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Duet (iOS) Finesse

Want to get an amazing score in the hit iPhone and iPad game Duet by Kumobius? (View on the App Store.) I can help. I love the game and have played a ton. I wasn't very good when I started, I've died thousands of times, but I'm now one of the best players (there's hope for everyone!). I am tied for first place in the competitive Total Finesse category. That puts me ahead of 409,613 other players as I first write this.

I'm also tied for first in Revolution and Quickening Finesse, and I have untied first place for Resilience Finesse (edit: FYI my current Resilience Finesse score of 36 is a bug, my real score is 50). I also have every achievement except for completing 100 daily challenges.

Finesse is the number of touches you use to complete the levels. The fewer the better. When you replay any level, it counts the touches you use in the top left corner, so you can see how you're doing. If beat the level when the counter hits 0, without getting into red territory, then you have perfected the level and a small green triangle appears for that level on the level selection screen.

Perfecting every level is a good start. But how do you get a really world class score? The secret is some levels can be completed with a better than perfect score. But how do you find them? It's a lot of work, but I'm going to help you out. Here is a list of all my better than perfect levels and the number of touches possible to save. This took a lot of work to create, which you won't have to do. Use my list and you can save time by not carefully analyzing levels where the "perfect" score really is the best possible. (But analyzing the levels is fun, so it's up to you!)

Denial VI +2
Anger IV +1
Bargaining III +1
Bargaining IV +1
Bargaining V +1
Bargaining VI +1
Hope I +1 (Thanks AWPrince)
Hope III +2
Hope IV +4 (Had +3, several people told me +4, thanks)
Hope V +1 (Thanks Adrian Ensan)
Acceptance IV +1
Acceptance VI +1
Acceptance VIII +1
Acceptance IX +1

If you get every level perfect and then match these scores for better than perfect results, you will achieve a total finesse score of 384, pass hundreds of thousands of other players and reach the very tip top of the leaderboard.

Epilogue Finesse:

July 31, 2014 brought Duet version 2.0 with 48 new Epilogue levels with their own finesse leaderboard. I scored 311 right after release which was first place by a large lead. Want to see me learning the game for the first time? I've got videos with commentary:

Epilogue patch day part 1 video
Epilogue patch day part 2 video
(Two parts because Windows crashed.)

My current score is 260. I was the first player to get every level perfect, which I did in under 24 hours from release.

Here are the Epilogue Finesse tricks found so far:

Trust VI +1 (Thanks Keiran)
Control VI +1 (Thanks Keiran)
Initiative V +1 (Thanks Keiran. VERY HARD)
Identity VI +1 (Thanks Keiran. left-touch-death, spin through first arrow)
Intimacy VII + 1 (Thanks Adrian Ensan)
Intimacy VIII +2 (Thanks Keiran for the +2)
Intimacy IX +2
Integrity III +1 (2 spike tricks then very hard spin around block and end at glide through 5th spike angle. VERY HARD)
Integrity IV +3 (left-touch-death, see below)
Integrity V +2 (Thanks Keiran for the +2)
Integrity VI +1
Integrity VII +2 (Thanks Keiran for the +2)
Integrity XI +1 (perfect angle can go between last 4 squares)

Duet's Three Positionings: To do all the tricks you have to understand a bug in the game. When you die, you will start the level in a slightly different position depending on whether you were holding left, right, or nothing. When you first enter a level, you will begin with right-death positioning. The slight change in positioning changes which tricks are possible. The change is visible if you watch the animation very closely at the end of the rewind after a death. It's easier to see with a left-death. With a right-death, there is a tiny stutter that's barely visible.

Some levels require you intentionally die while holding the right direction before you can do all the finesse tricks. Note that you have to do this on every other life, because the effect only controls your next life.

The best level to test the death positioning physics on is Revolution 1. If you do a left-death, you can then do two right edge spinners with one touch on your next life. If you do a right-death, you can then do two left edge spinners with one touch on your next life.

This bug was very hard to find and understand, but is easy to use. Try to appreciate the work that went into it, lol. Although a specific death is only required on a couple levels, it makes a number of other levels a little bit easier. If you're having trouble with any level, try right and left touch deaths and see if either one helps. For example, I believe Integrity III might be easier with a right-touch death.

Videos: I also made some videos to show tricks:

Understanding II Perfect Finesse Video
Integrity VII Finesse Trick Video
Integrity VIII Finesse Trick Video

If you get everything perfect, you'll score 279 finesse. Add these tricks to reach 260 Epilogue Finesse.

