If you haven’t read the first part of this post, click here to read. The first post cover how to build a good puzzle for your opponent to solve, and how to gain lots of points, and also how to cheat while building your puzzle.
Now onto the second part of the Hanging With Friends game play, which is solving the puzzle that given to you by your opponent. And the format will be similar with Part 1, which in this post I will explain in details how do you make the correct choice while solving the puzzle and win, and also how to cheat.
Hanging With Friends Part 2: Solving the Puzzle
Try the most frequently used letter first. Like E for vowel and T or S for consonant. Wikipedia and some other sites provide some great statistic about letter frequency and also pattern frequency in English words, have them in mind, it will help you to get more clues to solve the puzzle!
Figure out the vowel(s) in the puzzle does make your guessing easier. And since Hanging With Friends already provided you the last vowel in the word, make use of them. If it is a long word, do try to figure out by trying E then O, I, and finally U. You wont need to try them all if you think you’ve got all the vowels in the word.
Try frequently used combination at the end of the word, like ES, ING, ED, ER. Your opponent tends to do that, and it will be easy for you when you’ve figure out the word is noun/verb/adjective.
Use your lifeline! Out of the three lifelines given to you, “suspect” lifeline is most useful. Lifelines cost 20 coins, it isnt cheap so use it only when you really need it. For every new component you play with, you will have the first tips for free (doesnt cost you coins), and after that, each tips will cost 20 coins, and to get 20 coins is to score a total of 200 (across all the games) to gain the bonus.
So you might be wondering, WHEN to use the lifeline? I’ll say when you solved the puzzle up till ONLY 2 unknown letters or less, and you have high chance to win the game, then only use it. “Suspect” lifeline will highlight 4 letters, and only one of them is correct. If you get it wrong, you’ll lose a strike. Try figuring out which one is most likely to be the correct one.
The word dont seems to have any vowels (or the “lack of vowels), try the letter Y. I’ve been in the situation before, and before you ragequit the game, try the letter Y. Its magical.
One of my way of solving puzzle is to it out loud. Substitute the letter into the word one by one and read them. It helps! I found I missed some obvious one by reading them out.
How to cheat
Sometimes, you’re stucked, and you just need a little bit help. There is where the cheating come in.
My favourite tools to solve the Hanging With Friends puzzle is worddetector.com. There are some tools out there that are specifically made for Hanging with Friends, but i found those tools usually lack the freedom of choice, and i found worddetector.com is easy to use.
To start, just go to their site and remember to switch to the Simple Search mode. Enter your puzzle by replacing unknown words with ?, for example: ???GI?G and it will show you a list of the possible words.
Well, with the list of words presented to you, it is up to you to decide which one is more probable.
Watch out for the selection of words, and remember the last vowel is provided to you, and by pick and choosing, you might just save yourself and win a game (by cheating). Haha.
Anyway, I dont recommend cheating, because by doing that, you lose all the fun element of the game.
If you have more tips and tricks to share, please leave them in the comment below.
Happy hanging and solving the puzzle!
I’ve been obsess with word games lately, and other than Words With Friends (which i wrote about earlier), my latest addiction is Hanging With Friends. This game is pretty simple, the concept is the same as Hangman where you play a word, and your opponent try to figure it out. Unlike Words With Friends, the game isn’t available on Facebook (web) but it only available on Android or iOS devices.
The game consisting of two important element, first is building a puzzle for your opponent, and the second one is to solve the puzzle given to you. I will separate this to two posts where each element will be cover separately with how to play a good game and as well as how to cheat.
Hanging With Friends Part 1: Building the Puzzle
What’s Your Strategy: Score vs Difficulties
Every Hanging With Friends game started off with one building a puzzle for their opponent to solve.
There are different strategy that you can play, and depends on how you want to play it (what you are trying to accomplish on that round of the game), you use different strategy.
A good game on Hanging with Friends don’t always need to beat your component and let him lose one life, sometimes collecting more point might be able to save your life on the next game!
