Oodlegobs Preceded by Test Subject Arena 2 Followed by Cheese Dreams: New Moon

Test Subject Arena 2 is an arena shooter game that was released on October 16th 2013. It was first announced by Nitrome on August 14th 2013. The game is a sequel to Test Subject Arena, and is the second spin off in the Test Subject series. This game, on release, was Nitrome Touchy compatible for up to four people and features a new single player mode.


Player 1/2
W key / Up - Jump, crouch (as Rex209 Professor or Rex209 Blue on a ceiling), move up (menus)
A key / Left - Move left (gameplay/menus)
D key / Right - Move right (gameplay/menus)
S key / Down - Crouch, drop down (as Rex209 Professor or Rex209 Blue on a ceiling), move down (menus)
Q key / Question key - Use weapon, use melee attack (when near another player), select character (on character selection screen)
Space - Select (menus)

Player 3/4 (Nitrome Touchy only)
D-pad - Move
Button one - Jump
Button two - Shoot


Single-player mode

Upon selecting one character from the character selection screen and continuing (pressing the Right), the player is taken to a custom made stage for that player, with the objective of destroying forty targets in fifteen seconds. Two types of targets are encountered in these levels: a regular target and a key card. Regular targets (referred to here as just targets) are destroyed with a single bullet from the player, or a melee attack, and add two seconds to the player's time.

The second type of targets are key cards, which appear uncommonly and cannot be destroyed, but still have to be eliminated. In order to be eliminated, the player has to go up to them and physically touch them. Although they take up more time to destroy (they are unable to be destroyed from a distance, unlike regular targets), they add five seconds to the player's timer. As soon as the level starts, a target is placed at a certain point of the level, which the player has to eliminate. As soon as it is eliminated, another target will pop up in other part of the level.

Nitrome has stated that they made single player levels "fairly hard".[1]

If the player manages to destroy all the targets, an avatar with a picture corresponding to the character played with will be awarded.

General strategies

  • Fired projectiles (bullets) move faster than the player, and also will go into and out of teleporters. With this in mind, the player should shoot projectiles at far away targets that they can hit, instead of walking close to the target and shooting it.
  • If the player is a projectile shooting character, they should shoot at far away targets instead of going close up to them. If they do this, while the bullet is heading towards the destructible target, the player should head to where the next target will be.
  • The player should only focus on destroying the targets and not pay attention to the remaining time they have left or how many targets hey have left to destroy.

Multi-player mode

Two players

In two player multiplayer mode, the objective of each level is to deplete the opposing player of all their points. Each level has multiple spawn points, chosen at random for the player to spawn. Levels are made up of an infinite amount of rounds. At the start of each round, the two combatants are spawned with the objective to kill the other. Players take one hit to kill, and upon one player dying, that player loses two points while the opposing player gains two points, and the round ends.

Once a round ends, another round commences, and the two players are assigned to different spawn points. This continues on until one player has lost all of their points. In order for a round to end, only one player has to die, and this death does not have to have been done by the opposing player; the player can kill him/herself by shooting him/herself with their own projectile, or by being killed by the The Machine (in the levels where it appears).

Two player multiplayer mode can either be played with both players using a computer's keyboard, both using Nitrome Touchy, or one using a keyboard while one uses Nitrome Touchy.

Three/four players

The only difference three/four player multiplayer has from two player multiplayer is the controls players can use and the combinations.

Three player multiplayer can either be played with two players using a computer's keyboard while one uses Nitrome Touchy, or two use Nitrome Touchy while one uses a computer's keyboard, or all three use Nitrome Touchy. Four player multiplayer can either be played with two players using a single keyboard while the remaining two use Nitrome Touchy, three use Touchy while one uses a keyboard, or all use Touchy.

Characters and statistics

Test Subject Arena 2 has eight playable characters, each with their own single player stages. All characters are not the same, rather, each character (usually) has a special ability, and how good they perform certain universal actions measured by their statistics. All characters have four stats, how good the stat is for that character being measured by zero to seven bars. These stats are:

  • Ability: How good a character's special ability is. More bars means a good ability, while less bars means a poor ability. Also, if the ability is high, the character is faster.
  • Weapon Power: Weapon Power determines the strength of a character's bullet. In the situation where two characters are firing at each other so that both character's bullets are impacting each other, the character with the higher Weapon Power will cause their bullets to destroy the bullets of the character with the lower weapon power (opposing character). The higher Weapon Power character's bullet will destroy the bullet of an opposing character, and this remaining, higher Weapon Power bullet will be able to impact another lower Weapon Power character bullet before the higher Weapon Power bullet explodes.
  • Weapon Speed: How fast a fired bullet moves. This stat does not apply to the Professor, and also applies to the orange enzyme's thrown projectiles. More bars means faster moving bullet speed, less bars means slower moving bullet speed.
  • Melee: How fast the character respond to attack the character near it. More bars means a faster response rate, while less bars means a slower response rate. If the melee of a character is higher than that of an opposing character near the first, the opposing character will be killed in the event of two simultaneous melee attacks.

