Canary


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Rating: 4.6/5 (199 votes)
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CassandraCanaryThere's something deliciously ironic about Canary. Set in space, Nitrome's avoidance shooter-type game puts players in the role of a stalwart canary in the employment of the Canary Mining Colony. With rocks falling everywhere, hostile yet adorable aliens and a panoply of other things to worry about, the game really does give new meaning to the phrase 'canary in a coal mine'.

Best of Casual Gameplay 2011Spanning twenty four stages, Canary's presentation is rather typical of Nitrome. The chiptune tracks are borderline epic, the graphics are charmingly pixelated and the controls simple as key lime pie. The canary follows your mouse, and you click to fire your laser, which can slice through rock. Hold down the mouse button to fire a concentrated beam that will shear through big chunks of the landscape that will drop out of the way so you can pass. Your canary can also push things out of the way if they're not immovable, like mine carts or even blocks of stone that you've cut apart from the larger mass. Just don't hold down the trigger too long, since your laser has a limited amount of power and needs time to recharge. Get left behind by the constantly moving screen or take too many hits, and you'll have to restart the level.

CanaryAnalysis: Canary is quite possibly the first game I've found impossible to categorize. There's a little bit of everything in it, something that makes it feel almost schizophrenic in disposition. As the titular avian, Canary 214-LE, you'll spend most of your time weaving past rock formations and down mine shafts. Armed with a mining laser, you'll be able to cut through unnecessary geological fixtures, falling debris, and the unfamilar lifeforms that populate the mine. In this respect, Canary feels a lot like your typical Shoot 'Em Up but I can't remember the last SHMUP that had me worrying about the physics behind my actions. In my first playthrough, I was unceremoniously squashed into a wall because I couldn't figure out exactly how to properly fillet a chunk of granite so I could ease the protagonist through the gap.

Initially, I thought that was pretty much the extent of things. However, as the game progresses, you'll find yourself slicing through rocky outcroppings to drop a boulder on an armored foe's head. Sadly, opportunities to do so are somewhat limited. Most of your encounters with Canary's plentiful enemies will involve you taking them head-on with your mining laser as opposed to relying on convenient landscape formations. While the first two stages are relatively painless, things quickly become more break-neck by the third chapter and far more SHMUP-like. Consider this your warning.

The game is beautifully easy to learn, but making that laser work to your advantage, on the other hand, is something else entirely and dependant on the player's skill. Off-beat and entertaining, Canary is definitely not going to have you dropping dead from boredom anytime soon.

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Walkthrough Guide


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Canary Walkthrough

General Tips

  • Your mining laser can be used to push objects it cannot cut (e.g. minecarts).

  • In general, purple things will harm you; brown rock can be cut through; and grey objects and walls cannot be cut but will not harm you.

  • Stay towards the right of the screen so you have more time to get around obstacles, but not so close that you cannot react fast enough.

  • To cut/destroy things, you need to keep your laser focused on them continuously for some time. Repeatedly hitting them for very short amounts of time will have no effect.

  • If you're pushing a rock and it gets stuck, try slicing a very small sliver off the top/bottom.

Walkthrough

Level 1

  1. Cut through the first rock pillar in front of you to drop it into the void.

  2. Cut through the next one lower to the ground and fly past.

  3. Fly up and push through the minecarts (either just by pushing or using your laser).

  4. Fly down to the lower of the 2 gaps in the gray wall and cut through the large rock face.

  5. Fly past and around the minecarts.

  6. You need to cut a tunnel through the rock next, by making 2 parallel cuts wider apart than yourself. Then push out the detached section of rock and fly through.

  7. Cut through then next section of rock high enough for you to fit through, then push it right.

  8. When you reach the gap above you fly up. Cut off another section of rock and push past it.

  9. Cut out yet another section of rock (through the previous one if necessary and push it right again.

  10. Fly past more minecarts, and then fly down to the gap at the bottom of the wall.

  11. Fly right, avoiding falling rocks, and push past more minecarts.

  12. Cut off another chunk of rock and continue past more minecarts to reach the end.

Level 2

  1. Fly right over the fallen rocks.

  2. When you get to one in the way, slice it up with your blast and continue through the rock tunnel.

  3. You'll then reach purple spiked balls suspended by purple stringy webs. The spike balls will hurt you on contact, but the web itself is harmless.

  4. Either fly straight past or cut on of the webs to make it spring out of the way. You'll encounter several more; just stick to the top and cut through the webs as they come on screen.

  5. You'll then reach a purple hovering creature. It will harm you on contact but won't move on its own.

  6. Shoot it with your laser for points, or just fly past.

  7. Next there are more webs with spiked balls, use the same tactics to get past them.

  8. You'll see a few more hovering enemies, shoot them and continue.

  9. Then you'll reach a rock face. Cut a tunnel through and push it out.

  10. On the other side are a lot of smaller enemies. Some should get crushed by the rock you push out, avoid the rest.

  11. Cut out another tunnel through the next rock wall. It will probably get dragged out for you by the elasticity of the purple webs.

  12. Navigate another small web to get a tunnel.

  13. There are crushers here; wait for them to slam down and then start to retract, and fly past them to the next safe section of tunnel. There also webs in the tunnel, so watch out when you're clear of the crushers.

  14. Past the third crusher a swarm of small enemies will spawn, so shoot them before passing it.

  15. Next cut out the rock spike on the ceiling to crush the enemy shooting at you.

  16. Then avoid a small web and do the same for another enemy on the ground.

  17. There's another rock face to cut a tunnel out of which will get dragged out by a web. Fly through that to reach the exit.

Level 3

  1. From the start you will see 5 bat like enemies circling, just shoot them to destroy them.

  2. Next 4 enemies will fly at you swaying up and down. You probably won't have time to kill them all, so shoot some and avoid the rest.

  3. Then there's a spitting enemy on the ceiling, shoot it or just avoid the balls it spits.

  4. Next there are a few spinners in a very wide pattern, shoot any in your way, but they pose very little threat.

  5. More enemies will fly at you, and there's another spitter to avoid.

  6. Past that there's a patch of purple pustules on the wall. If you shoot that small wasp enemies will fly out, which cannot be killed with your laser. Avoid shooting that.

  7. Cut off the rock outcrop on the ceiling and push it right.

  8. The gray and blue spheres are mines that will explode if you get too close. Pushing the rock into them will move and detonate them safely.

  9. Fly up, and slice the rock in your path in half. Push past it and continue.

  10. Shoot the spinner that flies at you, then cut off another chunk of rock on the ceiling. After it crushes the enemy on the platform, push it right to take out a few more enemies.

  11. Avoid/shoot some more bats, and another wave of flying enemies. Stay clear of the mines, and fly into the exit tunnel.

Level 4

  1. At the start you'll see some bloated, hovering enemies. If you shoot these they will release a cloud of poison gas which actually occupies more space that the enemies themselves. Fly between them, and into either tunnel.

  2. In the top there's a rock you can cut off to use as a projectile, and some more gas enemies to dodge. In the bottom there's just a smooth ball suspended by webbing. This will release a similar cloud of gas on destruction, just avoid it.

  3. When the tunnels merge, shoot the spinner and continue past more gas bomb enemies.

  4. Next there's a narrow tunnel with gas enemies in it. Cut off a section of rock at the top or bottom, widening the tunnel so you can fly past the enemies without damage.

  5. Do the same again on the next 2 obstacles. (In the third you have to take the bottom route and push the rock out of the way once you cut it).

  6. After that you'll have to cut a small chunk out of the ceiling to squash the wall of enemies in your way.

  7. Avoid the gas ball on a web, and continue into the tunnel.

  8. Fly under and around more gas enemies and on through the tunnel.Avoid or shoot the spinners until the tunnel widens.

  9. The purple spiked balls will hurt you on contact, and can be safely pushed with your laser. Laser them right onto the gas enemies and avoid the resulting gas clouds.

  10. Laser some more right, then fly down under the wall to reach the end tunnel.

Level 5

  1. First you'll see crushers smashing together. Move through them after they smash together to avoid being squished.

  2. Next, note the wire cage tiles with electricity warnings on. These will damage you on contact, so avoid touching them.

  3. You'll also see an enemy projecting 2 lasers up and down. Shoot the central purple ball to destroy it.

  4. Shoot a few more, then fly under the wall and past another crusher. Stick close to inert surfaces to avoid the electricity.

  5. Next are some more crushers, with spinning enemies to get in your way. Once past those, you'll have to fly through a narrow tunnel with electrified walls. Be careful and don't move too fast and you should make it through.

  6. Next there are more laser enemies. Shoot the ones on the top, and fly past the ones on the bottom when their lasers are blocked by the central platforms.

  7. Next you'll see a set of spinning blades, which will damage you on contact. Fly between the blades and around, and exit into another narrow electrified tunnel.

