When you first start playing Andy's Notepad [Saucers] in single-player mode, the first enemy you encouner is the one we call "Mr. Bubbles." People think he's hard, but he's all bark and no bite.
Just to put him in perspective, I went to the source code. When the Mr. Bubbles fires at you, he only has bubbles. Each of his bubbles does only 0.2 points of damage. In single player mode, each our hero's seven battery levels can power the sheild against 50 points of damage. If you do the match, you'll find that you have to get hit by 250 bubbles before you lose even one battery level. Your saucer can get hit by 1750 bubbles before Mr Bubbles can kill you!
So what's the real problem here?
You have to learn how to fly the saucer.
Once you get used to it flying will become second nature to you. The key piece of information you need is that the planet has gravity. Lot's of it. These planets are big, and they'll pull you into them just like the classic lunar lander game. I show this graphically in the picture below:
Look at the debug graphics around the saucer. You'll see a green arrow and a red arrow. The red arrow is pointing at the planet and shows the direction and amount of force being applied to your ship. The green arrow shows the direction I was pushing the left stick and the force being aplied there as well.
(Just for completion, the H.U.D. is up, and you can see from bottom to top that we have a full battery, level 1 phase bombs, level 1 lasers and level 1 torps. The zero shows our score; we haven't killed anything yet.)
The reason most people die in the first round is because they hit the planet several times. So my advice to new players is first, get used to flying and then dispatch Mr. Bubbles. After that, you'll go far.
So here are some pointers for single player mode:
1. Avoid hitting the planet - in the early rounds, this will cause the most damage.
2. Avoid the moon in the first few rounds as well.
3. Learn the strategies of each enemy saucer. They each play different and they have unique weapons and strategies.
Last, if you like posts like this, post a comment and let me know. I welcome your feedback!