Thursday, October 1, 2009

Mob Wars – Cheats, Tips, & Tricks

Oh, such a great movie, and if you haven’t seen it, shame on you. There’s an attraction to being the bad guy; there always has been. Movies and games are a means to escape the every day, and being able to identify with the opposite side of the tracks is what makes media such as Goodfellas, The Godfather, Grand Theft Auto, and Saint’s Row so popular. However, none of these have ever had much of a social element to them (save for maybe the latest renditions of GTA and Saint’s Row). Social “bad guy” games are currently reserved for social networks, and with over a million monthly users, Mob Wars is a title in which you can not only rise through the ranks of the mob, but do so with plenty of friends.

The question is: How do you get up there? How do you make all that money? Well, while it may all be water under the bridge for the more veteran players, but there are some pretty good tips for players from levels 1-20 and how to get started. Alarmingly, these game tips are rather close to reality, so even if you don’t play the game, you might find some other uses.

Rule #1 of successful mobbing: Invest early and often as this will be your primary bankroll. That said, managing your finances early on is critical. While it may seem obvious you have to be very careful with what you purchase and should never buy more than what you absolutely need. Try not to be too frivolous and resist the urge to buy some of the really cool toys. You won’t need it for a long time (i.e. an armored Humvee). These items may be good, but they’re also expensive to upkeep and you can’t afford that risk yet. By the same token, however, you do want to spend a little extra on all real estate.

Never, ever buy it one item at a time. The game implements an increasing cost mechanic every time you make a purchase, so you want to buy real estate in sets of 10 so they cost less in the long run. Buying in bulk is almost always cheaper regardless of where you are in life. However, if you cannot afford a full set of 10, just be patient until you can. By no means should you sell smaller real estate in order to buy bigger ones as you will, once again, loose money. Cubicle Denizen has a pretty good spreadsheet that can help you find the best investments with the highest return if you want more details.

Okay, so now you know how to make the wisest investments, but how do you get that extra money? Well, for starters, you can hunt for what are called “pigeons” or players that don’t bank their money. Obviously, the game isn’t meant to be played constantly, so at one point or another everyone is a pigeon at some point, the trick is to find them. It may seem cruel to clean them out, but that’s one of the ways the game is played, and it’s a quick way to earn a ton of cash. However, take precautions against being one yourself. You have to boost your defensive stats early and often so you won’t have to worry about banking quite as much. If they are high enough, while you may still get beaten and killed, you won’t have to concern yourself with losing too much (if any) of your hard “earned” cash.

So what stops them from doing the same thing to you? Nothing, but that’s not the only way to get significant cash. Now it comes down to play style. There are two methods to utilize here, one is to make more friends and build your mob, but the other is to fight, fight, fight, which sounds a lot more fun. Fighting is one of the faster ways to get money, and due to the high rate of regeneration, you probably won’t need to add more than three stamina until later levels.

However, you still have to pick your targets wisely. Here’s a compound trick in finding a good target: First, look for anyone that has a casino on their property as that means they’ve got plenty of income to “share” with you. Next, find one that has lost a lot. Sound unlikely? Not really. Such a target is most likely a “clone account” on Facebook, which means they will most likely not defend their boss, and in turn, earns you around $70,000 each attack. At this point, save the link and repeat attacks until they go to the hospital (of course, make sure your weapons are enough to win first).

That leads to one final tip: If you ever find yourself in the hospital, take advantage of it. You know how when you play Monopoly and everyone has hotels up? Where is the best place to be? That’s right, jail. You run no risk of losing money while in there. The same goes for the hospital. You can still do business there, and at worst, get punched in the face, but you can’t be attacked, so keep that in mind.

So there you have it. While it may not help the most advanced players, this should be enough to get you a decent start. Invest wisely, spend wisely, search for pigeons and clones, and always take advantage of the hospital. While it may not make you The Godfather, it can put you that much closer. There are also some very interesting discussions, such as this one, on the web regarding strategy and further tips for improving your mob. Good luck, and happy mobbing.

Who Has The Biggest Brain Cheats, Tips, & Tricks

So you want a bigger brain, do you? With people scoring well over 5,000 or even 7,000, one has to wonder how they do it. How did they get so good? How can you get better?

