How to Beat Bumble Beams
Also by meanmoddy
Bumble Beams is a simple game to get your head around: drop robot petpets into moving bins via a combination of levers. “I can do that, simples!” most people exclaim, to find that the simplicity of design was hiding a game that required far more precision and strategy than they possessed. This was certainly the experience of one of your authors (htamale – hi!). In the tried and tested thinking of many, I abandoned the game to find something easier.
However, I was recently persuaded by fellow author meanmoddy to come out of my self-imposed Bumble Beams exile and have another go. Armed with tips galore, it’s like playing a different game, still not easy but certainly with practice very achievable, and within a few days I had a bronze trophy to show for my efforts. It was at this point we decided to write an article to share his knowledge and my recent experiences with the wider Neopian world, and here we are. Enjoy, improve, and get a shiny trophy!
On each level of Bumble Beams, you will have a certain number of petpets to try and get successfully into the bins. For those of you who like to know these things, they are all robot petpets and there are four different types, Avabots, Millipods, Roburg 3T3 and Rotawheel. There is also a target number to save on each level; if you meet that target, then you will progress to the next level and there are a total of sixteen levels. The petpets land on beams that pivot in the middle and you control the beam the petpet is currently on with the left and right arrow, rolling them around. So you roll them left and right to get to the bottom and then drop them in an empty bin.
You get 5 points for each petpet saved and a bonus 10 if you land one right in the centre of the bin. That’s quite a significant bonus, so if you are playing for a high score, it is definitely worth worrying about. At first, just concentrate on completing levels and don’t worry about perfects too much.
There are as many bins on the conveyor at the bottom that rolls across the screen from right to left as there are petpets (in other words, one bin per petpet). This will sometimes mean you have to roll a pet backwards and forwards on a beam, delaying its descent until an empty bin is available.
There are several different types of beams which all behave in slightly different ways. They also vary in length, which has an impact on the way they behave; the longer the beam the slower it moves:
Normal beams – behave normally (yeah, I know, not helpful, but if you think of this as the average, then it will help with the next few descriptions)
Light beam – move like a normal beam but more quickly
Metal beam – move like a normal beam but more slowly
Wooden beam – move very quickly and once they start to tip cannot be stopped (it can be slowed but the petpet can’t be made to roll back in the other direction) which at first you will hate, but after a little practice you will love these beams. The huge advantage to a wooden beam is you can hold a petpet stationary on the beam by pressing quickly in the other direction. For example, if a petpet falls on the lefthand side and you quickly press right, it will stay in that spot until you let go. This is a lot easier than trying to keep a petpet on a moving beam whilst waiting for a free bin to come around. It also means if a wooden beam is the final beam before the bins you can be very accurate in dropping them in and get lots of bonus points, yay!
Spring loaded beams – they have a spring under them and a blinking light, landing on them will trigger the beam to shoot into the air after a short period of time. If you are quick, you may be able to get off the beam before it happens. If you do get caught when it explodes. you may get lucky and the petpet will land on another beam, or really lucky and it lands in a bin. Get unlucky and it may simply spring off the screen, never to return. Where do these petpets go? Nobody knows; it’s almost too sad to think about...
On your way across the beams, there are a few different bonuses to collect. The most common are stars; gold stars are worth 3 and red stars worth 10. In later levels, there are little Roburg 3T3 tokens to collect; these give you bonus petpets rescued on a level. A green Roburg 3T3 adds one petpet, but a blue adds three! Suffice to say if you are on a level with one of these bonuses, you should definitely try and get it.
Top tips for all levels
It doesn’t matter which level you are trying to complete, this first tip is the most important. Only fill every second to third bin at first. This means that there will be gaps for you to be able to drop the later petpets into. Unless there is a wooden beam on the level, which means you can hold a petpet indefinitely, there is a limit to how long you can hold a petpet on a beam; it wobbles more and more violently. If you have to wait for ten full bins to go by before there is a gap, chances are you will not be able to keep it up long enough to wait for the gap. On the second time through you fill in the gaps. Because you are only trying to hit every other bin, you have enough time to move the petpet into position and hit all of the gaps and can max out a level, saving every petpet. Don’t believe me? Well, try it and I guarantee you will be more successful playing this way. In the later levels, the bins speed up anyway and you will be forced to hit every two to three bins as you just can’t get there fast enough.
