Furi and creating memorable moments

Posted by on 07.22.16

Emeric Thoa is Creative Director and Co-Founder at The Game Bakers. Follow The Game Bakers: @TheGameBakers / @EmericThoa

Furi is a character action game in which you fight only bosses. You can get an idea of what the game is about with this trailer: Furi Trailer.


We launched Furi and received a truly incredible response from some players: they are crazy about the game, they love it more than I could have ever dreamt. In the meantime, other players, some reviewers didn’t enjoy the game or felt rejected by it. And they criticized the game for that. That’s pretty fair, but here is a thing. Not every game is for you. That’s what is called diversity. That’s a good thing (Ken Wong explains it better than I would ever do).

Of course, there are games that are bad or average. They missed something and very few people actually love them. But I don’t think it’s the case for Furi. As it was very well summed up in some reviews, Furi is a love-hate kind of game. And believe it or not: it’s by design. It’s a game that was designed to create intense satisfaction, and it succeeded in doing so, even if it frustrated some along the way.

Furi is a Love-Hate game

In this article, I’ll explain how we came up with this intention, and how we made it happen.

Part one: On making a game that doesn’t try to please everyone.

After we made Combo Crew on mobile, my partner Audrey and myself started thinking about what our next game could be. We were in 2013. Indie gaming was already big, but we knew it would grow bigger. We knew the market would be even more saturated, even more fragmented. We knew that, by 2016, iOS and Google Play would be nothing like in 2010. Steam would be flooded by releases every day, and even the very young new consoles (PS4 and Xbox One) would have their stores full of games and sales of any kind.

We realized that, in order to be in the top 10 of the indie devs, we needed to make something « outstanding ». A game that stands out, in every possible way. A game with an edge. A game that I call a « Triple i » or “iii”.

Tiplei_GamesEdgeThis picture was in the very first document for Furi

Triple AAA games have the budget, the talents, the teams to achieve greatness with a huge scope. Story, visuals, characters, gameplay features, game modes, game length… they try to have everything in order to please everybody. Their aim is mass audience.

We believed that, in order to be competitive, smaller studios must go the opposite way. We are too small to be the best at everything, but we can aim to be the best at one thing. We can make something edgy. We can choose not to please everybody. We can choose to make something that most would actually dislike, in order to make sure a niche of gamers will find it truly memorable.

This was the foundation of our strategy for the three years to come.


Every decision in Furi was made in order to make it memorable for a niche of gamers who were somewhat starved: the Japanese character action game fans. Every decision was made in order to make the game outstanding, unique and focused.

The art direction stands out, with colourful and surrealistic environments.

Furi path

The character design is stylish and unique, as we can expect from Afro Samurai’s creator Takashi Okazaki.

Furi The Strap

The combat is (very) fast paced, inspired by Japanese game design.


Its use of both shoot’em up and beat’em up mechanics is totally unique.


The soundtrack is made up of original compositions from amazing electro and synthwave musicians.


If we compare with the direction taken by a recent mainstream beat’em up like God of War, it’s clear to see we just went the opposite way. They go for realism, we opted for surrealism. They went for an orchestral soundtrack, we decided on electro. Let’s not fight head to head with these guys, right?


They aimed for mass appeal, we didn’t. No compromises. No consensus. We developed a game for a niche audience, but with the intention on casting a spell on our fans forever.

Part two: On fighting half-measures. On making strong choices.

This is a bold strategy to start with, but it’s even harder to make it actually happen. Especially during two years of production where as a creative director you are constantly challenged, by the team, by the playtesters, by the press in previews, by trailers comments… by anyone who is slightly involved in the game really.

I remember, during the heat of the production, tweeting this:


Any designer who reads me knows what I’m talking about. This fight against consensus, against half-measures, was the key to succeeding with this initial strategy of not trying to please everyone. If you go soft, you lose the edge, and then it’s over.

Here are some examples of the controversial decisions I took. Even some players who loved the game still disagree with them. I hear them. I’m not saying it couldn’t have been done otherwise or better. If I could, I would improve lots of things in the game, like the tutorials or the promenade mode. But I would probably stick with some of the controversial decisions I took, they are part of what makes Furi what it is.

Spoilers ahead.