  8. Fly through it, avoiding the spinners that fly at you midway through. The exit is just after that.

Level 6

  1. Cut through the web or fly past the spike ball at the start of the stage.

  2. Next some spinners will fly around. Shoot or avoid them. There's also a rock outcrop on the ceiling you can cut off to drop on some of them.

  3. Fly under or over the square of electrified tiles, and shoot the spinners patrolling in the way. Continue past more electrified squares and spinners.

  4. Next you'll see 2 spinning saw blades in your way. Shoot the one on the ground to push it right, and then fly through the gap opened up.

  5. Fly under more saws, and then wait for the spinners to fly up. Destroy them and fly down and between the electrified squares.

  6. Shoot more spinners, and then cut off part of the rock face in your way. Push through and fly up.

  7. Avoid more saw blades, and push the rightmost one right. Fly over it and shoot out some more spinners patrolling around.

  8. Fly through the wide tunnel, shooting the spinners bouncing around it, to get to the exit.

Level 7

  1. Straight away you'll see an enemy pushing a drill. These cannot be killed head on, so just dodge it for now.

  2. Next cut off the chunk of rock on the ceiling to take out the mines. Repeat twice more until you reach some mirrors.

  3. These reflect your laser beam at 90 degree angles, and can be used to shoot the drilling/pushing enemies in the back, killing them.

  4. To progress, cut out a tunnel in the rock face.

  5. Push the mines out of the way with your laser, but be careful not to hit the purple pustules.

  6. Next, take the lower path even though it initially looks worse. Push the minecart to push the lower mine right, and then quickly fly under the top one (or detonate them safely by running away at the right time - hard to do without taking a hit).

  7. Next fly up, and shoot the spinners. Cut off the rock sticking out of the ceiling to clear the mines and continue.

  8. Use the mirrors to reflect your laser and move the mines up. Then fly up and cut through the rock face.

  9. Kill the spinners until you reach a rock face above some mirrors.

  10. Use the mirrors to cut a line through the rock. When it falls, you will probably need to cut it again so it drop through completely and you can get past.

  11. Dodge the small enemies and fly up.

  12. Kill the spinner and use the next mirror to cut through the next rock face.

  13. Fly down and through the narrow gap to the exit.

Level 8

  1. To start with there are some bats and a few spiked balls on webs.

  2. Once past those, cut out the pillar of rock so it falls into the electric cradle and you can pass.

  3. Next, a few spinners and another rock pillar to cut. Avoid some spinners and electrocuted walls, and then cut a tunnel through a rock pillar.

  4. Then you'll see a blue orb with an up arrow on it. Shoot it for several seconds to destroy it and flip gravity.

  5. Shoot out a laser enemy, and then cut through a rock pillar coming out of the floor. It will fall up, allowing you past.

  6. Next is another laser and another, thicker, rock pillar to cut through.

  7. Then, slice a tunnel through the next rock face and push out the section of rock.

  8. Shoot another gravity orb, this time pointing right. Watch out for the section of rock you just cut out which will fall towards you.

  9. Avoid a static enemy, then cut through another rock pillar.

  10. Fly up and around the electric walls, and shoot out another laser enemy.

  11. Cut another rock pillar, and fly under the electric walls.

  12. Shoot another laser enemy and cut out a tunnel in the next rock face, which will fall out on its own.

  13. Shoot another gravity orb, this time left. Watch out for a minecart falling at you.

  14. Cut out a pillar of rock and dodge under it as it falls.

  15. Avoid a spitting enemy (whose spit balls will curve due to strange gravity), and cut out and dodge another rock pillar. Another spit baller and a another rock face, then a couple more spitters follow.

  16. Then cut straight through 2 rock faces. This time the section cut out will fall at you, so fly around it and through the tunnel you make.

  17. Watch for spinners in the gap between them.

  18. Next, some spitters, bats and a spiked ball. Fly low under the bats, and avoid the spit balls if they come near you.

  19. After that you reach the exit.

Level 9

  1. Dodge a few bats and spinners, then hit the up gravity orb to destroy the spitters.

  2. Then hit the down orb, and cut off the chunks of rock on the ceiling to kill the enemies in the next section.

  3. Slice through the rock on the floor, then hit the up orb to open a path.

  4. Hit the right orb to move the next orb, then the up orb to move the rock out of the way completely.

  5. Cut through the next rock face to get past. Avoid the electric tiles and hit the down orb.

  6. Then sticking right to avoid the spitter, head up and cut through the next rock obstacle.

  7. Hit the next orbs in this order: left, up, right.

  8. Fly through the cleared tunnel and then down under the wall.

  9. Cut up the rock in your way so it falls right and then go through.

  10. Hit the down orb, then the up orb to crush the enemy, and then cut off the rock at the bottom and push it out of the way. Head through to reach the exit.

Level 10

  1. In this level you're mainly fighting/dodging enemies. Watch out for the ones that attack from behind, fly between them and shoot them from their back. When you reach them, fly between some spinning blades.

  2. Next push the minecart out of your way so you can get under the next blade.

  3. You'll be attacked by more enemies from behind as well as rockets from the front. Those can simply be shot, so continue to dodge and/or destroy everything. Sticking to the very bottom will allow you to dodge everything easily if you're feeling lazy.

  4. After a little way electric tiles will appear, so fly between those whilst dodging more enemies.

  5. When you reach a narrow tunnel with enemies coming up behind you, stick right and the end of the tunnel will appear before they reach you, allowing you to fly up out of their path.

  6. A little after that the tunnel will widen again and a load more enemies will attack. They will go along the top and bottom, so sticking to the bottom of the screen isn't an option this time.

  7. Eventually you'll start slowing down and reach the exit.

Level 11

  1. You can't do anything to the first two lasers, so fly over and under them, avoiding spinners.

  2. Next laser you see has an exposed side, and you can hit it with your laser to destroy it.

  3. To kill the next one in your path, reflect your laser off 2 mirrors just to the right of it.

  4. To kill the next one, fly up to the top of the screen and shoot the mirror there to hit it.

  5. Take the top path, and use the mirror to destroy the spinners in your way.

  6. Then shoot the mirror right of the 2 enemy lasers with your laser. This will kill the laser blocking the bottom path, so fly back around to get past.

  7. Use the mirror at the bottom to kill the 2 spinners, then fly up and shoot the rest before flying past.

  8. Next you'll encounter large flying wasps. If you kill them, they release more of the small indestructible wasps, so watch out.

  9. Use the mirror on the floor to cut through the rock vertically and continue.

  10. Dodge some spinners and cut through another rock.

  11. Next you'll come to some mesh tiles with a laser and mirrors behind them. You can shoot through the mesh, but not fly through, so shoot the mirrors to take out the laser and then pass.

  12. Next, shoot the second mirror from the top to kill the laser.

  13. Next, dodge the enemy and then use the mirrors to drop the rock ceiling on it if you want.

  14. Then fly down and use the mirrors to push the minecart left.

  15. Then fly up through the cleared passage.

  16. Dodge 2 wasp carriers to reach the exit.

Level 12

  1. First you'll come to several large spinning fans and gas bomb enemies. Fly low under the first gas bomb, follow the fan blades around to the right, and then exit under the right enemy to get past.

  2. Next you'll come to enemies that has 2 barbed arms, with a central face. Shoot one of the arms to spin it around, and then shoot the face to kill it.

  3. Pick top or bottom and kill another barbed enemy to get through.

  4. Next you'll come to immobile fan blades. Shoot them with your laser to safely spin them, and fly through.

  5. Fly past another, and then you'll come to spinning fan blades. Fly through them carefully to avoid getting hit.

  6. Next there are 3 laser wall enemies. Shoot each one in turn to get past.

  7. Then there are 3 gas bombs, followed by spinning fans and electric floors. Avoid the gas bombs completely, and follow the fans around, staying clear of the electric walls.

  8. Avoid a few more enemies, then follow another spinning fan around.

  9. Push the next immobile fan, and then head into the tunnel in the rock.

  10. Cut off the rock blocking the tunnel and then head into another spinning fan. Once you get around it, push the spiked balls right and then follow them around the next fan.

  11. Repeat with the next set of spiked balls.

  12. Follow another fan around and then cut a tunnel through the rock face. Kill a few bats and then fly into the exit.

Level 13

  1. The walls and floor infested with purple veins are harmful to the touch ,so steer clear.

  2. Dodge spiked balls on webs, then fly over the deadly rock being pushed at you.

  3. Cut through the rock on the ceiling to clear a path over the mines, and repeat.

  4. Cut a tunnel through the rock where it isn't being pushed and push through. Keep pushing the rock to use it to smash the rockets flying at you.

