The basic mouse controls of Tidalis are very simple. You either right-click or shift-click and drag through lines of blocks to turn their arrows in the desired direction. Then you left-click a block to make it emit a stream, which then will follow the arrows that you turned.
Except in Frenzy mode, you cannot emit streams from blocks unless there are no streams active on the board at that time; clicking frantically around the board won't help you at all.
In action-oriented modes, you can also click and hold on your Fast Forward and Ultra Fast Forward buttons to make blocks fall into your board more quickly. A single click on those controls will make just the immediately next column have some blocks fall.
In modes where there are items, you can simply left-click the item that is in your palette (one of the five slots to the right of your board), and then left-click the tile on either any game board where you would like the item to take effect (it doesn't have to be your own game board). If you have loaded an item into your cursor and then change your mind, just right-click or shift-click and your cursor will go back to normal.
In co-op brainteaser solving, every time your board gets a game over you can left-click the Revive (heart) button to restart your board while your brainteaser-solving partner continues uninterrupted.
The basic keyboard controls of Tidalis are very simple, and you can customize them via the Settings screen if the default keys are not comfortable for you.
You can move your cursor around with the arrow keys. If you hold the F key while moving, the arrows will turn in the direction you are moving. If you hold the V key while moving, arrows will turn in the opposite direction from which you are moving. Thus you can set up paths of arrows by starting at either the start or end of the desired path.
When you are ready to emit a stream from the block under your cursor, hit the G key, and that stream will then will follow the arrows that you turned.
Except in Frenzy mode, you cannot emit streams from blocks unless there are no streams active on the board at that time; moving frantically around the board and hitting the emit button won't help you at all.
In action-oriented modes, you can also hit the Fast Forward (Spacebar) and Ultra Fast Forward (Ctrl+Spacebar) keys to make blocks fall into your board more quickly. A single tap on those controls will make just the immediately next column have some blocks fall.
In modes where there are items, you can press the numbers 1-5 to load the corresponding item from your palette (one of the five slots to the right of your board). When there is an item loaded into your cursor, you can move back and forth between either board by pressing the Tab key, or by simply moving off the left and right of the boards. When you have selected a place to use your item, simply use the G key to use it. If you have loaded an item into your cursor and then change your mind, just press the same 1-5 key again that you used to load the item in the first place.
In co-op brainteaser solving, every time your board gets a game over you can press the R key to trigger the Revive button and thus restart your board while your brainteaser-solving partner continues uninterrupted.
Helpful Tips And Tricks
- If you are the only player at the current computer at the moment, you can use a mix of the keyboard and mouse controls to make yourself quicker than ever. The mouse cursor is generally faster for dragging and emissions, but you can save yourself a lot of time by triggering the Fast Forward functions via Spacebar or Ctrl+Spacebar. It can also be faster to load items via the 1-5 hotkeys.
- When you are using the keyboard, it is often most helpful to make your paths in reverse (V key). That way when you are at the end of your path, you are already in position to just hit the G key to emit a stream that will travel back along the path you just laid out.
- If you wish, you can make the simulation run much more slowly or quickly by using the + and - keys.
- When you are using the keyboard, you can change the direction of the block under the cursor immediately by using the WSAD keys. Simply press W to make the block point upwards immediately, etc. This can be a big time-saver for keyboard users.
- When you are using the keyboard, you can mark a block to later come back to. There are three marks: M, N, B. To later move a cursor back to one of those marks, use the corresponding keys L, K, J. For advanced players, this can add greatly to your speed on the keyboard.
- You can clear all marks by pressing Ctrl+M.
- When you are using the mouse, you'll notice that the first time you right-click a block of a new color, it highlights that block. This is to make it easier for you to find the starting point when setting up a huge chain.
- If you want to un-highlight a block, just right-click it again, or right-click a block of a different color to transfer the highlight to the new block.
- To turn this feature off, you can check the "Disable Auto Marking" button in the Settings screen.
- Once you have completed more than a couple of the adventure levels, the adventure map scrolls to the left or right. You can scroll the map using the left and right arrow keys, or by just moving the mouse cursor to either the left or right side of the screen.
- Don't forget that you can change the keyboard keys if you don't like the defaults! Just go under Settings, and then click the Key Bindings key.
- To pause the game at any time, just hit the Escape key or click the Pause button at the top of the screen. You can also get out of most editors via these.
- During network play, if you ever want to send chat messages to the other player, simply hit Enter, and it will pop up a chat box where you can send them a message. If you are actively playing the game, the game won't pause -- be careful of that! If you really need to chat, you should probably first pause the game by pressing escape.