In Furi, in between each fight, there are walking sequences where you just get backstory and coaching by your rabbit-masked mysterious buddy. You discover a visually unique environment teasing the upcoming boss personality, and listen to the music. These sequences are important because they give a meaning to the game through the story, they build the tension, and they force the player to take a break in between two intense boss fights. I knew the most arcade-hardcore players wouldn’t like it, but for most of our audience, it took Furi from “a great game” to “a meaningful experience”. As a designer, we stood strong with the idea of having the player “walk” and even “autowalk” (there’s a button for that) for 3-4 minutes. No minions to fight. No experience points to grind. No loot. I bet you can imagine this was a tough call to keep for two years of development.



The secret ending that resets your save


At one point in the game, there is a disguised choice. You can basically stop fighting. Stop killing. Reach a status quo. There is no good ending in the game, they all are good and bad in some ways. There is no happy end. But at least, you can choose why you fight for, or if you want to fight at all.
It was important to me to make it “a true ending”. Otherwise it would have been a simple “easter egg”. Another trophy to the list. So I stood with the decision to reset the save after the players get that ending. Some people are annoyed because it makes them replay half of the game. Some people are annoyed because they triggered the ending accidentally (they are right to be annoyed, they are collateral damage of a strong design choice).
But this kind of moment:
– “I found a hidden event”.
– “Oh it’s an ending, a peaceful one in a game about duels”.
– “F*** my save is erased, they are not kidding, it’s actually over”.
It’s part of what Furi tries to deliver. Surprise, adrenalin, intense emotions. Some people ranted about it, but some understood and loved it.

Furi Song Ending

No come back from promenade difficulty mode

The game has three difficulty levels. The default one (Furi level) is demanding, requires a lot of patience and perseverance, and delivers a great deal of satisfaction when beaten. The hard one (Furier) is an extremely difficult game mode with the patterns and boss fights redesigned. We know that players who finish this game mode love the game and understood it, otherwise they wouldn’t have been able to beat it. We actually thank them for that.


The last one (Promenade) is an extremely easy and shorter difficulty level for players who just don’t want to invest as much effort in the gameplay. Some players complain they can’t switch to Promenade for one fight and then come back to Furi mode. The reason we don’t allow this is not to punish players, it’s the opposite. If we did allow that, players would be tempted to switch to Promenade as soon as they encounter a difficulty peak. They would be tempted to go back and forth between the difficulty levels and they would lose all the satisfaction they’d get of eventually overcoming a big challenge.

Dashing on the “release”, a.k.a. the false perception of delay

In the game, there is a very fast, satisfying dodge ability, that makes you basically invincible. Some players have complained it was laggy or they felt a delay. There is no delay at all, but the dash starts when you “release” the button, not when you “press”. The reason for that is that you can charge the dash to go further. Press and hold, you charge. Release, you dash. This charging dash gives tons of depth to the patterns we can create. The boss fights get a lot of variety from this feature. But even within the team, this decision was considered very controversial. We could have split the dash ability on two buttons (quick dash/charged dash), but it felt too complex. Once you are used to a quick press & release for a dash (and most players are after one or two bosses), you get both the simplicity of the controls AND the gameplay depth.


These are only a few of the decisions that were controversial but that I decided to stick with instead of looking for a compromise. Of course, I DID change a lot of the design when I got complaints or relevant comments. I’m not saying it’s good to be narrow-minded. But it’s good to take some risks in order to keep your edge. I’m very grateful to Audrey and the core team at The Game Bakers and our partners at Sony for understanding that. They all committed to this vision from the start of the project.

Part three: On creating intense satisfaction.

The reason I love video games is because they create emotions. Through their gameplay, story, visuals, music, they can deliver any emotion you can think of.

Uncharted 4 delivers great brainless distraction, P.T. freaks you out, Journey creates a bond, Monument Valley makes you feel smart and poetic. Furi creates intense satisfaction. And by necessity, it can also create intense frustration along the way.


But I believe it succeeded creating intense satisfaction.


People say the game is hard. I would argue it’s mostly from another time. It’s anachronic. It requires patience (definitively not a trendy trait) and it’s a game of counter attack (a game where you wait and punish instead of aggressively attacking with combos, as in most games of the 2000’s to current era).

But players who are perseverant will get better each time they play. Furi is like a guitar and each bossfight is like a partition. You start playing and you suck at it, but you get better after each practice. This is not something everyone is willing to do, but it makes it extremely satisfying when you finally beat a boss. This satisfaction is actually proportional to the effort you put into the bossfight. In order to create intense satisfaction, you need to require efforts.