  5. Shoot through another wave of rockets, then stick to the ceiling to get over the pushers/drills blocking the tunnel.

  6. Keep to the right of the screen in this section, and fly under the rock pushed down from the top.

  7. Next, fly over the rock to the top layer (there's only a small window to do this without being hit).

  8. Fly over another rock, then fly down to the bottom layer when possible.

  9. Keep right and get past another rock pushed from above.

  10. Watch out for the rockets fired as you leave this section and reach the end of the level.

Level 14

  1. Make your way around the web/spiked balls, and cut through the rock face.

  2. Cut through another rock face and avoid the rockets coming at you.

  3. Use the mirror to cut through the L shaped rock, and then cut it off the ceiling to get past.

  4. Fly over the electric floor and use the mirror to cut through another rock. Cut it again and push it off.

  5. Then destroy some bats, and fly under the electric wall.

  6. Shoot the top right most mirror to slice the rock, then fly past.

  7. Fly past spinners and electric walls, then shoot the bottom mirror to cut through the next rock face.

  8. An enemy will appear blocking the passage. Shoot it dead centre on the crack in its surface. It will open up and quickly die.

  9. Cut off the rock, then hit the left gravity orb to clear it out of the way. Watch for falling spike balls.

  10. Fly up and cut through the rock faces. Let them drop past you and continue.

  11. Use the mirror to cut through another rock and fly down.

  12. Cut right through the rock, and avoid it and the spiked balls as they fall left.

  13. Hit the orb to reset gravity.

  14. Fly out, avoiding rockets, to reach the end.

Level 15

  1. Dodge some spinners, then head through the crushers, avoiding the spitter.

  2. Then fly up, avoiding another crusher and electrified walls.

  3. Then heading right, there are more crushers and spitters.

  4. Head down through more crushers, this time 2 wide.

  5. Then head back up through a bank of 5 crushers. Wait until they open and fly through in one quick burst.

  6. The screen scrolls with you vertically, so don't worry about that. Next are 2 banks of 4 crushers with electrified walls in the gap between them. Hop through the first set, wait away from the walls, then through the second set.

  7. Avoid some spinners and spitters, and the exit is there.

Level 16

  1. Push the minecart so it falls into and plugs the gap. This will stop the lasers from getting in your way.

  2. Push the next minecraft down the stairs to plug another gap.

  3. Next some gas balls will fall around another minecart. Push it right with your laser and fly over the gas clouds.

  4. Push the next minecart down the narrow tunnel against the crowd of small enemies and out.

  5. Fly up and push the minecarts down onto the fan, then fly through it pushing with the laser if necessary.

  6. Avoid more spontaneous gas, and hit the orb to change gravity to up.

  7. Push on of the minecarts right along the ceiling to clear the mines in the narrow tunnel.

  8. Next some crushers will be throwing minecarts up into the air. Stay low to avoid them and push the rightmost one right, to plug a gap in the ceiling.

  9. Push the next one right to plug the next gap. Then cut the rock off the floor to fill another.

  10. Hit the down gravity orb and continue.

  11. More minecart catapults; weave past and head up past the top crusher.

  12. Next fly down and cut a tunnel through the rock.

  13. The main challenge is avoiding getting jostled. Push the carts left if they're hitting you.

  14. Fly up through some crushers to the exit.

Level 17

  1. Dodge a few bats and swaying enemies to start off.

  2. Cut off a small chunk of ceiling to kill the next circle of bats.

  3. Shoot the gravity orb, and dodge between the falling spiked balls.

  4. Shoot the down gravity orb to get past, and then fly through the next section.

  5. The crushers will throw the spiked balls up and down, so dodge past when they're falling.

  6. Shoot the next gravity orb to clear the tunnel, and fly through it, avoiding electric walls.

  7. Shoot through the 2 mesh block to cut through the next rock face and clear the way. When it comes to a stop, cut it again so it falls through the narrower section.

  8. Fly in and hit the next gravity orb.

  9. Avoid more spike balls that fall at you, then fly through and hit another gravity orb.

  10. Dodge a few bats, then cut a tunnel through the rock blocking your way.

  11. Push it out and avoid the spit balls coming from above.

  12. Fly out, avoid another spitter and fly into the exit tunnel.

Level 18

  1. Kill or dodge the bats at the start of the level.

  2. When the tunnel slopes up, rocks will start falling. Avoid them and fly into the tunnel going right.

  3. Push the rock blocking the tunnel and fly over it.

  4. More rocks will be falling in the next section, so watch out.

  5. Cut through a rock on the ceiling to drop it on an enemy on the floor.

  6. Dodge a few bats, and watch for more falling rocks.

  7. Cut through a rock face, and watch for more falling rocks and bats.

  8. Fly over the large pillars of rock, and if a falling rock gets stuck on top of one, push it down into a gap.

  9. Kill a final few bats and fly into the exit.

Level 19

  1. First, wait for the first laser enemy to go past the gaps. Then fly up, and kill the rest of the laser enemies.

  2. Stay up there until you're past the long line of mesh tiles and can fly down again. Kill a few more laser enemies.

  3. Then you'll get to a section with laser enemies above and no way to get up to them. Use the solid blocks as cover to get past the first few.

  4. Then you'll reach a conveniently shaped rock. Fly under the overhang and start pushing it right.

  5. When you reach the end of the section, push it into the pit.

  6. Shoot the gravity orb, and then get between the ceiling and the + shaped rock. Push it right to use it as cover from more lasers.

  7. When you're past those, fly around and push it from the bottom left to get cover from the enemies above you.

  8. When you hit the wall, push it left enough so that you can hit another gravity orb. Then fly down and push it from the bottom left again.

  9. Keep pushing until some purple chomping enemies come from behind you.

  10. Fly behind them and kill them, and then resume pushing the rock.

  11. Push it all the way to the end, and then fly back slightly and hit the gravity orb.

  12. Push it from the top left to cover from more lasers.

  13. You'll need to quickly switch twice more to stay hidden from lasers top and bottom. After that you'll be at the end of the level.

Level 20

  1. Fly right, avoiding a few enemies.

  2. Take the top path, then when you reach the spiked balls push them over the edge to destroy the mines.

  3. Then fly down and out the gap at the bottom of the tunnel. You'll have to dodge over the circular saw blades, but be careful not to touch the electrified ceiling.

  4. Cut through the rock face and push the section of rock out to hit the mines.

  5. Fly up and shoot the spiked ball through the mesh. Then hit the up gravity orb, and fly around the newly cleared tunnel.

  6. Use the mirrors to kill the first 3 spitters, and then push the spike ball right so it falls up onto the last one.

  7. Use more mirrors to kill more spitters, and then fly up.

  8. There will be a large enemy; shoot it dead centre on the crack in its armour to kill it.

  9. Kill a few spinners, then fly to the exit.

Level 21

  1. At the start there will be a large web, with spitters above and below. I recommend not disturbing it, and just weaving through.

  2. Stay high as the ceiling spitters are immobile and easier to dodge.

  3. Avoid the suspended rock, and then shoot some bats to get past.

  4. Stay low to get under more bats and spitters.

  5. Then hit the up gravity orb and the rock will rise out of your way.

  6. Fly along the bottom (but not right down, the floor is harmful), cutting the webs that are holding the rocks down. Watch out for crawling spitters too.

  7. When you reach a large rock face in your path, cut off a section from the top where a web is attached. The web will pull the section out, allowing you through.

  8. Avoid the various enemies flying around and go into the next tunnel.

  9. Many small enemies will spawn, so keep firing to cut the numbers down.

  10. Dodge any that get too close.

  11. Past them is the end.

Level 22

  1. Fly around the first spiked ball, and you'll come to a large number of mirrors. Use these to safely shoot out the bats circling in the tunnel.

  2. Head past another spiked ball, and take out some more bats using the mirrors.

  3. Next, there's a large vertical tunnel filled with spiked balls and mines. You can use the mirrors on the right side to cut some of the webs, and if you're lucky hit take out some mines in the process.

  4. The best way to get past is just to fly up quickly enough that the mines don't detonate. This can be hard, so just keep going if you take a hit to capitalize on the brief invincibility.

  5. At the top of the tunnel is a slightly different mirror in the middle of the tunnel. This can be pushed (physically by you as it reflects lasers) to change the angle it reflects at. Push it over and fire at it so your laser bounces up onto the other one, and hits the laser enemy blocking the tunnel.

  6. Fly past another web, then shoot the top strand of the next one to move the spiked ball out of the way.

  7. Flip the mirror and use it to kill another laser enemy.

  8. You'll come to another mirrored tunnel with a web in it. Fly up it, and then cut the suspended rock in half. Fly through when the halves bounce apart.

  9. Use the mirrors to cut a tunnel down through the next rock.

  10. Fly down, avoiding the spiked balls, and use another set of mirrors to cut out another tunnel. You'll need to slice up the section of rock directly to get it to fall out completely.