And here's a general tip: for the two moving small dots, or the two spike pieces that move together or apart, you can go through infinitely many in a row in one touch, if they are all lined up at the same angle. If they are straight up-and-down vertical, you just have to place your top ball at around 1:30 or 10:30 on the clock and then don't move. This works even if you get both different types of small dots (the ones that are together or apart when you pass them).

The concept of how to get the right angle before these blocks, and then go through them without moving, is really important for getting good finesse on the early levels which introduce those types of blocks. It's also needed on more complicated levels. But just to get started and do early levels, you need to know this!

My endless score is currently 29,100 (in the top 25). Practice, practice, practice!

Secret Bonus Level: Did you know Duet has a secret level? It's called "Transcendence S", and it's like a cross between Transcendence and Quickening. It's hard, but tons of fun. To play Transcendence S, beat Transcendence III without dying. (If you die, you can exit out of the level and restart it.)

To further help your Duet leaderboard aspirations, I've also decided to share my scores and notes about the other finesse categories. This will help you understand what a good score on each level is, where you can improve, and the odds of getting really good level layouts on the randomized levels. All of the B-side levels are randomized except for Resilience III. The numbers in parentheses are the number of touches the level considers "perfect", and a +6 would mean I saved 6 touches better than "perfect".

revolution score: 14, untied first place
revolution 1 ( 7) +3 (cannot improve)
revolution 2 ( 7) +3 (cannot improve)
revolution 3 (13) +7 (cannot improve. note +7 requires estimated 1/359 odds layout)

The trick to Revolution is to do two spinners at a time with one touch. This requires both spinners to go the same direction. Think of direction as which thumb you press to spin around it. If both spinners use the same thumb, then they are the same direction, and you can do two of them with one spin. This is easiest when both spinners are in the middle. If one spinner is in the middle and one on the edge, it still works but the timing is more exact. If both spinners are on the edge, then it's impossible to do those two spinners together with one touch.

Edit: Getting above +0 on revolution 1 requires using a bug. See the information above about killing yourself while holding left or right.

quickening part 1 score: 3, first place
quickening 1 (7) +6 (cannot improve)
quickening 2 (7) +6 (cannot improve)
quickening 3 (7) +6 (cannot improve)
quickening part 2 score: 3, first place
quickening 4 (7) +6 (cannot improve)
quickening 5 (7) +6 (cannot improve)
quickening 6 (7) +6 (cannot improve)
Note: Estimated 1/50 chance for 1 touch quickening layouts
Edit: Adrian Ensan pointed out that you might be able to get a level with all middle blocks for some quickenings and get a 0 touch (+7) result.

I recommend playing through all the quickening levels in a row until you have the no death achievement, don't die very often, and get several one-touch levels completed. Doing it that way is fun and good practice. Then to finish things up at the end, you can play individual levels and reset the moment you're forced to use a second touch.

resilience score: 50
resilience 1 (25) +13 (good score, better is possible)
resilience 2 (35) +20 (good score, better is possible)
resilience 3 (25) +2 (This non-random level was formerly "Acceptance VI" in older versions of Duet, and was the hardest A-side level which blocked many players from finishing the game)

transcendence score: 14
transcendence 1 (12) +11 (cannot improve)
transcendence 2 (25) +21 (good score, better is possible)
transcendence 3 (50) +41 (good score, better is possible)

Do you know somewhere to save finesse that I missed? Do you have a better score than me in anything Duet related? Got any good strategies? Post in the comments below.

Elliot Temple on April 28, 2014

Comments (55)

Thanks!

This is awesome! Thanks for sharing. Hope to be joining you at the top of the finesse leaderboard shortly.

Sam at 9:26 AM on April 29, 2014 | #2293

transcendence 2.

A score can be reduced to 2 by the transcendence 2.

shuichi watanabe at 7:01 PM on April 30, 2014 | #2294
I do not understand. I already reduced my score by 20 on the B-side level "transcendence 2". Did you mean a different level?

Elliot Temple at 7:13 PM on April 30, 2014 | #2295

travscendence 2

It is the transcendence 2 of B level.
I cleared the transcendence 2 by +23.
Since it is right, the sum total score of transcendence is 1+2+11=14.
Please see even in a game center.
M?name is Shuichi Watanabe

shuichi watanabe at 7:32 PM on April 30, 2014 | #2296
OK I understand.

The B-side levels are random. I have to get lucky to get a good layout. I know better scores are possible on random levels, I just didn't get as lucky as you yet.

