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Tycoons by Crunchy Roll

February 2, 2010

Publisher Crunchy Roll
Platform facebook
Multi-account yes
Type Economic Simulation
Initial Review Date 2/1/2010
Last Updated 2/1/2010
FAQ
Files/Tools
Click here to Play

In this game you purchase businesses which produce goods, services, raw materials or tax revenue. These can in turn be used to produce additional goods or can be sold at a profit to other players. The object of course is to make as much money as possible. The game is a pretty cool economic simulation game of the most basic sort. It doesn’t have a lot of flashy graphics but what it does do it does well. The menus are fairly intuitive and descriptive. I had a lot of fun with this game over christmas a few months ago since it was one of the few facebook games I could play with the laptop I was using. This is because it consists more of planning then of clicking repeatedly all over the place.

The only real complaint I have with this game is that the invites are handled really poorly. There is no way to know which of your friends is already playing the game and you don’t gain any benefits from having friends until one of you accepts a blind invite from other. Obviously going to a tycoons site helps, but even then because it’s not as popular a game I’ve found it difficult to get enough friends to unlock everything. I probably have enough friends playing this game already but I don’t feel like going though the list of 200+ people to figure out who those people are.

Multiple Account Benefits

I was surprised to find that having multiple acocunts on this game is actually pretty marginal. while it is possible to gift items to yourself as well as money, the quantities are so small as to be negligble. So while technically you benefit, the benifits just don’t seem all that worth while. Probably the most useful thing this allows you to do is produce goods on one account and then mail them off to the other account. Of course doing this means you’re not upgrading or expanding the secondary account very much.

Getting Started

Right away the game will tell you to pick a sector that you wish to specialize in. It also will tell you which sectors are currently doing well. The choice you make here while important isn’t irreversible. So,
if you pick something that you decide you really hate you can always change. But it’s not unusal to dip into multiple sectors anyway so you’ll probably be able to get some use out of what you picked.

Right after you start, the first thing you’ll want to do is to make sure that the free business you were given is actually profitable. This is read from the number up at the top as shown here

If this number is red then you need to immediately sell your business and buy a different one in the same sector (if possible). What this number is telling you is how much money you gain from the product it produces, minus the goods it took to produce that product. When the number is red it means you’re better off selling the raw materials directly then you are using them to produce this good. If you find that you’ve had to change buisinesses you may want to consider also selling whatever associated raw materisals you got. Afterall, you’ll want stuff that goes with your new business.

Once you have a moey making business I would recommend checking out the achevements page and seeing which ones you can easily get. Completing achievements helps you level and leveling unlocks additional businesses. So, even if you end up buying stuff that you’re not really going to use it’s well worth it.

Also, you’ll have to make a decision if you want to be self sufficient or not. The downside is that you may not make quite as much money this way if one of your producers has a negative profit margin (it costs more to make the good then it does to simply buy it out right). However, the advantage is that you will always be able to produce and sell your end product goods without having to worry about market fluctuations.

Something else I’d like to point out is that you should pay careful attention to how much a plant can store versus how much it produces. This is because once a plant maxes out it’s storage it no longer produces goods until it is “emptied” so, depending on how often you’re harvesting your businesses you may find that increasing the capacity is what really gives you “more”.

All in all just try things out and find what works best for you. You can always get a good idea of your progress by checking your net worth graph. If overall it’s going up you’re doing great, if it’s mostly going down though then you probably need to find a better strategy.


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Ponzi, Inc. By Challenge Games

February 1, 2010

Publisher Challenge Games
Platform Facebook
Multi-account No
Type Simulation
Initial Review Date 1/29/10
Last Updated 1/29/10
FAQ Offical FAQ
Files/Tools
Click here to Play

Ponzi is a business simulation game. The company you run is highly reminiscent of what you would find in a Dilbert cartoon. This is partially because of the “jobs” that you do and because of the employees you hire.

