Jamesh's Ultimate Foraging

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This guide is designed to help those who wish to become better at the foraging puzzle, but don't really have strategies other than getting boxes down. There is no one set way to get Ultimate Foraging, but these methods took me from Able to Ultimate, so hopefully they can help some people.

This guide assumes you are familiar with the basics of foraging, and that you have at least played the puzzle a few times. It also assumes that you have all pieces enabled (shovel, machete, monkey, earthquake, ant, and all 3 sizes of containers).

DISCLAIMER: These tips are all the opinions of Jamesh, pirate of the Emerald Ocean, formerly of Hunter. They are not endorsed by any official source, nor are they guaranteed to be perfect.

How to use This Guide

This guide is split into 3 main sections: Basic tips, Intermediate tips, and Advanced tips.

  • Terminology
    • Chain/Chaining - refers to clearing one crate then another with a single click of the mouse.
    • Chest/Crate - refers to any of the three sizes of containers, whether they hold fruit or not. A "small" means 1x1, "medium" means 2x2, and "large" means 2x3.
    • Concurrent Clears - refers to multiple chests leaving the bottom of the screen at the same time.

Basic Tips

  • Outside Edges First
    • When you have a medium or large crate, or two crates next to each other, you want to clear the outside column(s) first. A good way to get stuck is to have a crate where the inside column(s) is/are cleared and the outside column(s) is/are not.
  • Efficiency
    • Foraging scoring relies somewhat on speed, but more on efficiency (crates cleared per click). A good solid ability to recognize patterns that can easily be cleared will help raise one's standing, often to or above Master. But keep in mind, chains and concurrent clears are far more important for scoring, and you cannot get the higher rankings without them.
  • Special Pieces
    • If you do get stuck, and don't worry, it happens to all of us, you need special pieces to get unstuck. When this happens, the best thing to do is to wait for those special pieces needed to clear the chests. In my experience, it is worth the wait for those pieces rather than abandoning.

Intermediate Tips

  • Chaining Clears
    • When you have two crates on top of each other (or partially on top of each other) it is a good idea to make a chain - where one crate clears immediately after the other, causing "double" (or "triple") to appear on the screen. If possible, having a larger crate on top is better for scoring.
  • Outside Machetes
    • This is my favorite, most-used tactic for getting alts up to Ultimate. If you get a Machete in an outside column (or can move it there with earthquakes), get it as far down as possible. This is a great way to create concurrent clears, or to free crates that may get stuck.
  • Waiting for Other Chests
    • It is always more beneficial for your score to clear multiple chests than a single chest. Because of this, sometimes it is a good idea to get a chest near the bottom and then wait for more chests to come down. However, you need to make sure of a few things first:
      • Make sure the crate already on the board is not in the middle (left to right), unless you have an outside machete positioned. If you have a chest in the middle, it is much harder to clear any other crates.
      • Make sure another crate will come. An easy way to check is to make sure you have at least two empty bananas on the side bar. Also make sure you don't have three chests (or 2, if one is a 2x3 chest) already on the board.
      • It usually only takes 5-10 moves to bring another crate onto the board. If it takes longer than this, the board might be waiting for you to clear existing crates. For example, the board will almost never bring a large crate down if you have any other crates on the board.

Advanced Tips

  • Banana Counting
    • The more bananas you have in the side of a puzzle, the more likely you are to get a higher scoring puzzle. A puzzle with only 1 empty banana to start guarantees you can only clear one chest, and thus a low (probably not above Poor) scoring round, often lowering your standing. By the time you get to be Master or so, you should start with seven bananas. This is good, because you get three boards, with 7, 8, and 9 bananas each, for a total of 24 (equal to the number of advance labor hours one pirate can provide with a normal labor badge). Try to only forage with fruit once a day. Once you are done, you may continue playing at nine bananas (with empty crates) to try to increase your ranking.
A board about to get a triple concurrent clear, when the machete is left-clicked on.
  • Concurrent Clears
    • Although this is difficult to do without a machete, the single most important thing I learned that helped me go from Grand-Master to Ultimate was the concept of concurrent clears. This is when I cleared more than one chest from the screen at the same time. When combined with chaining, this is a very good way to build powerful scores. Two of the three highest scoring clears (largest text) I have ever gotten were A) a small and medium cleared concurrently with a medium chained after, and B) two medium crates and one small crate cleared concurrently (like the picture).

Final Words

  • Keep in mind that Cursed Isles scoring focuses only on speed, not combos and concurrent clears. To get frenetic, try to get each chest down one at a time, as fast as possible.
  • A tip for those trying to achieve Ultimate anything: Scoring for any puzzle uses your scores for the last "x" times you played that puzzle ("x" being a secret kept by the developers.). Therefore, for the best chance at getting Ultimate, first practice the puzzle on an alt until you can achieve high scores, then switch to the pirate you want to earn it. It is much easier to earn Ultimate if you do not have all the low-end scores you need to clear out first.
  • Watch out for the so-called 'Foraging Bug'! This bug happens whenever you clear chest(s) off of a board. The bug is that if there is nothing broken after the last chest leaves the screen, that score doesn't count. (One way to tell if you hit the bug is to listen to the sound: If there is no sound after you clear, you are 'bugged'.) To avoid this bug, make sure you have at least one group of 3 pieces ready to fall into place to clear after the chest(s) clear.
  • Much thanks to Travidar for the idea of creating this guide!

See Also

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