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Rating: 4.5/5 (53 votes)
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JoshTBA TwoReleased just a few days ago, TBA Two is the sequel to the well-received action game TBA, developed by John Cooney (jmtb02.com). Fans might remember TBA as the ultra-fast-paced, eye-popping, ball-shooting game with an insane techno soundtrack, all of which blended together quite nicely to create a surprisingly simple and fun game. TBA Two grows from the same roots as its predecessor; just hit [space] to launch the ball through a series of "basket launchers" to the goal, collecting stars along the way. On its main menu screen, the developer wrote of the game, "TBA has no meaning. It came out of confusion." While the game itself isn't confusing, you might find yourself agreeing with its developer that the TBA series doesn't offer much substance in the way of plot or story, but that doesn't keep this sequel from taking you on one hell of a fun ride.

As mentioned, the space bar is the only key you'll need. This launches your ball from the starting basket to the next, from that basket to the next, and so on and so forth. Baskets have different properties to them. Some are completely static and only point to one direction. Others rotate 360 degrees, stopping at each axis for a brief moment to let you launch the ball in the direction you choose. Others will rotate and launch the ball in its own direction regardless of what you do. Luckily the color and patterns of these different baskets are each unique, so it shouldn't take you long to memorize the function of each one.

Your goal is pretty simple and relies on just two objectives; get your ball from its starting point to the goal (the red basket) as fast as possible, and collect as many stars as you can on the way. If you accidentally shoot the ball into a wall, it "dies" (resets). Scoring is based purely on time, which is measured in seconds. Each level has a par to it (12 seconds or less, for example) so you can judge your skill. However, you don't need to hit par to move on to the next level, although you always have the option of coming back later and trying again.

TBA TwoSo that pretty much covers the obligatory info for those of you who haven't played the first TBA. Now let's dive in and take a look at how this sequel compares to the original, and why it took the developer weeks to create as opposed to just a few days, as he did with the original. TBA Two was designed with more of a progression/reward system than the first. Instead of just individual progressing levels, there are at least seven different "realms," all containing a handful of levels. There's no skipping around this time; you've got to move from realm to realm in a linear direction, with the difficulty increasing in each realm. As a twist, you can't just blindly blast through the levels to keep progressing. Each realm needs to be unlocked by spending a certain number of stars (the same stars that you collect on the way to the goal of each level). Since the fastest route to the goal won't always let you collect a star, you've got to bust out a bit of puzzle-solving prowess in order to figure out how to collect stars and still make it to the goal as quick as you can.

Graphically-speaking, TBA Two surpasses its original in several ways. Each realm introduces a new photographic-meets-CGI background, as opposed to the original's simple cloud background with varying shades of color. The game takes place on an island, and each realm takes you to a different area within the island. From beaches to jungles to caves, there's a great amount of diversity here that rewards you a fresh background in each realm.

The techno soundtrack offers a separate track for each realm as well, which is a nice upgrade from the original. Those of you who might have been annoyed by the Happy Hardcore techno song that accompanied the original will be pleased to know that there's much more variety in the TBA Two's soundtrack, composed by Mohammad Ahmed Fikree. On the other hand, if you loved the 200+ bpm, finger-twitching track of the original, you might be a little let down by some of the more down-tempo tracks in TBA Two.

Analysis: Any way you cut it, TBA Two is a successful upgrade in virtually all aspects of its original. The backgrounds are prettier and more eclectic, the soundtrack is diverse, the level progression system has matured and most importantly, there's more fun to be had with all new levels and even some new game mechanics. The game auto-saves your progress, and there's even a new "achievements" section which serves as a trophy room for completing various feats, such as beating a level in less than five seconds (and ironically, things like dying within two seconds). The break-neck speed of TBA Two may slow down your FPS if you're running an older machine, or if you're browser doesn't have access to enough free RAM. If you're having trouble, right-click anywhere on the screen to bring up a menu allowing you to reduce its graphic quality, among a few other handy shortcuts like restarting a level or muting the sound.