In the game you have 4 main sections which are as follows

  • Do Jobs: This brings up the jobs screen where you are presented with what activities your employees can engage in. These jobs can range from scheduling meetings to discuss meetings to doing market research on toast. Each job lists how many employees are required, how much money the job will generate and how long it will take to complete. Additionally, each job has a mastery reward that typically results in “perks”. Because of this it makes sense to continue to do jobs even if newer higher income jobs are an option. Just keep in mind that you can never be engaged in more then 5 activities at the same time. So pick your jobs wisely.
  • Hire: This is the screen where you hire your employees. It has two parts. The first one is the screen you start on and you can hire computer employees. They show a picture and tell you what their best skill is. The second screen which is accessed by clicking on “hire friends for free” at the top allows you to hire your friends as employees. You can hire up to 5 people off of each screen You might wonder why your friends don’t have any “skills”. Well, in this game this is the 1st and last time you’ll see your employees. Once hired they just become a number at the bottom of the screen. So, don’t worry about hiring that guy that steals staples, he’ll still get the job done as well as anyone else. I would suggest always starting with the friends page first though. Since they are free.
  • Perks: These are temporary bonuses you can gain. Each one clearly identifies what it does and new perks can be earned by mastering jobs. The only downside is that most of these perks can only be purchased using C coins, which of course can only be gained from spending real cash. So, for the most part only the $ perks are practical to use on a daily basis.
  • Ponzi Pyramid: In the lower right hand side you’ll see a little pyramid icon. Clicking on this will bring up your current ponzi scheme. You can have up to 10 friends on your pyramid. These players can be placed regardless of level and you can’t reach the top tiers (which give the highest %) until the lower tiers have been filled. I’ll also point out that you can’t earn any money off of players who are higher level then you. Basically as someone earns money in the game you get a % of the money they make based on which tier they are on. So, if you don’t have 10 friends that are lower level then you, fill the bottom tiers with players who are too high level until you’re able to fill the upper tiers with players you will earn money from. Then as you pass other players you can redistribute your pyramid to maximize your income (highest earners at the top and lowest at the bottom).

Hints/Tips

  • Buy equipment based on job requirements: When you view a job you can see what it requires. You’ll want to get your hands on this equipment asap even if it isn’t otherwise useful to you so that you can always do the highest profit jobs.
  • Hire friends every day: Assuming you have a large pool of friends you can hire from you will want to hire 5 of them every day so that you can max out your building as soon as possible. Buildings can only be upgraded once you’ve maxed them out and you don’t want to run into the situation where you have jobs that require rooms that haven’t been unlocked yet
  • Watch your morale: As you hire more and more employees you need to watch your morale rating. It needs to be above 100% at all times, but no matter what you have in place it can’t go past 125%. Once your morale drops to below 100% you might lose some of your employees. To prevent this, make sure you always max out whatever items you have access to that grant a permanent morale bonus. If you’re finding yourself still low on morale  don’t be afraid to buy and use perks. That’s what they are there for. Besides at that point you should be able to easily afford them on a daily basis.
  • Money Earned Equals levels: In this game, you don’t earn expereince separate from money. Instead however much money you’ve earned is your expereince level. Don’t worry about spending your cash though since it strictly counts how much money you’ve made, not how much you have. Because of this you want to make sure you’re always doing the jobs that earn you the most money.

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War Storm by Challenge Games

January 31, 2010

Publisher Challenge Games
Platform Facebook
Multi-account No
Type Collectible card game
Initial Review Date 1/30/10
Last Updated 1/30/10
FAQ Official FAQ
Files/Tools
Click here to Play

If you enjoy playing CCGs like magic or pokemon you’re probably going to enjoy this game quite a bit. The best way to describe it is as a CCG war game. That is the Classic game of WAR in a CCG format. This is because the only real control you have over the action is during the deck building phase. Once you start a game against an opponent everything is
completely automated. Even so, it’s still a fun game.

