Showing posts with label Games Guide. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Games Guide. Show all posts

Sunday, November 5, 2023

Starbound: Fossils Guide

Starbound is an established open-world game with that nostalgic 2D side scrolling gameplay. Among the many activities (include building your own bases, getting a space mecha, main story quest of saving humanity and all space races etc), a player could also dig and collect fossils to display them in nice looking shelves.

The fossil hunting / excavation part could be a bit confusing initially since there isn't any explanation. It is actually quite simple. When the player sees fossil like symbols underground, the player could activate a fossil brush on these symbols. This activates a mini-game with a screen shown below.

Starbound - Fossil Excavation Start Screen

In the initial screen, the box on the left would have two "soil types" of different colours. The player needs to use the brush (1 of the 5 tools on the right of the screenshot) to brush away loose soil. This would reveal the fossils pieces (and possibly a treasure box as well). The screenshot below is what the player sees after initial brushing.

Starbound - Fossil Excavation Process
The loose soil would be gone, and the remaining are 'rocks' to be dug / knocked away. This is when the player needs to do some planning. Based on the tools (the other 4 boxes on the right showing tools and their dug area that are almost Tetris looking shapes), player could select the tools to dig remaining rocks. There would be clues on screen, i.e. those revealed bones.
Fossil Excavation Tools

The end result is that the rocks are 'cracked / dug' but the player still needs to use the brush to brush away the cracked / dug soil. This would reveal the underlying hidden parts which may include the fossils. After a few tries, the player would know the standard shape of the hidden fossils. The minimum is 9 parts (which would always form a T shape) while the max I have seen is 17 parts. In the screenshot above, 9 out of 11 (9/11) have been revealed. If the player used a tool on the reveal fossil, this cracked the fossil and excavation failed. Likewise if all tools have been used and the entire fossil is not revealed, the exercise failed too.
Revealed Fossil - Successful Excavation
A successful excavation means the entire fossil is revealed and the player gets the random assigned fossil. If the treasure box is also revealed, the player would also get some free items. Initially it is normal to have a few failed excavation but once the player gets the hang of the min-game, especially after recognising some of the standard fossil shapes, it is not difficult at all.
Starbound - Piece of Ixodoom Fossil

The fossils would form part of a collection - some collections are a singular fossil piece, e.g. a fossilized egg or a mysterious skull. A number of the humanoid types collection comprise 3 parts, while the larger versions e.g. T Rex would need 5 parts to complete a fossil collection. The result from each excavation seems to be random - I had some challenging puzzles that gave 1 piece penguin fossil while there were also simple 9 pieces puzzles that gave 1 of the 5 parts complex fossils.
Completed Penguin Fossil - Single Piece
The player still needs to build a fossil display shelf to put the fossils before Starbound recognises the achievement. Yes this is needed even for the single piece fossils. Upon completion, the Collection could also be viewed in the Collection side tab. A completed fossil display would have a red barrier placed in front of the glass shelf. 
It is a fun activity to put all the Starbound fossil collections together, almost similar to a real life museum collection! I've yet to complete all the fossil collections, which I think Starbound would give me an Alien Archaeologist achievement. Have fun!

Starbound - Fossils in Display Shelves

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A Dark Room by Double Speak

A Dark Room is a text based browser game that is surprisingly fun. The game is developed by Double Speak, with a minimalist design that reveals more as the game progress. A Dark Room starts with a player in a dark room (no surprise) and the sole option to stoke a fire. With fire burning hot, the game introduces a builder and another game ‘area’ outside the room, where player can gather woods. The area is initially named ‘Silent Forest’ which will become a Lonely Hut, and eventually A Raucous Village.

Builder will subsequently introduce more options, e.g. a cart for more efficient transport of woods, and huts to build a simple village. With more gatherers, other options start to appear, e.g. building a lodge (for hunters to gather more fur and meat), a workshop where crude weapons and torches can be built.

Without spoiling the game, here’s a couple of quick tips:

Build up the Village
In my first try, I did not max out the number of huts. However, the hut houses the important resources of villages (indicated via a number and each hut can house 4 population) that generates more woods and eventually workers to manufacture things.

There is a maximum of 20 huts (huts get progressively more expensive to build in terms of woods) and that gives the player a cap of 80 population. When the maximum number of huts are built, the game will display a ‘no more room for huts’ message.

After the Huts, do build the traps to maximum. Baited traps work better of course, and doesn’t cost much (1 meat for each bait).

