Posts Tagged ‘strategy’

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The Sims Freeplay – Infinte Life Points and Money

March 25, 2015

SimsFreePlayLogo

In the sims life points can be used to purchase high-end items as well as speeding up completion time of quests. Using this method I can gain as many life points as I want, it just depends on how much time I’m willing to put into it. What’s nice is that since this isn’t a cheat using this method will not risk your game in any way.

The Toast Factory

Step 1: Build a house that will be devoted entirely to the farming of life points. Basically you can just build an empty lot.

Step 2: Build a single room that is 6×18

Step 3: This will give you room to set up 6 stations consisting of (1 toaster, 1 oven and 3 Empty countertops) and 2 stations consisting of (1 toaster, 1 oven, 1 empty counter top and 1 sink).

Toast Factory 1

additional decorations can be added, but these are the basic things you’ll need. It should be noted that for this there is no difference between 1 star and 3 star appliances, so you can get away with buying cheap appliances for each of the stations.

Step 4: You will now want to send as many sims as you can muster to this location to cook. A maximum of 10 sims can be sent, but the factory can be operated with less, but you will gain life points slower.

Ideally you will want 8 sims cooking while 2 sims are on cleanup. (hence the two sinks)

Step 5: Get Life points. Ok, sure there’s slightly more to it than that, but not much. Once you have mastered the cooking hobby you will be given the option to collect all of the cooking items again and your reward for doing so? 5 life points. Additionally, the skill level of your sim no longer matters with regard to collecting items, this means that even a novice can receive the golden measuring spoons. Also, this is infinitely repeatable.

Toast only takes 1 minute to make and costs 5 simoleons, this means that with 8 sims all cooking at the same time you will reveal 8 items every minute. There are only a total of 18 items to collect. In theory you can complete the entire hobby in as little as 3 minutes. In practice though, you will collect all but a few of the items very quickly. After that it can sometimes take a while to get the last items.

In testing you have to cook 70 to 75 toast meals to collect all 18 items. This means that with 8 cooks constantly cooking you will net 5 life points every 10 minutes or so.

But don’t I lose money?

Actually, not only do you not lose money in the process, but you actually make money. This is because each time you collect an item you receive a simoleon reward. The reward varies depending on the level of the item. The rewards are as follows.

 

Simfrees Rewards
Level Bronze Silver Gold
1 25 50 150
2 25 80 250
3 50 100 275
4 75 200 500
5 500 500 500
6 500 500 500

This means that each time you complete the hobby you get 4,780 simoleons. This is of course not taking into account that as cooks skill up, you also get xp, money and a life point. Even taking into account a cost of 5 per dish and having to make 75 dishes, you only end up spending 375 simoleons.

So, in the end, every 10 minutes you will not only net 5 life points, but earn 4,400 simoleons as well.

I will point out that in order to do this, you basically have 8 sims that are devoted to cooking. The two clean up sims can have whatever hobby you wish as all they are doing is constantly washing dishes. Also, this method requires your constant attention. But, if you want to grind out 30 life points real quick you can do so in an hour, thus making all of the timed quests easily accomplished.

 

 


 

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Ninja Warz – Mini-game Madness

November 29, 2009

In this game, as with other social network games, you have the option of helping out your friends. Friends you can help appear across the bottom with their names highlighted. Assisting one of your friends launches you into one of four mini-games. Depending on how good you are these can take between 25 to 35 seconds to play. I find that it makes for a good time killer when you’re waiting for your health to heal back to full.

The mini-games are as follows

Rescue Ninja from Genbul

Now, as you can see the object is to run away from this big turtle….. well ok actually what you’re trying to do is not get hit by the shuriken being thrown at you… er I mean the turtle from the “friendly” blimp in front of you.

The trick to doing this mission is to watch the horizon line. Any sherkin that do not touch blue sky will hit you. This is far easier then trying to judge based on your character.