As most of you know, the game is made up of various mini-games that are meant to test different aspects of your brain, and the scores from each make up your “brain size.” As such, in order to get better, you have to practice all these different games, but if you play the classic version, you get them at random, which leads to a very basic tip.

Most of the top scorers have the Pro version of Who Has The Biggest Brain?, which allows them to select the mini-games they are best at, thus automatically improving their score. Of course, it’s not quite that simple. There are, in fact specific tricks you can employ for each mini-game.

The first category is for analytical ability. One of the possible mini-games you might come across here is “scales.” In this game you have to identify which object is the heaviest in a group. It starts simple enough with only one scale, but that number begins to grow as the rounds pass. However, there are some basic rules you can follow to speed up you analysis. Spend little time in the first rounds, if the object is on the bottom of the scale or at equilibrium with multiple objects, it is heavier. That alone will get you to the later rounds in 10 or so seconds.

Once you get multiple scales, though, you have to look at the image as a whole and not each individual one. Scan over the objects on the screen using your peripheral vision and if you see two of the same one at the top, they are not the heaviest, but if you see two or more on the bottom, then they most certainly are. This should get you at least 600′ish points if you practice, but if you’re looking for 1000+, you’ll have to get faster at the end rounds, in which case you can follow one rule: While not 100% accurate, the heaviest item will either be the most common item on the bottom scales or the least common, with only one or two objects on the bottom.

After you’ve gotten past the analytical game, it’s time to calculate (ugh… math…). Sorry folks, but there aren’t many “rules” here that can help you get around math. However, there are a few tricks beyond simply memorizing your multiplication tables all over again. So one of the games is “missing number” in which you do basic math: First and foremost, use the number pad, don’t use the mouse. Not only is it faster, but there’s a neat little trick for the game.

You see, if you have the right answer, it will check off instantly, but if it is wrong, you have a second or so to fix it. If you use the number pad, you can type in a number, and if the check mark doesn’t appear, you can press “delete” to change the number until you get it right. For example, if you have “12×7=” (which is 84), you can type the ‘8′ then 1, hit delete, 2, hit delete, etc. until it checks as correct. If you are quick enough you won’t get it wrong. Nevertheless, spending too much time on this trick eats up precious seconds that you will need for your score. Also, most of the answers are fairly similar, but presented in different ways (i.e. 3×5 is the same as (2+1)x5) so once you recognize those patterns, you will get even faster.

Next up is memory, and this one can be tough. One game that you might come up against is “shape order” which consists of being shown an order of shapes, and then having to emulate said order from memory. Basic memory techniques are what most use here. Consider when you would study for tests in high school (assuming you did). Was it not easier to remember things you said aloud? The same concept applies to this game.

Your brain processes audio data far faster and efficiently than the visual counterpart, and this habit alone will do wonders for your score. Also consider short one-syllable words, or familiar phrases common to you. The average human brain cannot hold many things within its short term memory for long, but by shortening the words or relating them to something familiar, the chances of retention are exponentially greater. As for the later levels, you will need to do the same thing, but apply the idea to sets of two or three. Once you get used to it, you will find it is much faster to remember three sets of two than it is recalling six individual images.

Now that you’ve made it this far, its time for some fun visual processing. “Asteroids” is one of the cooler mini-games in this section, where the game play is simply removing asteroids from play based on the numbers or letters printed on them. The object is to remove them from the least value to the greatest value. It’s pretty simple to do this one: All you need to do is create groups in your mind.

For numbers, group negatives and group positives. For letters, break the alphabet into sections (i.e. A – L). This creates a hierarchy in your brain and gives your thoughts a clear path to follow automatically rather than you having to think about it. Remove the asteroids that fall into the lesser sections, then move to the next section. Also, a number of players on this Facebook discussion thread found it useful to zoom out while in this game, making it easier to see everything on the screen and allowing for less mouse movement and greater accuracy.

That should give you at least a little bit of ammunition for you next crack at Who Has The Biggest Brain? There are a total of 12 different mini-games, so there are a lot more tricks to be learned. Nevertheless, these tips won’t get you that high score right away. Those people that have the 7000cm brains have put in a lot of time and practice, but most of them have probably used methods like these to get better. Of course, is you want to learn a little more, you can always check out the WHTBB Discussion Board or this handy site and mingle amongst your fellow brains. Good luck.

