Part Time UFO is finally here, also known as Hataraku UFO in Japan. The game is made by HAL Laboratory, whom you might know of for making the Kirby games. Now HAL Egg has made their move on to mobile, and we’re loving Part Time UFO.
Playing as UFO-Kun, you must balance and stack a variety of items in a variety of scenarios using some crane-claw game mechanics and a lot of swinging about.
There’s 27 levels for you to get stuck into and 81 medals for you to collect, so you’ll be here for a few hours! No worries though, we’ve got all the advice you need to get stuck in and stacking, so read on for a masterclass in being a Part-Time UFO.
The king of swing
You’ll quickly notice that moving things around with your crane claw isn’t the most accurate, not least because flying about while carrying something tends to make it swing wildly.
Obviously you can move incredibly slowly to reduce the momentum of the swing, and slowly lowering objects in to place will help with precision placements.
Swinging also has its uses, though. Use the inertia from movement in order to toss items – for most balancing acts this won’t help much, but if you’re haphazardly throwing things on a boat or truck, it’s the fastest way to go.
A good surface
It’s all easier said than done, honestly. Sure, it seems simple to stack up a bunch of objects, but you’ll need something safe to latch on to. You’ll notice many of the more awkward items in the game – blocks, for example, will have notches to make it easier to grasp with your claw.
In other places you’ll see uneven surfaces and knobbly areas which are perfect for grasping with your claw.
You should also remember the shape of the surfaces when delicately balancing things. It seems obvious, but a flat surface is going to hold things better than a slanted one, and in certain situations making a stand with two objects may help.
Lying in wait
If you scan the backgrounds of each level, there’ll usually be at least a single item, object or character you can interact with that isn’t otherwise obvious, or extra items which you’ll be able to use.
Sometimes you can just use these items as an additional decoration for some points, but at other times the background items will be necessary to get medals required to progress through the game.
Look out for anyone extra in the background – you can pull people out of pots, pull wigs off of heads, and much more. These extra items or interactables might be hiding behind other characters or objects in a stage, so keep your eyes peeled!
Three stars or nothing
You can earn up to three medals for each level for completing certain tasks, and those medals will take your further in the game. Of course if you want 100% completion, you’ll need them all!
Most often you’ll be awarded a medal for completing a mission in a certain time, but there will also be other smaller conditions, such as using an extra item, stacking items in certain locations, or making a stack of a certain size, instead of just fulfilling the base requirements.
You’ll be given three pixelated images to figure out what the conditions are for the medals in each stage. They’ll be cryptic at first, but after playing through each stage once you’ll have a good idea of how to progress.
Types of mission
There are several locations you’ll visit while working your part time jobs, with each location featuring three missions to complete in that area.
We’ve got a quick list of the missions you’ll do below, and a quick descriptor of what you’ll need to do in that stage – the rest is all up to you!
You’ll be stacking things up a lot of the time as well as throwing items into the balance, so luckily you’ll have plenty of opportunities to practice those skills! Though that doesn’t mean you can ignore the subtleties and rules of each mission, of course.
- Farm – Stacking
- Worksite – Balancing, Evasion
- Ocean – Claw precision
- High School – Balancing, Stacking
- Museum – Balancing, Stacking
- Circus – Balancing
- Lab – Block puzzles
- Restaurant – Balancing, Stacking
- The Moon – Battle
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