As you can see when you jump your character just barely clears the horizon, so even though some of the skuriken will look “too high” to jump over, you’ll make the jump so long as they fall below the horizon. The other thing to keep in mind when you’re jumping is that you can have up to 3 shuriken thrown at you consequtively. So always be ready to immedatley jump again as soon as you land. This also means you can’t delay your jump too much or else you’ll take one to the head when you land.

Stop Blimp Invasion

This is basically a shooting gallery. To achieve a high score here you will need perfect accuracy, additionally you will need to take out blimps quickly. So, if you’re not doing well at this one, first work on your aim. Your aim point should be in front of the blimp and level with the brown section at the bottom. Your shuriken will tend to drift up which is why you need to aim slightly low. Don’t worry about aiming too low though because striking the brown area counts as a hit.

As you can see the father out the blimp is the farther out in front of the blimp you’ll need to aim. Just keep in mind that for the blimps that are at extreme close range throwing in front will result in a miss. If that didn’t make things difficult enough they also travel at different speeds. So, the faster it’s moving the farther in front of the blimp you’ll need to throw.  With some practice though you should be able to get a general sense of  how to adjust for speed.  Also, I find it helps to not wait for it to hit before throwing the next one. It’s either going to hit or miss and watching it isn’t going to change anything. Remember you are timed on this one. But also  keep in mind is that you only need to shoot down 20, not every single one you see. This means that you are better off always taking the easy shots. If you’re not confidant you can hit a blimp don’t throw at it. If you wait a second or two an easier target will likely present it’s self. I’ve managed to get a perfect score on this one without having to take out any of the blimps at the extreme range

Deliver Medical Supplies

This mini-game is an obnoxious sidescroller. The object of course is to make it though without hitting any of the floating islands. There are a couple things to keep in mind with this game. To start with  you want to always keep your blimp level. It takes extra time to steer when the blimp must rotate out of either of these positions.

So, you’re best off keeping it flat. It’s kind of annoying when you’re at the very top or very bottom of the screen but eventually you’re going to have to dodge and if your blimp is level it’s more agile and able to do so. Of course as it is, you want to keep your blimp as close to the middle of the screen as possible rather then the top or bottom. There is always a path through and if you’re at the top of the screen and the path is at the bottom you’re screwed. However, if you’re in the middle you have a reasonable chance of making it. Often you’ll encounter a set of islands that look like you can fly though. If you’re not sure if there’s enough space between them, look at how big of a space is above and below the pair. If  a space outside the pair is large enough for you to fit though, there’s probably not enough space between them so you’ll need to go around.

Put out the fire

This is probably the hardest of all of the mini-games to get a perfect score on. The main thing you want to watch is this flag here

The flag always points in the direction the wind is blowing. Also, how far it is unfurled lets you know how strongly the wind is blowing in that direction. It’s also helpful in that the flag always moves a split second before the wind changes. So the best thing you can do is to immedately stop squirting water when  you see the flag start to move. Then once you see how the wind has changed you can resume putting out fires. It’s worth noting that the smoke coming off of the fires also changes with the wind, but unlike the flag it doesn’t change in advance of the wind at all, making it less ideal.

The Golden Cloud

I’ll admit this is more of an easier egg then a mini-game. But if you don’t have any friends left to help and you’re just sitting on this screen waiting it’s worth watching for. It turns out that the clouds and birds on this screen are click-able objects. The clouds blow away and the birds poop. Every once in awhile after doing this a golden cloud will show up like the one you see above. Clicking on this golden cloud will award you with an amount of gold that is on par with any of the mini-games above. Oh yeah, if you think my blimp looks odd. Its what you get for beating the turtle boss that shows up when you hit level 15.


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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FishVille – by Zynga

November 13, 2009

FishvilleLogo

Publisher Zynga
Platform Facebook
Multi-account Yes
Type Simulation
Initial Review Date 11/13/09
Last Updated 11/13/09
FAQ
Files/Tools Fish Calculator

This installment from zynga is as the name suggests a virtual fish tank. You purchase eggs which immediately become baby fish. You earn money and experience by selling these fish after they have grown. How much you get depends on how long you allow them to grow for.

