Sparkle Hunting is one of the primary combat mechanics in Lollipop Chainsaw. Whenever the player simultaneously kills 3 or more zombies, a short cutaway scene will play, showing (in most cases) the number of zombies successfully defeated, as well as Juliet in the foreground, executing her current combat move in slow-motion. She (and Nick, if present) will also make various enthusiastic comments, depending on the number of zombies dispatched.
The main benefit of successful Sparkle Hunting combos is the acquisition of Platinum Medals, rewarding a minimum of 1 medal for 3 kills, 2 medals for 4 kills, 4 for 5 kills, 6 for 6 kills, and 9 for 7 kills. During a large fight, a skilled player can easily earn Platinum Medals into the double digits. You also earn Gold Medals for successful combos, receiving the number of zombies killed squared, and then times a multiplier depending on the value of the zombies.
Sparkle Hunting is one of the few (and by far, most common) methods through which players can obtain Platinum Medals, which are required to unlock much of the bonus content of the game, so it is important to learn effective techniques to maximize group kills. This is also required to earn the Sparkle Hunting Master achievement/trophy, which requires getting 7 zombies in a single Sparkle Hunting combo.
Sparkle Hunting also more than doubles the amount of points on your end-stage score you earn for each zombie killed this way, as opposed to individual kills. For this reason, players seeking high scores should also master Sparkle Hunting.
While primarily done during melee combat using the Chainsaw, Sparkle Hunting is also possible using the Chainsaw Blaster by getting kills in very short succession, although the maximum combo is limited.
Regularly getting Sparkle Hunting combos, especially in amounts greater than 3, can be difficult early in your first playthrough, due to Juliet's limited default moveset and attack strength. Generally, in the beginning your best bet is to use your Pom-Pom Bash (X/Square) to weaken zombies to a groggy state, then push them together once they are subdued, before using a chainsaw attack such as (Y/Triangle) or (A/X) to hit as many as possible at once. This will generally strike 3 to 4, or (in rare cases) more zombies at once.
Once you have upgraded Juliet's attack damage and moveset, the main challenge shifts from attack range to positioning. Even with large-area chainsaw strikes such as Armadillo Spin, Chainsaw Full Swing or Holy Chainsaw, you will usually only strike 3 or 4 zombies unless you work to position them for the kill first.
The easiest method for positioning zombies is wrangling, performed by simply running in a circle around a group of zombies, just out of their reach, as the group condenses into a tight cluster. It is recommended to use some Pom-Pom Bashes to weaken the zombies beforehand, although with strength upgrades and high level moves, it is usually not necessary to render them groggy in order to kill them.
When wrangling, jumping is oftentimes necessary to avoid being hit. Take care not to accidentally leapfrog or throw a zombie into the group, as this will knock them down and disperse them, requiring you to begin wrangling them all over again.
Once the group is sufficiently tightly packed and weakened, begin a Pom-Pom Bash-to-Chainsaw combo (for example, Holy Chainsaw) a small distance away from the group, so that only one or two of the strikes actually hit any zombies before your Chainsaw attack hits. This will stop you from pushing some zombies to the side with the Pom-Poms strikes, and will get you maximum strike range, since the widest Chainsaw attacks chain from Pom-Pom attacks.
- Although the Sparkle Hunting cutscene animation always shows the zombies' heads flying off of their bodies, it is possible to get a successful combo using low chainsaw strikes, such as those made with the (A/X) button, which would presumably not actually strike the head.
- A Sparkle Hunting combo of 3 or 4 will always have an outer space background that is blue in color, while a combo of 5 or more will have the same background in pink.
- When using the Chainsaw Blaster to get a Sparkle Hunting combo, the cutscene animation will show the heads flying from the bodies, as usual. However, these do not automatically count towards the Endorsed by Cordelia achievement/trophy unless actual headshots were made.