In the game your deck consists of one or more squads. Each squad consists of 1 Hero card and 6 other cards all of which must either match the Hero”s faction or be usinversal cards. However, you can use  multiple squads of  different factions to create your final “deck”.

There are 3 basic types of cards in the game, they are as follows

  • Units: These are creatures that fight on your behalf. Each one has a creature type, speed rating, attack rating and health. Creatures also may have one or more special abilities each of which is clearly explained and can be displayed by clicking on the card (regardless where it is or whose it is).
  • Artifacts: In general these cards act as equipment which enhance a troop card.The artifact will always attach it’s self to the first creature in line and if that creature dies the artifact goes with it.
  • Spells: In general these cards cause temporary effects to occur. For example 1 spell deals 4 damage to a single target and is then discarded. Some spells have the special ability “animated” which means it has a chance of returning to your hand after it’s been cast.

How many and which type of cards you can use depend completely on your commander. This is represented by the circles which appear in the upper right hand side of the card. For example. The followig card

allows you to use 5 units, 1 artifact and 0 spells. So far as I can tell these 3 will always add up to 6, so basically  you can use artifacts and spells at the expense of units.

Getting started

To start with the tutorial does a really good job of stepping you though the game. Also, you get free cards for completing each of the novice missions. This is great since it allows you to save a fair amount of silver. Once you’ve beaten the final novice tutorial mission I would recommend checking out the single card and advanced card boosters. This is because these are where the good cards will be found. The novice boosters while cheap are pretty limited. They’re good if you don’t feel you have enough cards to make choices, but you’ll never get any of the really good cards buying novice booster packs.

Of course, in order to buy these cards you will need plenty of cash. This money can be earned most easily by fighting other players. Each PVP (player vs player) fight will earn you silver even if you lose. Also, once you win 3 fights you’ll get a 1000 silver bonus. In this way you have a nice alternative to earn money when the missions get too hard for you to beat. Sometimes you just don’t have the right type or enough of the right type of cards to beat the challenges presented.

Multiple Accounts

At this time, there are no benefits to having multiple accounts for this game. However, I have noticed a number of my cards specifically specify that they can not be traded. So, perhaps at some point in the future you will be able to trade cards with other players. Once you’re able to do this having mulitple accounts will be extremely beneficial as you would then be able to buy cards from your alternate account and then send them to your primary account in exchange for some card you don’t plan on ever using or that you have extra duplicates of.


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My Town – City Building Stats

January 13, 2010

I had talked earlier about the city buildings you can buy in the game and how they can be generally ignored. Below you can see why. They take up a large amount of space, don’t earn you any money and with the exception of the gas station cost a lot of money given how much experience they give.  In any case what follows is a table listing all of these values.

Building Name Cost Xp Gained Cost Per Xp*
Gas Station 100 25 2
Supermarket 200 35 2.86
Town Hall 350 50 3.5
Grade School 500 60 4.17
Fire Station 750 65 5.77
Library 1500 75 10
High School 2000 80 12.5
Zoo 5000 120 20.83
Police Station 10000 150 33.33
Hospital 25000 250 50
University 10000 500 10
Graveyard 16 Cash 500 n/a
Nuclear Power Plant 16 Cash 500 n/a
Football Stadium 25 Cash 1250 n/a
Great Pyramid 25 Cash 1250 n/a

*This represents how much money you would spend per point of xp if you purchased the building and immedately sold it again, as per the previously discussed power leveling strategy.


Part 1: My Town – By Broken Bulb Productions
Part 2: My Town – Power Leveling
Part 3: My Town – Profit Values
Part 4: My Town – City Building Stats
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Ninja Warz – Belt Levels

January 12, 2010

As per request I’ve put together the following table. I’ve tried recording how much Health and strength increases at each level, but there were some oddities in the data which I’ve been unable to explain. But aside from the wierd glitch now and then you seem to gain an amount of Strength that is roughly equal to how much karma you spend at each level and an amount of health equal to how much health you got last level + how much karma you spent at this level.

