Game Guide: Transtar

Updated 1 month ago by Michelle

CURRICULUM AREAS COVERED

Ages 13-15

  • Reflections, rotations and translations
  • Introducing integer/fractional enlargements
  • Introducing negative enlargements
  • Advanced composition: all types

HOW TO PLAY

Use your transformation (reflection, rotation, translation and enlargement) skills to guide TranStar from its starting position to the pulsating StarGate, so it can continue its journey. You'll need to think carefully though, as one false move and Transtar's star trek could come to a tragic end!

TranStar's adventure takes place across multiple levels or 'zones'. Each zone is populated by one or more space phenomena, such as Rifts, Vortices and Singularities. By clicking on these phenomena, you apply a different type of transformation to Transtar (each space phenomenon costs 1 jump):

  • Rifts - reflect

Click anywhere on the Rift to reflect TranStar vertically, horizontally or diagonally, using the Rift as the mirror line

  • Vortices - rotate

Click on the Vortex to rotate TranStar through the angle shown, using the Vortex as the centre of rotation (the direction of rotation will be the same as the Vortex's direction of rotation).

  • Singularities - enlarge

Click on the Singularity to enlarge TranStar by the scale factor shown, using the Singularity as the centre of enlargement.

By using each of the phenomena wisely and together in the right combinations, you move TranStar until it matches the position, orientation and size of the StarGate.

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Be aware that you only have so many moves or 'jumps' available on each level - if you run out of jumps before you reach the StarGate, you have failed and must try again. If you fail three times in a row then the game ends.

In certain zones you will encounter powerful relics of an ancient and long-extinct alien race - Tek Orbs. There are two types of Tek Orb (each use of Tek Orb costs 1 jump):

1. Warp Orb - translates TranStar across space, according to the column vector shown

2. Summon Orb - summons either a Rift, Vortex or Singularity at specified points on-screen

By harnessing their awesome power you can activate Warps (which translate TranStar across space) and even summon space phenomena into existence. Using them is easy: simply drag and drop them onto the designated release points. To use a Tek Orb:

1. Click and drag the Orb onto the grid - as you do so, potential 'release points' will appear on-screen.

2. Drag the Orb over one of the release points (it changes size and colour to show that it's 'active'_ and release to use it. If you drop the Orb anywhere else it will snap back to the top of the playfield, ready to be used again.

If you make a mistake, use the '<<<' to reverse time and 'step back' through the moves you've made. Use it wisely though, as each click uses on of your precious jumps.

But be warned: space is a cold and dangerous place. Some zones are home to Zarts, vicious void-dwelling creatures that will attack TranStar if it strays too close. TranStar has defensive shields but they can only withstand so much - take too many hits and TranStar will perish.

Take care near Red Giants too - even brushing the searing surface of one of these swollen dying stars will destroy TranStar in an instant.

Stay alert for StarSeeds. Like TranStar, these helpless tiny creatures have strayed too far from the Core and become lost - rescue them for a score bonus. You may have to bend the rules of space and even time to reach them, though.

Galactic Map

TranStar's epic journey begins at the outer-most rim of the galaxy, and climaxes at the Core. During the course of the game you will explore ten space sectors, each containing zones.

Initially only the first zone of Sector 01 is selectable. As you complete each zone the next unlocks; then, once all eight zones in a sector have been completed, the next sector unlocks.

The first six sectors focus on a different type of transformation, with the last four offering a random mix designed to give your skills a true test!

SCORING INFORMATION

There are 4 levels to this game. Complete the relevant sectors in each level and beat the Target Score to earn a medal (Bronze, Silver, Gold).

  • Level 1: Complete Sectors 01 to 03 - Reflections, rotations and translations >> Target Score >>> 244,000 (B), 297,000 (S), 352,000 (G)
  • Level 2: Complete Sectors 04 to 05 - Introducing integer/fractional enlargements >> Target Score >>> 164,000 (B), 196,000 (S), 232,000 (G)
  • Level 3: Complete Sectors 06 to 07 - Introducing negative enlargements >> Target Score >>> 174,000 (B), 206,000 (S), 240,000 (G)
  • Level 4: Complete Sectors 08 to 10 - Advanced composition: all types >> Target Score >>> 254,000 (B), 302,000 (S), 368,000 (G)

Your overall score is the sum of the highest scores you achieved on each completed zone. Your best performance in each zone is recorded and retained.

Each time you complete a zone you are given a score and awarded a performance ranking. The score is calculated using the following formula:

For example: say you just completed a zone with 3 jumps, 5 shields and 2 tries remaining, plus you collected 1 StarSeed, then your score for that zone would be: (3 × 1000) + (5 × 500) + (2 × 3000) + (1 × 6000) = 17,500 points.

Your ranking varies according to how well you played:

Note that you can revisit a previously completed sector or zone whenever you like, to try and increase your score and improve your ranking.

BASIC STRATEGIES

  • General Position - Try to work out roughly where each transformation will leave TranStar without worrying too much about which way round it would be; it can give you clues about which transformation to use next. But be careful about relying on this to much - you will need to think about which way round TranStar will be quite a lot too!
  • Exact Position - To work out exactly where each transformation leaves TranStar, you need to count squares.
  • Out of Bounds - When a level starts, try to work if there are any transformations that will take TranStar outside the grid from its starting position. If they do, then you know these can't be the first move.
  • Which way round? - Look at which way round TranStar needs to be in its finishing position compared to how it starts. This will give you vital clues to which transformations you need and when you should use them.
  • Saving StarSeeds - Having trouble reaching some of the more elusive StarSeeds? You may have to bend the laws of time to get them, which is what the '<<<' button is for!

MATHS STRATEGIES

Reflections

  • Counting squares helps! Any point will be the same distance from the reflection line after it's reflected as it was before. Counting squares can help you to pick the right reflection or position a reflection correctly.

Rotations

  • Get in a spin - Pay attention to whether the rotation is clockwise or anticlockwise; this is indicated by the direction of spin on the vortex
  • Use your imagination - Imagine the line between a point on TranStar and the centre of rotation, then imagine this line rotating the required amount about the centre of rotation
  • Keep your distance - An object will be the same distance from the centre of rotation after it has been rotated as it was before.
  • Use the coordinate grid - Suppose a point is 2 squares down and 3 squares to the right of the centre of rotation. Once it is rotated through 90 degrees anti-clockwise is will be 3 squares up and two square to the right of the centre of rotation. Have a think about this and maybe draw an example to convince yourself this is true!

Translations

  • Know the notation - Positive numbers correspond to movements to the right or up. Negative numbers correspond to movements to the left or down.
  • Keep counting squares - It's easy to see exactly where a translation will leave TranStar by counting squares.

Enlargements

  • Watch the corner - Imagine lines from the corners of TranStar to the centre of enlargements; these lines will help you to work out where TranStar will be after enlargement.
  • Size matters - Remember to consider the size of TranStar: a side with length 2 will become a side with length 6 if it goes through an enlargement with scale factor 3.
  • Centres of enlargement - The further the centre of enlargement is from TranStar the further away the enlarged shape will be from where it started.
  • Warning: negative scale factors - The enlarged TranStar will be on the other side of the centre of enlargement when the scale factor is negative.

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