Elliot Temple at 7:44 PM on April 30, 2014 | #2297

thank you

The score was able to be reduced to 386, thanks to you.
Thank you very much!

shuichi watanabe at 1:38 AM on May 1, 2014 | #2298

I got to Transcendence S too!

I got to transcendence S just now. I definitely did not beat all three transcendence levels in a row without hitting a wall. I did beat the third one though on my first attempt without hitting a wall. I just opened the game for the first time today, went straight to the third level (which I had not beaten yet) and beat it on my first try miraculously. I tried transcendence S a few times and shut the app, not realizing that I couldn't select that stage again. Bummer. Wish I had kept playing it. I wonder what happens when you beat it...

Matt at 5:31 PM on May 5, 2014 | #2300

WHY

It was not reflected although reduced by one by the bargaining 4.

shuichi watanabe at 2:23 PM on May 13, 2014 | #2301
Yes. Bargaining IV can be one touch saved in the new 1.2.1 patch. The total touches allowed was changed from 9 to 10. The total touches you need to use stayed at 9, like in the old 1.0.4 patch. I edited my post to add this.

Elliot Temple at 2:36 PM on May 13, 2014 | #2302
What's up with the new top guy having 373?

Anonymous at 10:59 PM on July 20, 2014 | #2320
the 373 guy either cheated or there was a bug.

Elliot at 11:07 PM on July 20, 2014 | #2321

384?

Looks like a couple of people have 384 on the finesse leaderboard now. Anyone know where to save the other touch?

bobshanc at 8:37 AM on July 21, 2014 | #2322
Not sure, after this guide I was down to 285 instead of 286, which means I already got *something* better when trying it alone. Dunno where. Looking for the second missing touch to drop down to 284 still.

Keiran at 10:28 PM on July 21, 2014 | #2323
Oh. Huh. Actually it says up top now that 284 is possible with a trick on Hope IV. Didn't see the update. Off to chase the dream!

Keiran at 10:30 PM on July 21, 2014 | #2324
384 the dream achieved! There's two different ways to handle the first three spinners to +3 Hope IV, but only one to +4 it.

The first spinner has to come with the same left touch that handles the two previous left bars.
The second spinner has to be taken with the same touch that exits the preceding long-short bar.
Here's the hard part, which I initially discarded as impossible when hunting for the +3. You have to end the touch that takes the second spinner at the last possible frame, and start the touch that takes the third spinner at the last possible frame.
If you get this *perfect*, you can continue the touch around the middle platform and the right square. Follow up by taking the left square and final spinner with one touch, and the final bars are easy-peasy.

This is *hard*. I figured out what to do fairly fast, and it took about two hours of actual play after that, during which I only made the frame-perfect spin 6 times. I dropped the 4th and 5th successes out of sheer shock at having made it past the middle block.

Keiran at 9:53 AM on July 22, 2014 | #2326
MORE DUET! There goes this week's free time...

Keiran at 9:32 PM on July 30, 2014 | #2328
I'm streaming my play through the update right now. Check my archives if you miss it! http://www.twitch.tv/curi42

Elliot at 10:10 PM on July 30, 2014 | #2329
Trust VI can be +1, if you take the first set of square blocks with a perfect line that floats through them and misses the middle block following. This maneuver was not possible in the basic levels, but keep an eye out for it in epilogue. It's hard, but not as hard as Hope IV.

Keiran at 11:12 PM on July 30, 2014 | #2330
Here's my first play session in the new patch. I get to 311 Epilogue finesse.

http://www.twitch.tv/curi42/c/4787658
http://www.twitch.tv/curi42/c/4787667

(2 parts because windows crashed)

Elliot (curi) at 2:19 AM on July 31, 2014 | #2331
Control VI can be +1 if you come out of the first spinner exactly vertical, which lets you float by both of the follow-up arrow blocks.

Keiran at 2:45 AM on July 31, 2014 | #2332
+1 on Intimacy VIII

I'll start editing the main post and adding patch info.

Elliot (curi) at 9:09 AM on July 31, 2014 | #2333
I thought this might be helpful to people. It's my current progress. It gives you some idea of what's hard or easy, what to leave for later or do now, and what it takes to score 306. This is roughly after 3 passes through the levels.

(A couple of my scores were real tough to get, but on most levels I moved on if it seemed too hard. The tough scores I remember offhand are Trust VI, Control V and Intimacy VIII).