Resources management
Resource management is a key component for ‘A Dark Room’ where each villager assigned to produce some resources, will also consume the primary resources e.g. fur to leather, meat to baits. With a maximum of 80 villagers it is much easier to increase production for the needed resources. Try adjusting the number of villagers assign until the game sort of balances out, e.g. 2 hunter will generate 1 fur and 1 meat every 10 second, while a tanner takes 5 furs for a leather. So 10 hunters will support a tanner (5 furs to give 1 leather) and a charcutier (5 meats and wood for a cured meat).

A Dusty Path

Once the player buys the Compass from the Trading Post (or cheaper from the Nomad, which is a random event), another game segment will appear – A Dusty Path. This new area allows the player to explore beyond the village, fight enemies and eventually reach an important game objective (sorry – not spoiling the game for you). The location of this ‘objective’ is roughly along the direction pointed by the Compass when you first bought it.

While tempting to immediately explore the Dusty Path, try not to do so until you have a couple of important items e.g. the basic bonespear (weapon), waterskin and rucksack. I will suggest taking along 4-5 torches, and about 10 cured meat as well. Each step on the Dusty Path will consume 1 water unit and 0.5 cured meat. These can be replenish at various points e.g. encounters and caves.


The initial objectives are to find mines e.g. an iron mine (and later coal, and sulphur). There are only 1 of each mine and the location is random. Dying while fighting (or due to thirst / starvation) means everything that is carried will be lost – not a good idea. Thus take exploratory steps to find rest points for water / cured meat replenishments before you venture far into the map.

Finding the mines unlock more resources, and more objects to build e.g. better armour, better water container (e.g. water tank) that allows you to explore and survive longer trips.

Once you find (or build) different weapon types, they can be used (subject to cool down) simultaneously in the fights. Only 1 weapon of each type is needed, i.e. no point bringing along 3 bone spears for example.

All these explorations is for the sole purpose of finding the ‘objective’ as earlier mentioned. Once you find it, gather more resources e.g. Alien Alloy, and then the player can embark on a final trip… that requires nimble fingers i.e. quite different from the main bulk of A Dark Room’s wait for resources type gameplay.

A last tip – random events occur (e.g. the Nomad) and some of these events offer a chance to impart important Perks (e.g. Scout) that will be useful for playing A Dark Room.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Abilities in MyBrute (some)

Having played the MyBrute flash game for a week or so, here's some of the abilities that I have seen in the game.

Some of the descriptions of the MyBrute abilities are:

Pugnacious - In the arena, you're not really so ungrateful... When they strike you a blow, you give it back... for free!

Shield - A shield. To stop the blows... sometimes.

Bolt of lightening - You hit faster than your shadow and bite faster than your enemy.

Fierce Brute - Now you really are a true Brute. More so than ever. You are more powerful and violent than ever in the fight.

Feline Agility - You haven't even got a ball of string to pass the time with, but you can always thump the Brute you have opposite you.

6th sense - Thanks to your eagle-eyed vigilance you can anticipate your enemies sneaky tricks. Now you can attack before he knows what hit him!

Vitality - Your life expectancy has risen! Now you will be able to resist longer in the arena.

Herculean Strength - With your strength, you are capable of moving mountains! But that moment has not yet come, you have an enemy to destroy.

Tornado of blows - ... and you hit hit hit, that's just your little way of showing love! You're a mad torrent of misunderstood love!

Tragic Potion - Haaave a sip of this. It could make you a bit drunk. Hic... hic... This peach juice restores some of your energy lost in the fight.

Cry of the damned - Fierce beasts? Pfffff ... You only need to give a shout... They will soon run for their lives!

Hammer - A catch technique consists of jumping with your enemy, and then falling on top of him.

Implacable - When you strike a blow, it's always dead on target. Nobody can stop it. And certainly not your enemy!

I will add more descriptions as I come across them. There are about 28 abilities in all.

See also:
- MyBrute Flash Game - Simple Review

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Pet Society in Facebook

With so many applications in Facebook, one is often spoilt for choices. Recently I found an interesting apps 'Pet Society' by Playfish. The game is pretty simple, where the player raised a pet, and let the pet engages in various activities e.g. visiting friends, running races...etc. There is also the interactive part where the player could decorate the house of the pets with wall papers, furniture...etc.

