• Graeme Mason

Tips From The Top

Global Leaderboards are one of the building blocks of Antstream Arcade. Here, subscribers can track their progress with fellow gamers across the world in an international competition of retro glory. Many classic videogames have a reputation for being brutally hard or frustrating to play; but that doesn’t stop some of our superstar gamers reaching for the top of the Antstream Arcade high score tables. To get onto the podium takes dedication, skill and more than a little gaming wisdom – here are six of the most challenging games we offer, and some valuable hints on how to achieve success from the very people that sit proudly at the summit of each game’s respective leaderboard.


Jumping Jack

Global Leaderboard Leader: Jim Bagley

“Jumping Jack can be very frustrating in the later levels because if you get knocked over by the baddies you will have a big chance of falling a layer. And the more layers you fall the longer you get dizzy, eventually losing a life at the bottom of the screen. So I decided to try to score as many points as I can on the first level, as that level has no enemies. After you’ve jumped up through so many holes, it no longer creates any more, and if you’re lucky enough for the random holes to make a decent enough sequence, you can make your way to just under the top of the screen, then fall down to near the bottom, before working your way up, getting points each time you go up a floor. Yes, it may take time doing that, but it removes the difficulty that is added when the enemies come in later levels.”


BurgerTime

Global Leaderboard Leader: VeeKiraRay

“With BurgerTime you want to get all the enemies close to each other so it will be like you only have one big enemy, easier to avoid and lead on to the top of burger ingredients for big points. For the best score you need to try to drop this enemy clump as many times as possible in each level. However, you also need to be aware that at some point the enemies will be faster than you; this will make it a lot harder to drop them before they touch you or finish the level. One last tip: try to stay calm and not spray pepper everywhere when things go off the rails. The pepper is limited and if you run out you might not have enough to setup the next level. So sometimes the best course of action is just to take a death to also reset the speed of the enemies.”


Tilt

Global Leaderboard Leader: Tee-1000

“It's a stone cold classic, very challenging, simple and addictive. Each level consists of four stages. If you pass all four stages you progress to the next level. The same four stages repeat, but the speed and number of obstacles increases. The ball size increases on later levels which makes getting around the maze much more difficult. So try to pass each stage with zero mistakes as maximum points for each stage are only earned for clear runs. It's especially important to get clear runs on the earlier levels, as the speed and difficulty increases rapidly which makes clear runs much more difficult. Do not hesitate and keep calm, try to get into the flow of the stage and plan two moves ahead. At the beginning of a new level, be prepared for a change of pace as you can be left with very little time to react.”


Sinistar

Global Leaderboard Leader: ALIBIADZA

“Sinistar has built-in autofire, but faster shooting can be done by manually tapping the shot button. Up to 20 Sinibombs can be stored and they should be released only when Sinistar is fairly close, otherwise they will be wasted. Using all 20 Sinibombs shouldn't be necessary since Sinistar has 13 parts when constructed. Collecting crystals takes time, so carrying some Sinibombs to the next zone is important. Remember, Sinistar cannot be damaged if it's completely off the radar. Stay close to Sinistar during its construction – this keeps it from being built quickly and allows you to possibly get crystals when destroying Workers. Finally, if Sinistar is no longer on your radar, you can use a Sinibomb to find it as the Sinibomb will go toward Sinistar.”


Pac-Man

Global Leaderboard Leader: Ronnieweston.com

“Scoring over one million points on Pac-Man is more a measure of endurance than outright skill. Once you get to the ninth key level, the game is the same until the kill screen, level 256. You score around 12,000 points each ninth key level, so you are looking at playing for a few hours. You may find yourself using a pattern as your mind will seek routine. However this comes with danger if you learn only this pattern. You need to be able to recover and survive the level if you slip up or get distracted. Practice for emergencies by breaking off halfway through your pattern to get used to surviving without it, just in case you slip up fifty levels in. I make use of Antstream’s save game feature to capture the ninth key level so I can practice any time.”


Manic Miner

Global Leaderboard Leader: Mpk

“The hard part is figuring out how to complete all 20 screens, then stringing together execution of them all. The game will continue, netting around 40,000 points per loop. It doesn't get any harder, and there's a good chance that you'll be starting level one with more lives than last time round. Each level is a self-contained puzzle of timing. There are a few spots where your jumps need to be frame-perfect, Willy launching himself off the very edge of a platform with his leading leg outstretched. Key for these precision jumps is to step one frame at a time to get the correct animation frame set up. Then, jump vertically, hold the jump button and push the required direction before landing - this ensures that you don't accidentally walk off the ledge when you meant to jump. You'll need to take a few attempts on each level to figure out the best sequence to grab the items, and when to pause to let the baddies get into the correct position as you go about it. Use the Antstream save states to facilitate these retries.”

Easter Egg

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