  11. Fly up, and flip the left mirror. Use it to spin the spiked enemy until it is vertical.

  12. Cut the web to move the spiked ball, and use the other mirror to spin the other enemy below. Fly down between them.

  13. Use the mirrors in the tunnel below to shoot a gap in the wall of enemies that come from behind you.

  14. Cut the rock face about halfway up and go through. Watch out when it bounces back; you'll need to fly over it. The exit is just after that.

Level 23

  1. Fly along, keeping low to avoid the mines.

  2. Concentrate fire on the infected miner to kill it. Kill a few more until you reach a crusher. There are 4 of them, make your way past carefully. There's also an infected miner between the second and third to watch out for.

  3. Push the square of rock along with you, and use it to block the crushers so you won't get hurt.

  4. After you reach the end, watch out; you'll be attacked by a flying infected miner with a laser. The best time to kill them is as soon as they appear. If not, you're better off just dodging since it's hard to concentrate fire on them without being hit.

  5. Dodge the various infected miners for a while. Then spiked balls on webs will be thrown in to make it a little tougher. Then spitters on the ceiling to add to the fun.

  6. Watch out for deadly floors and miners walking below too.

  7. Just keep dodging. This is a hard level. Once you make it down the tunnel the exit is at the end.

Level 24

  1. The timer in this level just serves to show you how much more is left in the level, as you can't control your speed. It's basically one long tunnel with stuff to avoid, little/no puzzling. First up there are some simple gas bombs on webs and bats.

  2. Then comes a spinner, and an electrified block to fly around. Watch out for little enemies that spawn, and then fly through some more electrified blocks. You want to leave the gas bomb in the middle and just fly around it.

  3. Kill some more bats and fly around some more gas bombs/electrified walls. Again leave the gas bombs as bursting them will cause you more trouble.

  4. Fly over/under a few mines, and then cut out a section of rock face in your way. It should get pulled out, so head through. Watch for the spitter overhead, and the gas cloud formed.

  5. Fly under an electrified wall, and then cut out the section of rock on the floor. It should let you get under the first mines, and detonate the second wave.

  6. Cut out a section of rock from the ceiling to detonate another wave of mines.

  7. Fly down, and push the rock in your way. Keep pushing it to detonate the mines and get through.

  8. The next section is chaotic, just try and avoid the stuff being thrown around.

  9. Cut your way through the bats and the tunnel will narrow again.

  10. Avoid the spitters and push the minecart right to detonate a wave of mines.

  11. Fly right down the tunnel to the exit.

57 Comments

THIS WAS A TRIUMPH...

Seriously, one of the best Nitrome games in a while. Not only does it have everything we expect from Nitrome, but it also is probably the first of their games since Avalanche that I played because it was really fun, not to beat it. The graphics, variance of enemies, great level designs: everything just works. Great job, Nitrome.

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Am I the only one for whom level 15 is pretty much just a black screen with the health bar and such on it?

[Whenever something like this happens, try updating your Flash Player. That will most likely fix the problem. If it does not, try disabling your browser extensions (or try a different browser). -Jay]

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Truly amazing. I'm only a little ways in, and I've found it excellent for its worth. This is just the rebuttal I have been waiting for.

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Excellent game. The level designs and concepts are brilliant and it's very fun.

I for one have actually liked Nitrome's past few games, but this game is a cut above. Nitrome's still got it. :D

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I usually like Nitrome games and this one is no exception! :) Quit playing for now because I'm stuck at a level, but I'm probably coming back to it.

Here:

I don't remember the number of the level, but it's the level where we are introduced to those gravitational orbs! And when the gravity is pointing to the right, we cut a column in the middle and it blocks the way to the a new orb. Really difficult

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@ Diego:

I think I know which level you're talking about. It's a trick. You don't have to hit the two orbs (an Up and a Down). Just cut through with the gravity still to the right and keep on going!

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I am having horrifying memories of another shoot 'em up platformer. Some sort of yellow-bug-alien-god-thing and a new spaceship technology that cuts between the fabric of space to travel...

As creepy and nightmare-inducing as Nitrome is cute...maybe even more so.

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Just to add something that's easily overlooked: there's quite some nice sound design in this one, too! I especially like the old-school Star Trek "phaser-y" quality of the player's beam firing. Feels very powerful and satisfying to cut through a slab of rock that way. And that little "woosh" sound at the beginning of a stage, as you ignite your rocket pack, is a nice touch, too.

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douglasadamsreborn February 2, 2011 10:02 PM

i remember I was listening to the radio, when a politician (I think Rodney Hyde) said something about it being the "proverbial parrot in the coal mine" I couldn't stop laughing! great game as well

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The first commenter nailed the one thing I couldn't identify about this game: while it is obviously very well done, it isn't *fun*.

Nitrome's games seem to exude an evil phylosophy of wanting to crush the player (here quite literally, in fact) instead of entertaining him/her, and Canary is no exception.

Which makes it even more a shame - in my opinion, at least.

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Beat it to the last stage.
One of the best Nitrome game.

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This truly is the best Nitrome game in recent months, also one of my favourite games in general from the last few months. Should definitely get into Best of 2011. But I guess that's a while off :D.

I'd much prefer it if they spent more time on games to make them like this, instead of rolling out two a month like their current policy is. Their recent games just lacked polish.

And @Tracian, this argument's been held a lot of times. I like Nitrome games because they're very hard. It means I feel achievement when finishing them. Nitrome have a core audience of fans who like their hard games, and that's who they cater to.

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At last! Nitrome back on top top form (having previously been on gerneal top form).

A VERY enjoyable and nicely crafted game.

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Great game! =] 5/5

@Angel: Thanks! Now I can finally beat level 9 ^__^! I still think that should be fixed though >>

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disappointed February 3, 2011 7:28 AM

Not sure if this an isolated incident but I'll post it here. I love Nitrome games but while playing this one I got a flash exploit warning from AVG. Seconds later my pc had shut itself down. Don't know where it came from but this gam and JIG were all I had running at the time. I'm not accusing Nitrome or JIG but just letting people know what happened.

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I have a problem with this game now. Whenever I complete or restart a level, the music starts, but the black screen stays, and my mouse reappears. Any solutions?

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Out of some reason since the newdesign of the webpage, all their game have extrem lag spikes for me. Recently wanted to replay pixel pop and it was unplayable. Finding the .swf with e.g. Firebug and directly linking/browsing it helps and it runs all smooth again.

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I, too, enjoy Nitrome games (my favorites including Knucklehead) but they haven't had some good ones in a while (The Bucket and others).

This is a neat game, but level 9 is a royal pain.

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@Tracian

Phylosophy? I belive you mean Philosophy. The word is easier to spell than you think.

Does anyone else think that the levels are just...loooong....

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Abhinav (NePaL) Author Profile Page February 3, 2011 2:41 PM

Nitrome's finally back and with a bang. Good work nitrome! You finally managed to return to your high standards. Abhinav NePaL

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I just wish I could remember the name of that other game this reminds me of. I mentioned it earlier but a Google search didn't help. The two games are similar in theory, but one is "Ahhh! Get it away!" and the other is "So freaking cuuuuute!"

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Spoke too soon.
Level 13, where you are introduced to the dangerous ground surface, there is this metal tunnel with dangerous bricks being pushed through it. How do you get past?

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"Maybe you can use those mirrors to get around awkward corners with your laser!" And maybe following the games advice will drain your laser's energy right before you need it to prevent yourself being trapped behind a big wall!

(Fun game otherwise, though. One of Nitrome's best in a while.)

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I have the latest Flash Player plugin. I couldn't get level 15 to load on Nitrome, but just finished the game on Miniclip. Weird. I have to agree, one of the best in a while. The Bucket was also not bad. More frustrating for me at times, but definitely more appealing than Bad Icecream.

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Two things game makers want:
In a hard game, they want players to feel that "maybe THIS time I can make it!"
And regardless of difficulty, they want, "just ONE more level..."

Nitrome is a master of the second, and uses the first in this game.
Hard, but so dang addictive.
And when you add in the hefty doses of Nitrome cute-ness...well, you get a very great game.
I think I mentioned Nitrome's "Knuckleheads" game before. They have a lot in common.

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I want to like this, but this game makes me feel rushed. I'm rushed enough in my real life.

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Menschenjaeger February 4, 2011 9:53 AM

It's funny that the word "ragequit" was invented so many years before this game came out...

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owen-boredom sucks February 4, 2011 11:37 AM

I think this game is excellent, the music and sound fx are great and the concept of the game is quite original. i think that it is quite similar to the bucket (which i got so bored of!!levels are too long!) but is the better game!!

Has anyone got any tips for level 5??

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Very excellent game. Although it is pretty hard.