You can get bonus petpets for a level. This means you can miss more petpets and still complete the level, clearly a very handy situation. For example, in level 1 you have to save 5 petpets from 10 available. Let’s assume we save all of them, creating an excess of 5 saves. In level 2 you would normally need to save 5 from 10. However, because we saved excess petpets in level 1, we get a bonus 5 pets to save, so now level 2 means we need 5 from 15. Not only does this mean you can miss more and complete the level, it also means there are more bins available and therefore more spaces to get to the target amount, and extra points as you drop more petpets into their bins per level. The effect is not cumulative. The amount of extra lives you can carry into the next level is capped; you cannot carry more than the extra you could save on that level without the bonus petpets being available. That sounds complicated, even to us, and we wrote it! Carrying on with the example above, we start level 2 with 15 petpets (the normal 10 and the bonus 5 from level 1). We need to save 5. The maximum we can carry forward to level 3 is 5 (the normal amount less the target). So even if we saved all the petpets and created an excess of 10, we only get to take forward 5. Still don’t get it? Sorry, can’t explain it in a much more straightforward way. Let’s just say that it is worth trying to save as many petpets as possible on every level, as it will give you more points, and more petpets and bins on the next level.
Rolling petpets into the bins is generally easier to do from the lower beams as there is less distance to fall. You can also drop petpets into bins which are not yet on the screen or have left the screen, but this is not advisable to do on the righthand side of the screen unless you have no choice. The reason is that the bins move from right to left, dropping petpets off the lefthand side of the screen means you can see the bin you are aiming for as it travels across the screen and check it is empty. If you go off the righthand side, then not only is the timing harder (as you can’t see where the bins are), but you won’t know if that bin is empty or not. In the spirit of editorial accuracy, this is not strictly true. If you know how many bins there are on a level (the same number as there are petpets) and you can hold the petpet long enough (which basically means being stationary on a wooden beam), then you can count the bins going past and then know the empty one is coming and drop it in to the right. This takes ages. If you have bags of patience, it may work for you, but it’s still easier not to drop them to the right.
Specific level guidance
Levels 1-9: There is little advice that can be given beyond what has already been said. Fill every other bin, use wooden beams to halt petpets and drop precisely, and pick up bonuses. Practice is key, but it won’t be too long before these levels are relatively straightforward.
Level 10: There are a couple of tricks to this level.
The first is to get the blue bonus Roburg 3T3. From the start, let the petpet roll to the righthand side. It falls to a metal beam, which you just let the petpet fall off to get the blue Roburg 3T3. Roll it to the right off the spring loaded beam before it explodes and collect all the star bonuses on the way down so you don’t have to go to the bottom beam again.
Having done the above and got all the bonuses, you want all future petpets to fall to the left and onto the lefthand side of the wooden beam where they can be held and dropped into a bin. So at the start, if the petpet falls onto the righthand of the starting beam, just press left and it will fall into the correct spot. If it lands on the lefthand side of the starting beam, move it slightly to the right at first and then move it left and it should hit the correct spot. Remember whilst the petpet is falling to hold the right key, so when it lands on the wooden beam, it stops.
Level 11: To get the red star in the middle between the lowest levers, let a petpet drop from the top left beam onto the springy lever and then to the wooden lever. Don’t press any keys whilst this happens and it should all be fine; your petpet will fall off the springy beam before it goes off. You do need to get the petpet bonus, so it’s worth risking a life to obtain it. If the stars are too hard to get, ignore them; saving petpets is more important.
Level 12: The hardest level. If you can master this, then you will, in all likelihood, complete the game (and probably get a trophy score). There are a lot of wooden beams on this level, so you have to be ready for it, or before you can do anything your petpet is in freefall through the wooden beams (and in case you are wondering, this is not good).
Before the petpet enters the screen, hold the left key down. If you are lucky, the petpet will fall onto the righthand side of a wooden beam and stop. If they fall on the lefthand side, then they will fall left, and try to catch them on the next wooden beam, which is generally not too difficult. If you do catch it on the righthand side of the first beam, then you have to move the petpet very carefully. If it rolls off the beam to the right too fast, it will end up on the righthand side of the lower wooden beam and you won’t be able to move it left. Your only option is then to drop it off the screen to the right, which, as we said earlier, is a big no-no as we can’t see whether the bin is full or not (although for those of you with Zen-like patience, you can count bins to know when an empty one is coming). To avoid this, when the petpet is stood still on the righthand side of the top beam, release the left button and then press it again very quickly. The petpet will roll very slowly to the right and drop to the lefthand side of the wooden beam below (press right whilst it is falling to hold it on that beam) and can then be moved left into an empty bin that you can see.
Level 13-16: There are lots of wooden beams that make it pretty straightforward to hold the petpets and drop into empty bins. If you can manage 12, these levels are not going to be a problem.
That’s all there is to it really. If you get good at this, not only is there a trophy available for being in the top 17 when trophies are handed out (daily at around midnight NST) but you can try your hand at World Challenge, where Bumble Beams features fairly often. Good luck!