Just like in Words with Friends, there are a special space in the 8 letter spaces that you get, the same Double/Triple Words/Letter space will show up on the board that let you have an opportunity to score higher. The score you collected throughout all the games (not specific to one game) will gain you Coins. Every 200 points will give you 20 coins, and 20 coins will buy you one hint. It is always good to have some coins in your game, where you will get to use it to help you when you face a though game.
When you are playing a game where you are trying to score as much as possible, it very much depends on your luck. The major factor will be what special space you got, and where it is located.
When you get such a Double/Triple Letter Space on your board, first try to figure out out of the 12 letters pool you got, which tiles award you with most points. Have in mind two of the most marks tiles and try to build the word where the tile is located on the special space and have more marks.
And if you are so lucky to get a Double/Triple Word Space on your board, just try to make the word long enough until you got to the special space and get your bonus points.
But sometimes things doesn’t goes that well. A triple letter space located at the 7th and 8th space doesnt do you any good, or you just want more points from one game, well, the tips below might be able to help you.
1. Longer word = more points. Try adding ED or S or ING if possible.
2. Adding prefix letter like RE, UN, DE, IN if you so happened to have those in your pool.
3. TIPS: U gives you 2 points while other vowel gives you only 1 point.
4. Z, Q, X, J, V and K give you more points than other tiles. Use them whenever possible
Building a Good Puzzle at Hanging With Friends
Points might seems important if you need it desperately to buy the hint, but it will not ensure you to win a game, building a good complex puzzle is the key to success.
1. Keep in mind that the last vowel is given to your opponent for free. So building a word with a vowel at the back is much more better than one with it in front. If your opponent saw the free vowel is offered on the 2nd letter of a 5 or 6 letter words, that eliminate a lot of possibilities and he might be able to figure it out easily.
2. Try not to use the same letter twice in a word. It makes the puzzle easier to solve since your opponent has one less letter that he/she need to figure it out. And also, not a good idea to use a vowel twice, especially your last vowel of the word.
3. Minimize the number of vowels in the word. Everyone will try to guess vowels first in a long word, and a long word will have less strikes. If this done right, there is a high chance that you will win that round.
4. NO VOWELS? Yea, no vowels might be a good trick to play, but a dangerous one. Because it is not hard to figure out a word with no vowels in it, but the newcomers to the game (or your careless friends) will get tricked and still attempt to try A E I O U in the word and that will cost them 5 strikes. (I had did that once when I was new to the game, and i suppose my opponent is LOL when he/she saw that in the replay)
5. Play a long word. By playing a long word and your opponent will have less strikes. Add RE, UN, DE, IN in front of your word or S, ED, ING at the back of the word to make it longer.
6. Play a short word. Short word might seems easier to figure out but your opponent will stumble across letters in long words much more often than they will in short words.
7. Build short word that uses consecutive vowels like ?OU?, ?EO? or ?OI?. Double vowels words are generally harder to figure out.
How to CHEAT
Sometimes you just cant find a good word while building your puzzle, or whatever reason that you allow yourself to cheat, here are my “recommended” way to cheat.
Anagram is your best friend. My favourite anagram tool, and also is most suitable for this game will be Internet Anagram Server.
Step by step?
1. Go to Internet Anagram Server page and use its Advanced Anagramming search.
2. Fill up the form as shown in the picture (or the instruction below)
Maximum number of words in each anagram: 1
Minimum number of letters in each word: 4
Maximum number of letters in each word: 8
Show candidate word list only: YES
The rest of the fields left blank or as default.
3. Enter all the 12 tiles into the Word/phrase to be anagrammed box
4. Press the Find Anagram button.
Yea, whats the ??????? part you might ask, I suggest you follow some of the tips above mentioned earlier in the post while choosing the perfect word, and hopefully you’ll be good to go.
Thats all for the Building the Puzzle part of the post. If you are interested in getting more tips and trick for Hanging With Friends, especially for the Solving the Puzzle part, click here to the post.
If you have more tips or questions for us, leave it in the comments.