So for example, at level it takes 2 karma to go from level 8 to level 9 and you gain +2 strength and +13 Health. then it takes 2 karam to go from level 9 to level 10 so you gain +2 strength and +15 health. Unfortunately, while this is the approximate rate that your stats increase the exact increase varies depending on what your intial stats were. so, instead of gaining 3 strenght you might only get 2 at a level and then then following level get 4, so it averages out to 3 at each of those levels. Because of this I have left out these numbers from the following table.

Level Belt Color Karma to Train Karma Refund Total Karma Spent
1 White 1 0 0
2 White 1 1 1
3 White 1 2 2
4 White 1 3 3
5 White 1 4 4
6 Yellow 2 4 5
7 Yellow 2 6 7
8 Yellow 2 8 9
9 Yellow 2 9 11
10 Yellow 2 11 13
11 Orange 3 12 15
12 Orange 3 15 18
13 Orange 3 17 21
14 Orange 3 20 24
15 Orange 3 22 27
16 Green 4 24 30
17 Green 4 28 34
18 Green 4 31 38
19 Green 4 34 42
20 Green 4 37 46
21 Blue 5 40 50
22 Blue 5 44 55
23 Blue 5 48 60
24 Blue 5 52 65
25 Blue 5 56 70
26 Brown 6 60 75
27 Brown 6 65 81
28 Brown 6 70 87
29 Brown 6 75 93
30 Brown 6 80 99
31 Black 7 84 105
32 Black 7 90 112
33 Black 7 96 119
34 Black 7 101 126
35 Black N/A 107 133

Part 1: Ninja Warz – An Overview
Part 2: Ninja Warz – Achievements
Part 3: Ninja Warz – Mini-game Madness
Part 4: Ninja Warz – Gift Items
Part 5: Ninja Warz – Belt Levels
Part 5: Ninja Warz – Shuriken Attack
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My Town – Profit Values

January 10, 2010

ok, this article proved to be a little more challenging them others I’ve done of this type. To start with. These are the full stats of each of the buildings

Homes

Name Purchase Price Purchase Xp $ Profit Xp Profit Time (hours)
Suburban 10 3 15 1 4
Adobe 20 6 33 1 6
City 40 6 55 1 12
Spanish 45 6 80 1 24
Victorian 50 6 55 1 8
Bungalow 60 6 62 1 12
Medium Victorian 65 6 65 1 10
Small Condos 75 6 100 1 24
Medium Adobe 100 6 90 1 6
Medium City 150 6 111 1 12
Medium Suburb 250 6 90 1 8
Large Suburban 500 9 150 2 7
Apartments 675 9 300 3 48
Eco Friendly 1000 15 100 1 2
Luxury Condos 12500 17 700 6 10

Businesses

Name Purchase Price Purchase Xp $ Profit Xp Profit Time (hours)
Small Office 45 6 65 1 24
Small Shops 25 6 40 1 10
Small Business 30 6 23 1 8
Small Restaurant 70 6 119 1 48
Small Corp. 100 6 50 1 10
Small Factory 150 6 105 1 24
Medium Business 200 1 90 1 6
Medium Shops 400 7 140 2 24
Medium Factory 1000 10 150 3 12
Large Shops 1250 10 180 3 10
Office Tower 10000 15 500 5 16
Corporate Tower 15000 16 800 6 24

So, you’re probably wondering which one makes you the most money. Unfortunately, the answer to that question isn’t simple.

If we assume that the only constraint is space then the formula is

Profit per Square day = $ Profit x (24/Time)

This is essentially then the same as it is for other farm sim type games. However, you can purchase land pretty easily and each purchased plot is fairly large. This means that space isn’t really limited and that for the most part you are only limited by your money. This means you would buy some buildings and then use the profit you get from those buildings to expand further.

