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Frantic Fugu: How to Survive Your First Minute

Frantic Fugu doesn't look menacing. Can you survive for one minute?

Last week, I sat down for an interview with ARTIC Interactive about their upcoming release, Frantic Fugu. Community Manager Amelia Chandra was kind enough to email me when the game became available for Android. This isn't a first impressions article, but let me tell you: this game is deceptively difficult. Here are some strategies to help you get in the groove and survive your first 60 seconds.

Step 1: Know Your Enemies

So far, I've seen three different enemies in Frantic Fugu. All are blowfish - the titular fugu - in varying degrees of puffiness.

Small Fugu: The smallest ones seem more likely to have speed boosts than the others. Be on your guard whenever you encounter them. Thanks to their size, you'll have more of these on screen at a time than any of the other, larger enemies.

Smooth Fugu: These guys are the only blowfish in the game that do not have spines. They're not as speedy as their little brothers and sisters, and their lack of spines makes them seem cute and cuddly. But don't let them fool you: they're just as deadly as the rest.

Big Fugu: Finally, there are the big blowfish. These fugu are slower than the rest, though they do get zippy on occasion. The main threat these enemies pose is just a matter of size. Get enough of these guys on your screen, and it's gonna be a tight squeeze for Tako.

Step 2: Know Your Environment

According to its description on Google Play, Frantic Fugu features a "[s]imple 1 touch control," meaning all you need to do to move Tako away from danger is glide one finger around the screen. You don't have to touch little Tako directly to move it. In fact, touching the playable character can severely impede your Frantic Fugu progress, because you won't be able to see what's coming with your finger or thumb in the way.

The large border at the bottom of the screen is the optimal place for your playing digit, but don't feel restricted to that area. You can use any part of the screen to control Tako, and touching the characters will not affect gameplay. Keep in mind, however, that Tako cannot move outside of the dark rectangle at center. For that reason, it's a good idea to keep Tako in the middle of the playing field as much as possible.

While you're avoiding certain death-by-fugu, be on the lookout for yellow sponges that pop up periodically. Collect them and you can buy one of the game's five unlockable characters. Frantic Fugu often gives out sponges to players who opt to watch short video ads between games.

Step 3: Watch for Changing Enemy Waves

The fugu spawn in waves and float from one side of the playspace to the other in every direction. I have yet to see a fugu change course, so if you do, let me know.

Each wave has one type of enemy - small fugu, smooth fugu, or big fugu - moving at one speed - fast or slow. That's it. There is some overlap between waves, but when you start to see enemies of a different type or speed swimming across your screen, you know you're in a new wave.

Not that the waves really matter. I haven't seen any special or boss waves as of yet. But knowing how the waves work keeps you mindful of the game. So when you're enjoying your time dodging smooth fugu and you see a small fugu zip past you, you know to buckle down, because it all just got real.

Don't fret if you get hit. Frantic Fugu gives you the option of watching a short video ad for a second chance at playing. Opting into this is a great way to maximize your time, so don't pass it up!

Step 4: Understand It's All Random

So you've played it a few times, but you seem to have really bad luck. You dodge one way, only to get hit by one of the largest fugu coming in from the side. You're casually drifting around lazy smooth fugu, when a speeding small fugu comes out of nowhere and ends your streak.

No, Frantic Fugu isn't out to get you. Just as Crossy Road is an endlessly generated highway of death, so is Frantic Fugu different every time you play it. But if it's random, how do you survive it?

Step 5: Stay Alive

As I said, Frantic Fugu is deceptively difficult. As in any other game, your success depends upon your ability to combine an intellectual knowledge of the game with physical coordination and forethought. In this way, Frantic Fugu is simple. You need only watch out for fast fugu, take your second chances, move decisively, and plan ahead. You'll reach the minute mark before you know it.

Published Jul. 5th 2015

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