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Nitrome's games are usually super cute and have cool synth music but also way too hard for multiple reasons. Sometimes the game mechanics are too 'innovative'. Sometimes the levels are just too hard. Sometimes the action lags on my old CPU. This game is hard but it's actually playable on my computer and the characters and sounds are awesome. I may not be able to get by the end without getting a little annoyed but I have had fun playing the first 15 levels. Best Nitrome game since Hot Air (which is way too hard for me by the way)

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SamsterLY Author Profile Page February 5, 2011 7:44 AM

ARGH! I cannot beat level 23! I've gotten all the way there, but now I just get blasted out of the sky by the possessed canaries who can fly. Any suggestions on beating them?

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Anonymous February 5, 2011 1:17 PM

Usually I find Nitrome's music too pixely for my taste. But I give them extreme kudos on this one. Well done.

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Aww, nooooo! I lost *ALL* my saved data!

Argh, was on level 21!

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Any tips for level 7?

When there is hundreds of little guys falling from the top when you cut the rock with the mirror

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AAAIIIIGGHH! Level nineteen is killing me! :P

It's quite a hard game, but I'm enjoying it. Or at least, I will when I finish that darn level. :P

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@Shala
Get out of the way and shoot them. They're easy to kill.

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Finally managed to complete it! Great game, with an excellent mix of gameplay elements.
SamsterLY- Tip for Level 23

Stay as close to the top as you can(obviously without touching the ceiling) and you should be fine. The end of the level is a bit mental, but just keep high.

The final level

is perhaps marginally easier, although certainly more fast-paced. Don't worry about the timer. As with all previous levels, you can't change how quickly the game screen moves. The key on this level is to make cuts in the right places.

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This game is AWESOME! 5/5 mushrooms! I haven't much liked Nitrome's most recent ones, but this is their best since Fault Line. This game had me ragequit several times, but I kept coming back. I like how the game quickly changes from a shoot-em-up to a fast paced puzzle game to even a mouse avoider. I'm on the last level. Thanks for the great game, Nitrome!

@owen:

Just avoid the electric walls. It took a while, but it gets easier.

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I do hate it when it takes more than 10 try... level 19 is killing me everytime! Any tips please?

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Anonymous February 7, 2011 4:09 PM

HELP!!! How can you beat Level 17?

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JIGuest- Level 17

when changing gravity, learn/remember/figure out what trajectory things will take and move accordingly. When you gut to the big bit of rock with 4 spiky balls behind it, cut it in half and push the top half out of the way, taking your time to avoid the pink drops from above.

Mora- Level 19

at the start, even the smalest gaps in time for the lighting is enough to get through, so stick close to each beam, and as soon as it stops, just dart through. The next phase is pretty tough, so do expect to die numerous times. You're going to need that + shaped piece of rock all the way to the end of the level. Here's basically a walkthrough, starting from when you first get to the + shaped rock:

Hit the up gravity arrow, get on the top left of the rock and push it to the right. Make sure you don't push at an angle or the rock can get caught. After a few seconds you'll stop being attacked from below, and start being attacked from above, so change your position accordingly. Also, don't push the rock too quickly here, and as soon as you can, head under and in front of the rock and slow it down/ push it back so you can hit the down gravity arrow. Push the rock to the right, hiding in the bottom left from the lighting. When the pink jaws of doom come flying in from the left, give the rock a final push, and JUST KILL THE TOP ONE. The other two will keep your rock moving to the right while you hit the up gravity arrow (give the rock an extra quick push after you've killed the top jaws monster but before hitting the arrow. The next part requires split second timing as you push the rock to the right, avoidng attacks from below, above, then below again. Also, the rock is under rocket fire from the right, so whenever you are pushing, you need to be pushing hard. Navigate this final tricky bit and you'll be at the finish.

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menschenjaeger February 8, 2011 1:03 PM

Yeah, the pixel perfect alignment needed on lvl 17 (and may the gods have mercy on you if your compy is the slightest bit slow, causing your canary to lag behind the cursor) caused what will be my final ragequit.

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IUHoosiersFan (Cheesemeister) February 8, 2011 9:14 PM

Definitely the best Nitrome game since Worm Food (I know you guys hated that one, but I actually thought it was really enjoyable.). Level 19 was the hardest level, but once I figured out the real way to do it, it became easier.

I like the monster variety, and the feeling that you're the last Canary, and you're trying to heroically avoid experiencing the fate of your fellow Canaries. However, I was a little disappointed with the last level, as I was hoping for a boss, or something that really gives the idea of a finale. I rate Canary 9/10, and this is now my 9th favorite Nitrome game.

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Does anyone else feel that playing this game was like watching a movie?
Towards the end, I felt really, really bad for the red foreman and the other canaries I blasted, and was a little irritated with myself for not being able to help them. Thank you, Nitrome, for making the main character a

deserter and chicken. Why did you have to kill the red foreman? I felt worse when he yelled 'Don't leave us!'

Anway, I really liked this game.

About the only thing I didn't like was that we couldn't control the rate at which we played each level. The side scrolling was sometimes too slow, especially when there were no enemies. Plus it was a pain waiting for the level to scroll up to difficult parts of levels after restarting many times. Sometimes my patience wore thin, particularly on level 19 and 17.
Oh yeah, IUHoosiersFan, I wish we could have seen a more definite ending, too It was similar to Parasite, I guess, in that the aliens spread out, but I wonder what the main character did....

Looking forward to more games like this!

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Underwaterwriter February 10, 2011 2:14 AM

There is an excellent story behind the game worth writing (well, I find it to be). I actually haven't finished the game, but was eager to see the ending so I watched the walkthroughs for it instead.

I like the commentary that goes behind this game, and how it keeps the player company until the very end, but unfortunately, I don't exactly think this game is for me. I'm more favourable towards the non-shooter types of games, Fat Cat, being one of the exceptions of a shooter game I enjoy playing. But I could barely pass the first level, and had trouble with the later ones. Oh well. I'll have to try it again later. Perhaps I'll get the concept right this time.

~Uww

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Canary Walkthrough

General Tips

  • Your mining laser can be used to push objects it cannot cut (e.g. minecarts).

  • In general, purple things will harm you; brown rock can be cut through; and grey objects and walls cannot be cut but will not harm you.

  • Stay towards the right of the screen so you have more time to get around obstacles, but not so close that you cannot react fast enough.

  • To cut/destroy things, you need to keep your laser focused on them continuously for some time. Repeatedly hitting them for very short amounts of time will have no effect.

  • If you're pushing a rock and it gets stuck, try slicing a very small sliver off the top/bottom.

Walkthrough

Level 1

  1. Cut through the first rock pillar in front of you to drop it into the void.

  2. Cut through the next one lower to the ground and fly past.

  3. Fly up and push through the minecarts (either just by pushing or using your laser).

  4. Fly down to the lower of the 2 gaps in the gray wall and cut through the large rock face.

  5. Fly past and around the minecarts.

  6. You need to cut a tunnel through the rock next, by making 2 parallel cuts wider apart than yourself. Then push out the detached section of rock and fly through.

  7. Cut through then next section of rock high enough for you to fit through, then push it right.

  8. When you reach the gap above you fly up. Cut off another section of rock and push past it.

  9. Cut out yet another section of rock (through the previous one if necessary and push it right again.

  10. Fly past more minecarts, and then fly down to the gap at the bottom of the wall.

  11. Fly right, avoiding falling rocks, and push past more minecarts.

  12. Cut off another chunk of rock and continue past more minecarts to reach the end.

Level 2

  1. Fly right over the fallen rocks.

  2. When you get to one in the way, slice it up with your blast and continue through the rock tunnel.

  3. You'll then reach purple spiked balls suspended by purple stringy webs. The spike balls will hurt you on contact, but the web itself is harmless.

  4. Either fly straight past or cut on of the webs to make it spring out of the way. You'll encounter several more; just stick to the top and cut through the webs as they come on screen.

  5. You'll then reach a purple hovering creature. It will harm you on contact but won't move on its own.

  6. Shoot it with your laser for points, or just fly past.

  7. Next there are more webs with spiked balls, use the same tactics to get past them.

  8. You'll see a few more hovering enemies, shoot them and continue.

  9. Then you'll reach a rock face. Cut a tunnel through and push it out.

  10. On the other side are a lot of smaller enemies. Some should get crushed by the rock you push out, avoid the rest.

  11. Cut out another tunnel through the next rock wall. It will probably get dragged out for you by the elasticity of the purple webs.

  12. Navigate another small web to get a tunnel.

  13. There are crushers here; wait for them to slam down and then start to retract, and fly past them to the next safe section of tunnel. There also webs in the tunnel, so watch out when you're clear of the crushers.

  14. Past the third crusher a swarm of small enemies will spawn, so shoot them before passing it.

  15. Next cut out the rock spike on the ceiling to crush the enemy shooting at you.

  16. Then avoid a small web and do the same for another enemy on the ground.

  17. There's another rock face to cut a tunnel out of which will get dragged out by a web. Fly through that to reach the exit.