If you're a fan of the original, it's a safe bet you're going to love this sequel. If you've never played the original, it's a game that's definitely worth checking out.

Play TBA Two


fattywads May 22, 2008 4:44 PM

sweet game! how to unlock final level?

Billy Nitro May 22, 2008 5:56 PM

Only one comment? Seriously?

Well this was awesome, but I'm wondering how one might go about getting all of the achievements.

So far I have:

1. Jungle Fever (Beat the first world)
2. Reinforested (Beat the first world under par)
3. Sandcastle (Beat the second world)
4. Surf and Turf (Beat the second world under par)
5. Underground (Beat the third world)
6. Spelunker (Beat the third world under par)
7. Airbourne (Beat the fourth world)
8. Sky High (Beat the fourth world under par)
9. Submersive (Beat the fifth world)
10. Underwater Ally (Beat the fifth world under par)
11. Adventurer Extraordinaire (Complete the first fifty levels)
12. Epic Explorer (Complete the first fifty levels under par)
13. Split Seconds (Beat a level in less than 5 seconds)
14. Pentasurvivor (Survive 5 consecutive levels without dying)
16. Revealer of Worlds (Unlock the five main worlds)
17. If at First You Don't Succeed (Launch a ball back to where it came from)
18. Quick Death (Die within two seconds of starting)
19. Try and Try Again (Die 30 times in one level)
20. Too Good for Par (Half a par time)
21. 1k Club (Shoot the ball 1,000 times)

Still missing 0, 15, and 22-29...

And I'm out of ideas.

augustus May 22, 2008 6:04 PM

Well, I got the Easter Egg.

Click on the rock near the lower-right corner. Remember!

GeerBox May 22, 2008 6:07 PM

Just got 15 and 25 simultaneously.
15: Survive an entire world without dying.
25: Beat Jungle world without dying.
I'm assuming several of the other achievements are of the same form.

And for 0:

Click the little rock on the right side of the island at the main menu.

GeerBox May 22, 2008 6:10 PM

Also, a bug: If you somehow manage to finish a level in under a second, it won't count as having played that level. The square for that level will revert to grey.


Somehow I just can't get into this one as much as I could the original. It just seems too busy and in-your-face, which for me doesn't mesh well with the exploratory style that's been imposed by requiring the player to seek out stars in order to advance to new levels.

Fantastic production though...

Anonymous May 22, 2008 7:27 PM

I have almost all the achievements. I'm only missing the "complete X realm w/o dying" and the last one. Anyone know what the last one is? or have any tips for not dying?


A note to all those trying to gain the complete the worlds without dying achievements, the r key is mapped as the reset key and does not count against these achievements. Therefore if you see yourself going off course and are fast enough, hit r to restart the level without having to restart the entire world.



A disclaimer:
This walkthrough does NOT tell the locations of the stars. That's another guy's job, not mine.
I will not call those basket launcher thingies "barrels" or "cannons" because they don't look like those. I will also not call them "ramps" because ramps don't function like that. I will call them "baskets" instead.
You can reset the level by pressing R.
How to Play:
Use the space bar to launch the ball.
To unlock realms:
You need to collect the required amount of stars. Afterwards, purchase the realm in the "purchase/unlock" option in the main menu.

There are seven realms, each taking you to a part of a mysterious Survivor-ish island. The seven realms are:

Jungle: First realm. Already unlocked.

Start basket: A normal, yellow, stationary basket. This is where the ball is when you start a level.
Goal basket: A normal, red, stationary basket. This is where the ball should go to.
Stationary basket: A normal basket. It doesn't move. Expect this to be in the future levels.
Auto-reverse throw basket: When the ball hits this, it turns a full 180 degrees before throwing the ball.
Moving basket: Self-explanatory.
Cardinal/ordinal basket: A basket that points to the cardinal or ordinal directions, depending on the orientation of the basket.
Wall: When the ball hits this, instant restart.