Each fish has basically two life stages, baby and adult. Baby fish provide the cash and experience listed on the egg multiplied by their age (so an age 3 fish equals those values x3). The growth rate listed tells you two pieces of information; how long it takes for the fish to age and how often the fish must be fed.

All fish start at age zero and it takes the listed amount of time for it to reach each age up to age 4. Baby Fish can go without food for an amount of time equal to their growth rate x 2. So a fish that takes 15 min. to grow, will require food once every 30 minutes. Once the fish has been fed then its feeding timer gets reset. So, it doesn’t matter when you feed it just so long as you feed it before it starves to death. Fish will gladly eat as often as once every 10 sec., each time resetting their timer.

Once a fish hits age 4 it becomes an adult. At this point the fish will age at a rate of 1 age every day (regardless of its original growth rate) and only requires food once every 2 days.

Getting started

When you start you are given an assortment of fish and directions that step you though the basic process. Once you are free to do as you please I would recommend doing the following

  • Sell all of your starting fish ASAP: You’ll want to free up your tank for leveling purposes.
  • Purchase nothing but Mini Dart Gobies: In the early game these fish generate the most experience.
  • Sell all of your fish as soon as they hit age 1: While the values of the fish do accumulate with age you miss out on the experience gained from restocking your tank. Once your tank expands to hold 30 fish this becomes a large amount of experience to be missing out on.
  • Don’t buy Sardines : These fish not only generate less experience then the Gobies but you also don’t get as much money for them either. The only advantage they have is that they become adult fish very quickly. Yes, I realize they might seem better with the shorter growth time. But when you work out the values, Sardines only give you 1.3 xp per min. Where as the Gobies give you 1.6 xp per min. So don’t be fooled by these tasty fish.

Once you hit level 5 the leveling rate will start to slow down a bit, at which point you can either continue to grow and sell Mini Dart Gobies or switch to something with a slower growth rate. It all depends on how much time you’re able to devote to the game. Obviously once you decide you’re done for the day you will want to swap in other fish that should reach age 1 around the time you’ll want to start playing again.


Part 1: FishVille – by Zynga
Part 2: FishVille – Fish Profit Margins
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Mobsters 2 Vendetta – Disrupt a Shipment

November 10, 2009

mobsters2logo

This mission is the same basic game play as the “Destroy a Convoy” mission. However, the enemies are a bit quicker and overall you get less money. Like the other mission though. Getting a high enough score will earn you a permanent boost item. This time around you get this

starofflorence

So, just how much money are we talking?

Well, if you advance all of the waves right away the most money you can spend is $16,505. I’ve found that with this money the following seems to be the most effective combo.

Unit Quantity
Thug 3
Hitman 3
Sniper 2

This leaves you with $5 at the end. I know it might seem pretty boring to just use the Thug and it’s upgrades, but the thug is the most efficient unit. That is he does the most damage for how much money you spend. Only the fully upgraded machine-gun unit is better (the russian merc). Unfortunately, because of how little money you get he simply isn’t practical. I was able to complete the mission using one but I was unable to duplicate that result. The above configuration however, I’ve gotten to work every time. So, certainly there are other ways to complete this mission, but I find this combo to be the easiest to implement.

Where do you put them?

This is the basic arrangement. I’ve found it pays to place the sniper first (that is place a thug and then upgrade him to a sniper). Then advance all of the waves. After doing this you can then place the remaining units at your leisure, upgrading them as you see fit. It seems to work best though to upgrade the final sniper last as he is quite expensive.

So, below place and upgrade the unit with a “1” next to him, first.
mobsters2final2


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
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Cafe World – By Zynga

October 6, 2009

CafeWorldLogo

Publisher Zynga
Platform online
Multi-account no
Type Simulation
Initial Review Date 10/6/09
Last Updated 10/6/09
FAQ
Files/Tools Calculator

Item Database Spreadsheet

Cafe World is a combination of Restaurant City and FarmVille. Initially it strongly resembles Restaurant City as you have some stoves, 1 person tables and can hire friends as waiters. To this extant many of the strategies that work in RC work in Cafe World as well. The difference however is the way in which food preperation works. Your cook does not cook to order, but rather it’s done caffeteria style. You pick out some foods and cook multiple serverings of that food. Once cooked the food is then transfered to a serving table where it is picked up by your wait staff. Because you’re esstentially making all of your meals ahead of time, there is no advantage to where you place your ovens relative to the serving tables.  These changes affect your strategy somewhat but proably the easiest way to think of the game is as a two part game.