Epilogue: 306

Trust VI +1 (+1 Keiran)

Understanding V -2
Understanding VI -2

Control VI -2 (+1 Keiran)

Identity V (maybe +1?)
Identity VI -1

Initiative II (maybe +1?)
Initiative V -1

Intimacy VI -3
Intimacy VII -2
Intimacy VIII +1
Intimacy IX -1

Integrity I (maybe +1?)
Integrity II -1
Integrity III -1
Integrity IV -2
Integrity V -1
Integrity VI -1
Integrity VII -2
Integrity VIII -4
Integrity IX -3

Elliot (curi) at 10:23 AM on July 31, 2014 | #2334
On Integrity VII, on the third touch, you can left thumb spin just past the middle block and then make it past the square on the same touch.

Elliot (curi) at 11:19 AM on July 31, 2014 | #2335
Found a finesse trick on Integrity VIII. First touch go left so the top ball gets past the flat block on the right side of screen. Then spin right immediately past that flat block. If you time it just right, you can get your bottom ball all the way around and past the first square.

Based on the difficulty of this and the Integrity VII trick, I'm very confident they allow +1. But I have not even gotten +0 on these levels yet (they're at the end, they're tough). I'll only update the main blog post when a +1 is actually achieved.

Elliot (curi) at 12:09 PM on July 31, 2014 | #2336
Integrity V: on third touch end straight through squares, then you can get around spinner on 4th touch

I got +0 doing this, don't know if there was another trick later i missed, moving on for now, figured this tip would help people though.

Elliot (curi) at 1:21 PM on July 31, 2014 | #2337
Keiran can you imessage me at [email protected]? i have a question for you. thanks

other top players feel free to message me too.

Elliot (curi) at 3:45 PM on July 31, 2014 | #2338
I'm pretty sure Integrity III can +1 but it's HARD. Just failed badly for 40min. Not giving any hints for now.

Elliot (curi) at 10:16 PM on July 31, 2014 | #2344
Initiative V can be +1, but you need a difficult (apparently intended? I couldn't get to 0 without it... Maaaybe there's a +2) spin that goes around the pair of left squares *and* lines you up to go through the following arrow block. You need to go through the arrow block so that the top sphere barely clears the next block moving in from the left. The left touch that spins you around the moving left block then has to come at the last second, letting you continue the spin around the middle *square* block and the left square that follows it.

Keiran at 10:18 PM on July 31, 2014 | #2345
Intimacy VIII can be +2. First touch should take care of the initial pair of blocks and line you up to slide by the first square block. This can be done such that the following two minipairs also slide by you. If they don't, you need to get your positioning slightly closer to vertical.

After this, another square block comes at you, use your second touch to spin around the block and hold it until you pass the first arrow block. The third touch should rotate you around the following left bar, positioning you to glide past the second arrow block without moving. The rest of the level is finished normally.

Keiran at 11:41 PM on August 1, 2014 | #2346
Integrity V can be +2.

First three touches are obvious. Stop your third touch in position to glide between the square blocks, letting the fourth touch take the first spinner. Use your fifth touch to take both the second spinner and the short-long block following it. Use touch 6 to line yourself up to glide between the next set of square blocks, angling it so that after it comes out of the square blocks it also passes through the first arrow block. Touch 7 should spin you through the long-short block immediately following, with touch 8 being a left spin around the middle block as you exit the long-short.

Keiran at 1:14 AM on August 2, 2014 | #2347
Integrity VII can be +2.

On the first long-short block, do a left spin as soon as you can safely avoid the short part, lining up to slide through the square blocks following.

On the third (and final) long-short block, you can exit it such that you float safely past the square block that comes through the middle of the spheres.

The rest should be pretty straightforward.

Keiran at 11:08 PM on August 3, 2014 | #2350

Stuck at 264

What other levels have you found the tricks in to get down to 260? I tried to find the extra tricks but havnt had any luck.

Timster46 at 6:44 AM on August 8, 2014 | #2351
updated post with full info including the bug i found that's necessary for some of the tricks!

Elliot (curi) at 1:36 PM on August 8, 2014 | #2352
For the +3 on Integrity IV, the part requiring a left touch death is near the start. Your fourth touch, just past the first square block, should end such that it slides through the 3rd and 4th square blocks, rather than using a 5th touch to line it up. Again, it can only be done if you were holding left (and keep holding it for the first second of the rewind) the last time you died.

Elliot spent a few hours working out how to duplicate this, before figuring out exactly what was going on. Thanks to his efforts, we now have an explanation for the strange behavior of Revolution I, and new methods for hunting tricks.

Keiran at 1:59 PM on August 8, 2014 | #2353
FYI you can test exactly how long you have to hold left when you die by watching the animation after the rewind. If I remember right, you can let go during the short pause when you die, before the rewind actually starts.