The characters in Test Subject Arena 2 are:

Below are each character's stats.

Mechanical Suit
Weapon Power: TSA2b5
Weapon speed:TSA2b3

Weapon Power: TSA2b4
Weapon speed:TSA2b6

Weapon Power: TSA2b0
Weapon speed:TSA2b0

Weapon Power: TSA2b4
Weapon speed:TSA2b5

Weapon Power: TSA2b3
Weapon speed:TSA2b4

Weapon Power: TSA2b5
Weapon speed:TSA2b2

Walking Orange Enzyme2
Weapon Power: TSA2b7
Weapon speed:TSA2b1

Test Mercenary
Weapon Power: TSA2b3
Weapon speed:TSA2b7


Single player mode


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Test Subject Arena 2 - Blue avatar

Test Subject Arena 2 - Blue avatar

Rex209 Blue

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Test Subject Arena 2 - Rex209 Blue avatar

Test Subject Arena 2 - Rex209 Blue avatar


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Test Subject Arena 2 - Professor level avatar

Test Subject Arena 2 - Professor level avatar

Rex209 Professor

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Test Subject Arena 2 - Rex Professor avatar

Test Subject Arena 2 - Rex Professor avatar

Dr. Nastidious

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Test Subject Arena 2 - Dr

Test Subject Arena 2 - Dr. Nastidious avatar


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Test Subject Arena 2 - Green Green Avatar

Test Subject Arena 2 - Green Green Avatar

Orange enzyme

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Test Subject Arena 2 - Orange enzyme avatar

Test Subject Arena 2 - Orange enzyme avatar


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Test Subject Arena 2 - Mercenary avatar

Test Subject Arena 2 - Mercenary avatar


Penguin 1

This navigational box contains a spoiler. Click [show] to open the box.

Upon completing the eighth and final unbeaten level, and the player has come to that character's level completion screen, clicking the left-most button with the ← pointing into a square, the player will be brought to a screen that states that they have completed all challenges. A present is on this image, and clicking it grans the player the avatar of the The Machine.

Multiplayer mode



August 14 2013

On August 14 2013, Nitrome released a preview image of the game on their blog. They also announced that the player would be able to choose from eight different characters to play as.

September 25 2013

On September 25 2013, Nitrome announced more information about the game in a blog post. They announced that the game will be Nitrome Touchy compatible for up to four players, and that certain characters will have special abilities. For example, Rex209 will be able to hang on ceilings. They also stated that they would be looking into a single player mode for this game, something they didn't have in the original game, Test Subject Arena. They also released a preview image for the game.


Nitrome Touchy

Test Subject Arena 2 was made Nitrome Touchy compatible on October 16 2013.



Death during single player

It is possible for a character to kill itself with its own weapon in single-player mode. If this happens, the timer will continue until the time runs out, despite the character not being on the screen. The easiest way to do this is with Mercenary.

Single player score of zero

Destroying a level's final target while the timer reaches zero immediately causes the player to win with a score of zero. This score is not 00.00, but just 0.

Background Mercenary glitch

If the player pauses the game, the mercenary standing in the background of the test chamber will endlessly repeat its current animation.

Orange enzyme suicide glitch

It is possible for the Orange enzyme to kill itself without requiring any portals. The player has to crouch, shoot forwards and quickly jump backwards, which will cause them to hit their own bullet and kill themselves. This glitch may make controlling the Orange enzyme more difficult, as the player has to be cautious not to kill themselves by going too fast.

Animation buffering glitches

These glitch are all performed by inputting a specific action during a character's animation, which will prevent the action from happening but will still carry some of its effects if the button is held. This can lead to the character performing multiple actions at once, often resulting in unexpected animations.

Flickering falling animation

If the character falls off of a platform without jumping, and the player holds the crouch and shoot buttons simultaneously, the character will act strangely. The character sprite will rapidly switch between frames of its falling and air-shooting animations on every frame until they reach the ground or the buttons are released. This glitch does not work with Blue in Rex209 or the Professor in Rex209. If the glitch is performed with Professor, he will have his normal falling animation but will repeatedly play his attack sound without attacking.

Idle walking

If the player starts holding the jump button while airborne and continues to hold it as the they land on a platform, the character's movement actions will be impaired as long as the jump button is held. The character is unable to crouch, and moving left or right will cause the walking animation to continue playing, even if the character stands idle. The walking animation can be canceled if the player shoots, and crouching only has effect on the player's momentum. This glitch cannot be performed by Blue in Rex209 or the Professor in Rex209.

