UPDATE: Now with (spoilerific) screenshots after the break.
Since several people seemed to find The Triumph of Time pretty hard, I decided to give some pointers as to how to best play the game.
Let me describe the core mechanics of the game. As soon as you have built a pylon next to a star, it will extract particles from it at a fixed rate. The larger the star is, the more particles are extracted per time unit. Building several pylons next to a star will not increase this rate, the particles will just be randomly distributed over all pylons. The particles will then go on to more or less randomly distribute themselves along all barriers which extend from their current pylon.
At a fixed time interval (every two seconds, if I recall correctly), the cloud of antimatter will expand in every direction. It can only be blocked by having a barrier which is powered by particles in its way. However, for every grid cell along the barrier which the cloud tries to enter, one particle on this barrier will be destroyed; when all particles are destroyed, the barrier falls.
So here are some rules of thumb for successful play:
- Try to tap each star at your disposal as early as possible, especially the large ones.
- Try not to lose any stars to the cloud as that will severely cut your particle budget.
- Do not build any superfluous barriers within your territory. Every particle that swirls around on a barrier which is not at the frontier does not contribute to your defenses and is essentially useless. So, try to keep the paths which transport particles to the frontier as efficient and short as possible.
- Keep the frontier as small as possible. Every frontier tile (i.e., a cell on a barrier which delimits your territory from the cloud) will cost you a particle every two seconds, so minimize your surface. PRO TIP: It’s well known that the shape with the smallest ratio of circumference to area is a circle. It may help to keep your territory roughly circular.
- I’ve found that once a critical barrier has fallen, it’s often very difficult to recover. It’s better to stake out your territory on the conservative side rather than lose it all.
I hope this helps a bit. After the break (SPOILERS): screenshots on how to solve the first four levels.