Below is a screenshot of the 'Pet Society'. The three bars on the right denotes 'health', 'happiness', and cleanliness. Feeding the pet with food will raise the health bar. Playing with the pets by engaging in various activities could raise the happiness bar. Cleaning the pet with the soap given by the apps will help with the cleanliness bar of the pet. The upper left corner shows the number of coins and the centre top bar shows the level / 'paw points' (i.e. experience) of the pet. Raising levels for the pet will give the pet more rooms, and the house of the pet will also look bigger on the overall map. It is better to save the game (the disk icon located at upper right) before exiting 'Pet Society'.

Coins form an essential part of the 'Pet Society' and the player needs to participate in activities to earn the coins. Some of the ways include
  • visiting friends to 'hug', 'tell a joke', 'kiss' (but not fighting though) etc which results in 20 coins per visit per day
  • winning bet races, or participating in these races could also earn the pet coins. During races, pick up the banana skins for more coins! (screen shot below)
  • or else the player could also play the frisbee, ball, or skipping ropes given by the apps with the pet for coins and trophies. Getting trophies is another way of earning coins
  • merely logging in everyday means the 'Pet Society' application will give a 'lottery' prize per day to give between 50 and 500 coins
  • walk among the trees and the pet could randomly get 2 coins (another screen shot below). If the player logs out of the game and logs in again, the 'trees giving coins' function is reset
  • clean the pet or your friends' pets when the health bar is low, will also result in coins
  • place the mouse cursor (not soup bar or brush) on your pet and press it while moving the cursor up and down, will also result in coins
Pets Racing at the Stadium

Pet getting coins radomly from the trees

List of trophies that the pet can get

Other than the stadium (for races), there are many shops for the pet to visit. There are the furniture and DIY shops for the pet to purchase household items. Some of the items could be animated for effects when the player clicks on it, e.g. the radio, TV set, lava lamp etc. There is also the food shop to buy various foods for the pet. The items could be given to other pets as gifts, or be sold for coins. If the player is tired of the pet's looks, it can be changed at the Stylist shop. Clothes and Luxury shops sell different items like clothes, rings, accessories, etc. If the player wants to visit pets of other people (non-friends), the player could go to the cafe and see the other pets. More shops are added as the developers enhanced the Pet Society apps.

Depending on the occasions, there could be 'special' items for sale. For example Valentine Day related items (flowers, bears, heart shaped decos) are on sale currently. During the Lunar New Year 2-3 weeks back, another set of items were on sale in the shops. Playfish is somewhat diligent in producing new items each week. There are also 3 different categories of mystery boxes which may give special items not found in the shops to the pets.

These are but brief description of the game. While this is essentially a social casual game with minimal depth, it is nonetheless a somewhat addictive game. Log in at the forum to see what other fans think about it, and get a pet yourself to try it!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Cabal Online / Granado Espada Soundtracks

With higher expectations and competitions among the different online games, many developers have tried enhancing the online gaming experience by improving the background music. Two such games that come to mind are Cabal Online and Granado Espada. The soundtracks from Cabal Online have a faster pace, which suits gaming fine. The tracks from Granado Espada are even better, with pace and theme that could be used for own leisure listening.

Here's the soundtracks from Cabal Online and Granado Espada. Both soundtracks are from, which may take a while to load. For Granado Espada the soundtracks could be purchased in games and some music shops (4CDs). Music4Games had an interview with Granado Espada people about the soundtracks used in the game.

Cabal Online Soundtracks:

Granado Espada Soundtracks:

Related Post
- imeem Soundtracks from the World of Warcraft

Monday, May 26, 2008

MyMiniCity Mechanics & Pictures

Now that my city has reached population of 100, there are more games mechanics that I have to be aware of . After a couple of search I found a fair bit of information, and surprisingly the info is mainly in chinese and japanese. I guess a lot of players are from China, Taiwan, and Japan. I would use my city name "scraze" as the illustration. For other players, please replace the 'scraze' with the correct city name.

Here's what I could gather from these blogs and sites. Seems like there are 6 milestones. Once a city hits population of 50, there will be unemployment. With this milestone, another option of factory creation would appear, for the player to create factory. This is done via clicking the original url with a'/ind/' behind. For example, instead of '', the person should enter ''. Without factory there will be unemployment. Once unemployment hits certain figures, the people will leave the city. Each factory can create jobs for 3 population. Here's a picture of some factory

Once the city hits 100 population, there is need for better transportation. With more population, the 'transport' indicator would slowly drop from 100%. Thus another option would appear, where people can enter '' to increase the transport facility. Each facility can provide good transport for 10 population.

When the city reaches 300 population, there is need for social security, else the crime rate would increase from zero onwards. So the fourth option is security, where players click to improve the security features. Each feature can help to decrease crime rate for a further growth of 15 population.