Beach: Second realm. Requires 5 stars. The first appearance of a reverse gravitational field known only as "water".

Water: Take a dip and you'll float.
Charge basket: The longer you hold the spacebar, the faster the ball goes. In other words, IMA CHARGIN MAH LAZER.

WARNING! If you go too fast, you might go through some stars, baskets, etc., etc..

Cave: Third realm. Requires 5 stars.

Swinging baskets: Baskets that are tied to a string and swing like the trapeze.
Teleport baskets: Also self-explanatory. Note that the sending baskets and the receiving baskets are not random.

Sky: Fourth realm. Very fun. Requires 10 stars.

Rail baskets: Baskets that follow a wire. There are 2 kinds, Circle (self-explanatory), and Freeform (anything non-circular).
Movespin baskets: Baskets that move and spin.

Ocean: Fifth realm. The last "normal" realm. Requires 15 stars. All levels are in water, so expect to float upwards instead of falling downwards.

There's nothing new, so I think you know how everything works.

Volcano: Sixth realm. Finish the first 5 realms to unlock.

Expect to drop twice as fast.

Space: Final realm. Finish the first 5 realms UNDER PAR to unlock.

How do you top double gravity? With no gravity at all! You wont float, you wont drop, you just go straight.


Easter Egg: Click the rock. REMEMBER 33820!
Jungle Fever: Beat Jungle...
Reinforested: ...under par.
Sandcastle: Beat Beach...
Surf and Turf: ...under par.
Underground: Beat Cave...
Spelunker: ...under par.
Airbourne: Beat Sky...
Sky High: ...under par.
Submersive: Beat Ocean...
Underwater Ally: ...under par.
Adventurer Extraordinaire: Beat the first fifty levels...
Epic Explorer: ...under par.
Split Seconds: Beat a level in less than 5 seconds. The first beach level is a good candidate for getting this.
Pentasurvivor: Beat 5 levels without dying. Jungle is a good choice.
Away from the Light: Beat an entire world without dying. Again, Jungle is my pick.
Revealer of Worlds: Unlock Beach, Cave, Sky, and Ocean.
If at First you Don't Succeed...: Send the ball back to the start basket. There's a level in Jungle that has a basket that sends you back to yellow, but I can't remember what it is.
Quick Death: Die within TWO SECONDS of starting. The best choice is Level 33, since the start basket is in front of a wall.
...Try and Try Again: Die THIRTY times in a level. Level 33 is, again, the best choice.
Too Good for Par: Finish in half a par time. Depending on how good you are, any level is a good choice. I did it on Level 00.
1k Club: Shoot the ball 1000 times. You don't need to do it on a single level, since by 1000 times, it means that's how many times you are to shoot the ball the entire game. It also means shooting the ball from any barrel. You don't need to do it on a single game, you can continue from your saved game.
Space Cadet: Beat Space without dying.
Torch'd: Beat Volcano without dying.
Aqua Marine: Beat Ocean without dying.
Bushwhacker: Beat Jungle without dying.
Stratosphere Seeker: Beat Sky without dying.
Hang 10: Beat Beach without dying.
Stalagmighty: Beat Cave without...well...you get the point.
This was a Triumph:
I'm making a note here: HUGE SUCCESS.
It's hard to overstate my satisfaction.
Aperture Science
We do what we must
because we can.
For the good of all of us.
Except the ones who are dead.
But there's no sense crying over every mistake.
You just keep on trying till you run out of cake.
And the Science gets done.
And you make a neat gun.
For the people who are still alive.
I'm not even angry.
I'm being so sincere right now.
Even though you broke my heart.
And killed me.
And tore me to pieces.
And threw every piece into a fire.
As they burned it hurt because I was so happy for you!
Now these points of data make a beautiful line.
And we're out of beta.
We're releasing on time.
So I'm GLaD. I got burned.
Think of all the things we learned
for the people who are still alive.
Go ahead and leave me.
I think I prefer to stay inside.
Maybe you'll find someone else to help you.
Maybe Black Mesa
Anyway, this cake is great.
It's so delicious and moist.
Look at me still talking
when there's Science to do.
When I look out there, it makes me GLaD I'm not you.
I've experiments to run.
There is research to be done.
On the people who are still alive.
And believe me I am still alive.
I'm doing Science and I'm still alive.
I feel FANTASTIC and I'm still alive.
While you're dying I'll be still alive.
And when you're dead I will be still alive.
Ahhh, it's so good to sing. Anyway, to get the achievement, you got to do the most hardest thing in the game. GET 100%. When you have 100%, you get the badge. That simple.