Level 3

  1. From the start you will see 5 bat like enemies circling, just shoot them to destroy them.

  2. Next 4 enemies will fly at you swaying up and down. You probably won't have time to kill them all, so shoot some and avoid the rest.

  3. Then there's a spitting enemy on the ceiling, shoot it or just avoid the balls it spits.

  4. Next there are a few spinners in a very wide pattern, shoot any in your way, but they pose very little threat.

  5. More enemies will fly at you, and there's another spitter to avoid.

  6. Past that there's a patch of purple pustules on the wall. If you shoot that small wasp enemies will fly out, which cannot be killed with your laser. Avoid shooting that.

  7. Cut off the rock outcrop on the ceiling and push it right.

  8. The gray and blue spheres are mines that will explode if you get too close. Pushing the rock into them will move and detonate them safely.

  9. Fly up, and slice the rock in your path in half. Push past it and continue.

  10. Shoot the spinner that flies at you, then cut off another chunk of rock on the ceiling. After it crushes the enemy on the platform, push it right to take out a few more enemies.

  11. Avoid/shoot some more bats, and another wave of flying enemies. Stay clear of the mines, and fly into the exit tunnel.

Level 4

  1. At the start you'll see some bloated, hovering enemies. If you shoot these they will release a cloud of poison gas which actually occupies more space that the enemies themselves. Fly between them, and into either tunnel.

  2. In the top there's a rock you can cut off to use as a projectile, and some more gas enemies to dodge. In the bottom there's just a smooth ball suspended by webbing. This will release a similar cloud of gas on destruction, just avoid it.

  3. When the tunnels merge, shoot the spinner and continue past more gas bomb enemies.

  4. Next there's a narrow tunnel with gas enemies in it. Cut off a section of rock at the top or bottom, widening the tunnel so you can fly past the enemies without damage.

  5. Do the same again on the next 2 obstacles. (In the third you have to take the bottom route and push the rock out of the way once you cut it).

  6. After that you'll have to cut a small chunk out of the ceiling to squash the wall of enemies in your way.

  7. Avoid the gas ball on a web, and continue into the tunnel.

  8. Fly under and around more gas enemies and on through the tunnel.Avoid or shoot the spinners until the tunnel widens.

  9. The purple spiked balls will hurt you on contact, and can be safely pushed with your laser. Laser them right onto the gas enemies and avoid the resulting gas clouds.

  10. Laser some more right, then fly down under the wall to reach the end tunnel.

Level 5

  1. First you'll see crushers smashing together. Move through them after they smash together to avoid being squished.

  2. Next, note the wire cage tiles with electricity warnings on. These will damage you on contact, so avoid touching them.

  3. You'll also see an enemy projecting 2 lasers up and down. Shoot the central purple ball to destroy it.

  4. Shoot a few more, then fly under the wall and past another crusher. Stick close to inert surfaces to avoid the electricity.

  5. Next are some more crushers, with spinning enemies to get in your way. Once past those, you'll have to fly through a narrow tunnel with electrified walls. Be careful and don't move too fast and you should make it through.

  6. Next there are more laser enemies. Shoot the ones on the top, and fly past the ones on the bottom when their lasers are blocked by the central platforms.

  7. Next you'll see a set of spinning blades, which will damage you on contact. Fly between the blades and around, and exit into another narrow electrified tunnel.

  8. Fly through it, avoiding the spinners that fly at you midway through. The exit is just after that.

Level 6

  1. Cut through the web or fly past the spike ball at the start of the stage.

  2. Next some spinners will fly around. Shoot or avoid them. There's also a rock outcrop on the ceiling you can cut off to drop on some of them.

  3. Fly under or over the square of electrified tiles, and shoot the spinners patrolling in the way. Continue past more electrified squares and spinners.

  4. Next you'll see 2 spinning saw blades in your way. Shoot the one on the ground to push it right, and then fly through the gap opened up.

  5. Fly under more saws, and then wait for the spinners to fly up. Destroy them and fly down and between the electrified squares.

  6. Shoot more spinners, and then cut off part of the rock face in your way. Push through and fly up.

  7. Avoid more saw blades, and push the rightmost one right. Fly over it and shoot out some more spinners patrolling around.

  8. Fly through the wide tunnel, shooting the spinners bouncing around it, to get to the exit.

Level 7

  1. Straight away you'll see an enemy pushing a drill. These cannot be killed head on, so just dodge it for now.

  2. Next cut off the chunk of rock on the ceiling to take out the mines. Repeat twice more until you reach some mirrors.

  3. These reflect your laser beam at 90 degree angles, and can be used to shoot the drilling/pushing enemies in the back, killing them.

  4. To progress, cut out a tunnel in the rock face.

  5. Push the mines out of the way with your laser, but be careful not to hit the purple pustules.

  6. Next, take the lower path even though it initially looks worse. Push the minecart to push the lower mine right, and then quickly fly under the top one (or detonate them safely by running away at the right time - hard to do without taking a hit).

  7. Next fly up, and shoot the spinners. Cut off the rock sticking out of the ceiling to clear the mines and continue.

  8. Use the mirrors to reflect your laser and move the mines up. Then fly up and cut through the rock face.

  9. Kill the spinners until you reach a rock face above some mirrors.

  10. Use the mirrors to cut a line through the rock. When it falls, you will probably need to cut it again so it drop through completely and you can get past.

  11. Dodge the small enemies and fly up.

  12. Kill the spinner and use the next mirror to cut through the next rock face.

  13. Fly down and through the narrow gap to the exit.

Level 8

  1. To start with there are some bats and a few spiked balls on webs.

  2. Once past those, cut out the pillar of rock so it falls into the electric cradle and you can pass.

  3. Next, a few spinners and another rock pillar to cut. Avoid some spinners and electrocuted walls, and then cut a tunnel through a rock pillar.

  4. Then you'll see a blue orb with an up arrow on it. Shoot it for several seconds to destroy it and flip gravity.

  5. Shoot out a laser enemy, and then cut through a rock pillar coming out of the floor. It will fall up, allowing you past.

  6. Next is another laser and another, thicker, rock pillar to cut through.

  7. Then, slice a tunnel through the next rock face and push out the section of rock.

  8. Shoot another gravity orb, this time pointing right. Watch out for the section of rock you just cut out which will fall towards you.

  9. Avoid a static enemy, then cut through another rock pillar.

  10. Fly up and around the electric walls, and shoot out another laser enemy.

  11. Cut another rock pillar, and fly under the electric walls.

  12. Shoot another laser enemy and cut out a tunnel in the next rock face, which will fall out on its own.

  13. Shoot another gravity orb, this time left. Watch out for a minecart falling at you.

  14. Cut out a pillar of rock and dodge under it as it falls.

  15. Avoid a spitting enemy (whose spit balls will curve due to strange gravity), and cut out and dodge another rock pillar. Another spit baller and a another rock face, then a couple more spitters follow.

  16. Then cut straight through 2 rock faces. This time the section cut out will fall at you, so fly around it and through the tunnel you make.

  17. Watch for spinners in the gap between them.

  18. Next, some spitters, bats and a spiked ball. Fly low under the bats, and avoid the spit balls if they come near you.

  19. After that you reach the exit.

Level 9

  1. Dodge a few bats and spinners, then hit the up gravity orb to destroy the spitters.

  2. Then hit the down orb, and cut off the chunks of rock on the ceiling to kill the enemies in the next section.

  3. Slice through the rock on the floor, then hit the up orb to open a path.

  4. Hit the right orb to move the next orb, then the up orb to move the rock out of the way completely.

  5. Cut through the next rock face to get past. Avoid the electric tiles and hit the down orb.

  6. Then sticking right to avoid the spitter, head up and cut through the next rock obstacle.

  7. Hit the next orbs in this order: left, up, right.

  8. Fly through the cleared tunnel and then down under the wall.

  9. Cut up the rock in your way so it falls right and then go through.

  10. Hit the down orb, then the up orb to crush the enemy, and then cut off the rock at the bottom and push it out of the way. Head through to reach the exit.

Level 10

  1. In this level you're mainly fighting/dodging enemies. Watch out for the ones that attack from behind, fly between them and shoot them from their back. When you reach them, fly between some spinning blades.

  2. Next push the minecart out of your way so you can get under the next blade.

  3. You'll be attacked by more enemies from behind as well as rockets from the front. Those can simply be shot, so continue to dodge and/or destroy everything. Sticking to the very bottom will allow you to dodge everything easily if you're feeling lazy.

  4. After a little way electric tiles will appear, so fly between those whilst dodging more enemies.

  5. When you reach a narrow tunnel with enemies coming up behind you, stick right and the end of the tunnel will appear before they reach you, allowing you to fly up out of their path.

