If the arcade owner has set the "Practice" dip switch to "On", the game will begin upon "Stage 0" once you have inserted your coin and pushed the start button. This is a special "practice stage" which has no Mushlins or enemies in it whatsoever, and gives you the opportunity to earn 2000 points by uncovering the position of a hidden treasure chest (which will always be flashing and located directly to the left of Libble) and surrounding it in a loop once you have done so before the game starts properly. The text "GOOD! GOOD LUCK!" will then appear at the bottom of the screen before the game proceeds to Stage 1. However, if you do not manage to uncover this chest before the timer runs out, you will not receive the 2000-point bonus.
Watch the timer
The edge of the playfield acts as a timer in this game. It can be refilled by surrounding Mushlins, other enemies and plants in loops - and if you manage to fill it up completely, Libble and Rabble will become invulnerable to enemy contact for the rest of the current stage (this is indicated by a change in music and a radioactive glow appearing around the arrows). However, they are still vulnerable to the minor nuisances of the Shears cutting their line and the Changers swapping their positions over. Any remaining time will also be awarded to you as bonus points after clearing the stage. However, if the timer should run out at any point in the game (it does not automatically refill at the start of a new stage), it will cost Libble and Rabble a life.
Enter the bonus stage
For some reason, you will not be able to enter your name on the high score table unless you enter at least one of the bonus stages, so you should try to enter the first one in either of the first two stages just so you can. The position of the hidden treasure chest is always flashing in the first stage, so when you uncover it, try to surround as many of the Topcups as you can when they come out. On the second stage, the hidden treasure chest's position (which from that point onwards, is randomly-generated) is only visible for a few seconds, so if you quickly memorize its position before it disappears, you can also surround any remaining Topcups that come out in order to complete the bonus word. There are six bonus words in the arcades.
Bonus stage strategies
As soon as any bonus word has been completed, the game goes into a bonus stage and any Mushlins remaining on the screen will automatically disappear. The positions of six hidden treasure chests will be shown on the screen for a few seconds, so you have to memorize as many of them as possible (if you are using MAME to play the game, you may wish to use F12 to save a snapshot of them) if you want a chance of gaining maximum points. Once they disappear, the timer will start, giving you approximately 20 seconds to uncover as many treasure chests as you can. The points you'll earn during the stage will be awarded to you after the timer has run out, and the maximum point value you can earn from any bonus stage is 600000.