Turnaround sliding

Whenever a character starts walking towards the opposite direction they were previously facing, a very short turnaround animation will be played. This animation can be paused into a single frame if the player holds both the left and right buttons during it. This means that if the player starts holding one direction and almost immediately starts holding the other direction at the same time, they will start walking while frozen in their turnaround animation. For example, if the player is facing left they can hold the right and then the left button a few frames afterwards, which will make them slide right until either direction is released or they press any other button.

Due to Rex209's unique ability to shoot while walking without slowing down, as well as to recoil back when standing still and shooting; this glitch has different properties with Blue in Rex209 as well as the Professor in Rex209. Since they lack a turnaround animation, this glitch will result in them sliding "backwards" as they stay in their standing animation, facing the wrong way. Shooting while sliding will not break their slide, but instead will slow them down to a halt, where they will be frozen in place. Shooting once more will make them slide in the opposite direction (the one they appear to be facing). Any subsequent shot will make them accelerate, allowing them to travel much faster than their default walking speed. Furthermore, their bullets will be incorrectly fired to the side of their actual sprite, making them able to shoot through walls. If a turnaround slide is performed by Rex209 on a ceiling, they can pick up enough speed to outrun their bullets without getting hit by them. However, as soon as they go through a teleporter or they drop off their platform, they will be hit by their own shots. If they do not hit themselves, they can carry their acceleration into a ground slide until they hit a wall.

Shooting aerial jump

If the player falls off a platform without jumping, they can press the jump and shoot buttons at any time during their fall to perform a short jump in the air. Since the character ended up in the air without jumping, they can still use their jump if buffered during an attack, resulting in them doing a ground attack quickly followed by a short jump while not being on solid ground. It is possible to start holding the jump button as soon as the character drops from a platform and shoot at any point during the fall to perform the aerial jump.

Shooting aerial jumps are much shorter than usual jumps and only lift the player half a tile upwards, though if performed immediately after leaving a platform they can allow the player to jump up to two and a half tiles. Though these jumps are short, they can be useful by resetting aerial momentum. The height gained from a shooting aerial jump on the edge of a platform can vary from one character to another depending on their speed and firing speed.

Neither Blue in Rex209 or the Professor in Rex209 can perform these jumps, an will just shoot normally. The Professor can perform aerial jumps, but his melee animation will be canceled by his jump before having an active hitbox, resulting in him not attacking and only jumping.

Portal clipping glitches

These glitches are caused by the way teleporters behave in the game and allow the player to use them in unintended ways, such as ending up in the wrong end of a portal upon traversing it.

Portal bumping

This glitch allows the player to exit a portal the opposite way it was intended to be, and can only be performed with three-block high vertical portals. The player has to jump through a portal while walking in one direction and then change their direction while jumping, which will allow their character to collide with the block on top of the portal, which at a specific angle has a different hitbox from the normal solid blocks. Colliding with a solid block which a portal is connected to pushes the player away from the portal, which allows the player to clip through the portal the wrong way. This glitch is very precise, but if performed correctly, allows the character to end up on the other side of the second portal.

Because of the nature of this glitch, the movement inputs required to perform it differ for all characters, due to their different speeds. It is recommended to use a fast character like the Professor or Orange for this glitch due to their high mobility. Furthermore, the portal-clipping glitch has to be performed differently when using Blue in Rex209 or the Professor in Rex209, as they will try to land on the block on top of the portal, but will be unable to do so because it is connected to the portal.

This glitch can also be performed without the player having to change their direction while in mid-air. The player still has to time their jump very precisely in order to clip with the top of the portal at the right angle. Clipping through the portal this way allows the player to teleport to the other portal facing the wrong way, but still moving in the same direction, essentially making the player enter the second portal and exiting the first one they went into on the other side. Performing this glitch this way is more difficult than when changing directions while in mid-air because the player cannot monitor their angle of approach as much and has to rely on perfect timing, making this version of the glitch much more unreliable.

This glitch cannot work if the portal the player is trying to clip into is embedded in a wall, as the top block of the portal does not have the proper hitbox. The portal has to have a platform or ceiling on top of itself for the collision to properly work.
This glitch also cannot be performed by entering the portal from the left. The player has to enter the portal from the right in order to clip into it at the right angle.

Turnaround clipping

This glitch allows the player to clip through any vertical portal in the game by using precise walking movement. Whenever the player is standing still they can slightly press both directional arrow keys in quick succession, starting with the one opposite to the way they were facing, to do a short step backwards while keeping their character orientation. Doing that very close to a teleporter while facing away from it can result in the player moving a couple pixels at a time into it, which can eventually lead to the character clipping through without being teleported. The timing for this glitch is very precise, but relatively failsafe since the player only has to input short left and right movement keys over and over until they have successfully clipped.

