How to get high scores playing SideSwype: a Tip-FAQ by Tobias D. Robison, May 2014

This web page tells you how to play SideSwype (for iphone, ipad, etc...) and achieve very high scores. Read on...

Please, please, send comments, questions and corrections to: .

Please consider reading my fantasy novel for grownups, which is available as a book, an audio podcast, and in all eText formats. See:  .

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Sideswype is a game from Radiangames. I play it on both my iPad and iPod. It is a great game that works well on both. This web page is your FAQ, Walkthrough and Tips page on how to play SideSwype for high scores.

Sideswype challenges you to remove tiles from the board faster than new tiles drop on it. Each turn you have a choice of only four moves: swipe up, down, right or left. Often, the best move is obvious and can be played without thought.

But Sideswipe is a deep game. Often there will seem to be no difference in your choice of moves, and you will need to think hard to find the best one. In this FAQ, I will help you to learn how to make the difficult moves.

As of this writing,  I have the high score in SS with over 16,000 points, and my current game is well over 20,000 points. I know what I’m talking about.

First, some terminology. I assume you have already played SideSwype, so I will not waste time explaining the play of the game to you. I will call the two colors red and green, because those are the colors I currently play with. Choose whatever color scheme you want. Ideally, the colors should contrast well, and your eyes should be equally drawn to both colors, so that you do not miss good plays for the less obvious color.

In this FAQ, when I refer to a “three”, I mean three, four, or five in a line. I will explicitly refer to a “four” or a “five” when discussing these longer rows.

In this game I have seen five kinds of tiles: normal ones, the 4, the 5, the diamond and the brighter tile that is a bomb.

A few Reminders:
When the diamond is removed as part of a five, it also removes the tiles that are horizontally and vertically next to it. When a bomb is removed as part of a line, it removes all tiles of its same color.

When the game starts, only three tiles drop at random each turn. But soon, four tiles per turn will drop, and then five.

You generally get a bomb when you make five that includes a 5 tile. You often get a diamond for removing 4’s.

Playing Sideswype requires you to visualize how the tiles will move when you swipe. The more clearly you can see the resulting board, the better you will play. I personally am rather poor at this visualization, so I take my time on each play. And I use shortcuts: for example, if I want to know whether a left swipe will produce a five in the middle column, I checkout the third tile from the left of each row.

If you start playing faster, or if the board suddenly threatens to fill up, perhaps you have lost your concentration. I tell myself “danger, danger”, and I slow down, or I get away from the game for a while.

I believe it almost always pays to make the swipe that removes the most tiles. Holding onto a diamond or a bomb for the next play is occasionally the best choice. The one clear exception is that using a diamond to eliminate some 5’s may be worth it, even though your play removes one less tile than the maximum possible.

The rest of my advice  concerns those boards where there seems to be no difference between two or more possible swipes. I haven’t fully mastered this game yet, but I have found a few important ways to find the best move in such positins:

1: Eliminate the correct color: consider a board in which you can either remove three greens or three reds. Which is better? Look at the “next drop”, the graphic below the board that shows which color tiles will drop next. Suppose the next drop will be four greens and one red. If you remove the red tiles and then four greens drop, the board will be mostly green, giving you many more chances to make lines. If you remove the greens, the drop of four greens will give you a board similar to what you already have. In such a case, I would remove the reds.

2: Expose the correct color: a tile is “exposed” if it is adjacent to empty spaces. A tile is “hidden” if it is surrounded by board edges and opposite-colored tiles. Consider a board on which you cannot remove a single tile. The next drop will be three greens and two reds. It is slightly more likely that the greens will help you. To illustrate how I make a decision here, let’s assume that we have a mostly empty board. If we swipe left, we will hide a green in the upper left corner surrounded by two reds. If we swipe right, the red will go to the upper right corner, and the that same green will be exposed, able to help make a line in the next turn.
More generally, look at the next drop, and try to expose as many tiles as you can of the color that will mostly drop next. (Of all my tips, this is the one I am least sure about. It often fails to help, but I think this is the right way to play.)

3. Checkerboarding: try to avoid building up a checkerboard pattern of tiles, alternating colors everyhwhere. The checkerboard makes it really hard to form lines.

4. Shape: more generally, think about the “shape” tiles will make after your move. You want same color tiles to be adjacent, not separated. You want open spaces next to pairs of same-color tiles. The bigger your blocks of color that are exposed, the better.

5. Look for the open 2 and 2: Here is a special case of good shape: suppose that your left swipe will push four reds to the left column, but the middle row will be entirely empty. That means none of the four tiles will be removed. That’s a downer, isn’t it? Well, maybe not; perhaps that is a good shape. If your next drop will be four red tiles and one green, then that gives you - I think - a more than 50% chance of being able to make a five next turn.

Okay, get out there and play.  I’m an author, and you might want to read one of my publications:

Tobias D. Robison

Well, that’s it for now. Enjoy the game, and please consider reading my fantasy novel for grownups, which is available as a book, an audio podcast, and in eText form. See:  . And watch for the sequel, Amia's Gifts, which will appear in a few months.

Are you spending too much time sitting at your computer? You may be delighted to read my new help-yourself book, Quantum Walking to Fitness, available in all eformats at Smashwords.

Please send comments, questions and corrections to: .

Get my new book, Quantum Walking to Fitness at Smashwords

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