Part 1, is the same as FarmVille. You pick out your dish (seeds) which you then begin to cook. These cooking times for some dishes can be as long as 2 days. Once the food is cooked it begins to rot. Thankfully it rots at the same rate at which it was cooked. If you do not transfer it to the wait table before this time elapses the food will go bad and it becomes unservable. Once you have collected your food (harvested) your stove will be dirty. You can then Clean (Plow) the stove for 15 coins to make it usable again. At which point you can start the whole process over again. Just like farmville the xp you gain comes from cooking and transferring your food.

Part 2 of the game is the same as restaurant city. Once your food is cooked it begins to be served to customers who walk in the door. Each happily served customer will increase your “thumbs up” rating. The higher this rating is the faster customers will file into your restaurant. Just like in restaurant city you want to minimize the walking distance of your wait staff. The difference is that instead of having to wait for a cook to cook the food they can immediately serve from the pre-prepared food stack. This means that a single waiter can handle a very large number of tables by them self.

Now, I will point out that because the game is still new not all of the pathing AI has been worked out. This means that if you trap your waiter (the ideal setup) sometimes the pathing will foul up and they won’t be able to reach a table despite the fact that they are standing right next to it. What’s more, the waiter’s actions get put into a queue of sorts. This means that because they can’t reach that table they will simply stop serving  food all together. The only remedy I’ve found is to make sure your waiter can get out if they need to. The result is that every now and then they will randomly take the long way around to complete some task. I hope to see this problem corrected soon as it’s pretty annoying.

Getting started

Now, ideally you would want to sell the high profit long cooking time foods. The problem is, that if those are the only foods you cook you won’t make any money (and therefore get to play) until a day or so has passed. Thankfully, you can serve one dish type for every wait table you have. To take advantage of this, set half your ovens to cook the long lead time food that you want. Then use the other half to cook things like hamburgers and fruit salads. These items have short turn around times which will allow you to start serving food right away. Additionally, you’ll be able to earn xp at a fairly fast pace allowing you to easily level up a few times.

I think this game presents an interesting challenge. I look forward to looking into the cooking times to develop strategies. I have noticed that you gain a substantial amount of xp for the long cooking time items when you transfer them from the oven to the wait table. I wonder if this means that the short lead items may not be as useful for leveling as they initially seem.


Part 1: Cafe World – By Zynga
Part 2: Cafe World – Food Profit Margins
Part 3: Cafe World – Flying Food
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Restaurant City – Popularity does not equal efficiency

September 4, 2009

restaurant_city_banner
I know there has been a lot of discussion about table setups, popularity and restaurant efficiency. I’ve given it considerable thought and have realized I’d been making a common mistake. Like many players I had assumed that popularity is a measure of how efficient your restaurant is. After all, if people aren’t leaving angry I must be making everyone happy and of course the only way to make people happy is by feeding them.

This however, an an incredibly erroneous assumption which I believe is what has lead to so much confusion and hostility. After all, how could someone’s restaurant be anything but efficient if they are at 50 popularity?

The answer is surprisingly simple when you think about it. In order to gain popularity all you have to do is make 51% of the people you serve happy. The fact is this ratio can be met well before your restaurant is running at maximum efficiency.

So, then what’s the difference between popularity and efficiency then?

An efficient restaurant is one which maximizes the amount of money it makes over a given time period. Where as a popular restaurant simply makes more people happy then it makes unhappy. This is pretty easy visualize when you think about it. After all, with enough arcade machines I could maintain  a restaurant at 50 popularity with 0 cooks and 0 waiters. Clearly such a restaurant, while popular isn’t making as much money as possible, in fact it isn’t making any money at all! Of course, it’s possible to achieve a 50 popularity without the use of arcade machines at all. Hence the misunderstandings that arise.