Rex209 block glitches

These glitches act very similarly and are due to Rex209's ability to walk on the ceiling. They are mainly caused by the bottom hitbox of some platforms being glitched, allowing the player to collide inside the block.


This glitch can only be performed by Blue in Rex209 or the Professor in Rex209. Because of the Professor's unusual height, this glitch is far less consistent to perform with this character, which is why it is recommended to use Blue in Rex209 for a better chance of performing the glitch. The character has to move near a place where there is a small block on a big block next to a small block.

The character has to stand onto the small bottom block and face the big block, directly touching it. If the player jumps while in that position, they will get stuck in the block they are standing on.

If the player jumps again, the character will be inside the floor. Jumping once again will cause the character to fall off the level (this will only work if the blocks are on the bottom of the level). This glitch can also serve as a shortcut in some occasions. Two steps of this glitch can be performed at once by crouching before jumping, allowing the player to fall two blocks in one jump.

Level 18

On level 18, if the player plays as either Blue or the Professor in a Rex209 and goes to the small alcove that has the bottom left lower spawn point, walking against the left wall and jumping will cause the player to fall through the floor and stand inside it. Jumping again will cause the player to fall off the screen. This glitch is caused by invisible blocks that can only be interacted with by using Rex209's property of walking on the ceiling.

The player can also use these invisible blocks as small platforms.

By landing diagonally on the edge of the top platform, the player can be boosted upwards due to the collision between two blocks (the ledge and the invisible glitched blocks), and therefore reach the ceiling above.


The game was first announced on August 14 2013[2]. On September 25 2013 Nitrome released another preview, elaborating on the game and also how they were testing out a single player mode but were not sure if it would make it into the game[3]. The game was released on October 16 2013[4].

Although Test Subject Arena 2 incorporated all small sprites from Test Subject Complete, the only character that had a small sprite who was not included in the game was The Machine, due to it being deemed too overpowered and the size of its walking sprite causing it to not fit in some levels. It was also due to its size that using it in the game would restrict the creation of arenas[5].

When asked about what was used for the voice of the announcer, Nitrome replied that it is "probably" the text-to-speech program that comes with every Macintosh computer[6].


  • On the release of the game, several high scores were already placed on the high scores tables by Nitrome. These scores read out messages, supposedly written by each of the corresponding characters. These messages can be distinguished by looking at the scores that are at the end of the high scores table and are descending from n centiseconds to 0.00.
  • Although the mercenary's message seemingly contains random words, it spells out "WINNER" in the NATO phonetic alphabet, which associates ever letter of the alphabet to a word.
  • Green's challenge is a modified version of level 10 from Test Subject Blue, with all interactive objects and hazards removed and some changes to the teleporter and wall layouts.
  • Unusually, the image for the game's page displayed on search engine results such as Google's has exclusive art not used anywhere else in the game.


  1. Nitrome blog: - Play Test Subject Arena 2! → Comment by Nitrome:
    Some characters are easier than others but yeah they are fairly hard. For this we wanted to use the avatar as a challenge for this one. Our intent with the avatars is to try and offer a range of difficulties.


    The comment

  2. Game Developer's Blog - Nitrome: Test Subject Arena 2 Preview!, 14 Aug 13, retrieved 30 May 15.
  3. Game Developer's Blog - Nitrome: Test Subject Arena 2 Progress, 25 Sep 13, retrieved 3 Jun 15.
  4. Game Developer's Blog - Nitrome: Play Test Subject Arena 2!, 16 Oct 13, retrieved 3 Jun 15.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Nitrome blog - Play Test Subject Arena 2! → Comment:
    J K
    It's a nice idea but we didn't want to include it for a couple of reasons. Mainly because it would be too powerful, which we would have to tone down to keep the game balanced. The other is the size of the sprite, it's much bigger than the other characters, and therefore it would mean that it wouldn't fit in some levels. So it would limit the options for us when designing the arenas. Hope this makes sense. :0)


    Image of the comment

  6. Frost Trapp: @Nitrome Where does the voice of Rex209, the announcers from Test Subject Arena, and Rainbogeddon come from? [Test Subject Arena 2 uses some voice clips from Test Subject Arena]

    Nitrome on Twitter: [1]: I can't remember of the top of my head but I think it's probably something where it says what you type., 2 May 2015, retrieved 23 May 2015.

    Nitrome on Twitter: [2]: probably just the one that comes on every Mac, 2 May 2015, retrieved 23 May 2015.