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Village Sim Strategy and Puzzle Guide
      07/22/05 08:16 PM

I have written the following guide for Village Sim in a way that allows a reader to get progressively more help with the game. This guide progresses from a general idea of how to develop a strategy for playing the game, to gentle hints about the puzzles, to outright spoilers. This guide applies to v1.0 of Village Sim. I will provide an update to this guide after the release of the v1.1 update. Feel free to come over and join the discussion on the Village Sim forum at LDW's web site.

Village Sim Strategy and Puzzle Guide

Your little band of villagers has washed up on a remote island, and they?re lost and confused. Now what? There are two basic objectives in Village Sim: successfully managing the day-to-day routine of your little band of castaways so that they are able to thrive in their new home and unlocking the mysteries of Isola. The former is absolutely necessary to make sure that your little villagers survive, which will allow you to pursue the second objective of solving the puzzles. The trick is finding the right balance between the two. The more villagers you have, the faster they can research new technologies and solve the puzzles, but having too many mouths to feed can quickly deplete available food supplies and spell disaster for your tribe!

The first thing you need to work on in Village Sim is making sure that your villagers? basic needs are met. Their most urgent need is food, which you?ll find in limited supply at the berry bush. They will soon need additional housing, too, and there is already a foundation for a new hut that your builder can get to work on. Turning on tutorial mode the first time through the game will help familiarize you with the mechanics of playing Village Sim.

A good strategy for success early in the game is to make sure that you keep the food supply above the 300-400 level, if at all possible. Don?t be in too big a rush to create a baby boom, or you might find yourself scrambling to save your tribe from the brink of starvation. There are some important points to keep in mind as you develop your own strategy for playing Village Sim:
  • The berry supply is limited and you?ll need to find another food source as soon as possible.
  • Nursing mothers devote all of their time to caring for their baby and don?t do any productive work in the village for 2 years of game time.
  • Babies eat as much as adults and making too many babies too soon can quickly create a food crisis.
  • Any adult villager (even a sick one) can heal another villager, but healing is only possible when a villager?s status is ?Sick? (check the Details screen).
  • Sometimes a villager will "resist" healing attempts by a specific doctor. If that happens, try to heal your sick villager again with a different villager.
  • Sick villagers need to be healed or they will weaken and die
  • Villagers can become weakened by prolonged disease, starvation, on-the-job injuries, or old age.
  • Villagers who show a status of "Weakened" will generally improve in health over time unless they are sick, elderly or continue to suffer on-the-job injuries.
  • The villagers need to be taught to perform a new job ? they will not initiate tasks in an occupation in which they have no skill.
  • Selecting a technology on the Village Tech screen and clicking on the ?Info? button will give you information that will be helpful in choosing the order in which to purchase new technology.
  • The villagers? curiosity is often a clue to puzzles.

General puzzle strategy guide:

Most of the puzzles are dependent upon some combination of Village Tech, population, and other puzzles. Although some puzzles depend upon the completion of specific puzzles, the 12 puzzles are rarely completed in the order that you see them on the puzzle screen. Pay attention to the things that your villagers are curious about and the messages that you see when you take one of your villagers ?exploring? around the island. These often provide clues that will help you solve the puzzles. Another good strategy is to drag one of your adult villagers around the island after every tech purchase and look for new things that they can work on. Most of the frustration related to solving the puzzles is brought on by impatience. It takes time for your villagers to gain the necessary skills and technology to work through all of the puzzles.

Hints for the 12 puzzles:

You can safely browse these if you just need a gentle push in the right direction.

Puzzles 1, 3, and 6 are new huts that supply housing for your growing population. Your builders will take care of building them for you when your tribe needs additional housing.

Puzzle 2 allows access to the ocean. Villagers don?t like dirty beaches.

For puzzle 4, you should take a villager exploring in the northwest corner of the island after you have attained a certain level of Village Tech.

Puzzle 5 depends upon puzzle 4. Take a villager exploring on the east side of the village and look for a message that should give you a clue to help you figure out this puzzle.

Puzzle 7 allows your poor, departed villagers to receive a proper burial. Level 2 of a certain Village Tech is required, along with a peaceful place away from the hubbub of village life.

