Puzzle Craft 2

puzzle craft 2

What am I supposed to do with a board like that? I had to collect lemons for a challenge but I didn’t need lemons to gain access to the next fruit. I needed to collect cattle so I could get horses. It means I should have set the board up to get more fruit but I set it up for animals so I could achieve the cattle and then the horses. The puzzle boards in the last village often pose problems like this. The biggest challenge is working out which villages to use to maximise collecting resources so I can achieve what needs to be achieved. I have to collect silver chests in the first village. They can come up or I can pay 400 coins and maybe not get the items for the collection. it is not that easy to make game coins at moment but I am getting better at it by working other villages. I am using the water game in the village which doesn’t bring up storms, sharks and pirates so I can conserve game coins! The pirate board just sucks up the game coins as does this farm in the last village by always bringing out the rats or cluttering the board so I have to use tools to get out of a bind. The game limits tools so I have to use brains and strategy to overcome the issues and challenges. I was building up gems so I could get the strawberry and I did ,only to find out I can’t really happily use it in the game because I now have to collect jack fruit. The vegan answer to meat. Why? Jack fruit make rats appear. Then they allow me to achieve another fruit which is very attractive to rats. Who, in their right mind would want to be doing that? I’d rather have strawberries…but then I won’t progress in the game. At his stage I just have to meet the challenges and try to get the other animals, vegetables , fruit and mounts. Not easy but that’s the point. I have to think how I am going to do that. Meanwhile ,I have no idea why. My tools were all packed into a galleon to be taken off somewhere. In the other villages they were packed up and I did custom puzzle boards to get to the next village. I have just been told to work on collections and resources. Have no idea where I am going ! I’ll find out. I have the castle ready to upgrade but the silver chests in the first village have given me some great treasures but not all the collection items as yet. Shall I pay 400 game coins a pop for them? I have always worked that first village. It is wonderfully simple and it doesn’t matter what is on the board . It is always dealt with quickly and I get a sense of being able to do something without having to break my head like with the puzzle board featured in the post. Some of the puzzles really push me to think hard. Like trading. I have to think about the trading according to what resources I will lose on the trade or whether I can make game coins out of the trade. I’d love to be able to trade things from the other villages. I have over 400 eggs in my first village and I can only sell a few at a time and they are not used up in producing tools in this village. I want to trade them! Trading is limited to the last village and then only certain items are traded. Sometimes I’d like to be able to choose so I can get rid of the gluts. It’s not always an issue because more often than not I am running short of things to produce enough tools. I use my other villages to help buffer the production blow on tools at this level of the game. I am hoping to get my new castle soon…and be able to eat lots of strawberries!

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Puzzle Craft 2

Puzzle Craft 2This game has got me really challenged at the moment. I have 6 villages and am up to level 119. At this stage it all plays out in a very complex way. I can’t easily collect resources. I can’t easily make game coins. I can’t easily do what I think I should be doing and so I do what I can. That’s a first for this game. It is hard and I am really having to think. I am using two villages to try and get experience points and resources . Without the resources you don’t have sufficient tools. The bigger game boards can deplete you of your game coins just so you can finish the board. I can’t easily collect animals so I can get the new one released. It is interesting how much the game has changed and how alert I have to be. Sometimes I just have to resign myself to losing game coins because I need to get rid of the rats or free up the board to play it to the finish. I gather the resources and within two minutes they are gone on tools so you can play another board. In the sea port village I can’t trade successfully necessarily so that is not something I can rely on to build resources. Sometimes the tools from the magic portal help and sometimes not. I have to get a lot of experience points at this stage to get the next award. That’s the thing. There are cups to collects, banners, resources to gather, buildings to build, money to make, trading to do and all the while I have to stay in control of your assets. Phew! It really makes me work on strategy. I use two water games. One in the 5th village  mainly to build resources I can sell . Sometimes I need them to unlock animals, fruit or plants. In the 6th village I have the pirate ship to contend with. My nemesis. I hate it. It forces me to play that board as a victim. I do get coins now when I defeat it but I had to focus on getting that building built so I got the coins. Meanwhile the pirate ship just blows all my game coins away until I can manoeuvre my own boat to defeat. it. I so want that cannot in the fort but have a few buildings and a stockpile of resources to gather. There are days I just ignore that board. Nothing else in the game forces me to be a victim. Everything else gives me a chance to think my way out. The pirate ship? I am on the board, I can do nothing and I just hope I can get in the right position to get rid of the ship. Meanwhile I have used up navigation and sailing moves which I could have used to get resources. It’s amazing how much this game has changed since I first started playing it. I really am at the stage where I have to think out everything and there is no simple answer. Every resolution to the challenges the game poses has to be thought out . It’s why I like the game even when I am not liking it!! I don’t want a game where I do the same thing, I repeat the same tasks , I move in the same pattern and I just am basically in a holding pattern. There is no real growth. Puzzle craft 2 grows and I am growing with it and I have to change to be able to keep playing it. As I said before, it’s a good game to develop flexible thinking and neuroplasticity.

Puzzle Craft 2

I hate the pirate ship! When you go onto that water puzzle you have to be prepared to lose money and not necessarily achieve your aims. It means you won’t get the resources you need.

puzzle craft 2

The pirate ship pops up and makes horrible noises, moves really quickly and is hard to defeat because there is no clear way of doing that. I might work it out eventually but in the mean time I shall just hate its unpredictability, noise and negative impact on the board. It makes it unpleasant. The swamp board in the previous village is at least quiet as it sucks up my  game money and resources. I regularly lose about $2000 coins trying to get anywhere on the swamp farm board. It’s all relative , though. I now find that easier than this new pirate one I have to deal with. My reaction is to go to those boards once a day, hold my breath, know I am not going to like any of it and not even care if I do well somehow by magic. The swamp board has really made me pay attention. The swamp can operate by stealth as your eyes are distracted by wiggly animals or wolves and rats popping up.

