Nova Defender

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We rate this game somewhat hard.
(This is our rating, not Neopets')

NP Ratio: 100.00
100000 pts :: 1000 NP


In Nova Defender, you play a Nova battling against the dark forces of MechaNova. Along the way, you upgrade your powers and battle waves of enemies until you meet MechaNova himself on Level 10. Do you think you have what it takes to save Neopia?

Controls and Instructions

In Nova Defender you control your Nova using your mouse. Your cursor becomes your Nova on the game screen and you fire shots out from your Nova using your arrow keys, with the direction of your shot corresponding with the direction of the pressed key. You can also double click when your shield bar is full to activate it and hit your spacebar to use the Ultranova once you have bought it.

The bottom of the game screen is filled with important information. At the bottom left of the game screen, there are two bars. The red one is your health bar which decreases every time you touch an enemy or are hit by a shot. You lose a life when your health is damaged three times within the same level. The green bar is the shield bar and it fills up by itself in about 25 seconds. Once it's full, click anywhere to activate your shield, which will last for 7 seconds. The bottom right shows (in white) how much "time" you have left by showing you how many more enemies you need to defeat to complete the level. The 3 yellow stars underneath show how many lives you have left. When you use up your lives, the game ends.

Gems are one of the most important things in the game because they give you points and are used as "currency" to purchase upgrades. When you destroy an evil Nova, they leave behind a gem. Collecting these gives you gem points which you will use between levels to purchase upgrades. You need to be aware. Each gem is only on screen for a limited amount of time. Along with the regular blue gems, there is also a rare special gem, the red gem, which appears randomly in the center of the screen. It awards more points than the blue gem, but will not stay on the screen as long. The table below explains you effects of each gem :

Gem Effect

Blue Gem
The blue gem is the standard gem obtained by destroying an enemy. It will give you 140 Gem Points on Easy, 110 on Medium, and 70 on Hard.

Red Gem
The Red Gem is special. Not only does it give out double Gem Points but it creates a shield of light around you for 2 seconds and you shoot in every direction during that time.

Gem Count
This is your gem count. In between levels, this will be in the top left while during the battle, it appears on the bottom left.

After completing a level, you have the chance to upgrade your shot using gem points. I recommend upgrading from cheapest to most expensive, excluding Ultranova. The first upgrade allows you to fire 3 shots at a time. The second upgrade allows you to fire 5 shots at a time. The third upgrade increases your shield length by 5 seconds. The forth upgrade allows your center shot to destroy the Mechanical Novas with one hit. The last upgrade allows you to shoot from the front AND the back. The table below shows you the recommanded weapon upgrades, their cost, and their effects.

Upgrade Information
1st Upgrade

3-Way Shot
3000 Gem Points
Creates a small fan of 3 "bullets". Great improvement from the single shot.
2nd Upgrade

Wide Shot
8000 Gem Points
Fires at angles, just outside of the 3-Way shot. It basically increases the size of the "Shot Fan."
3rd Upgrade

Cannon Shot
10000 Gem Points
Makes your middle shot more powerful, allowing it to shoot through multiple enemies.
4th Upgrade

Back Shot
15000 Gem Points
Shoots a single shot out of your back at the enemies behind you.
5th Upgrade

Shield Bonus
9000 Gem Points
Extends the length of your shield by 5 seconds, letting you blast through enemies for longer. Great for later levels.

2500 Gem Points
Despite the Ultranova's effect of destroying all enemies on the field, it only has 1 use. In other words, it prevents you from getting the other upgrades because you must repurchase it every level and it can only be used once. To activate it, you press the space bar. Great for later levels, but as it can only be used once per level, make sure you only use it when you need it most.

Evil Novas You Will Encounter

As you reach higher levels, you will begin to encounter different enemy Novas. The table below shows you the different types of enemy Novas, when you will encounter them, and a little about them so you know what to expect when they first appear.

Nova Information

Light Nova
Level: 1
Light Novas will follow you around the playing screen. If they touch you, you lose health.

Mechanical Nova
Level: 2
Mechanical Novas will follow you around the playing screen and fire shots at you. If they touch you, you lose health. If their shots hit you, you lose health. Slower than Light Novas.

Fire Nova
Level: 3
Fire Novas will follow you around the playing screen and fire shots at you. Their shots also fire you around once they're fired. They move faster than Mechanical Novas. You cannot touch them or get hit by their shots.

Friendly Nova
Level: 4
This is not an enemy Nova. Your task in this level is to protect this Nova and yourself. Arrows will be shot at the Friendly Nova by your enemies. Take out the arrows and the enemies to remain safe.

