Hay Day

It has been two years since I have been on Hay Day and some things never change. It’s very addictive and keeps me busy! I had really been enjoying first Puzzle Craft and then Puzzle Craft 2 to the extent I was 142 on the leaderboard. That’s a real achievement for me.

There came a day where I kept getting an interfering game message every time I did anything on Puzzle Craft 2 . I wanted to get into the top 100. Chillingo responded pretty quickly when I contacted them and fixed the game ad interference which had broken all enjoyment of the game for me for two days. By than time I was on Hay Day again .

Hay Day has some good changes. I love being able to decorate the market stall, truck and house. I love the game boosters you can get now. They have listened and allowed some very effective ground expansions which come with some nice decorations. There is an animal sanctuary in the town but it takes forever to get the puzzle pieces. They have expanded the crops, trees and plants. All of that was lovely to discover because graphically it is a very good game and most of it is set up to work well.

Now the ad paper is full of tofu dogs, rustic bouquets and cloche hats. It’s silly. Somehow I manage to sell mine but you get sick of looking at them. You also get sick of running out of tomatoes, chillis, cream, butter and cheese. The dairy is impossible to keep up with. That part of the game is not quite right. I get rid of or ignore requests to hand over large quantities of things like sugar, butter, honey. Another storey on the honey tree would be lovely. It is those shortages which make it hard to move forward with a sense of satisfaction.

Unlike Puzzle Craft, the diamonds (runes equivalent) are very hard to come by and the pressure is to buy more. Puzzle Craft 2 had a good balance with those sorts of things. Hay Day works on a deficit model and then suddenly comes up trumps and it’s great. Needs to be more often.

The community is mostly very positive and collaborative but there are still the people who swarm in like locusts, grab what they want and offer no help.

I try and help those on levels under 20. I remember finding it really hard on Hay Day until I got to around level 14.

I am doing well and finding my place in the scheme of things. There are people on some very impressive numbers. I aim to just enjoy what is a mostly well thought out game which is still going strongly.

Solbot Energy Rush

Solbot Energy Rush is a mobile game where you collect orbs to create renewable energy. It is , at least, a game which focuses on 21st Century energy issues. There is information accessible from within the game to give you tips and ideas for creating a more sustainable planet. To be a true educational game I’d like that information to be coming up as I play. The little robot changes colour as you go through the game levels and you collect the energy orbs which match the colour of the robot. It’s a drop down and collect game and then you need the navigational skills to be able to avoid the energy balls you don’t want to collect.

It’s a good game to have on your phone to fill in time if you are having to wait for something. It didn’t work so well on my iPad Air which I have had since 2015. It kept hanging. That might not be the game’s problem. I am on an Australian nbn connection which can drift in and out at times and then create lag on some apps. We are still putting in the infrastructure for our nbn and these sorts of things cause band width problems.

On my phone Solbot Energy Rush has worked perfectly fine and has been advantageous to me to build up my thumb skills. I don’t naturally use my thumbs on my phone as some people do. One of the advantages of playing different games is they get you good at screen skills. There are times when the robot moves of its own accord and I have been blown up by bad energy. That doesn’t bother me because its’ part of the repetitious learning in games to enhance your skills.

I quite like the graphics. I think they are well designed for a phone screen which has such a small screen real estate. Everything stands out well and is placed appropriately. You don’t make inadvertent clicks because the graphics are in the wrong place. I haven’t minded the adverts either. There have been things I have seen which have interested me and I have already downloaded one of the games which was advertised. For me  it’s good because I won’t naturally go looking for that type of information.

My favourite phone game is Bejewelled Blitz and I find Solbot Energy Rush to be another good option. It’s a Unity built game by Freakout games.  They  have a Facebook page  and are on Twitter @freakoutgames. They are pleasant and polite to deal with. They were keen to resolve my iPad issues with the game so they take user experience seriously. There’s another review of this game on XNVR. In the end, you find the games which suit your needs but this one is worth a try.

You can get the Apple version for iPad and iPhone from the App Store here and the android version  for  other tablets and phones  from the Google Play store here.

 

 

Puzzle Craft 2

puzzle craft 2I am probably going to be there for the rest of the year trying to get the Royal Dock upgrade to my castle. Lessons in patience and tolerance. Trying to get thousands of these resources is hard work, time consuming, low reward and drudgery. It is a holding pattern which forces you to do things and then get some of the  awards in the game. I work all the villages. I have invested a lot more in tools from the magic portal. I have to build up my game coins to buy resources because you cannot easily make them. I have to focus on collecting gems to buy coins to buy resources. One top gamer I know tells me the worst thing a game can do to you is force you into a holding pattern. He says it sometimes happens when they are working on new additions to the game. Maybe. I am supposed to be getting 100 mandrake on one of my farms. Not going to happen. There is no mandrake in the game according to official information. I have to build another 91 buildings to gain the final building banner but there are no buildings to build. They are in the villages and there is no sign I am going to a new village any time soon. Meanwhile I have to play all the boards to manage resources so I have enough to make tools and then add to my Royal Dock progress. It may be a ploy to get people to abandon the game and go onto something else. Pity , if that is the case, and it would be a disappointing way for what has been a really rewarding game to finish. Most of the challenges on the boards are good but some just keep coming up over and over again. It really is time to get some new ones with all the new animals and plants. Being stuck in Royal Dock mode has added to my animal and plant knowledge. Some challenges make you learn these things and other times you have to get your research right in order to complete the challenges effectively. I am still liking the game or I wouldn’t be playing it. Bit over tapping endlessly to by the hundreds of items I can afford for the Royal Dock when I get enough spare coins. Tap , tap, tap, tap…yawn…can’t I buy 10 or 100 at a time? In perspective, nothing I have complained  about along the way in the game  is particularly relevant when you get to mind numbing mega collection of hay or dirt or wood. Can’t wait for the salt and water collection. It  will take so much longer because they are expensive to buy and you cannot make a lot from the boards to sustain thousands for the Royal Dock and then enough to make tools. There I was thinking I’d be lolling in my castle eating strawberries. 🍓🍓🍓