KickMania! Cheats, Tips, & Tricks

KickMania!Surprisingly enough, a lot of people are playing KickMania on Facebook to put the boot to their friends. One can only hope that this desire applies strictly to the game, and not some deep seeded roots within reality. How on Earth do people kick so far? Some of these coveted kicks are well over 200, even 300 meters.

Well, there are a few secrets to share that those “ass-assins” use that might help you in your quest to own your very own collection of…we’ll stop. Anyway, you have to start with the basics, which means the more obvious tips: Start owning your friends. That’s right, in order to better kick asses, you need to own more people. Here’s the deal, the more you own, the more expensive (and more powerful) kicks become available. Assuming that you have done this already and have owned enough people to unlock the $1000 kick, then it comes down to a little bit of finesse.

The trick is timing, positioning, and explosives. First off, make sure you’ve owned 500 people so that you have access to the maximum of five explosive charges. These charges will allow you to detonate an explosion near the crash dummy as he or she reaches the ground and allows you to get some extra distance, but before that can come into play the initial kick has to be perfect.

KickMania!KickMania utilizes a very well built physics engine to simulate the rag doll effect. That means that momentum, trajectory, power, and mass all come into play. With that in mind, some players say that the male dummy is the better choice because it has more mass, and more mass equals more momentum. While this isn’t written in stone, it is worth considering. Despite whether or not you choose to use a male or female dummy, you still have to be both very quick in reacting to the power meter and incredibly precise on your position. Before you do anything, try to position your foot near the dummy’s waist, just where the shirt and pants meet at a 45 degree angle. Once you’re ready, be prepared to react quickly to the power meter and attempt to kick at its highest apex for the greatest potential.

$1000 Kick: Check. Position: Check. Power: Check. Okay, so now comes the use of explosives. For $50 you can detonate a charge, but you will need a kick of at least 30 meters to even see the first one. These charges activate when you get close to them, and once near, you can press “spacebar” to set them off. This, however, is where timing is critical. Remember, that this game is a simulated physics engine, thus both angle and distance from the explosion are going to affect trajectory and momentum. If you detonate too far away, you will get little to no result. If you go too soon, you might send your target backwards. What you want to try and do is trigger the explosion at the last possible second so that it goes off before the dummy’s center of mass hits the ground and is at about a 45 degree angle to the right of the charge. Each well timed charge should get you an extra 30 – 50 meters on your total kick distance.

Markus Weischselbaum of KickMania describes it in a technical sort of way on the KickMania forums: “The direction of the boost vector is an imaginary line from the explosive charge towards the center of mass of the body….the force applied to the body is inversely proportional to the square of its distance from the explosion.”

There you have it. Before you even start going for those distance records, you’re going to have to earn all five explosives and that $1000 kick. Once you’ve done that though, it all comes down to position, power, timing, and practice. Finding that sweet spot for all three major elements of the game is pretty tough, but now that you know what to look for, it should make your endeavors a little easier to pursue. Best of luck fellow ass kickers, and remember to wear padded jeans.

Minigolf Party Tips, Tricks, & Cheats

Minigolf PartyOkay, this week, its all about Playfish’s latest title, Minigolf Party. This stellar little game lets you play rounds of miniature golf with your friends in some rather exotic and worldly locals. As with other Playfish games, players vie for the high score – but more than that, they also strive to unlock all the achievements and trophies they can. However, this task can be a lot more daunting than one might think – but don’t worry, that’s what we’re here for.

