How to Control Your Gamestar Mechanic Avatar

Every game on Gamestar Mechanic contains exactly one avatar, a little sprite that forms the connection between your commands and the gaming world. You use the game controls to make the avatar move around and perform various actions.

If you aren’t sure which sprite is the avatar, don’t worry: At the beginning of the level, or after you pause and unpause the game, a spinning red arrow points out the avatar for a few seconds.

Gamestar Mechanic offers two types of games, each with a different set of controls:

  • Top-down: You’re looking at the board from above — the bird’s-eye view. The principle of gravity doesn’t apply, so everything appears flat, and all movable sprites can move up, down, left, or right.

  • Platformer: You’re looking at the board from the side. Sprites stand on platforms on which they move left or right or jump into the air.

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You will see how to use the controls for both types of games.

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Top-down controls

The top-down controls allow for several different configurations, and you can play using any configuration you choose.

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To use the standard top-down controls, place the three middle fingers of your left hand (the ring finger, middle finger, and index finger) on the letters A, W, and D — and then place your thumb on the spacebar.

This arrangement lets you control the avatar with one hand and manipulate the mouse cursor and other keys with the other hand. The arrow keys on many keyboards can be small and cumbersome to use, so this arrangement doesn’t require you to use them.

Command Key Finger to Use
Move Up W Left hand, middle finger
Move Down S Left hand, middle finger
Move Left A Left hand, ring finger
Move Right D Left hand, index finger
Attack Spacebar; B and C also work. Left thumb for spacebar; right hand index finger for B; left
hand thumb or index finger for C
Action Z (or M) Left hand, ring finger for Z; right hand, ring finger for
M
Inventory I Right hand, any finger
Pause P (or click outside the screen) Right hand, any finger

Though you sometimes need to move your fingers to different keys, remember the A-W-D-spacebar position for your hand so that your fingers always return there afterward.

There is an alternative system in which you move by using your right hand and operate the other controls with your left hand.

Place the three middle fingers of your right hand on the left-, up-, and right-arrow keys, and then position your left hand so that your index (“pointer”) finger is on M and your ring finger is on B. Then you can use the Pause and Inventory buttons more easily — and feel more connected by using both hands at one time.

Command Key Finger to Use
Move Up Up arrow Right hand, middle finger
Move Down Down arrow Right hand, middle finger
Move Left Left arrow Right hand, index finger
Move Right Right arrow Right hand, ring finger
Attack B (or C) Left hand, any finger
Action M (or Z) Left hand, any finger
Inventory I Left hand, any finger
Pause P Left hand, any finger

Platformer controls

Though the platformer controls are similar to the top-down controls, they work on a different perspective. Instead of moving up or down, the platformer controls allow you to jump. The standard platformer controls use the same keys as the standard controls for a top-down game.

Command Key Finger to Use
Move Left A Left hand, ring finger
Move Right D Left hand, index finger
Jump W (or X or N) Left hand, middle finger (right hand, middle finger for the N
key)
Attack Spacebar (or C or B) Left thumb (right hand, index finger for the B key)
Action Z or M Left hand, ring finger. For the M key, use the right index
finger or the right ring finger, depending on the other controls
you use.
Inventory I Right hand, any finger
Pause P Right hand, any finger

Here are the Platformer controls.

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The Move Up and Move Down keys don’t do anything in platformer games. The W key is used for Jump and the spacebar for Attack.

Similarly, the alternative platformer controls use the same positions as the alternative top-down controls, using both hands instead of one.

Command Key Finger to Use
Move Left Left arrow Right hand, index finger
Move Right Right arrow Right hand, ring finger
Jump Up arrow (or X or N) Right hand, middle finger (left hand, middle finger for X or N;
use the ring finger if you’re using the spacebar to
attack)
Attack Spacebar, C or B Left hand, index finger (ring finger for B)
Action Z or M Left hand, ring finger for Z; index finger for M
Inventory I Left hand, any finger
Pause P Left hand, any finger

Playing quest missions is a helpful way to become familiar with the controls without having to learn by playing games that are too difficult.