Puzzle Craft 2

I am up to level 163, have all the animal and plant resources and am ploughing away at another mammoth castle upgrade where I have to stockpile hundreds of resources. It’s a game killer because collecting a thousand fish and a thousand spices and things like 1600 iron really affects tool production and trading. I like being at the level of the game where I can have access to bigger tool allocations but not if I am struggling to make them. Paying 500 rune to get the cherries, the very last thing in the plants and animals was a total anti climax. Long chains of cherries are too long for this stage of the game and so after all that effort….nothing really. It was a game changer, though, and I can now use my runes to save more boards and invest in chests and associated tools. That has been fun. I can work the villages according to the challenges and that means all of them at this stage. I have to think out which village and which boards are to my advantage. It is not an easy game. I am constantly working on strategy and rethinking my use of the boards and plants and animals available. It is important to be aware how to get free moves because that can be a good way to maximise the returns on the boards. It is also important to know which resources will offer the best returns. I am totally stuck with the mandrake challenge and no information in the game or on the net. I have 100 mandrakes to collect and there is no spot for them in the collections and no clue as to how to get them. Trading maybe. Most likely not. Trading is limited to minerals but a fantastic way to collect runes. I haven’t figured out why the trade port offers things I don’t have to trade. No one trades on no stock. I usually don’t have the stock because the castle upgrade has exhausted my supplies or tool making has. It is all about thinking and priorities. It’s a game,though. If I find the game play annoying I just go and play any boards in any village the way I want to. This game has kept me challenged for months so making my own decisions as to how I want to play is easy. It really is a good game.jPuzzle craft 2

Puzzle Craft 2

puzzle craft 2I am easily amused. I love exploding rats with beetroots! Saves on tools and it’s just funny. Mostly I collect rats other ways but there are times where I just let the beetroots do the work for me. The game does have a sense of humour. I just about have all the animals, plants and birds. Four to go. Looking forward to the mammoth. The Entelodon was good value because I get more mounts and that increases horseshoes which then increases income. In some of the villages I just get game coins. Not a problem. The Entelodon is worth getting. Other things not so much. So why did I get a dodo? The game forces me to focus on the same animals and plants most of the time. The challenges tend to come up with the same animals and plants.  I then work out it’s easier to use certain animals, plants and birds because that is how you progress faster. It is not all bad. I really needed to use the strawberries on one board because it meant I could collect fruit in one tap and that meant I could still capitalise on that board which was proving to be quite a test of my thinking. I can set a board up for when the swamp is there and yes, for the rats. Sometimes the game intervenes and forces me to deal with it differently.

Right now I am more or less in a holding pattern just collecting things. I have 800 spice and 800 fish and 1200 iron to collect for the next castle upgrade. I got the other hundreds of things. That is just long and drawn out. You can’t get that many fish, spice and iron. I badly need the iron for tools. So on and on and on we go. Buying is too expensive so I just have to wait and collect these things slowly. Very slowly. It is not a reasonable ask. Getting 1200 bread or eggs was not hard. This is too slow. I am collecting runes for the new animals and plants too because  I can only pay for them in runes. That is not unreasonable because I have to work at it and the game helps me and then I have to help myself.

The image is from the first village. I always use that. I can build up resources, points and rewards with that village. It’s quick and straight forward but not without its challenges. Often I learn something in the game and the next minute I have to unlearn it and relearn a different way of doing something. Let’s hear it for neuroplasticity. The first village can build up some good skills without the big sacrifices of trying it out on another board in another village. Would love to be able to grow that village a bit more now I’ve progressed so far in the game.

I worked out I had to do a lot of decorating to complete one of the cups but I have no idea how I am going to get 50 weeds on one of the boards when not enough come in onto the board and then there is no way of collecting them other than using the magic wand but I’d be paying out runes or real money and still no guarantee of 50 weeds in one session. The advantage of that board , as it stands, though, is I get lots of practice in skills and I build up lots of resources. It does actually play a positive role in the game even though it’s a bit odd.

The game continues to challenge and divert but all this collecting is driving me a bit bonkers! Thank heavens for exploding rats and the other fun things in the game… like the alpacas which jump like Tigger. So cute.

Josefine Grimm-Blenk

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