And when the game manages to trigger that into someone, when a player finally overcomes the frustration and pain to turn it into relief and satisfaction, you get this:


The industry has a tendency to reward games that don’t itch.  Metacritic rules us all, and the formula to get a high Metacritic score is to make a game with one good feature and no flaw. We are prompted to make games that don’t displease, games that don’t frustrate. But recently, I have seen more and more games trying to be edgy. Trying to create intense emotions, even if it’s at the risk of segregating themselves from a larger audience.
It’s exciting.
Let’s welcome that.

Furi – FAQ / Known Issues

Posted by on 07.13.16

Furi header

Last updated, July 20th 2016.


LAST PATCH (July 20th)

  • IMPROVED – Some players experience « overheating » and the fans getting loud on PS4
  • IMPROVED – Some players experience screen tearing
  • FIXED – Some players can’t charge a shoot with R2 with a PS4 controller
  • FIXED – The warning message when leaving for the main menu says all progress will be lost
  • FIXED – Sometimes The Burst sniper shots go through the walls / Walls don’t have collisions
  • FIXED – Sometimes The Burst gets stuck in phase 5
  • FIXED – In The Scale level, the water is sometimes clipping
  • FIXED – [PC only] The mouse mode is not properly saved (directional/reticule)
  • Minor bugfixes and polish



PC bugs can be reported here: http://steamcommunity.com/app/423230/discussions/1/

The game crashes with a Razer Kraken headset
Unplugging the headset might fix the problem. It might be related the version of razer synapse which is not playing well with some games.
A workaround: setting the audio device default format to be 2 Channel, 16 bit, 48000 Hz seems to fix.
Some other workarounds have been mentioned here: http://steamcommunity.com/app/423230/discussions/1/358416640405167590/

[PC only] The game crashes on loading the 4th boss
Some AMD cards crash on this boss. We are working on a fix. More info here: http://steamcommunity.com/app/423230/discussions/1/365172547938430580/

Non 16:9 monitors and Steam overlay conflict
You can disable the Steam Overlay. More info here: http://steamcommunity.com/app/423230/discussions/1/365172547938430580/

In The Scale level, the camera goes away and show only a black screen
We are actively looking for a reproduction rule and a fix.

In The Song level, the main character can get stuck in the air during the last phase
We are actively looking for a reproduction rule and a fix.

I got hit several time in a row by one attack of The Chain
We are actively looking for a reproduction rule and a fix.

I got stuck on top of The Burst walls after the popped from the ground
We are actively looking for a reproduction rule and a fix.

[PC only] The reticule is hard to see in some levels, custom color would be appreciated
It’s on our to do list!

Controls remapping would be useful for players with disabilities
It’s on our to do list!

Splitting the quick dash and the charged dash on two different buttons would be useful (for comfort or to avoid space bar jam with keyboards)
It’s on our to do list!

Have a problem? Report your issues (with as much detail as possible) via THIS LINK.


Is it ok to Let’s Play, stream or monetize videos of Furi?
Yes it is!

I have difficulty moving during the walk sequences, any help?
Yes: press X (or A), and your character will auto-walk to its destination. Relax, listen to the music, to the story, and get ready for the epic fight to come.

What are the threshold scores for rankings in Story Mode?
Story mode rankings reference scores.

What are the threshold scores for rankings in Practice Mode?
Practice mode rankings reference scores.

I feel there is a delay or a lag when I want to dash, is that so?
There is no delay or lag, but you feel it because the dash is on the « release » of the button.
Here is how it works:

  • The dodge is on the « release », not the « press » of the button. There is absolutely no delay, BUT you need to release quickly to do a quick dash.
  • If you hold longer than 0.1s, you’ll start to charge your dodge. Until a threshold, the more you charge, the further you go. This is very useful (and necessary in the late game, or even early in the last phase of boss 2, The Strap, when she swings her laser head back and forth).
  • There IS a 0.2s cooldown between two dodges. If there wasn’t you’d basically be invincible. But there is in no occasion a challenge or a pattern that requires to do two dodges in such a short timeframe.

We can attest that all the bosses can be done with 0 K.O., 0 hits as the game is, and without luck (there is very little random).

Job: Technical Artist

Posted by on 09.02.15

(English below)

Nous recherchons un technical artist, avec une grande sensibilité 2D et 3D. Autrement dit, un graphiste 3D très technique, principalement pour des jeux CONSOLE et PC.