The fifth milestone is parks and recreational facilities. This comes about when the population hits 500, and the url to click would be I have seen some parks in other cities which are quite interesting. Here's a list of the different indicators, which could be iewed on the webpage itself.

The last stage is the commercial stage, where there is need for commercial investments. By pressing '', commercial buildings could be built. So there will be high rise features in the cities. Commercial building can also help to decrease unemployment rates.

While it is a simple game, there is satisfaction in seeing it grow, especially when the buildings upgrade themselves to become something else. It's a pity there is no option to rotate the city, else there would be more fun to look at the city from various angles. Here's a picture of how a small yellow church could grow to become something nicer.

Other than the factory figures, I couldn't verify other figures accurately yet. Nonetheless, the purpose of the game is to have fun, so the mechanics need not be so detailed I guess. It seems after the commercial stage, there is chances of 'accidents' e.g. chemical factory explosion, happening. Well if it happens I guess I would update it here. Not sure at what stage would I decide to let the city stagnant, since to grow a city beyond 1,000 population takes a fair bit of effort. :)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Samorost 1 - equally interesting game

After playing Samorost 2 (review of the game here) and finding that it's a great game, it is only naturally to play Samorost 1. Overall I would think that Samorost 2 is better, with more interesting graphics and background music. The 'tricks' in Samorost 2 is also more challenging, which requires more 'thinking'. Nonetheless Samorost 1 is still worth a try.

In Samorost 1, you play a character on a 'rock' who realises that another 'rock' is heading for a collision with the same rock. So you set out for a rescue project to change the course of the alien rock. I realised that some readers may want to have a 'walkthru' of the Samorost 1. So I added the tips at the end of this post, but it's in 'dark grey' colour. If you need the tips, highlight to reveal them. Else scrolling down to look at the pictures still will not spoil the fun of the game.

When you landed on the planet surface, you will find a colony of farmers. Wonder if the face of the farmer belongs to one of the game creators?

Here starts the trip to the centre of the Earth, oops, no, it's the centre of the rock!

Don't worry if you're stuck. You got birds and squirrel as company.

The creature is more interested in ants than you. Heh, I guess humans in weird colour pajamas is less appetising.

You'll reach the main steam engine room. You will save your home!

Change your fate, change the direction!

It's not that hard isn't it?

click the tower!
The burning tobacco. The Ski line. Press the button. Adjust the direction! Pinch his butt. Click me to fly!
Fish is biting. Get rid of pests! Shoo the bird.
Rotate the rock. Black hole is fun. Black holes are really fun. Light bulb. Open the hatch and get in!
Worms are irritating. Squirrel likes records. There are many records. Dancing owl is cute, don't you think so?
Don't block the ants! Open the hatch. He is busy during meals. The box. The lights on the door.
The blinking light. It says Q.50. Middle. Where the ladder points.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Travian Guide Part 2

Not much to add since different travian players have different style of play, which is also dependent on which race you choose. There are two more points for reference, one on the Gaul traps, and the other for End Game.

1) Gauls Traps

Travian Gauls are the only race who can build traps. Plus the point that they have double cranny size, they are a good defence race to have. To attack a Gaul village, try to have more than 200 troops. This is because a fully extended trapper can have only 200 traps at maximum. Try to use attack as well instead of raids, since attack may free up the trapped troops.

No worries if your troops are trapped, they are still alive. The player cannot kill them and the trapped troops consume your crops. So it may be good to have a chat with the person to release them, or simply wait till the player's village get attacked and the troops are freed. The players can release the imprisoned troops by clicking on the rally point and select "Release".

2) End game

Towards the end of the game (some said it happens about 1 year or less from the start of the server), there will be news about End Game. Many Natars villages will sprint up, at quite predictable locations, e.g. -125, -125 or 0, -1. Once the natars villages are captured, the owner can change the name of the village. During End Game session, there will also be a 'WW' (World Wonder) tab under the "Statistics" button where you could see who are the natars village owners, and the level of WW that they have built.

Since there about about only 13 Natars villages, only 13 players can compete in building the World Wonder. There will be plenty of competition among alliances and players to capture and hold each village. Once all natars villages are conquered, the old Natars Ruin at the 400, 400 will start sending troops to attack these original natars villages. Some said attacks will come in waves when WW reaches certain fixed level, e.g. every 5th level, others said it's per level of WW built from level 90th onwards. This I'm not completely sure. What is sure is that the owners of these natars villages will need plenty of crops to feed their troops. This is how their alliances can come in, other than providing high level defensive troops.