This is a game where it is easy to understand and play, but hard to master. Therefore I’ve listed down some tips and strategies to help you to do better in your next game. By the way, this guide will be focus on the Zynga published Drop 7 game on both Android and Market. And the tricks below work for Normal mode.
1. Get rid of the grey circles
On the end of every level, one layer of grey circles added to the screen. Get rid of all those grey circles as well as those you placed as soon as possible. Revealing the numbers do help you to plan and make your game better. On Normal difficulties, there will be grey circles that you need to drop on every level. Try to place them at strategic places, so that they can be cracked and then the number will be revealed.
2. Smaller numbered circles are not good, especially 1 & 2.
To stay alive, get rid of those 1 & 2 when you can. As you go higher and higher on the grid, the chances of making a 1 & 2 circles explode are a lot lower. When you have multiple 1s in a horizontal row, and below them are grey circles, you know you’ve almost come to the end of that game.
3. Chain reaction
You will be amazed how much scores are awarded when a chain reaction happens. The first circle(s) to explode score 7, the circle(s) in the next step of the chain score 39, then 109, 224, 391, 617, 907, 1267, 1701, 2213, etc. Having multiple circles explode at once wont award you as high a score as a continuous chain reaction. Try to map out your explosions.
So, do structure your 7×7 grid by stacking up as many circles of the same number upwards as below:
7 6 5 (anything)
7 5 (anything) 6
6 5 (anything) 7
Note that saving your circles on your board for chain reaction also means that your board will be filled with grey circles. Its a risky game, so plan out your moves and your strategy carefully.
4. Clear board = 70,000 points!
When you have only a few discs on the screen, do anything you can to try to clear the board. But it will depend on your luck, but if you do eventually clear out the board, you will get 70,000 points, which is pretty cool!
5. If you find yourself with a #1 stuck at the bottom, check the circles around it and try stacking circles with the same number on top of each other – this will eventually free the one
6. Chain Reaction strategy for the early game, Survival for the rest
In the first few levels (5-20), build up chain reactions to get as many scores as possible. And for the rest of the game, you will be in survival mode because there will be fewer circles to drop for each screen, which cause the screen to fill up really fast. The only solution is to clear out as many circles and explode grey circles as efficiently as possible.
7. Plan, think and think again before you drop your circle.
The game is not timed, so there is no point of rushing through the game if you want to earn as many scores as possible. Plan your steps and do not make any mistakes. Any mistakes like dropping the circle on the wrong slot can cost you the whole game. Take your time, plan, think and look properly before you drop the circle.
If you would like to read further, read Nick’s blog post about Drop 7. He wrote a really detailed Drop 7 guide and strategy analysis, so go check it out.
With the release of Portal 2 first free DLC: Peer Review, official speedrun and least portal record had been added into the game, no more require users to manually time their time and portal. Soon after that, there are plenty of awesome videos of the Portal 2 speedrun record, and many attempt to break the record. While playing the game casually already game a bit of headache, watching these speedrun videos made my mind BLOWN!
For those of you who are not that familiar, the speedrun challenge, as the name suggest, is to use legit ways (apparently glitches are consider legit as well), without cheats and complete the test chamber at the shortest time possible.
I find myself often learn lots of things while watching these videos. Some are techniques to play the games, and some are interesting glitch that someone’ve found. You might want to watch, and learn. You can amaze everyone else on your Steam or PS3 friend list by scoring really good speedrun score, or maybe one day, you’ve found yourself break the record of the video(s) on the internet! So, if you’re really competitive, make sure you have Fraps running and recording the game at every moment, and one day you might be the speedrun record holder.
Here Im posting some of the footage of the speedrun attempt that got recorded on tape, do they still use tape? Nevermind. But if you are interested in the numbers, rather than the video, you can refer to the Portal 2 Global Leaderboard
For the first two chapter, BananasaurusRex did really well for dominating the speedrun record for all the chambers. Later you’ll find dex7er, takz, Darksim and some others do contribute to the record as well. Read the rest of this entry
Portal 2 Single Player Challenge Portal World Record
I’ve posted the speedrun challenge record, and now is the portal 2 challenge turn. It is interesting that the name of the game is called Portal 2, but some test are able to finish without using one portal! How amazing is that. Want some ninja skills (or ninja shows)? Watch the videos below!