Ce que nous entendons par très technique :

Compétences :

  • Modélisation 3D et texturing
  • Maitrise du pipeline graphique de Unity
  • Réalisation de VFX
  • Programmation de shader
  • Programmation tools en JS ou C#
  • Connaissance des contraintes et techniques d’optimisation
  • Bricole diverse en utilisant tout les softs nécessaires
  • Capacité à s’auto-former en cas de besoin
  • Expérience de développement sur PC et consoles serait un plus.

Certaines personnes désignent ce genre de profil par le terme sensuel de « développeur indé ».

Si vous correspondez à ce profil, prière de vous dénoncer. Vous aurez l’opportunité unique de travailler à distance si cela vous convient le mieux (Canada par exemple), ou encore mieux (et préférable), de nous rejoindre dans notre studio de Montpellier. (Ci-dessous la vue du balcon et les terrasses à 30 mètres, ainsi que le studio).

IMG_8542                     IMG_8543


Dates :  Septembre 2015 à Mars 2016 et plus si affinités

Lieu : A distance ou à Montpellier

Rémunération : Selon expérience.

Pour postuler : Portfolio et un petit mot à hello@thegamebakers.com

Tous les profils nous intéressent, du vétéran du AAA au jeune loup autodidacte et débrouillard.

In English

– – – – –

We are looking for a Technical Artist, with skills in 2D and 3D. In other words, an artist who is very technical, for our games on CONSOLE and PC.

This is what we mean by « technical »:


  • 3D Modelling and texturing
  • Knowledge of Unity graphic pipeline
  • VFX creation
  • Shader programming
  • Tools programming in JS or C#
  • Experience with optimisation techniques and constraints
  • Can make the most of softs, middleware, tools to achieve objectives
  • Capacity to self-train if needed
  • Experience with PC and console development is a plus.

This profile is also known under the catchy name of « indie developer »…

If this is you, report yourself at once!  You will have the opportunity to work from wherever in the world (hello Canada), or even better (and preferred), to join us in our studio in sunny Montpellier. (Check the view from the balcony, the terraces 30 meters down the road and the studio).

When:  Septembre 2015 to Mars 2016 and more if affinity

Where: Work from distance or in Montpellier

How much: according to experience

To apply: send your book and a short note to hello@thegamebakers.com

We are open to any profile, from the super senior AAA dev to the young fast learner!


Squids origins and design

Posted by on 08.13.14

SQUIDS was our first game as The Game Bakers, and since its initial release on iOS in 2011, it has lived a good life. It was ported to other platforms (Android and Windows Phone, PC, Mac), had a critically-acclaimed sequel (SQUIDS Wild West, 87% average on Metacritic), and was recently released on Wii U and 3DS in the form of SQUIDS Odyssey, which compiles the first two SQUIDS games with a new chapter and a lot of bonus content.

Squids versions and platforms

I’ve already discussed the business and financial side of the game in a previous article, and in another one, the fact that the game was developed « in the clouds » with team members all over the world. Now that SQUIDS Odyssey is generating new interest in the franchise, I want to delve into why and how we made some our design decisions, when we first conceived SQUIDS.

Like most ideas at The Game Bakers, SQUIDS was born at the diner table. The Game Baker’s co-founder Audrey Leprince and I were discussing our mutual passion for octopus, squid and calamari, and what incredible creatures they are. (Not only because they’re tasty!) After a few glasses of wine, we started having fun with the idea of a game called « Assassin’s Squid ». It was a good pun but normally this wouldn’t have been a conversation I’d still be thinking about the next morning. This time, though, the idea stuck in my head for a reason I couldn’t identify at the time.

I had been trying to come up with a new game idea for a while. I knew what game mechanics I wanted to have, but I hadn’t found the framework for them. I knew it would be a tactical game with “team management” and at least one real time action challenge, like aiming.

We often pitch Squids as « Final Fantasy Tactics meets Angry Birds », because it’s easier for people to understand, but the true initial references for Squids are Shining Force and Cannon Fodder: Shining Force for its great character design and T-RPG mechanics, and Cannon Fodder for the team-based tactical action.

Squids inspiration

I already knew how I wanted the game to work on a tactical standpoint, but I wasn’t happy with controls like “tap to move”. I wanted the game to work with a gamepad (I already had a console version in mind), but most of all, I wanted great touch controls. Touch devices require controls to be designed for them, with gestures in mind. With tactile devices you slide, you swipe, you pinch, you spread… all these interactions are what make touch devices interesting. Buttons are great on a controller, but not on a screen.

