How to Navigate a Game Level on Gamestar Mechanic

When navigating a game level on Gamestar Mechanic, you should not only understand the essential controls and components but also have an intuitive sense of the game’s “feel.” As you gain experience playing games, your movements will become more seamless, and you’ll become more adept with the controls. Here, you’ll find some combination commands to make your gameplaying experience feel smoother.

Whether you’re playing a top-down game or a platformer game, follow these tips, ranging from basic to advanced, to play more effectively:

  • Test combinations of short-term and long-term thinking. When playing a game, you can think about the level in two ways:

    • Short-term: Deal with each obstacle and goal as it appears.

    • Long-term: Consider the whole game, figuring out the route to take to victory.

    To beat a difficult level, you may need a combination of short-term and long-term thinking. If you’re having trouble, try a different strategy.

  • Recognize cues from the environment. If you’re unsure how to solve a level, look for any important messages you may have missed. Examine the system sprites at the beginning of every level, to understand the goals and rules of the game.

    Well-balanced games always contain clues to guide you through the level. These clues may not be explicitly stated, but the level should be designed so that you know in general where to head.

  • Take advantage of projectile collisions. An interesting gameplay element in Gamestar Mechanic is that “good” projectiles (fired by your avatar) can collide with “bad” projectiles (fired by enemies). When two opposing projectiles collide, they cancel each other out.

    You can often use this situation to your advantage, by blocking enemy attacks with your own and overrunning them with a superior fire rate. Most projectiles also sport a small hitbox, the area around them that justifies a collision. With careful movement, you can avoid this type of collision and hit enemies tactically.

Navigating a top-down game

Top-down games are relatively easy to understand because the avatar can generally use only one motion at a time (with the exception of blasting). Follow these movement guidelines in top-down games:

  • Dodge in straight lines. Never turn while avoiding danger, if you can help it. Taking straightforward routes gives you quicker passage and easier planning — and a better chance at gaining the upper hand in a fight. Exceptions to this method are the Naviron lancer and Naviron sentry sprites, enemies with spears and shields that require you to make serpentine motions to force them into revealing their blind sides.

  • Don’t stop to turn. If you hold down two movement keys simultaneously, your avatar moves in the direction you pressed most recently. If you’re moving and you want to change direction, therefore, you can press another direction key and release the first key afterward. This action allows your avatar to stay in motion while you’re navigating the levels.

  • Cut corners of blocks. When your avatar runs into the corner of a block, it can shuffle around the corner and continue on its way. This makes the interface much smoother when moving through mazes and tight levels.

Navigating a platformer game

Platformer games are significantly more difficult to master because you need to use your intuition to make their controls work well. Follow these common techniques to navigate a platform level:

  • Run and jump. The controls for moving in a platformer game are designed so that you can easily hold down a jump key and a movement key at the same time, to jump onto ledges or avoid obstacles. This type of jump is the most common one you’ll use.

  • Control yourself while airborne. While your avatar is off the ground, you can still move it left and right however you want. Be sure to control your airborne movement to hit platforms and avoid obstacles.

    You can also do a hook-jump or boomerang-jump — jump in one direction, and then turn back partway through the jump — to jump onto a platform directly above you or to hit targets off the edge of a platform. Design or play games with a low gravity setting to get a feel for the controls.

  • Make small jumps. Though you can hold down the Jump key to help your avatar jump as high as it can, sometimes it’s better to tap the Jump key briefly, to cause your avatar to make a smaller jump. The strength of the avatar’s jump is proportional to the length of time you hold down the Jump key, so practice jumping at different heights.

    Big jumps normally work well, though small jumps allow you to hit the ground faster and avoid potential obstacles above you. Smaller jumps are also useful when you have a blaster; when your avatar’s vertical speed decreases, it can fire more shots in a concentrated area.