield is generally better on a match because you also score points.

The End

The game will do final little show of exploding some stuff left on the board for a few extra points. Of course still taking the multiplier into account. So you can still score substantially here. But then it’s all over.

How did you do? I guess you can always do better next time!

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Post Author: Robins Chew

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