Basic overview of enemy types, weapons, and goals.
You can move freely left, right, forward and back and change plane by pressing the jump button. While changing plane, you can’t shoot, and you can’t change your mind about changing plane until you’ve arrived on the new one.
Enemies appear in fixed sequences per level, usually not all at the same time. When there are no more enemies to spawn on a level you’ll hear a distinctive high-to-low synth sound repeating over and over; killing the remaining enemies on the level will then finish the level.
You get an extra life every time you cross a required score threshold or finish a level.
Each level is a fixed length in the forward/back dimension which wraps around seamlessly at the end – as if you were on the inside of a giant donut. Thus, when you move forward you’ll move past the same point several times. The level is longer than you can see into the distance, but not that much longer, so it’s possible for enemies to move into the distance backwards and then reappear at the front, potentially ambushing you. For the same reason, moving backwards is dangerous because you may wrap around and hit enemies that were previously towards the back of the space, usually resulting in a dead moose and a good deal of swearing.
Most levels have a Sheepie Sphere which will spawn partway through the level. Shooting it will release Sheepies onto the plane from which you shot it. Collecting these has two effects – the sheepies form a line behind you which will kill enemies that it collides with; and each one you collect will get you a second or two of Purple Moose Mode, additively.
Speaking of which. Purple Moose Mode makes you invincible. The game helpfully provides a countdown for how long you have left, which is critically important, because after that time there is no grace period whatsoever. So keep an eye on it and start planning to be safe before it runs out!
On later levels, Deer Gates start to appear. Running through one of these will speed you up significantly and give you five seconds of Purple Moose mode, but that’s a big five seconds, because when you’re in this mode you can also kill enemies by ramming into them. Every time you ram an enemy, you’ll add a Trippy Stag to your Rave (which is just an accumulative score for achievements) and gain a bit of extra Purple Moose time, so you can accumulate more and more time to potentially nail everything on the level. Do keep a very careful eye on your Purple Moose timer though, as you’ll die if you ram anything after it runs out, even if you’re going at high speed. Also note that the regular Purple Moose mode doesn’t let you ram things; you have to have passed through a gate. Ramming bullets doesn’t kill you, but it doesn’t increase your timer either.
Important Note: (a bit out of place here but it needed to be somewhere!) To pause Moose Life, press P. To start again after pausing, press the same key you use for firing. If you so much as graze the ESC key while Moose Life is running it will exit the entire game instantly! Take care.
Power-ups last a limited period of time, but always last that amount of time; they are not lost by finishing a level or dying.
Rapid Shooting: what it sounds like. Lets you shoot really, really fast.
Spread Shooting: shoots three bullets in a close formation. Like most spread power-ups, this is best used for enemies that fire revenge bullets as you don’t have to be right in front of them to shoot them. Watch out for accidentally hitting bombs though.
Radial Shooting: Spread Shooting on steroids. Even more bullets and even wider range. Same caveats.
Fissile Missiles: bullets split in half at regular intervals. This resembles Spread Shooting but with a pattern that’s much tighter nearer you and much wider further away.
Hippy Shots: makes your bullets appear as flowers and count as multiple hits.
Unstoppabull Shots| makes your bullets appear as bulls and not stop after hitting one enemy.
Smart Bomb: destroys everything in range. Nice and easy.
Double Moose: a second moose appears on the opposite plane and mirrors your actions. Incredibly handy for dealing with hostile combinations on the opposite plane, but watch out for Ox Rockets.
Support Doe: a little like Double Moose, except that the second moose does its own thing instead of mirroring your actions. Can be tremendously helpful. Can also get you killed.
Helping Hirsch: (Hirsch is German for stag) a stag will spawn and fly around the area you are in, destroying enemies by ramming them. Unlike Double Moose, it doesn’t restrict itself to the opposite plane, so watch out for it “helpfully” setting off bombs.
Stag Party: any enemy you kill while Stag Party is in effect becomes a Stag and runs up the plane towards you (harmlessly). Stags are accumulated over games – regardless of level, game mode, restarting, etc – to a global score. This power-up doesn’t generate Trippy stags, which are generated when you ram enemies, whether or not this power-up is active.
Giraffe Party: a group of giraffes spin around your moose to protect you and hit any nearby enemies. Even better, their necks are so long they stretch into the opposite plane!
Mutant Camels and Oxplosion both have similar effects; they shoot waves of bullets from your moose in the same way that a bomb does.
Buck Stampede sends a stag down each of the marked “lanes” of the current plane, hitting the first enemy they come across.
Hoof Stomp causes you to destroy everything in a close radius whenever you switch planes.
Yellow Saucers: are like red saucers, but a bit less chill. They advance forward more quickly and also bounce from side to side faster.
Cyan Saucers: are like yellow saucers but even worse.
Purple Saucers move rather slowly, but they have a nasty trick: when shot, they shoot out a wave of bullets in a line across the plane where they died. This can be a very nasty surprise if you’re speeding along at the time or if your “helpful” hirsch rams one in front of you.
Bombs generally just sit there not being too much of a bother (unless you run into them), until you kill them – whereupon they shoot out a ring of bullets in all directions. Beware that this includes backwards (ie, into the distance) which means that if you move backwards you can wrap around and hit them. the bullets do have a limited range, so you can safely shoot them from a distance. The wave of bullets isn’t solid, so they can be dodged, and it’s only on one plane. Unlike..
Ox Rockets are like bombs, but they create bursts of bullets on both planes with a slight offset between them. Either deal with them from a distance or get ready to change planes with very careful timing.
16 Ton Weights don’t do much except sit there being big, killing you if you run into them, and switching planes to drop on you if you move by them on the opposite plane.
Red Spikes are simple obstacles you can destroy.
Purple Spikes are also simple obstacles you can destroy, but every time you shoot one, it shoots back. Make sure to stay on the move.
Giant Robotrons only appear on one level, and are big and easy to shoot.
Regular Robotrons, on the other hand, appear later in the game. They move a bit like saucers, but they shoot back at you when you shoot them in the same way as purple spikes. Listen for the distinctive speech (“robot” or “destroyed”) and be ready to dodge.
Barking Plusses pass from left to right shooting at you at regular intervals, but can be hit from either plane.
Barking Crosses resemble barking plusses, except instead of firing at regular even intervals, they fire in fusillades at regular intervals. Having a wall of curving bullets bearing down on you can be a very unpleasant surprise, so blast them as soon as possible.
Boffins bounce up and down between the two planes, and fire a few bullets each time they hit one of them. Later on, though, they change colour and start to fire more bullets, and then homing bullets. They can only be killed when they’re close to one of the two planes.
8-bit Saucers move between the planes in the same way as boffins, but they don’t just bounce, they smartly move up and down; so you’ll need to carefully catch them on a plane to destroy them.