How Tos

A beginner's guide to Ultimate Sackboy

A beginner's guide to Ultimate Sackboy

Exient's arcade runner Ultimate Sackboy is now available for iOS and Android, bringing the titular character to mobile for the second time. It's a beautiful-looking game, and while it doesn't set a new standard for the runner genre, it can provide some fun, for a while at least. In Ultimate Sackboy, the aim of each run is to beat the high scores set by your opponents. To do this, you will need to slide, jump, and move from side to side collecting bubbles.

As you might expect from a runner, it's not particularly complicated, but there are a few things you might want to know before diving in to make each run smoother and progress through the tiers a tad quicker. To help you with that, we've created this beginner's guide to Ultimate Sackboy and filled it with tips and tricks for achieving higher scores.

Tip #1 - Prioritise upgrading the cheapest items first

As you progress through the tiers in Ultimate Sackboy, you will notice the scores you have to beat will increase. That doesn't necessarily mean you have to play better. In fact, you will reach a point where that's near impossible. So, you will need to upgrade your customisation options by spending coins to increase the number of points each bubble is worth. Depending on the level of that item, it will provide a different boost to your overall XP. The higher your XP, the higher the points you earn from every bubble collected.

Ultimate Sackboy running

The trick here is to prioritise buying all the cheaper upgrades first. While it might be tempting to spend 1000 coins on a level six upgrade to get +10 XP at once, you can spend fewer coins upgrading an item from level one to five and get more XP overall. So whenever you have a good number of coins, scan through your item collection and focus on levelling up everything to level five before you consider upgrading beyond that. It's a far more efficient use of your coins.

Tip #2 - Learn the RNG patterns

After playing Ultimate Sackboy for a while, you will start to notice the randomly generated levels don't vary all that much. While this can get a little dull, it can also work to your advantage. Once you know where the game likes to hide some of the higher-value orbs, you will recognise them immediately and can adjust your path to ensure you grab them, boosting your score on that run and increasing your chances of hitting the highest score.

Tip #3 - Prioritise grabbing power-ups over bubbles (most of the time)

The third tip in our beginner's guide to Ultimate Sackboy will sometimes come down to a judgement call but, generally speaking, it's worth grabbing a power-up in favour of a few orbs. The Magnet, in particular, will suck up all the bubbles you run past for a short time, which can massively increase your score.
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The Invincibility power-up, meanwhile, will allow you to smash through structures, netting blue bubbles in the process. Depending on the circumstance, that can make it less useful. So it's always worth quickly scanning the road ahead before taking either power-up and considering whether it's worth missing a few bubbles to pick up.

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Tip #4 - Look ahead and plan

For the most part, Ultimate Sackboy plays out at a fairly casual pace. Again, this doesn't always make it the most exciting runner, but it does have its benefits. Since you don't have to worry about frantically jumping and sliding to survive, you can look ahead of the level and plan your moves out. For example, if you recognise a setup that will hide a few purple bubbles, you can start moving in that direction. Alternatively, you might see a power-up on the horizon and can spend the approach calculating if it's worth picking up.

Tip #5 - Use the ground slam

As with most runners, Ultimate Sackboy doesn't make a big deal about the ability to slam back to the ground by swiping down after jumping. It's a useful skill, though, and shouldn't be overlooked. Whenever you would otherwise return to Terra Firma after running up a slope, it's worth swiping down to ensure you don't miss any sneaky bubbles that might be directly below you. Likewise, it can save a run where simply jumping might see you float into an obstacle.

Tip #6 - Complete your daily tasks and stop playing

Ultimate Sackboy is a case of diminishing returns once you've completed all your daily missions, Daily Duel and collected your five a day. This is because there are only four bag slots, with each taking a while to unlock. There's little point winning a race with no slots open because you'll lose the bag for winning unless you're willing to spend Diamonds, which is effectively throwing away progress. So it's best to do everything you can and put the game down until you have a free slot to fill.

And that wraps up our beginner's guide to Ultimate Sackboy. As I mentioned earlier, it's not an overly complex game, so most of these tips probably won't come as a massive surprise to you. Still, we hope you found something useful to help you rack up a few more wins and progress through the tiers more quickly.

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Stephen Gregson-Wood
Stephen Gregson-Wood
Stephen brings both a love of games and a very formal-sounding journalism qualification to the Pocket Gamer team.