Timberman is a fast-paced little arcade game for iOS and Android, and like you, we’re as addicted as all get-out. After sinking an ungodly number of hours into it, we feel like we now have the know-how to help you get a leg up in your tree-chopping ways. Here are 5 tips to help you topple your friends’ high scores.

1. Find Your Rhythm

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While it’s not a rhythm game, you’re going to find that keeping a beat is the best way to get in the groove with Timberman. If you’re keeping a beat you’ll be able to naturally identify how many more taps until the next obstacle comes up (with the help of visual cues). But when we say keep a beat, we don’t mean a pleasant pop ditty from Herman’s Hermits — we’re talking The Ramones played at 45 RPM, because above all else…

2. Speed Matters

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At first glance you might think “pfft! Timberman is so EASY!” as you take your time, slowly but surely avoiding every branch that comes your way. But that timer? It’s ticking down — and it only gets refilled with MORE CHOPPING. Imagine the timer like a wood-fueled steam engine. The faster you chop, the more fuel you need (so the faster you’d better chop). So long as you follow tip #1, you’ll find that you’re able to increase your speed pretty quickly with a little practice.

3. Keep Track of the Branches

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To keep playing you need to avoid the branches — that much is obvious after your first play. But keeping track of more than just the next branch that might kill you will really help you maximize your speed. If there are no branches in your column visible, hammer that screen with your thumb as fast as you can until it changes.  If you’re about to switch columns, see if you can time out how many openings you have before you have to switch back. Stuff like this will really help lead you back to tip #1, which is ultimately what this game is all about.

4. Have a Friend to Compete With

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Did Timberman take up a fair bit of my Friday night? Absolutely. But it wasn’t until I posted my score on Twitter that I found myself locked into a endless battle with @perpetualgeek all weekend. Trying to unseat his best has kept me glued to my phone (and loving every minute of it).

 

5. You Can Unlock Costumes With Persistence If You Don’t Have Skill

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Still suck at Timberman after following our other tips? Don’t worry — a lot of the costumes can be unlocked just by trying your best… a lot. In addition to unlocking costumes with a high score, you can also net some new threads by reaching a cumulative total of wood chopped. The only exception to this are a handful of characters that you’ll unlock by reaching a certain score X number of times in a row.