How to play Stellar Sweeper
Meep the Alien works for the Martian Mining and Mineral Company collecting energy crystals from exotic locations all over the Universe. The crystals are very valuable, but also highly unstable and will explode if great care is not taken when mining them. You'll need a keen eye and sharp wits to help Meep locate crystals without triggering an explosion.
The goal of Stellar Sweeper is to find all the crystals hidden within the game area without blowing them up. You can deduce the location of crystals in the grid by analyzing the numbers displayed in the game area. The numbers indicate how many crystals are adjacent to each space.
The Crystal Counter will help you keep track of the number of crystals in the game area. The Game Timer tracks how long it takes your to clear the puzzle. Finding all the crystals quickly will score you a time bonus. Your points are displayed in the Score Area.
Occasionally, you'll discover special gas jets nearby a crystal deposit. The gas is automatically stored in one of the four jars in the Spin Indicator area. If you can successfully complete the puzzle, the gas will transform into a solid letter. Spell "SPIN" to earn a Jackpot spin.
The Blast Shields will protect you from the exploding crystals. Each time a crystal explodes, one of the shields will slide down, disappearing into the console. If you lose all your shields, the game is over.
As you clear the spaces in the grid energy particles will be released, filling your Power Up Meter. When the Power Up Meter is partially full, you can use the "Hint" button to ask Meep for a tip. When the Power Up Meter is totally full, you can use the "Scan" button to clear an area of the puzzle without exploding any crystals.
As you collect crystals, you'll unlock enough energy to reach a new rank. Each rank is represented by a planet, asteroid or other stellar body you can visit. You can use the "Choose Planet" button to see which planets you've collected, to select a specific planet to explore or set "Autopilot" to take you to random destinations you have unlocked.
How to Play
The basic rules for Stellar Sweeper are very simple.
* You can uncover a space by Left-Clicking it (just click on the Mac).
* When you Left-Click a space, the tile will vanish and the area beneath will be revealed.
* The area beneath each tile may contain a crystal, a number or it could be empty.
* The first space you click in each puzzle is always safe. After the first click, you may find crystals in the puzzle.
* If a number appears in a space, it indicates how many crystals are in the eight spaces that surround the number.
* If you uncover a crystal, it will explode.
* To mark a space that you suspect contains a crystal, Right-Click it (or Ctrl-Click on the Mac). You can also Left-Click on the button next to the Crystal Counter to drag a marker out of the marker well.
When you mark a space (Right-Click or Ctrl-Click) that you think may contain a crystal, several things will happen.
* The Crystal Counter will decrement, showing the number of crystals still remaining in the puzzle. This number can go negative if you mark more spaces than there are crystals.
* If there are enough numbers showing to show that the space you've marked definitely contains a crystal, the crystal will automatically appear.
* If there is not yet enough information to determine whether a crystal is located in the space, a marker will appear showing a crystal with a question mark inside.
* Once you've reveal enough numbers to show there is a crystal in a marked location, the crystal will automatically appear.
* If you are uncertain about whether a space contains a crystal, Right-Click it to place a marker. Later, you can either unmark it or move the marker to another space.
* You can drag and drop a crystal marker to another space, if you misplace a marker. The marker must be removed from the space before you clear the tile.
As you clear number spaces, energy particles will move to the Power Up Meter. When the Power Up Meter fills, the Hint Button and the Scan Button will become available.
When you click the Hint Button, Meep will prompt you with a clue regarding one or more spaces in the grid. He may tell you where to mark a crystal or where you can safely Left-Click. Pay careful attention to the tip he gives you, so you know what to do. Meep will always try to give you a hint based on information already available, so be sure you've checked all the available moves before asking for a hint.
When you click the Scan Button, a special animation will follow your cursor in the game area. The animation indicates the area that will be scanned with the power up is activated. The Scan area is a 3 x 3 group of spaces. When you click in the game area, all the spaces in the Scan area will be revealed. Any crystals in the scanned area will be automatically marked.
You'll start each game with 3 -5 blast shields, depending on the level of difficulty. Each time a crystal explodes, you'll lose one of your blast shields. When they are exhausted, the game is over. However, you can occasionally find another shield hidden in the puzzle.
You will earn rank progress for each crystal you collect (in a winning game). At the end of each winning game, the rank dialog will display an image of the next rank and the number of crystals needed to unlock it. The game will automatically load the Planet Map when you earn a new rank, or you can select "Choose Planet" from the new game, change level or end game dialogs. You can check out the planets you have your rank progress on the map screen.