Sharpshooter: Basic scoring strategy

This was originally posted to the yyrGames forums on Mar 13, 2010 at 5:42 pm, and was last updated Jun 24, 2010 at 9:26 am.

- Targets are worth the same amount of points no matter where you hit them. So don't aim for the bullseye; just hit it anywhere.

- The difficulty of any minigame is determined by two things: the difficulty level you choose, and the "rank." Rank is an invisible number that goes up slightly when you clear a game, and goes down when you fail. (The amount subtracted when you fail is somewhat more than the amount added when you pass.) Rank can only go up a certain amount; at its maximum, the difficulty of each minigame is the same as if you were playing with minimum rank on the NEXT difficulty level up from the one you picked. The exception is Master difficulty, which is always equivalent to Expert difficulty at 100% rank.

- The amount of points a target is worth is based on what difficulty you're playing and what the current rank is. At minimum rank on Easy, each hit is worth 50 points. On Master difficulty, all hits are worth 250 points.

- Therefore, assuming that you continue to clear all of the rounds you play, targets shot during later rounds will be worth more points than targets shot during earlier rounds (except on Master difficulty). So it is in your best interest to play higher-scoring rounds later in the game.

- The order in the game choices you get on the select screen are based on luck, of course, but here's how they work:
1. 19 out of the 20 games are shuffled when you start (the final stage is always "The Pyramid"). The first 3 in the "deck" are your first 3 choices.
2. The two games you DON'T choose will be there for you to select next round, unless a "swap" occurs.
Easy: up to 8 swaps will occur throughout the game. Medium: up to 6 swaps. Difficult: up to 4. Expert: up to 2. Master: no swaps (you must play all 20 games).
So here's what a "swap" is: there is a chance that one of the games you didn't select will be discarded, and replaced with another game. The chance of this decreases on higher difficulties, but it will generally happen at least once.
So, while target hits are worth more points later in the game, it may not be beneficial to try to wait before playing a particular minigame... because there is always a chance it will be replaced by a lower-scoring game before you actually play it.

- You'll get a 10,000-point bonus for each stage you clear. If you fail, you won't receive this bonus.

- If you hit a target marked with an "X", you will be penalized 5,000 points. Note that you can only lose up to what you would have earned in THAT particular stage; your "total score" is safe. So if you have 90,000 points when starting the stage, earn 6,000 and hit 4 "X" targets, you'll come away with the same 90,000 points you had when you started, and will have earned 0 during the stage.

- The accuracy bonus is 2,500 points if you hit 100%. If your accuracy was lower, you get the corresponding percentage. Example: 80% = 2,000 points.

- The time bonus is awarded based on the moment you cleared the stage (reached the quota).
The first moment of the stage (impossible!): 5,000 points.
The moment exactly half of the time is gone: 2,500 points.
The moment time runs out (also impossible): 0 points.

Not related to scoring but interesting anyway:
- Grading is not absolute based on total score; it is determined by "par" scores for the specific minigames you played, and the difficulty/rank you played them on. So it is possible for two players, playing the same difficulty, to get different grades with the same score.