Puzzle 8 requires certain levels of Village Tech. Take a villager exploring on the southeast side of the village.

Puzzle 9 depends upon completion of puzzle 8 and additional Village Tech. Take a villager exploring on the west side of the village.

Puzzle 10 depends upon completion of puzzle 9 and additional Village Tech. Your villagers will be able to complete this puzzle on their own once you have met the necessary conditions.

Puzzle 11 depends upon completion of puzzle 10 and will be solved by one of your villagers.

Puzzle 12 has no dependency on other puzzles. It is pretty much an easter egg and can be solved as soon as you have the necessary Village Tech and a villager who has mastered a specific skill (and also has a specific secondary skill). Unlike the way you located the other puzzles, you have to actually drop your skilled villager in the right place to find what you're looking for. Dragging him around the island won't reveal the location.

Detailed spoilers for the 12 puzzles:

Don?t read these unless you want to know exactly how to solve each of the puzzles.

Puzzles 1, 3, and 6 are additional huts that your villagers will construct as your population grows and your villagers require more housing. The huts will be initiated, as needed, by one of your builders. Your population is limited to 7 villagers until the first hut is finished. Once it?s finished, your tribe can grow to a population of 15. The second hut allows your population to expand to 25 villagers, and the final hut allows your population to grow to the maximum number of villagers supported on your particular model of Palm device. For most models the limit is 65 villagers. You must have a villager trained in construction in order to build the new huts. At the start of the game, one of your builders already has skill in construction and will work on the hut unless you retrain them and assign them to a different occupation. It?s important to make sure that you have at least one builder in your village so that you will be able to provide additional housing for your growing tribe.

Puzzle 2 is completed by cleaning up the debris on the beach. Completion of puzzle 2 is required before your villagers will be able to fish in the ocean (which also requires Level 3 of Harvesting).

Puzzle 4 is completed by removing the blockage from the creek in the northwest corner of the village. Your villagers will need to have researched Level 2 of Building to work on this puzzle. Once the blockage is cleared, the water will flow into a sparkling lagoon that your villagers will use for various work and leisure activities.

Puzzle 5 is dependent upon the completion of puzzle 4. Take one of your villagers to the creek that feeds the lagoon and they will discover a source of pure water that will revive the dead flower field and cause it to bloom again.

Puzzle 7 is the discovery of the graveyard and requires Level 2 of Spirituality to complete. When one of your villagers dies, drag an adult villager to the northeast corner of the island. The villager will then proceed to provide a proper burial for that little pile of bones in village center. After the first burial, your villagers will initiate burials for all deceased members of the tribe.

Puzzle 8 is the restoration of the temple at the site of the ruins. After attaining Level 3 of Building, drag one of your villagers to the ruins in the southeast portion of the island and they will begin restoring the ruins.

Puzzle 9 is dependent upon the completion of the temple, as well as attaining Level 3 of Spirituality. Drag one of your builders to the sparkly rock on the west side of the village, and they will begin carving the rock.

Puzzle 10 is the birth of the Golden Child and requires the completion of the idol as well as Level 3 in Fertility. Making baby villagers is all that?s required to produce the Golden Child once you?ve completed the necessary puzzles and levels of Village Tech.

Puzzle 11 is the moving of the boulder, which can be done only by the Golden Child. You don't need to make him do anything (and it won't work if you try). Just give it some time, and he will take care of it for you. After he?s born, you should just watch him for awhile, if you have the time - it's entertaining to see him solve that puzzle, especially when you have a lot of villagers.

Puzzle 12 is somewhat of an easter egg. Its location can be discovered only by a master builder who also has some skill as a scientist. Your tribe must also have researched Level 3 in both Building and Science before they have the technology required to make the discovery. If you want a hint for the location, highlight the following white text: Try dropping him around the yellow-green grassy areas in the lower half of the village map to see if he notices anything. If you want the exact location, highlight this text: Try dropping him at the southern edge of the grassy area below the food bin. Once he locates something, you may have to be persistent before he will actually work on it. Once he's onto it, other builders (if you have any), regardless of skill, will start to help, too!

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