So it seems that a number of people struggle in finding what all of the trophies actually are. Well, here is a nice neat list for you:

  • Welcome Badge – First full round of golf
  • Lifetime Achievement – play more than 50 games of golf
  • Hole In One! – Making a hole in one shot
  • Coin Collector – collect more than 100 coins
  • Coins? What Coins? – Five Coins or less collected on a full course
  • Metal Detector – Collect all coins in a course
  • Party Hat – Par on all holes in a course
  • Professional – Under par on all holes in a course
  • Birds Nest – Birdies or better on all holes in a course
  • Where Eagles dare – Eagle or better in one hole
  • Party Player – Have 20 friends playing
  • Giving Golfer – Gift more than 20 items to friends
  • Challenge Champ – Win more than 20 challenges against your friends
  • Need A Towel? – Hit the ball in a pond 5 times
  • Treasure Hunter – Find the secret treasure chest
  • Enthusiast – Play more than 10 rounds of golf in 1 hour

Okay, now that you know what to look for, it’s time to get some tips on how to get those tougher ones.

Hidden BlockQuite possibly, the two most asked about trophies are “Metal Detector” and “Treasure Hunter.” When going for these achievements, score can be of no concern to you, because you’re definitely not getting par while searching for these. Nevertheless, the Treasure Hunter trophy can be acquired on the Egypt course. If you look closely, you should notice a small, square block to the right of the Great Pyramid that is surrounded by four, orange flowers. That is your target. Beneath it is a hole that leads to the basement of the pyramid in which the treasure is hidden.

SphinxIn order to access the hole, you first have to move the block. Notice how the Sphinx has a nose? Well, the real Sphinx’s nose is actually broken, as such, you will need to correct this “oversight.” Carefully line your ball up with the left foot of the Sphinx and launch the ball into its nose. This will open up the hole to the right of the pyramid. Now all you need to do is get the ball close enough to its base so you can ramp it into the hole. It is a tricky shot, but here is a video that should help you out.

Not only will finding this treasure get you the Treasure Hunter trophy, but it will put you one step closer to getting the Metal Detector trophy. That in mind, there are still a few hidden and tough coins to get. The most common ones that are missed come from Rome and France. In France, they aren’t hidden, just a pain to get because if you make one mistake, you will have to start over. The trouble spot is the last four coins by the Eiffel Tower. No real trick here except, play very soft positioning. If you hit the ball even the slightest bit too hard, the slope will slide the ball into the hole. This takes a very steady hand and patience as you will have to do it four times. Just gently nudge the ball to each coin and you will be fine.

RomeRome, on the other hand, requires less subtlety. In this course, the coins are hidden, so take a wild guess where. That’s right, they are in the Colosseum. If you notice, there are two collapsed columns in the middle of the course. The shorter one, is actually a ramp. Simply position the ball near it and give it a nice whack towards the roof of the Colosseum. Assuming you hit it hard enough, it should land right in the middle, collect the hidden coins and fly out onto the pizza at the end.

That should help you out in getting those trophies unlocked for yourself, but if you want to beat those high scores, you had better learn how to get coins in all the courses without sacrificing as many swings. It all comes down to practice and patience. Think about those shots, experiment with different methods, and slowly work your way up there. Good luck, and happy golfing.

SimCity for the iPhone – More Cheats, Tips, & Tricks

SimCity Cheat Prompt
Last month we took a look at the new iPhone rendition of the classic sandbox game, SimCity. Complete in its original form, the game is no mere shell of its former glory. Everything you know and remember is still there, but as was found out, very few of the original cheat codes still worked.

The last time the topic of SimCity was touched upon, there were two known cheats. If players shook the iPhone they would be prompted with an input prompt for said codes, and could enter the classic codes of “i am weak” and “pay tribute to your king.” Upon completion, players could enjoy construction costs at the bargain of $0 and access to all extra rewards, respectively.

Well, time has passed and thanks to a find on a little website called GameWinners, two new codes were discovered:

  • Having some trouble with excess garbage in your city? No worries, because if you enter the code, “garbage in, garbage out”, you should be fixing that issue right away as you are granted the recycling plant, waste to energy incinerator, and the normal incinerator. Yum, burning garbage.
  • Not enough you say? How about some clean high tech industries? Just put in the cheat, “nerdz rule” and the neat freaks will be built in your industrial zone.

Unfortunately, that’s all that’s new this time around, but we’ll keep looking. Of course, if anyone has found any new ones, then by all means share them.

Aurora Feint: The Arena – Tips, Tricks, & Cheats

A while back we reviewd a new iPhone game by the name of Aurora Feint: The Arena. This puzzle game can be a bit difficult at times, so we did some digging around the web and found some tips and solutions for many the Tower puzzles. There’s a lot to cover in this guide, so let’s get too it!