For those of you who still dont understand whats the aim of this challenge, it’ll be to finish the testchamber with the least amount of portal fired. No matter how long you take, as long as you use the least amount of portal, you’re the winner.
Its recommended you’ve play through the game yourself before watching the videos, as all of them contains spoilers, and you wont be able to get the point or get the fun of watching them.
For those of you who have doubts, the videos you are watching belows are all legits. Some of those are using known glitches in the game, like crouch flying glitch, that valve might probably wont fix at anytime soon. If you are interested to learn how it is done, you can try your luck by surfing and asking around in the Portal 2 forum, or I’ll probably do a post on that. Read the rest of this entry
Tiny Tower had came on Android recently, and had been the one of the top game on iOS for quite a while. The game is free, but it has micro transactions in the game. You wont need to pay to complete or beat the game. This guide is to show you how.
The goal of Tiny Tower is to upgrade a small building into a skyscraper, brimming with both residential and commercial establishments. To accomplish this, the player must manage the stock and Bitizens of potentially dozens of businesses and apartments, collecting the profits and the rent to further construction.
1. Save up to 50 Tower Bucks and bank in for 100,000 coins. That’s the only bucks to coin conversion that is worth your bucks. Use your coins to build new floors.
2. Upgrade your Elevators as early as you can. You can feel the difference and also see it through the coins you earn from helping your Bitizens.
3. Know your Bitizens well. So when there is a Deliveries & Messages that need your help, it will save your time and earn that easy buck!
4. Check your Bitizens’ Dream Job, and fulfil them when there is a chance. Fulfilling them will earn you 1 Tower Bucks and also double the stock capacity.
5. While you are spending lots of time in the game, try Selective Stocking. It can be done by restocking only the 3 coins items, all your customer will buy only the 3 coins item, and it give you more coins!
6. Check the VIP before using them. You can identify them by their outfits, and check and optimize your selection to make full use of the VIPs before sending them up to the floor.
7. If you get a Construction Worker VIP and you dont currently have a construction site, either cancel them or send them to only 2nd floor. By doing that, you can continue sending Bitizens up the elevator.
8. Move your 8/9 skill points bitizens around while the 3 coins stocks are ready. By doing this, you can get maximum discount and wont need 6 bitizens to manage 2 shops.
9. Only use Tower bucks to restock 3 coins stocks. Its not worth spending it on 1/2 coin(s) stocks.
10. Residential Floors is important, its a good idea to have more residential floor than you need, since moving in Bitizens take time and you want your shop to always sells 3 coins items.
That’s my top 10 tips for Tiny Tower, what’s yours?
Music Video Game Genre is always the game genre that close to my heart, I love them very much, and would like to write about it in details, hopefully give you some insight or my opinion about this game genre.
Introduction to Mucis Video Game
Music Video Game, or Music Game are where the gameplay is depend or oriented around the player interaction with a musical piece or song. Music game genre is a huge genre of the game, and had been growing and gaining popularity in recent years.
You can find music game on almost everywhere you can play game. Its on PC, arcade, console, handheld & mobile. I will write a series of blog post about the music game on different platforms and hopefully will introduce you to music game, or if you are already into music game, hopefully this series of posts will give you more information and also provide you alternative to this genre of game.
Music Video Game by Country
The master of the Music Game genre will be either Korea or Japan, well, I cant name only one therefore i name both. Both of the country produce excellent music games since long time ago.
Some of the well known titles that came out from Korea developers and companies are VOS by HanseulSoft (if you still remember this), Audition by T3, O2Jam by O2Media, Pump It Up by Andamiro, and DJMax by Pentavision.
From Japan, we have the extremely popular and well respected team from BEMANI, the Konami’s music game division. They brought us Beatmania (also where the BEMANI name come from), Dance Dance Revolution aka DDR, Pop’n Music & Pop’n Stage (which is not that well known outside of Japan and asia market), Guitar Freaks & Drum Mania, Para Para Paradise, Jubeat or UBeat/YouBeat, Reflec Beat and more. Its impressive how many games can the team bring to us.