Therefore, with my tactical game in mind, I wasn’t happy with my « tap to move » controls. That’s why the Squid shape stuck in my mind: they have tentacles.

Pull Tentacles

Pulling tentacles, aiming, throwing, managing strengths, bounces… Squids brought with them a whole world of game mechanics to add on to a rather niche genre, the T-RPG. With SQUIDS, we were deliberately aiming for a casual game—deeper than Doodle Jump, but not as complex as Final Fantasy Tactics. Linking the shape of the character to the controls is the greatest way to achieve accessibility, and it worked: even kids immediately understood how to play.

From there, I knew I had the pillars of the game (as you can see in this slide from the original creative overview presentation):

  • Characters: a group of heroes, with each with individual strengths & weaknesses, and a light RPG evolution.
  • Team based battles: choose your team and decide how to fight: spread out on the battlefield, or stay clustered together, or split up to help a character in danger. All the things that T-RPGs gamers love.
  • Touch controls: a core action mechanic that’s linked to the controls, one you can play over and over without getting bored.

Deep Dive into the helmet system

SQUIDS is a game that looks simple on the surface, but it actually has a lot of features. An awful lot compared to the average iOS game. One of these features is the « helmet system », which ended up being a little different from what you could have expected.

Helmets inventory

Some of the classic features you can expect from a tactical RPG are equipment (weapons, armors, scrolls, etc.) and aesthetic customization. I wanted Squids to be casual-friendly—not to scare players with a lot of menus and UI—so I decided to merge these two features in one. Our Squids fight with their heads when you throw them at the enemies—why not give them some helmets? The helmets were going to be the weapons as well as the accessories to customize your characters.

The reflex design for this is to assign bonus stats to each helmet. The early ones would be weaker than the final, golden-legendary ones. That’s how it works in all RPGs: the wooden stick gives +1, the diamond sword +52. The downside from a customization standpoint is that even if the player prefers the look of the first helmet, they would still end up equipping the later one because it has better bonus stats—goodbye customization. A downside for us, the developer, is that we’d spend days to design, model, export sprites, fix sprites, and integrate the new helmet into the game, for only a few minutes of play before the player found a better helmet and dropped the first one forever.

That would be a shame, because I love our little helmets. They’re all interesting, they carry a lot of the game’s identity, and I wanted players to be able to choose whatever helmet they wanted without losing the benefits of better stats.

Squids Odyssey helmets

That’s why I came with the « transfer power » design idea. As soon as you got a new helmet, its bonus stats would transfer automatically to the Squid giving you the helmet’s power, but also letting you enjoy the customization aspects as you liked. This way, we’d go the Pokemon route: « catch’em all ». You were enticed to collect all helmets for empowerment and free to customize your Squid as you pleased, while in a classic RPG you don’t care about the wooden stick anymore once you have the diamond sword.

The design kinda worked, but we realized during the first playtest that there was a problem with the implementation: players didn’t realize that the helmets gave stats, and how much they gave. They would find the helmet, equip it, and the stats would transfer automatically. We skipped the crucial phase of visualizing the character’s empowerment so people thought helmets were only visual accessories.

To fix this, we added a completely unnecessary button: “Transfer Power”. When selecting a new helmet, you’d be able to actively tap “Transfer Power”. You’d see the bonus stats being transferred and your Squid would do a little victory dance. This changed how people perceived the helmets and was a more active way of getting the bonuses than a simple automated animation.


Between the initial idea of merging “weapons and customization” to the final helmet “transfer power” design, seven months passed. Not all this time was focused on this part of the design, of course, but it’s important to realize that a game is built from lots of little ideas that get crafted to parts of the UI, the controls, the animations, and the sounds. Time is key in the conception process. A game is the sum of its features growing over time, side by side but independently, like a tree growing its leaves.

When SQUIDS released, we found that players appreciated this original and unconventional way of handling weapons and customization. Some were immediately enthusiastic, while others mentioned that they found it weird at first, but loved it in the end.