Wind 1 – Eastern Breeze: 1 Move
- Swap the middle fire and wind marbles.


Wind 2 – Western Breeze: 3 Moves
- Tilt right.
- Swap the top row water and shadow marbles.
- Tilt left.


Wind 3 – Southern Breeze: 4 Moves
- Swap the bottom row’s earth and fire.
- Swap the bottom row’s earth and water.
- Swap the bottom row’s earth and wind.
- Move the right earth over to the other two.


Wind 4 – Northern Breeze: 2 Moves
- Move the top wind marble left.
- Move the water marble right.


Water 1 – Summer Rain: 1 Move
- Swap the middle fire and water marbles.


Water 2 – Winter Rain: 2 Moves
- Tilt right.
- Swap the middle fire and water marbles.


Water 3 – Spring Rain: 2 Moves
- Move the bottom left water marble one to the left.
- Swap the two top earth and wind marbles.


Water 4 – Fall Rain: 2 Moves
- Move the top water tile over to the right by two fields.


Earth 1 – Natural Growth: 1 Move
- Move the top shadow marble one field to the left.


Earth 2 – Sand Storm: 2 Moves
- Swap the bottom row earth and fire marbles.
- Move the remaining top wind marble to the right.


Earth 3 – Majestic Mountain: 2 Moves
- Tilt right.
- Swap the bottom earth and fire marbles.


Earth 4 – Rolling Hills: 4 Moves
- Swap the top middle earth and fire marbles.
- Tilt right.
- Tilt left.
- Swap the remaining earth and fire marbles.


Shadow 1 – Moon Shadow: 3 Moves
- Tilt right.
- Swap the wind and shadow marbles.
- Swap the fire and water marbles.


Shadow 2 – Shooting Star: 1 Move
- Swap the middle water and fire marble.


Shadow 3 – Black Nothingness: 3 Moves
- Move the bottom water marble left.
- Move the bottom earth marble left.
- Move the top fire marble right.


Shadow 4 – Silver Moon: 4 Moves
- Tilt up.
- Tilt left.
- Swap the middle water and shadow tiles.
- Move the remaining top water tile to the right.


Fire 1 – Wild Fire: 2 Moves
- Swap the first, left water with the fire tile.
- Swap the second, left water with the fire tile.


Fire 2 – Volcanic Ash: 4 Moves
- Tilt left.
- “Drop” the two fire marbles on the bottom one.
- Tilt right.


Fire 3 – Scorching Flame: 3 Moves
- Move the left-most water tile one field to the right.
- Swap the leftmost earth tile with the water tile next to it.
- Tilt right.


Fire 4 – Original Molten Lava: 2 Moves
Tilt up.
- Tilt right.


Texas Hold’Em for iPhone – Cheats, Tips, & Tricks

The game of the day comes from Apple themselves with their popular iPhone card game: Texas Hold’Em. Costing around $5 in the app store, this poker game is well worth the money as it not only sticks with the official rules but is also rather easy for anyone learn. Okay, so maybe you won’t become a master overnight, but in time you will be betting with the best of them.

For those that have played the game, they can probably attest to the sometimes brutal nature of the opponents. Rare is the tell that gives away their hands. Nonetheless, there is still hope.

Cheat InputWhen you can’t win straight up, it’s time to cheat, and in order to do so, you will need to select “New Player” from the “Options” menu. To input each code, you will have to use the letter selection tool to input each cheat as the player name, and once entered, the iPhone or iPod Touch will jump to the checkmark character (be sure to hold Center until the code activates).

With the logistics out of the way, it’s time to get down to business: Start by entering in the code “YOUCHEAT” to open a menu with options to all tournaments, start you with $100,000 in cash, show tells and/or down cards, and even let you adjust the AI to fold normally, often, or never.