Attack Nova
Level: 5
Moves in its own path. You don't have to worry about it following you, but the Attack Nova leaves a trail of red explosives. Running over these will decrease your health.

Pulsar Nova
Level: 6
Moves in its own path while firing shots towards the center of the screen.

Dark Nova
Level: 7
This Nova is hard to destroy because you can only damage it as it's getting ready to fire.

Super Nova
Level: 8
Very large Novas that can fire multiple simultaneous shots at you.

Ultra Nova
Level: 9
Very large Novas that can fire multiple simultaneous shots at you in a very strange pattern.

Level: 10
The Boss. Will send out huge, long patterns of shots at you.

Tips and Hints

Remember to play on Hard for the highest score possible and that collecting gems quickly and consecutively will award more points.

The enemies on each level consist of any enemies from the previous levels as well as new enemies for the current level with the exception of Level 10 where you will encounter MechaNova.

Below, you will find a list of each of the levels, the number of enemies you must defeat to advance and the new Novas that will appear in the level. Below the level summary, you will some some tips to help you get the most points from the level and prepare for the next levels.

  • Level 1 - Destroy 30 Enemies to advance. Light Novas appear.
    • Round up a group of 6 enemies before shooting, collect gems as fast as possible. This will give you more points.
    • Continue to allow multiple enemies to build up before defeating and collecting gems.
    • Once you shoot 29/30, group them in a small region and get into the center of them (lose one-third health) and then shield blast all of them for more points
    • Do not buy any upgrades yet.
  • Level 2 - Destroy 40 Enemies. Mechanical Novas appear.
    • Round up a group of 9 enemies before shooting.
    • If the amount of Metal Novas becomes overwhelming, begin shooting earlier.
    • Wait for the Red Bonus Gem to appear before attacking.
    • Shoot constantly after this and collect gems as quickly as possible.
    • Purchase the 3-way shot upgrade after this level.
  • Level 3 - Survive for 1:15. Fire Novas appear.
    • Constantly shoot your enemies and collect gems until your shield is available for use.
    • Activate your shield and round up as many enemies on the screen as you can before your shield disappears. Destroy all enemies on screen and collect their gems.
    • Once the Red Bonus Gem appears, destroy and collect.
    • Do not beat the level the first time you play it! This enables you to replay while keeping your points and collect everything again.
    • Purchase the 2-Way shot upgrade.
    • Repeat, making sure to lose a second time.
    • On your 3rd try, beat the level.
    • Purchase the Cannon Shot upgrade.
  • Level 4 - Survive for 1:15 while protecting Friendly Nova. No new enemies appear.
    • Destroy all enemies and projectiles, collect all the gems you can.
    • Purchase the Back Shot upgrade.
    • Purchase the Ultranova upgrade.
  • Level 5 - Survive for 1:15. Attack Novas appear.
    • Destroy all enemies and collect all gems until your shield is ready.
    • Once the shield is ready, allow enemies to build up on the screen, destroying them and collecting their gems consecutively.
    • Grab and use the Red Bonus Gem when available.
    • Purchase the Shield upgrade.
  • Level 6 - Destroy 100 Enemies. Pulsar Novas appear.
    • Destroy all enemies and collect all gems until your shield is ready, or red gem is available.
    • Use the Red Gem as normal.
    • Once again, activate the shield and wait for enemies to build up on the screen. Defeat and collect all gems.
    • Once beating this level, continueusing these strategies until level 10.
  • Level 7 - Destroy 150 Enemies. Dark Novas appear.
  • Level 8 - Survive for 1:15. Super Novas appear.
  • Level 9 - Destroy 140 Enemies, Ultra Novas - Always Shooting, only destroyed when you are in the shield or activate UltraNova.
  • Level 10 - Defeat MechaNova. No other enemies appear on this level.

Other Tips

  • Super and Ultra Novas can only be destroyed by shield or UltraNova upgrade.
  • Hard gets you the most points, but easy the most gems.
  • Hold down your mouse while moving to shoot in the same direction.
  • Each gem gives you additional score points, consecutive collection of gems gives you more.

Friendly Nova

Ah, Friendly Nova the UltraNova. In level 4, poor Friendly Nova has wandered into the battlefield. Your job? Protect him for a minute and 15 seconds. In this round, the Evil Nova shoots "Shield Piercing Lasers," little green strips that have the point end at the edge of the screen. You must destroy these, along with the Novas, with your shot. Also the Shield Piercing Lasers can hit you and will cause damage. Despite the name, these cannot damage you while your shield is activated.


While fun, Nova Defender is somewhat of a hard game. Without knowing how to beat level 10, it can be hard to get a high score. Practice makes perfect, especially in the case of this game so that you can adapt to going without power-ups longer for hard.

Written by Ian
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