This can be calculated recursivley using the formula

Total Profit = # Buildings x (Profit/Purchase Cost)

Of course the Total Profit value you get represents how much money you  make at “collection time”. If we assume that all of this money is reinvested by purchasing more of the same building. We get the following set of equations.

IC = Initial Cash

R = Profit Rate

Cost = Building Cost

Profit = Money generated at collection

Price = Building price

Profit = (IC/Cost) x Profit

Now, if we take the Profit Rate to be

R = Profit/Cost

therefore the first three cycles can be expressed as

Cycle 1 (P1)

Profit = IC x R

Cycle 2 (P2)

Profit = IC x R + P1 x R

Cycle 3 (P3)

Profit = IC x R + P1 x R + P2 x R

If we make the proper substitutions and expand Cycles 2 and 3 we get the
following

Cycle 2

Profit = IC x R + IC x R^2

Cycle 3

Profit = IC x R + IC x R^2 + (IC x R + IC x R^2) x R

Profit = IC x R + IC x R^2 + (IC x R^2 + IC x R^3)

Profit = IC x R + 2 x IC x R^2 + IC x R^3

Now, since each of these terms contians ICxR we can pull this term out to the side, this gives us

Cycle 2

Profit = IC x R x (1 + R)

Cycle 3

Profit = IC x R x (1 +2R +R^2)

Profit = IC x R x (1+R)^2

Using the above method I can expand out cycles 4 and 5, resulting in

Cycle 4

Profit = IC x R x (1+R)^3

Cycle 5

Profit = IC x R x (1+R)^4

therefore if we take T = Cycle number we get the following closed form equation

Cycle T

Profit = IC x R x (1+R)^(T-1)

This equation represents how much money would make after T cycles assuming that you re-invest all of the money you make at each cycle into purchasing more of the same building. Using this we can get the following table. The values below are calculated assuming an inviital investment of $15,000 since this is the minimum amount required to purchase the most expensive building

Homes

Name Profit per day each Rate Expand (Cycle 1) Expand (Cycle 3) Expand (Cycle 7)
Suburban 90 1.500 22,500 140,625 5,493,164
Adobe 132 1.650 24,750 173,806 8,571,374
City 110 1.375 20,625 116,337 3,707,481
Spanish 80 1.778 26,666 205,761 12,250,497
Victorian 165 1.100 16,500 72,765 1,415,141
Bungalow 124 1.033 15,500 64,083 1,095,426
Medium Victorian 156 1.000 15,000 60,000 960,000
Small Condo 100 1.333 20,000 108,888 3,227,681
Medium Adobe 360 0.900 13,500 48,735 635,119
Medium City 222 0.740 11,100 33,606 308,048
Medium Suburb 270 0.360 5,400 9,987 34,168
Large Suburban 514 0.300 4,500 7,605 21,720
Apartments 150 0.444 6,666 13,909 60,549
Eco Friendly 1200 0.100 1,500 1,815 2,657
Luxury Condos 1680 0.056 840 936 1,164

Businesses

Name Profit per day Rate Expand (Cycle 1) Expand (Cycle 3) Expand (Cycle 7)
Small Office 65 1.444 21,666 129,465 4,622,459
Small Shops 96 1.600 24,000 162,240 7,413,978
Small Business 69 0.766 11,500 15,892 349,643
Small Restaurant 59.5 1.700 25,500 185,895 9,879,222
Small Corp 120 0.500 7,500 16,875 85,429
Small Factory 105 0.700 10,500 30,345 253,444
Medium Business 360 0.450 6,750 14,191 62,735
Medium Shops 140 0.350 5,250 9,568 31,780
Medium Factory 300 0.150 2,250 2,975 5,204
Large Shops 432 0.144 2,160 2,826 4,841
Office Tower 750 0.050 750 826 1,005
Corporate Tower 800 0.053 800 887 1,092

As you can see, something like the spanish home is great for expansion purposes but it’s low on the profit rate per day. Conversely the Corprate tower is awesome in terms of profit output but it’s terrible
in terms of expansion. So ideally,  you would use a high expansion building to intiially build up your cash until you’ve maxed out your. Then afterwards you can go back and replace those buildings with ones that generate large amounts of income for the space they take up.