Of course, not everyone might need this cheat, but even if you can play cards, do you know how to play them in style? Enter in any of the following codes and prepare to take a trip as you play your hand in some rather… curious locals:

  • Dogs Play Cards TooBIGROCKS: Stonehenge Tournament
  • THREEAMI: Apple Conference Room Tournament.
  • PLAYDOGS: Dog Tournament (yes, you play against dogs)
  • SPACEACE: Futuristic Tournament (apparently aliens play too)
  • BARTUNES: iTunes Bar Tournament
  • ALLCHAR: See Secret Characters

That’s all there is for now, but as always, if more are found, more will be posted. Just remember to go big or go home. Good luck.

Mafia Wars – Tips, Tricks, & Cheats

Mafia Wars

It’s time for another tips session, and this time, it’s off to the mafia. Mafia Wars seems like a simple game at first glance, but once you get into it, it actually begins to become somewhat complicated with hits, different jobs, adding members, equipping all of them, and so on. What do you buy? What quests do you do? How should you level? These are all questions that are posed by new players, and it can be a bit daunting. Well, we searched high and low for ways to help you out, and hopefully these tips and tricks will help those new players that simply feel overwhelmed.

So you’ve started Mafia Wars and you’re not sure where to start, well, the first choice is easy enough: Pick a “Maniac” class. While earning more cash or health might seem appealing, energy is what allows you to do quests and it is significantly better to earn both cash and experience instead of just one. That said, it’s time to get down to business.

DO NOT add to you mafia right away. Yes, you do want a large mafia to be stronger, but if you are ill-prepared, this is going to hurt more than help. Essentially, you want to have a “Mafia Mikes” and a “Bloody Chainsaw” (please note, that the bloody chainsaw is a special item bought from the home page and will periodically change. For all intents and purposes, the special item tends to have similar stats, and is often interchangable if the chainsaw is gone) for every two members. Here’s the thing though, the game bases the amount of members you need for another one of these items based on your current members. So say you bought a chainsaw with a mafia of 12, but then added 8 people, you’ll now need 22 members to buy another one, thus losing out the extra chainsaws you could have bought at 16, 18, and 20 members. Assuming that you are now equipping properly, it is time to spend some experience points.

Mafia JobsIdeally, you want to put all of your points into energy so you can level faster. Since quests are going to be your primary source of experience and cash (hence why you used maniac), your limiting factor is how fast your energy recharges. Furthermore, energy resets every level, so having an high energy and a fast regeneration can get you to higher levels exponentially faster. Of course, you will want other stats eventually (when that is, is completely up to you), but this will give you a nice start.

Okay, so now you’re leveling at a nice pace and you’re getting those Mafia Mikes and Bloody Chainsaws when you should. What’s next? Why, equipping your mafia of course, and this can be done either via looting or buying. In general, it is better to loot in higher missions, but if you want to be safer, just buy, and if you’ve been doing what’s been said so far, money shouldn’t be a serious issue. The recommended equipment is as follows (once you can buy them of course):

  • Weapons: Bloody Chainsaws should be available to half your mafia (since you’ve been buying them every two members right?), thus the other half should utilize the Chain Guns (.50 Caliber Rifle is better once you start looting).
  • Armor: Body Armor all around – period. Yes, you can buy other stuff too, but this is a definite purchase.
  • Cars: Secondary to armor and weapons, but if you must have one, the Towncar comes recommended.

This should be more than enough to get you started on the right track in Mafia Wars. However, before things get wrapped up, here are some other interesting tips found around the web that should work for both the MySpace and Facebook versions of the game.

  • Avoid the Hitlist as best as possible. While it might be fun at higher levels, drawing attention to yourself at lower levels is just going to get you killed over and over again by high level players. Stay under the radar as long as you can.
  • If you ever attack someone and get the maximum amount of cash ($70,000), bookmark them and attack them as often as possible.
  • When you do start using other stats besides energy, it is best to keep attack and defense equal.
  • (MySpace Version) More Energy – Send an energy pack to a friend along with the message, then go to your MySpace page and click on the link (the image) and you will send one to yourself.
  • (MySpace Version) Beat the Bank 10% – Annoying, but if you deposit $9 at a time you will beat the system.
  • Best Early Cash & Experience Jobs:
    o Level 1 – 4: Auto Theft
    o Level 5 – 8: Bank Heist
    o Level 9 – 12: Museum Break In
    o Level 13 – 17: Wiretap the Cops

Best of luck, and happy gaming.