It is also worthwhile to look at the marketplace. If there is large shift in demand where certain players stop asking for crops. It could be a sign that they lost their troops in the WW defence or from other enemies. This could be time to farm or destroy them.

Travian tools:
Other than the inactive player trackers, there are two more useful tools for travian players. Here's battle reporter

Here's a Travian map function to view player / alliance details.

Related Posts: Travian Guide - In the Beginning - Protect Resources and Build Up Defences, Simple Review of the browser game - Travian

Monday, March 3, 2008

Travian Guide in the Beginning - Protect Resources and Build Up Defences

After playing Travian for some time, here's some tips that I've gathered from other players and various online forums.

Resource Building
In the beginning, build the resource fields and crannies (more on crannies below). Continue the process until the villages reach levels where you need more resources than your storage allows, then it's time to upgrade the warehouse and granary.

It makes more sense to upgrade the resource fields in sequence, i.e. no point building a level 6 fields when you can upgrade other level 4 to level 5 fields. Some feel that for crops, you can make an exception and build one field to level 5 as soon as possible in order to get the Grain Mill. Depends on players I guess.

Build Crannies

There will be other players who want to farm you. If they can get resources from the farming, they will be back for more. So build crannies and once they can't get any resources from you, they will just find another farm. Of course there are crazy players who come back with catapults to destroy your buildings when they can't get any resources, but these players are few. Do note though that Teutons can capture about 1/3 of the hidden resources in crannies. So it is better that you use up all the resources in your villages and don't build your warehouse to a extremely high level before your defences are up. No point having your resources stored in the warehouse, unused and only to be stolen right?

Add to the population

One way that other players used to detect farms is the population size. If the size remains constant, there is a likelihood that the villages are inactive and thus good targets to farm. Good targets because it is likely that once the initial troops are wiped out, the inactive village wouldn't build more troops. There are software to track inactivity, where players can see scan any inactive players with distances indicated.

Protect your army
Troops are needed to bring the resources raided from your villages. So if you can kill the enemy troops, you reduce the losses in your resources. If the attacker loses sufficient troops, your villages look less attractvie to him as farms. For defence, try to build up your wall till as high as possible. Different races require more of particular types of resources for their walls. E.g. Gauls need more lumber while Romans need more iron.

A high wall level will give your troops a higher defence bonus, such that small amounts of enemy troops will be killed even when there is only a wall with no troops in your villages.

After the wall, build traps if you are a Gaul. Else start building your defensive troops. Click through the 'Instructions' on the left of the screen to scroll through your troop types and know which are the defence type troops. E.g. for Romans the praetorians are the best defending troops against infantry and the legionnaires against cavalry.

After you have sufficient troops (some say the figure should be near hundreds), you should start to build an armoury and upgrade the armour. High armour give the troops a greater defensive bonus.

Diplomacy & Others

When you are ready, get an embassy so that you can join an alliance. Also, get the rally point build up. It's in the centre of the village. Next is to get a scout. You will need the academy to research such scouts. Scouts are useful to detect scouting from others, and of course, for you to scout others.

Well, this is a war game and so you will be attacked at some point in time. Try the following when you are being attacked. Some pictures of the attack messages (and others) are shown in an earlier post on the Review of Travian.

Safeguard the resources
Resources are what help you to re-build after an attack. The paragraphs above should have sufficient tips for safeguarding the resources.

Contact the attacker
There are times when soft diplomacy works. Write a message to the attacker and ask him to look for other farms. Heh. Sometimes, point him to the inactive player tracker software and he might just leave you alone. Else you can also ask your own alliance leader for diplomatic assistance if you have an alliance.

Defence Strategy After the First Attack
Your troops are greatly weaken after the first attack, or they could simply have been wiped. While you are starting to build the troops, the attacker send more waves of attacks. Don't leave your weakened troops or those small clusters to die! Send them to a nearby village, could be yours or another friendly player. Simply 'reinforce' that village and build up your troops to a sizable amount again before sending them back. Just note the crops consumption in that temporary village and make sure there is food for the troops. If that temporary village belongs to another player, send some crops along as tokens of appreciation.

Ask for Help
There are times when we all need help, that's what friends (and alliances) are for. Contact your alliance leader and ask politely if anyone has troops for assistance. Most ideal if you could post some previous history of the battles for others to gauge the strength of attacks.

Related Posts: Travian Guide Part 2, Simple Review of the browser game - Travian