Good luck!

Ezrabbit May 24, 2008 1:27 PM

Any suggestions for the final Volcano level?
Seems pretty much impossible to me.
Best place to get the "Try and Try Again" achievement though.

Ezrabbit May 24, 2008 1:46 PM

I didn't even SEE the exit due to it being the same color as the background.
Moving right along....

Jayunderscorezero May 25, 2008 6:32 PM

Grrr! So angry with this game (and yet it's so addictive!)!

I was down to just two achievements: the 'complete Ocean World without dying' one and the final one. I then finally (!!) complete the Ocean world without dying once and yet somehow I STILL don't get the final two awards! GRRR!

Anybody else get this problem, or am I just unlucky?


I've beaten Ocean five times without dying now, and I have the same problem as Jayunderscorezero. Do I have to beat the whole Ocean world without dying UNDER PAR too?


Jayunderscorezero: you're not the only one. I am in the same situation, just achievements 24 and 29 to go. I finally finished the ocean world without dying, but didn't get the achievement either. I figured it was probably some kind of bug, so I redid it (completed the ocean world another time without dying), but still no luck. Feeling slightly disappointed now.

Jayunderscorezero May 26, 2008 3:57 PM

Thanks for your responses. This "bug" is a blessing in disguise, I suppose, as it means that at least it's not just that I'm doing something wrong.

Any idea what that whole "remember 33820" thing was about?

Anonymous May 30, 2008 12:35 AM

I am very confused by level 16. Any hints?


For level 16:

You need the moving bucket to drop the ball between the launcher and the first blue bucket, so that it goes down.

Took me a while.


Ok, well I beat all 5 levels. And all under par. No volcano or space..

I'm playing it on Kongregate, is that why?

qwertyu63 July 30, 2008 5:53 PM

Yes it is


Does anyone know how to get the star on lvl 54 and beat it under par?


Nice trick:

I have determined conclusively that it is possible to get the achievements for not dying on all levels EXCEPT ocean using resets. If you're about to get owned quickly hit r and try the level again. As long as you don't explode, you still get the achievement. Still working on ocean, beaten it twice with most levels under par using resets, but trying all levels under par. The last one is evil - to beat it under par, you have to hit the pendulum basket with the charge basket, and even then you need to get pretty freaking lucky.


Just beat ocean under par without dying and using resets. Didn't work. Trying without resets now -.-

Kraagesh April 1, 2009 10:14 PM

Beat whole game without dying, finded all stars, and beat par all levels. Bot not all achievements unlocked... Have 2 locked achievements... Think it must be a bug... Cause i done all what possibly be done...


For people with bugs on how to unlock space,try playing it on jmtb02.

Theodorealj December 14, 2009 12:23 PM

Anyone know how to beat lvl 54 under par?


For anyone wondering, the secret code,

33820, was used in a sidequest in jmtb02's Llama Adventure, which gave you yet another code!

FireStickman243 December 6, 2011 5:35 PM

did anyone get through level 10,because I beat this game when I was like,6 or 7 (most likely 7),AND I FORGOT!!


@ FireStickman243: For level 10

launch yourself onto the moving cannon, then launch yourself toward the star between the two barriers. That will take you directly to the red cannon.


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