Elliot (curi) at 2:02 PM on August 8, 2014 | #2354

Identity Vi

After and hour of silly mistakes I've finally beaten that level with +1. I found I kept holding left til the last second before restart. I cleared that first arrow every one in 5 goes consistently. Then kept stuffing up the rest of the bloody level lol.

Timster46 at 5:23 PM on August 8, 2014 | #2355

Video for integrity iv

Curi you will have to make a video of integrity iv also. I can get +2 on it quite easy but can't see how to get the +3.

Timster46 at 3:43 AM on August 9, 2014 | #2356

Elliot (curi) at 12:31 PM on August 9, 2014 | #2357

Thanks

Yes that video shows the trick well :). I had that part down pat. It was the second trick in that level I think is harder. Putting together the trick and 5th and 6th block exit to get +3 was not easy. It's up there with hope iv for hard I think. But glad I did and have improved to 260 overall. Thanks for the help.

Timster46 at 6:43 PM on August 9, 2014 | #2358

Doing it all on Android.

First of all, thank you guys for this. I am a bit late to find out this game exists.

So, all the above tricks apply on the android version too, except for integrity V, but fortunately, its still possible to get +2 in it.

First 3 touches as usual ending in a slide through between coming pair of blocks. 4th takes the first spinner, 5th takes the second spinner as well as partially clears the next long block coming in from right. 6th touch obvious. 7th to line up between the next pair of blocks. And 8th to swing round the next spinner and the next block coming from right stopping in time to clear the stage.

7th touch is crucial. You don't want to line up perfectly vertical as it won't work. Keep the top dot a little to the right.

Skr47ch at 10:44 PM on November 18, 2014 | #2408

Bargaining IV

My finesse is stuck at 285 because I cannot for the life of me figure out how to +1 bargaining IV. If someone could make a video or tell me the trick to this level that would be greatly appreciated

Sir Hobbes at 9:08 AM on February 25, 2015 | #2416

RE: Bargaining IV

In order to get +1 on Bargaining IV, you must rotate clockwise around the last spinner.

XElite at 8:46 PM on February 26, 2015 | #2418
Thanks! I can't believe I didn't notice that sooner

Sir Hobbes at 10:15 PM on February 26, 2015 | #2419

encore

So Curi, what's the secret to to getting 143 in encore

Sir Hobbes at 8:56 AM on March 10, 2015 | #2427
Play in the beta test when the levels were different. :(

It was a total accident too, I just played through each level once without trying for finesse.

curi at 11:33 AM on March 10, 2015 | #2428
Well, if anyone was wondering what happens when you beat transcendence S without dying the answer is disappointment.

Sir Hobbes at 8:39 AM on April 14, 2015 | #2446

Superscore

Add up the finesse scores from all of Duet's leaderboards to get your Superscore! Mine is 868. Does anyone else think that that kumobious should add an official Superscore leaderboard?

Sir Hobbes at 10:04 PM on April 28, 2015 | #2464
384+260+144+14+47+3+3+13=868

Sir Hobbes at 10:18 PM on April 28, 2015 | #2465

Just 4 left

currently at 388 in the GC leaderboard waving hello to all of you.... Need help with hope 3,4 and acceptance 8.

S.Fire'n'Ice at 12:10 AM on June 10, 2015 | #2511

Update

just 1 left now (hope IV for +4).... Though I believe that +3 may be possible in hope III. I haven't managed it yet though. On the first(the one after the square blocks, it also has another set of square blocks after it) spinner, it may be possible to exit it such that u can position it for the next set of square blocks properly.... This however requires perfect timing (since you have to spin it the other way round completely, and timing it is hard and has to be on last frame possible) that can get you a +3 maybe

S.Fire'n'Ice at 6:45 AM on June 10, 2015 | #2512
hey guys, one of the top duet players made a new iOS game which is similar to duet.

it's called Block Havoc. really hard and fun.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/block-havoc/id1116398544?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

http://forums.toucharcade.com/showthread.php?t=288972

curi at 6:58 PM on June 12, 2016 | #5873
there's an android version too, u can get the link on the touch arcade page which also has a cool video trailer

Anonymous at 7:00 PM on June 12, 2016 | #5874
Congrats, XElite. I find Elliot's videos more interesting as he shows failure and progress through persistence, not just when he finally succeeds.

Anonymous at 3:08 AM on November 23, 2016 | #7702

What do you think?

(This is a free speech zone!)