Aerial mobility and speed
Your movement is simple, you drag in the direction you want to go. Time will slow down as you aim, and you’ll even have a visualised arc so you know where you’ll land.
This fast and flighty movement is critical to mastering the game. Many enemies you can mash through quickly, but others will require thought and movement to avoid their attacks.
Early foes will be dispatched quickly, but bigger enemies and bosses take many hits to take down. You’ll need to rapidly attack again and again, all while avoiding enemy fire.
It adds another layer of mastery to the jumping mechanic, and you will find yourself feverishly flicking away at your screen as you take down bosses and other enemies.
The fact is, enemies will attack in predictable patterns. Early examples are short arcs of bullet fire, or explosives that detonate on impact or shortly after death. You will adjust to each enemy, and know how to approach.
Most enemies can be dealt with by manoeuvring behind them and over their bullet fire, but that’s easy to say when you’ve got a good idea of where you’re going. If you’re moving too fast, you’re inevitably going to make contact with enemy fire, and possibly die. Take your time if you’re low on health.
Diving for the finish
You can spend as long as you like exploring levels, but the more time you take, the more you put yourself at risk of taking damage, and although you usually get the opportunity to restore health before boss fights, it’s expensive.
Get through each stage fast and with minimal damage, and you should, generally, make it further than ever before on a single life.