Here is one of many quotes from players about this part of the system:

Player syntheticvoid  on TouchArcade’s forums:
You flick squids around, collect pearls, fight enemies, level up, equip, TRANSFER POWER FROM ITEMS TO YOUR CHARACTERS (friggin sweet mechanic!) – meaning once you buy an item, you can give it’s power to your character, then unequip it, and keep all the perks of that item… =oD

Although it’s not planned at the moment, I often think about designing a brand new SQUIDS game. It would be a massive reboot, a more tactical and deeper game. But for sure I’d keep the transfer power system.

Follow us @thegamebakers / @EmericThoa

Combo Crew in Humble Mobile Bundle

Posted by on 08.06.14

We are very proud to see our own little Combo Crew in the new Humble Mobile Bundle, along some other great games like Duet, Eliss Infinity or Threes! The Humble Bundle version

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A screenshot exporter for the App Store and Google Play

Posted by on 05.31.14

Overview: this is a tool that helps exporting screenshots with localized text in all the different resolutions required by the Apple App Store and Google Play. 

If you are a mobile game developer and have published some apps, you probably have prepared screenshots for the different stores, in varied resolutions, and maybe different languages.


For Squids and Combo Crew, we published the game on the App Store and Google Play. The App Store is 5 screenshots of 3 different resolutions (iPhone 4, iPhone 5, iPad) and Google Play has also 5 screenshots of 2 resolutions that are different from the iOS ones (7 and 10 inches). We also have localized the game in over 8 languages and we had some text on the screenshots, that we wanted localized as well. That makes a total of 5 x 5 x 8 = 200 screenshots to export manually.

It’s ok, it’s an hour of grunt work for sure, but anyone can do it. But when for some reason you want to update something, a text or a picture, that’s another round of manual exports and that’ll become a bit annoying.

We had a very resourceful intern (thanks again Hannes!) who wrote a handy photoshop script that will export all the screenshots for all resolutions from a well set up photoshop file. It’ll save you time for the initial export, and if you have to update something later on, you’ll just have to update the picture or the text once and watch the script do the rest for you.

Here is how it work:

1. Download this package that includes the script and a photoshop template file.

Note: there are two scripts, one for exporting in JPG and one in PNG. I recommend using the JPG one for the stores, as the files will be lighter and upload faster.

2. Open the .psd file and look at it:

– HowTo is just a reminder of how the script works.
– Sizes are just reminders of the different resolutions.
– Screen1.jpg, Screen2.jpg… are the folders with your 5 screenshots for the App Store and Google Play.


Note that the file is 2726×1536 in size. That’s the iPad retina resolution with the iPhone 5’s ratio. If you optimize for the iPad retina you probably already do your UI and full screen elements with this in mind. If you don’t have 2726 wide screenshot, you can always resize the file to a 1280 or 1136 width after having done the iPad retina ones.

3. Fill with your content:

– Replace the screenshots with yours.
– Replace the text background, or delete it if you don’t need it.
– Enter your texts in the « txt » folder. The layer names will be used in the filenames later on.
Attention: make sure you don’t go further than the online casino iPad boundaries so that the text isn’t cropped on iPad.

4. Export:

– Once this is done, select the screenshot you want to export (a visible layer must be selected for the script to work).
– Click on ExportScreenshotsJPG.jsx. A popup will ask you to confirm you want to launch this script. Go back to photoshop and go make yourself a coffee while it works.
– All the files are going to appear in the « out » folder.

Here an example with only one screenshot and two languages:


Hopefully this will save you some time like it did for us!

One of the hardest hidden star to find!

Posted by on 03.31.14

This one is

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Squids Odyssey, the cast

Posted by on 12.22.13

How hot is this casting for Squids Odyssey?! Oh yeah, the last one is a new one, gotta keep a bit of surprise, shouldn’t we?

Squids in Squids Odyssey

Squids in Squids Odyssey, from the WiiU

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Combo Crew Tips from the Developer

Posted by on 06.05.13

Choose your grip style

The default controls and tutorials have you hold the device with one hand and swipe with the other. But you can also play by holding the device in two hands, like a portable console, and swipe with both thumbs. (Your fingers can rest on both sides of the screen when you double swipe for triggering combos.) There’s an option in the settings to choose the control scheme you prefer. It’s a matter of style really; there is no absolute best here. Control selection image

Don’t get hit, keep your streak alive!