While US developers also working hard on music game genre at the same time, not until recent years they have great success and mass adoption. Most notable developer is the Harmonix team, which are behind Guitar Hero, Rock Band and Dance Central. Other successful games are DJ Hero by FreeStyle Games, Tap Tap by Tapulous, Just Dance by Ubisoft and many others.
The Music of the Music Video Games
One of the diffrenciation between asia music games (Korea and Japan) and US music games, are the music itself. If you noticed that games like O2Jam, DJMax and Bemani’s games, most of the titles have their own original musics and visual art. Bemani even have their own significant lineup of Bemani Artist, same goes to Pentavision. Even if there are POP songs (KPOP or JPOP), it wont take up the entire game, or there will still be original songs in the game. On the other hand, games like Guitar Hero, Rock Band, Tap Tap etc are focus more on POP songs, featuring only the hottest tracks at the moment, and they will usually come out with a newer game or update with more recent pop songs in it.
For me, I dont like the direction that the game consist of only pop songs or most of them are pop songs. I think pop song is a great way to bring new player to the game, and therefore generate huge revenue and attraction for the title, but due to the nature of pop songs, being overplay on radio or iPod, and new songs come out and old songs fade out in less than a year, its proven that the game will need a lot of new content (new songs) to keep the game alive. One good case will be Guitar Hero and Harmonix. The game did extremely well at the period of 2005~2009, but slowly, people just stop buying the game. And by 2011 Activision decide to cease development of further titles, and says thats its because of the “declines in the music genre”. While Tap tap is doing fine mainly because of the freemium model of the game, frequent updates, and also the game is on mobile where more likely people will play it everyday.
One reason I like playing music games is because, I can listen to some new and interesting songs, and also replay those original songs of the games. I really like the BeautifulDay songs in O2Jam, the bemani series, and favourite of all time DJMax Artists. While games like AuditionSEA, Super Dancer Online 9you version (XDO Malaysia version) which I’ve stop playing due to the songs aren’t keep me coming back to the game, I can listen to them on radio, shopping mall or everywhere I go.
I do hope that more music games start to invest and release their own set of original songs.
Is There A Decline In Music Game Genre?
Yes and no.
Firstly, what is stopping music games be distributed and available everywhere like every other type of game like Call of Duty?
Most of the games like Guitar Hero, Tap Sonic and even some Bemani games we can hardly find it outside of their own country. Most Bemani games ended up being released only in Japan for quite a while, before releasing it internationally. Many times gamers will need to import the game in order to play it, and not to forget some of them are region locked.
This is NOT because of the target market is not there, nor the localization problem, but the licensing of the music in the game. For games that uses pop songs and most of the will consist of songs from different record label, negotiating the right to distribute the game worldwide is not easy. And not counting how much the licensing fee will cost them to license for each region. Thats why most of those games ended up having another version of the game consist of different songs for international release. I think this do hurt the music game genre, because when gamers cant get what they want legally, they will ended up pirate it and find ways around it. Therefore it hurt the sales.
The solution for this, again is to get more original songs, have artists that under the control of the developer or publisher of the game. They can publish the game internationally much more easier if they did that.
On the other hand, the music game genre is not in a decline because of the technology. With the recent technology like touch screen, motion sensing and others, new gameplay methods are constantly being tried and it hasnt stop to wow me. For touch screen, ReRave is the game with completely new gameplay method which are really interesting and well done. Dance Central with Kinect bring the dancing game to a whole new level, way more better than DDR, or even Para Para Paradise. Dance Central take advantage of the full body motion tracking, and also you can play it at home! With all these new technology being more accessible to consumer, the future of music game genre is really bright and shiny.
On the next blog post in the series, I will start introducing different type of music games, and on different platform.
Do let me know what do you think of music game genre, in a whole or share your thought of a specific game in the genre.
Bemani game logos picture made by megawolf77