Of course you also need to consider how often you can collect from each building as this can end up limiting your options.


Part 1: My Town – By Broken Bulb Productions
Part 2: My Town – Power Leveling
Part 3: My Town – Profit Values
Part 4: My Town – City Building Stats
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Mobsters 2 Vendetta – Hack a Secure Account

January 6, 2010

Ok, I want to start by saying this mission sucks. For the most part the rewards do not reflect how much of a pain it is to master. So, what are the rewards?  Well, as with the other mini game missions you get an item for getting a perfect score. Additionally, this is not indicated by the mission. What you get is the following item.

that’s right, it’s a mission item.

Not only that but it’s one that can be acquired from doing the “loot a warehouse” mission. What’s more unlike that mission this one only gives you one per completion. Granted it’s guaranteed that you’ll get a laptop but this is still pretty lame. You don’t even get a remarkable item for getting platinum mastery. This mission would be a complete bust except you do get skill points at every mastery level. It’s better then nothing but I felt like I didn’t really have much to show for the effort of mastering this mission.

Playing the Game

Ok, so just how does this game work? Well, when you start it up you are presented with the following screen

Basically, you are given 6 letters which must be used to create 21 to 22 different words. You are given some help though. As you can see there is an indication of how many 3,4,5 and 6 letter words there are. Not only that but each grouping is in alphabetical order. So, once you’ve input all of the obvious words you can pick apart what is left to figure out at least the 1st two letters if not more of the word you’re looking for.

Another helpful hint the game gives you is it allows you to shuffle the letters. there is a chance (though small) that you could end up shuffling the letters into the word you’re after. At the very least this can help you see words that you’d previously overlooked.

So, what if you’re still struggling in this game? Is there any surefire way to get every word every time? Well, actually there is if you don’t mind cheating that is.

How to cheat

So, once you’re fed up doing this game the “right way” you’ll probably just want to get it over with as fast as possible.

There is an excellent website that has a number of cheats… er “tools” for word games. The one we’re interested in for this word game is the tool Words in a word.

To use this tool you’ll want to open it up in a separate screen and arrange your screens so that it looks roughly like this

Next you’ll want to grab the little pull down menu that says 4 and change it to a 3. This pull down limits the smallest words that will be displayed. Since we are interested in 3 letter words and bigger we’re changing it to a 3. Keep in mind that because it defaults to 4 you’ll need to make this change every time you use it.

Now start the mission. Once you have your 6 letters type them into the text box and hit the Show Words button. The tool will then immediately display every single possible word. I’ve noticed that often there are more then 21 words listed. This is part of what makes this game so challenging. It’s easy to know words that are not recognized by the game which can be pretty frustrating.

Now, click back on the mobsters game and type away. I suggest typing carefully though. It’s easy to accidentally mistype a word without realizing you’ve done so thanks to the game telling you “that’s not a word” so many times. Also, it’s helpful to type them out sequential order to be sure you haven’t missed any. There were several occasions when I got though the entire list only to find that I had all but one word. Then I had to go back and figure out what I missed before time ran out. Every time the missing word was one on the list. Thankfully, you get the same reward even if you get all but one, though in a way it just goes to show how much this game is wasting your time.

Anyway, when done correctly you should be presented with the following messages

now you can get all the laptops you’ll ever want… whoopee! :/


Part 1: Mobsters 2 Vendetta – By Playdom
Part 2: Mobsters 2 Vendetta – Weapon Costs
Part 3: Mobsters 2 Vendetta – Attack a Convoy
Part 4: Mobsters 2 Vendetta – Disrupt a Shipment
Part 5: Mobsters 2 Vendetta – Destroy a Transfer
Part 6: Mobsters 2 Vendetta – Hack a Secure Account