So then, how does one maximize popularity?

It’s surprisingly easy when you consider the following equations.

Change in Popularity = ((# Happy Customers)/Time)-((# Unhappy Customers)/Time)
Total # of Customers = # Happy Customers + # of Neutral Customers + # of Unhappy Customers

What we can immediately see is that there are two primary ways of raising popularity. We can either convert unhappy customers into happy or neutral customers, or we can reduce the rate at which customers become unhappy. The 1st two are fairly obvious but the later can be a source of confusion. So I’ll put some numbers in to demonstrate

Lets assume for a base case that every minute we are making 10 customers happy and 10 customers unhappy and 3 customers netural. So, our rates are as follows.

Happy = 10/60 = 1 customer every 6 seconds
Unhappy Happy = 10/60 = 1 customer every 6 seconds
Neutral = 3/60 = 1/20 = 1 customer every 20 seconds

This results in a rate of

Popularity Rate = 1/6 – 1/6 = 0
Total # of Customers in 1 minute = 10+3+10 = 23

Now, lets say we add some waiting chairs to double the length of time it takes to produce an angry customer.

Popularity Rate = 1/6 – 1/12 = 1/12 or +1 rating every 12 seconds
Total # of Customers in 1 minute = 10+3+5 = 18

Now, wait a minute. If people are coming in at a constant rate, shouldn’t the number of customers be constant as well? how can the # of customers go down?

well, keep in mind that what we are really counting is ratings, not physical customers that walk though the door. Afterall, when a customer walks in we don’t know if they’re going to be happy, unhappy or neutral. So what has happened is that we have customers sitting in chairs that have not yet been accounted for. So, while after 1 minute the same number of people have walked in, fewer have walked out.

Now, you might think. “but don’t we eventually catch up? I mean they eventually leave right?”. While it’s true that we haven’t reduced the actual number of negative ratings keep in mind that as soon as those angry customers leave we immedately begin to delay some more. So, instead of having angry cusomters “outside” reducing our rating we are keeping a number of them inside where they can’t hurt us.

This is why, while mazing can be used to raise your popularity it is generally not considered an effecient way of doing things. Since it reduces both happy and unhappy customer rates. But it has a bigger negative effect on the unhappy customer rate then it does on the happy customer rate.

Below are some ways you can raise your popularity Rate.

Increase the number of waiting chairs: some customers walk in get angry and then immedately leave, this makes for an easy source of angry customers you can delay by simply giving them chairs to sit in.
Move seating areas farther away from the front door: Because a customer will not get angry until it has sat in a chair for a certain amount of time, making them walk father before getting to the chair can increase how long it takes them to get mad.
Maximize the distance between table chairs and waiting chairs: Customers can be made to wait even longer if they can transfer from a waiting chair to a chair next to a table. This will effectively “reset” how long they are willing to wait.
Add extra table chairs: by having additional table/chair combinations beyond what your cooks can handle you can ensure that your angry customers are forced to wait that much longer. Ideally you would want to place these where they can be reached by waiters/cooks. That way you don’t have customers sitting at isolated tables that would otherwise be able to be served.
Add arcade machines: While fairly obvious this is included for completeness. Arcade machines will convert angy customers into netural customers.

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Mine Sweeper – Hints and Strategies

July 28, 2009

MineSweeper Logo1

Publisher Various
Platform Nearly All
Mult-account No
Type Puzzle
Initial Review Date 7/27/09
Last Updated 7/27/09
Films Mine Sweeper – The Movie
Files/Tools

So, you’re probably wondering why the heck I’m reviewing this game. After all, it’s been around forever it seems. Well, this is precisely why I’m going over it. It’s been around forever and versions of it will probably continue to pop up for the rest of eternity. More specifically though, I feel that a guide is useful since you’re likely to encounter this as a mini-game inside of a much larger game.