  6. A little after that the tunnel will widen again and a load more enemies will attack. They will go along the top and bottom, so sticking to the bottom of the screen isn't an option this time.

  7. Eventually you'll start slowing down and reach the exit.

Level 11

  1. You can't do anything to the first two lasers, so fly over and under them, avoiding spinners.

  2. Next laser you see has an exposed side, and you can hit it with your laser to destroy it.

  3. To kill the next one in your path, reflect your laser off 2 mirrors just to the right of it.

  4. To kill the next one, fly up to the top of the screen and shoot the mirror there to hit it.

  5. Take the top path, and use the mirror to destroy the spinners in your way.

  6. Then shoot the mirror right of the 2 enemy lasers with your laser. This will kill the laser blocking the bottom path, so fly back around to get past.

  7. Use the mirror at the bottom to kill the 2 spinners, then fly up and shoot the rest before flying past.

  8. Next you'll encounter large flying wasps. If you kill them, they release more of the small indestructible wasps, so watch out.

  9. Use the mirror on the floor to cut through the rock vertically and continue.

  10. Dodge some spinners and cut through another rock.

  11. Next you'll come to some mesh tiles with a laser and mirrors behind them. You can shoot through the mesh, but not fly through, so shoot the mirrors to take out the laser and then pass.

  12. Next, shoot the second mirror from the top to kill the laser.

  13. Next, dodge the enemy and then use the mirrors to drop the rock ceiling on it if you want.

  14. Then fly down and use the mirrors to push the minecart left.

  15. Then fly up through the cleared passage.

  16. Dodge 2 wasp carriers to reach the exit.

Level 12

  1. First you'll come to several large spinning fans and gas bomb enemies. Fly low under the first gas bomb, follow the fan blades around to the right, and then exit under the right enemy to get past.

  2. Next you'll come to enemies that has 2 barbed arms, with a central face. Shoot one of the arms to spin it around, and then shoot the face to kill it.

  3. Pick top or bottom and kill another barbed enemy to get through.

  4. Next you'll come to immobile fan blades. Shoot them with your laser to safely spin them, and fly through.

  5. Fly past another, and then you'll come to spinning fan blades. Fly through them carefully to avoid getting hit.

  6. Next there are 3 laser wall enemies. Shoot each one in turn to get past.

  7. Then there are 3 gas bombs, followed by spinning fans and electric floors. Avoid the gas bombs completely, and follow the fans around, staying clear of the electric walls.

  8. Avoid a few more enemies, then follow another spinning fan around.

  9. Push the next immobile fan, and then head into the tunnel in the rock.

  10. Cut off the rock blocking the tunnel and then head into another spinning fan. Once you get around it, push the spiked balls right and then follow them around the next fan.

  11. Repeat with the next set of spiked balls.

  12. Follow another fan around and then cut a tunnel through the rock face. Kill a few bats and then fly into the exit.

Level 13

  1. The walls and floor infested with purple veins are harmful to the touch ,so steer clear.

  2. Dodge spiked balls on webs, then fly over the deadly rock being pushed at you.

  3. Cut through the rock on the ceiling to clear a path over the mines, and repeat.

  4. Cut a tunnel through the rock where it isn't being pushed and push through. Keep pushing the rock to use it to smash the rockets flying at you.

  5. Shoot through another wave of rockets, then stick to the ceiling to get over the pushers/drills blocking the tunnel.

  6. Keep to the right of the screen in this section, and fly under the rock pushed down from the top.

  7. Next, fly over the rock to the top layer (there's only a small window to do this without being hit).

  8. Fly over another rock, then fly down to the bottom layer when possible.

  9. Keep right and get past another rock pushed from above.

  10. Watch out for the rockets fired as you leave this section and reach the end of the level.

Level 14

  1. Make your way around the web/spiked balls, and cut through the rock face.

  2. Cut through another rock face and avoid the rockets coming at you.

  3. Use the mirror to cut through the L shaped rock, and then cut it off the ceiling to get past.

  4. Fly over the electric floor and use the mirror to cut through another rock. Cut it again and push it off.

  5. Then destroy some bats, and fly under the electric wall.

  6. Shoot the top right most mirror to slice the rock, then fly past.

  7. Fly past spinners and electric walls, then shoot the bottom mirror to cut through the next rock face.

  8. An enemy will appear blocking the passage. Shoot it dead centre on the crack in its surface. It will open up and quickly die.

  9. Cut off the rock, then hit the left gravity orb to clear it out of the way. Watch for falling spike balls.

  10. Fly up and cut through the rock faces. Let them drop past you and continue.

  11. Use the mirror to cut through another rock and fly down.

  12. Cut right through the rock, and avoid it and the spiked balls as they fall left.

  13. Hit the orb to reset gravity.

  14. Fly out, avoiding rockets, to reach the end.

Level 15

  1. Dodge some spinners, then head through the crushers, avoiding the spitter.

  2. Then fly up, avoiding another crusher and electrified walls.

  3. Then heading right, there are more crushers and spitters.

  4. Head down through more crushers, this time 2 wide.

  5. Then head back up through a bank of 5 crushers. Wait until they open and fly through in one quick burst.

  6. The screen scrolls with you vertically, so don't worry about that. Next are 2 banks of 4 crushers with electrified walls in the gap between them. Hop through the first set, wait away from the walls, then through the second set.

  7. Avoid some spinners and spitters, and the exit is there.

Level 16

  1. Push the minecart so it falls into and plugs the gap. This will stop the lasers from getting in your way.

  2. Push the next minecraft down the stairs to plug another gap.

  3. Next some gas balls will fall around another minecart. Push it right with your laser and fly over the gas clouds.

  4. Push the next minecart down the narrow tunnel against the crowd of small enemies and out.

  5. Fly up and push the minecarts down onto the fan, then fly through it pushing with the laser if necessary.

  6. Avoid more spontaneous gas, and hit the orb to change gravity to up.

  7. Push on of the minecarts right along the ceiling to clear the mines in the narrow tunnel.

  8. Next some crushers will be throwing minecarts up into the air. Stay low to avoid them and push the rightmost one right, to plug a gap in the ceiling.

  9. Push the next one right to plug the next gap. Then cut the rock off the floor to fill another.

  10. Hit the down gravity orb and continue.

  11. More minecart catapults; weave past and head up past the top crusher.

  12. Next fly down and cut a tunnel through the rock.

  13. The main challenge is avoiding getting jostled. Push the carts left if they're hitting you.

  14. Fly up through some crushers to the exit.

Level 17

  1. Dodge a few bats and swaying enemies to start off.

  2. Cut off a small chunk of ceiling to kill the next circle of bats.

  3. Shoot the gravity orb, and dodge between the falling spiked balls.

  4. Shoot the down gravity orb to get past, and then fly through the next section.

  5. The crushers will throw the spiked balls up and down, so dodge past when they're falling.

  6. Shoot the next gravity orb to clear the tunnel, and fly through it, avoiding electric walls.

  7. Shoot through the 2 mesh block to cut through the next rock face and clear the way. When it comes to a stop, cut it again so it falls through the narrower section.

  8. Fly in and hit the next gravity orb.

  9. Avoid more spike balls that fall at you, then fly through and hit another gravity orb.

  10. Dodge a few bats, then cut a tunnel through the rock blocking your way.

  11. Push it out and avoid the spit balls coming from above.

  12. Fly out, avoid another spitter and fly into the exit tunnel.

Level 18

  1. Kill or dodge the bats at the start of the level.

  2. When the tunnel slopes up, rocks will start falling. Avoid them and fly into the tunnel going right.

  3. Push the rock blocking the tunnel and fly over it.

  4. More rocks will be falling in the next section, so watch out.

  5. Cut through a rock on the ceiling to drop it on an enemy on the floor.

  6. Dodge a few bats, and watch for more falling rocks.

  7. Cut through a rock face, and watch for more falling rocks and bats.

  8. Fly over the large pillars of rock, and if a falling rock gets stuck on top of one, push it down into a gap.

  9. Kill a final few bats and fly into the exit.

Level 19

  1. First, wait for the first laser enemy to go past the gaps. Then fly up, and kill the rest of the laser enemies.

  2. Stay up there until you're past the long line of mesh tiles and can fly down again. Kill a few more laser enemies.

  3. Then you'll get to a section with laser enemies above and no way to get up to them. Use the solid blocks as cover to get past the first few.

  4. Then you'll reach a conveniently shaped rock. Fly under the overhang and start pushing it right.

  5. When you reach the end of the section, push it into the pit.

  6. Shoot the gravity orb, and then get between the ceiling and the + shaped rock. Push it right to use it as cover from more lasers.

  7. When you're past those, fly around and push it from the bottom left to get cover from the enemies above you.

  8. When you hit the wall, push it left enough so that you can hit another gravity orb. Then fly down and push it from the bottom left again.