At the risk of stating the obvious, getting hit will break your Combo Streak. The Combo Streak is essential for achieving high scores — the base score of each hit is multiplied by the Streak value, so keeping your streak alive is your top priority. The simplest way to do that is to counter every enemy attack by tapping the screen as soon as you see an exclamation point. Beware: don’t trigger a combo until you’ve blocked and countered, or you might cancel your counter before it starts and get hit while performing the new combo attack! Multiplier screenshot

Learn to counter

The counter controls are quite simple, once you get a hang of the game flow : « one tap » anywhere on the screen when an enemy attacks you, and your character will block and counter-attack automatically. However, we have observed that sometimes new players button-mash the screen and start a new combo instead of countering. In that event, the character is triggering his next attack, and you can’t cancel it anymore! Therefore, when you see an enemy with an exclamation mark over his head, tap once (or multiple times like a maniac, if you want to be 1000% safe), but do never trigger a new combo! At the beginning, the safest way to avoid getting hit is to tap to counter once after each combo. Combo Crew Countering image explanation However, countering all the time will not make your reach high scores, you’ll have to find your ways around the arena to stay on the offense for that. But learn the defense mechanics well first, is our advice to you. Take your time, breath, and everything will be fine !

Optimize your SUPER meter

Two players who manage to beat a round with a perfect Combo Streak can have a big discrepancy in their scores based on how well they use their SUPER meter. Each damage point inflicted by a SUPER is worth 40 points, where one inflicted for a combo is worth only 20. Furthermore, the score of a SUPER hit is then multiplied by the SUPER multiplier, on top of the combo Streak multiplier. No need to be a math genius to know that BIG x BIG x BIG = BIGGER. Therefore, optimizing your SUPER is the key to truly mastering Combo Crew. Here are a few tips for that:

  • Use two fingers to tag enemies during the SUPER move. Both inputs are recorded, and you can score twice as many points using two fingers instead of one.
  • Try to get the biggest possible multiplier. If you fill the SUPER meter several times, the score you’ll get for each hit during the SUPER will be multiplied. Triggering the SUPER every time the gauge is enabled will help you get rid of enemies faster, but you’ll most likely score higher if you wait for SUPER meter to triple fill before unleashing mayhem upon them all. Also, it is way more effective to trigger your SUPER when your streak is as high as possible, because each hit will be multiplied by the Streak value as well.
Combo Crew Super Multiplier explanation

Vary your moves

Style is rewarded. Using varied moves will fill your SUPER meter faster, which is key for reaching higher scores. There are eight types of attacks: the basic attack, the counter, the charged attack, the air attack, and the four Combos. Using one of them for the first time will fill 1/8 of the SUPER meter, and this will happen again each time you fill the meter completely. So, theoretically, you can fill the SUPER meter every 8 hits. Combo Crew Moves variety explanation

Use air attacks when enemies attack from behind

Using a combo that Juggles the enemy and then doing an air attack without getting hit is tricky, but it’s worth mastering it since more points are awarded for this than for Combos. The big risk with air attacks is that you’ll get hit by another enemy while jumping. Although you can sometimes jump over an enemy if the timing is right, the safest way to use the air attack is when the enemy is attacking from behind. When jumping, your character will move forward and naturally avoid the attack. If the enemy is coming frontward, don’t take the risk — counter or move away. Combo Crew Air Attack explanation

Moving away beats countering – Risk vs Reward

When an enemy targets you, you have two options: counter or attack (this enemy or another one). Countering gives you less points than any other attacks — even normal ones — so it’s better for scoring to move away from the attacker by attacking an enemy who’s far away, instead of countering. It’s way riskier though!

Always counter bombs

The previous tip works for physical attacks from regular enemies but bombs are the exception to that rule. Bombs might damage enemies when exploding (stealing away potential hits from you) or they might explode on their own (in which case nothing changes). So by countering bombs, you basically score « free points » that you couldn’t have scored otherwise — it’s always better to counter bombs.

Tagging enemies

When no enemy is attacking, you can switch the target enemy (enemy with the red circle below him) by tapping on the desired target. This will only « tag » him without doing any attacks on him. Then you can execute a combo on him or any other attack.

Tap and hold

If you just tap and hold, this will enact a charge attack on the currently selected enemy. If no enemy is selected, an enemy will be automatically chosen for you. *** Here comes a new challenger! Well, now that you have all the pro tips, the Bakers are throwing down the gauntlet. If you feel like losing all your crowns, you can add « combocrew (at) thegamebakers (dot) com » to your crew and face the true challenge of beating our scores.


Posted by on 12.30.12

The Game Bakers wish

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happy New Year to all our beloved players and developers friends!