The mechanics of the game are pretty simple. You click on a box which then reveals a number or a series of blank boxes and a number. Each number identifies how many mines are touching that square. On easy settings it will be fairly easy to identify which square is the mine. You then mark the square as being a mine. Once all of the mines have been identified that are touching a square, the remaining squares may be safely revealed.

Strategy

1s, 2s and 3s are typically fairly easy to identify. So I’m going to look at what to do when you get something other then one of these.

  • Solve the easy ones first: I know this might seem kind of obvious, but seriously sometimes it’s best to just skip the ones you can’t immediately figure out and move on. Often you’ll end up revealing enough that you can figure it out. At the very least Sometimes all it takes is looking at it with “fresh eyes”, to see the solution. So, if you can’t figure it out right away don’t fret just move on and come back later.
  • See if you can eliminate any: While sometimes this is easier said then done, the next thing you should try is to see if you can figure out which squares can’t be mines. Because situtions like this aboudoun and each one is slightly different I won’t try to give a specfic example. Instead, pick out a square and say “if this square were a bomb is there a possible configuration that makes these other blocks work out right?”. If the answer is yes, then ignore that box for now and move on to the next one. While this may seem time consuming often times eliminating even just one block like this will open up much of the board for you.
  • Look at how many Bombs are left: The next thing to consider is how many more bombs you’re looking for. There may be two or more configurations of bombs that match what numbers you have left. But some of those configurations may require there to be more bombs then there actually are. If you’re able to narrow down which combinations are possible, you will likely discover
    that some blocks can’t be bombs.
  • Ignore the Clock: The Clock is not your friend. All, it will do is waste your time and cause you to panic. Instead you should try to go quickly but not quicker then you can think. The more you play this game, the more you will start to recognize patterns. Additionally, you’ll find that specic thought processes get quicker the more often you go through them. Consider driving a car for example. When you were first learning there were all these things you had to “think about”. But after driving for years many of these processes have become second nature to you. It’s not that you don’t still have these thought processes occur, they simply occur much faster now with repeated use. this game is no different

Guessing

Unfortunately, some mine sweeper games are poorly written and it is not possible to solve a puzzle without guessing. There are two schools of thought of what to do in this situation.

  • Guess at the End: There are formulas and theories which state that you can estimate which square is most likely to contain a bomb. Of course, this is based on past patterns and being able to recognize how the bombs are “clumped”. Therefore, the more of the board you can see the more readily you’ll be able to identify the pattern. So, you should go ahead and solve the rest of the puzzle if you can before guessing.
  • Guess Right Away: The fact remains, that if it’s a guess, it’s a guess. Even if one option has a 90% chance and the other has a 10% chance, you’re still saying it’s possible the 10% one is the bomb. If this is not the case then a guess is not a guess any more, but rather reasoned logic. In my opinion I see no reason to waste my time solving the rest of the puzzle just to lose because I picked the wrong one. I might as well pick now. If I get it right, great. If I get it wrong, then I haven’t wasted my time on a game I was going to lose anyway. Of course, before you guess. Make sure that it really isn’t possible to know which block is the bomb. If it’s possible to figure out with additional information, then it’s not a square that requires guessing, it’s one that requires additional info. In which case you should probably move on and come back to it later.

Additional Abilities

In some mine sweeper games, you are granted extra abilities which can help you solve the puzzle. In my opinion using such abilities is not cheating because they have been provided to you to use. The most common of these is what I’ll call the “reveal click”. On PC versions this is typically activated by hitting the 3rd mouse button (on two button mice the 3rd button is used by clicking both buttons at the same time). When  you use this special click on a square what it will do is check how that square is marked. If the number on the square matches the number of flagged squares touching it then it will automatically reveal the remaining unflagged squares. This can be a huge time saver since it allows you to reveal multiple squares with a single click. Just keep in mind that it reveals squares based on
how you’ve marked them, not what is under them. So, if you have misidentified a square then you’ll lose as if you’d clicked on the bombed square yourself.