  9. Keep pushing until some purple chomping enemies come from behind you.

  10. Fly behind them and kill them, and then resume pushing the rock.

  11. Push it all the way to the end, and then fly back slightly and hit the gravity orb.

  12. Push it from the top left to cover from more lasers.

  13. You'll need to quickly switch twice more to stay hidden from lasers top and bottom. After that you'll be at the end of the level.

Level 20

  1. Fly right, avoiding a few enemies.

  2. Take the top path, then when you reach the spiked balls push them over the edge to destroy the mines.

  3. Then fly down and out the gap at the bottom of the tunnel. You'll have to dodge over the circular saw blades, but be careful not to touch the electrified ceiling.

  4. Cut through the rock face and push the section of rock out to hit the mines.

  5. Fly up and shoot the spiked ball through the mesh. Then hit the up gravity orb, and fly around the newly cleared tunnel.

  6. Use the mirrors to kill the first 3 spitters, and then push the spike ball right so it falls up onto the last one.

  7. Use more mirrors to kill more spitters, and then fly up.

  8. There will be a large enemy; shoot it dead centre on the crack in its armour to kill it.

  9. Kill a few spinners, then fly to the exit.

Level 21

  1. At the start there will be a large web, with spitters above and below. I recommend not disturbing it, and just weaving through.

  2. Stay high as the ceiling spitters are immobile and easier to dodge.

  3. Avoid the suspended rock, and then shoot some bats to get past.

  4. Stay low to get under more bats and spitters.

  5. Then hit the up gravity orb and the rock will rise out of your way.

  6. Fly along the bottom (but not right down, the floor is harmful), cutting the webs that are holding the rocks down. Watch out for crawling spitters too.

  7. When you reach a large rock face in your path, cut off a section from the top where a web is attached. The web will pull the section out, allowing you through.

  8. Avoid the various enemies flying around and go into the next tunnel.

  9. Many small enemies will spawn, so keep firing to cut the numbers down.

  10. Dodge any that get too close.

  11. Past them is the end.

Level 22

  1. Fly around the first spiked ball, and you'll come to a large number of mirrors. Use these to safely shoot out the bats circling in the tunnel.

  2. Head past another spiked ball, and take out some more bats using the mirrors.

  3. Next, there's a large vertical tunnel filled with spiked balls and mines. You can use the mirrors on the right side to cut some of the webs, and if you're lucky hit take out some mines in the process.

  4. The best way to get past is just to fly up quickly enough that the mines don't detonate. This can be hard, so just keep going if you take a hit to capitalize on the brief invincibility.

  5. At the top of the tunnel is a slightly different mirror in the middle of the tunnel. This can be pushed (physically by you as it reflects lasers) to change the angle it reflects at. Push it over and fire at it so your laser bounces up onto the other one, and hits the laser enemy blocking the tunnel.

  6. Fly past another web, then shoot the top strand of the next one to move the spiked ball out of the way.

  7. Flip the mirror and use it to kill another laser enemy.

  8. You'll come to another mirrored tunnel with a web in it. Fly up it, and then cut the suspended rock in half. Fly through when the halves bounce apart.

  9. Use the mirrors to cut a tunnel down through the next rock.

  10. Fly down, avoiding the spiked balls, and use another set of mirrors to cut out another tunnel. You'll need to slice up the section of rock directly to get it to fall out completely.

  11. Fly up, and flip the left mirror. Use it to spin the spiked enemy until it is vertical.

  12. Cut the web to move the spiked ball, and use the other mirror to spin the other enemy below. Fly down between them.

  13. Use the mirrors in the tunnel below to shoot a gap in the wall of enemies that come from behind you.

  14. Cut the rock face about halfway up and go through. Watch out when it bounces back; you'll need to fly over it. The exit is just after that.

Level 23

  1. Fly along, keeping low to avoid the mines.

  2. Concentrate fire on the infected miner to kill it. Kill a few more until you reach a crusher. There are 4 of them, make your way past carefully. There's also an infected miner between the second and third to watch out for.

  3. Push the square of rock along with you, and use it to block the crushers so you won't get hurt.

  4. After you reach the end, watch out; you'll be attacked by a flying infected miner with a laser. The best time to kill them is as soon as they appear. If not, you're better off just dodging since it's hard to concentrate fire on them without being hit.

  5. Dodge the various infected miners for a while. Then spiked balls on webs will be thrown in to make it a little tougher. Then spitters on the ceiling to add to the fun.

  6. Watch out for deadly floors and miners walking below too.

  7. Just keep dodging. This is a hard level. Once you make it down the tunnel the exit is at the end.

Level 24

  1. The timer in this level just serves to show you how much more is left in the level, as you can't control your speed. It's basically one long tunnel with stuff to avoid, little/no puzzling. First up there are some simple gas bombs on webs and bats.

  2. Then comes a spinner, and an electrified block to fly around. Watch out for little enemies that spawn, and then fly through some more electrified blocks. You want to leave the gas bomb in the middle and just fly around it.

  3. Kill some more bats and fly around some more gas bombs/electrified walls. Again leave the gas bombs as bursting them will cause you more trouble.

  4. Fly over/under a few mines, and then cut out a section of rock face in your way. It should get pulled out, so head through. Watch for the spitter overhead, and the gas cloud formed.

  5. Fly under an electrified wall, and then cut out the section of rock on the floor. It should let you get under the first mines, and detonate the second wave.

  6. Cut out a section of rock from the ceiling to detonate another wave of mines.

  7. Fly down, and push the rock in your way. Keep pushing it to detonate the mines and get through.

  8. The next section is chaotic, just try and avoid the stuff being thrown around.

  9. Cut your way through the bats and the tunnel will narrow again.

  10. Avoid the spitters and push the minecart right to detonate a wave of mines.

  11. Fly right down the tunnel to the exit.

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You know how at the beginning of "the Bucket" someone says "hey, this isn't the game I ordered?!"

THIS is the game I ordered.

Really neat game, good (if slightly cliche) atmosphere, and amazing use of a laser.

The last level was awesome-figuring out to use the "slingshot" effect to detonate the mines (and the chaotic ending avoidance) were both amazing.

Most fun I've had with a Nitrome game for a while.

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I have never encountered any level on any game ever that is as frustrating as level 8. It seems like it's consistently impossible, and I've literally tried beating it 30 times. I'm fully aware it's not impossible, but it just seems like EVERY little move you make has to be completely perfect, otherwise the entire level is thrown. I understand this is a desirable quality in a game, but I can't stand Nitrome right now.

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Does anybody else actually get scared by this game to tears? I've only made it to level 22, but...

The helper guy... he's a monster now... it's horrifying. So the Zerg are hot pink--they're still Zerg, and still terrible. You -knew- from the moment the monsters started trying to invade the main base that it would happen, and yet somehow... when the dialog box appeared and he said everything was great...

I don't know. It hit hard inside.

GREAT game though, and even though it scares me I'm coming back for more~

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Walkthrough Revision
Level 23

To get past the infected Canaries easier, stick close to the ceiling (without touching it), destroying any spitters that come your way. The Canaries won't approach the roof close enough to hit you.

Level 24

4. Fly over/under a few mines, and then cut out a section of rock face in your way. The cut needs to be made above the webbing. It should get pulled out, so head through. Watch for the spitter overhead, and the gas cloud formed.

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Great game. Takes me back to the days of "The Adventures of Captain Comic" (1988), the very first side-scrolling game. I'm only on Level 10 of Canary now, and am looking forward to wasting many more hours on it.

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Dev Null April 6, 2011 11:35 PM

stuart - I agree with you that Level 8 is jacked.

It's a pity, too, because the problem's so simple: this level scrolls too fast. This makes what should be an extremely fun, cerebral level become an exercise in frustration.

My advice:

  • Stay as close to the right side of the screen as humanly possible.

  • Memorize the sequence of monsters to be killed/objects to be sliced. If you know on the screen, you can begin firing your laser long before they actually appear.

  • Don't bother going out of your way to shoot monsters on this level - most of them won't bother you anyway, and stopping to shoot them will just cause you to lose precious time.

I hope that is helpful. Good luck.

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Great game, the only annoying part is that for some reason when my mouse leaves the game area the cursor jumps to (0,0), so I'll be trying to delicately navigate around some dangerous obstacle when suddenly the character will make a mad dash for the upper left, straight into whatever obstacle I was trying to avoid.

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The Avenger August 23, 2011 5:13 PM

I really enjoyed the game, but the ending was sooooo lame :(
I was hoping for something better. Still, it was very fun (and frustrating also!)

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Canary is my favorite nitrome game, except
mirror image. That might be my favorite game of all time...

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The game's plot is very well, just like a movie plot! The result is very sad, but it is also the charm.

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In my opinion this is the GREATEST Nitrome game!! Great work!!

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