It’s not all bad. I am actually up to Level 108 today and so it’s an indication I love this game  and have persisted with it. I reached the new village earlier in the week and that was a major achievement. I had had to really work hard on getting  the resources I needed to get there. Every time there is a new village the game undergoes a big change and I have to rethink my strategies. I am working out how to get resources to run things, how to make money, how to get runes, how to get workers, the next animals and plants and so on. There is a lot to manage and think about. It is always changing and so you have to adapt and become more flexible in your thinking.

The graphics are excellent. I love the parrots, the ships, the amazing flying golden rams and the swamp clearers which don’t actually clear swamp at all!! There is some wonderfully detailed graphic artwork in the game and sometimes I wish I could play it on my big screen so I could appreciate the detail better.

Puzzle Craft 2 is very challenging. For the most part it is good challenging and then it throws a curved ball at you like the pirate ships and forces you to deal with it…or not. I don’t like it! As far as I am concerned it wrecks that board, but then again, so would pirates. I have to determine how to proceed so I am not overwhelmed by something which is , frankly, disturbing. It’s aggressive. That’s what I don’t like about it but the game supports you and challenges you and then makes you take risks and get out of your comfort zone. The fall back position is to go off into other villages and onto other boards to get a break and so something more positive and productive.

It will take me quite some time to finish this last village by the sea. It has been a great game which diverts me but also keeps my neuroplasticity in good form.

 

Puzzle Craft 2

Puzzle Craft 2I am nearly up to level 100 on this game . It is fun, challenging and really makes me think. You cannot solve things in 5 minutes and you really have to work on strategy across the 5 villages at this level. I have to get a blackberry to be able to progress to the new and last village. You cannot bash and smash your way through this game. You cannot buy your way out and you cannot take the easy road. You have to work with your brain to sort though the possibilities and work out a way of achieving what you are focused on at that point. I work all the villages at different times because some bring resources I need, some rewards, some build up the points levels and then the main village is where I am still trying to complete all the buildings to move on. That and the blackberry. It is a great game for people who like lots of challenges and who like to puzzle! The swamp is awful. No matter how much you install swamp cleaners it never improves. That icky stuff still gets you and your resources. It makes you realise you can be totally inattentive at times . While you are looking at one thing , you don’t notice the swamp is claiming another. Ditto the moles in the mine. They are horrible. My solution now , since I have more money, is just to blow them up because they can really wreck your board when you are trying to get resources in the mine. I don’t think I’ll ever collect all the moose because of the swamp, but then again, there are other things I thought I’d never do in this game and I end up thinking my way through. The game plays with you. It will reward you generously for trying your hardest and achieving something good and it will force you to reshape your approach so that you are more successful in your strategies. I love the water puzzles. At this level they bring some interesting configurations you have to manage but the opportunities are there to apply yourself. The graphics in the game are really good. Much thought has gone into the images, the characterisation and effective visual literacy. That’s the thing. You do have to pay attention. You do have to notice and you do have to read the information about the plants and animals so that you can devise ways and means of progressing. In this game research is important and you have to manipulate the data you have to get good outcomes. I am now regularly getting the  tools from the magic portal so that has been helping a lot. You have to build up those points so that you can. I have also liked seeing the videos of what other games there are on the iPad. It is one way you can get some free rewards but it is also a way of seeing how much the iPad games graphics have improved and the selections of games. This game has just got better and better the more I have played it. I have never felt like I am doing the same ol’ same ol’ and I have never felt like it is too easy or too hard. There is a good balance. There is also an opportunity to work it out for yourself. Some things in the game are just there and are not explained. It is not a nanny game. It makes you stand on your own two feet and think for yourself. Sometimes you just have to work out for yourself how to get something for get rid of something. I like that. There is no easy fix because I have a brain and I can use it. Love that approach in this game.

Benefits of gaming

Let’s get this clear. It is not all gaming and it is not binge gaming. There has to be discernment and balance with gaming as there ought to be with other things in life. One of the unexpected benefits of gaming I have discovered in my research into gaming is that they are actually helpful to people undergoing treatments for cancer and for pain management therapy. Cancer treatment of America looks at the benefits of gaming for cancer patients. It has been particularly good for children because it reduces the amount of pain killers they have to be on. NCBI has published research on the use of video games for pain management. Psychology Today looks at the cognitive benefits of game playing which is what has mostly been picked up in the media. Dr. Mark Griffiths who is a professor at the Nottingham Trent University in the UK looks at the educational benefits of video games in his research. C. Shawn Green and Aaron R. Seitz have a very thorough look at the impact of gaming and which games are helpful and how they are helpful neurologically . It also makes clear that games have to be tailored to the individual in order for them to be having a positive impact on cognition, attention and neurological development:

“The effect of a game depends on how it is interacted
with—A key difference from the action of a drug is that the
impact of a video game depends on how that individual interacts
with the game, with individual differences in motivation,
personality, and nascent cognitive abilities leading to
completely different game experiences. At the extreme, it is
obvious that having a child with ADHD press random buttons
on the game controller will provide an ineffective learning
experience. Thus, the results of a given video game
intervention can vary widely across individuals. While we
have discussed data from many demographic groups (from
children to seniors; from those with mental health impairments
to athletes and surgeons), showing that video games
can positively influence many demographics, there are
numerous reasons why a game that helps one individual may
or may not have the same effects on another.”

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