written by Barbara Bell
  Chapter 2
  Virtual Villagers 1: A New Home
  Strategy Guide & 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 Virtual Villagers: 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 best strategy is to find 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 Virtual Villagers 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 partially completed hut that your builder can get to work on. Turning on tutorial mode (Help) the first time through the game will help familiarize you with the mechanics of playing Virtual Villagers. 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. Your villagers will be less worried about food, and much more productive if you do that. 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 Virtual Villagers:
  • 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 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 such things as prolonged disease, starvation, on-the-job injuries, animal attacks, 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 injuries.
  • The villagers need to be taught to perform a job – they will not initiate tasks in an occupation in which they have no skill.
  • You can view information about various technology advancements on the Village Tech screen by clicking on the “?” button for that technology. This information will help you choose the order in which to purchase new technology.
  • The villagers’ curiosity is often a clue to puzzles.
  • The children can find and harvest a certain kind of food.
  • Picking up a villager while they’re working will interrupt them, and they will drop the object that they were carrying.
General puzzle strategy guide:
Most of the puzzles are dependent upon some combination of Village Tech, villager skills, and other puzzles. Although some puzzles depend upon the completion of specific puzzles, the 16 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 16 puzzles:
You can safely browse these if you just need a gentle push in the right direction. Each puzzle is referred to by number. The puzzles are counted sequentially, with 1 being the leftmost puzzle in the top row, and 16 being the rightmost puzzle in the bottom row.
Puzzle 1 is something that a builder can to do to provide a source of fresh water for your tribe.
Puzzle 2 allows your population to grow larger by providing additional housing for your villagers.
Puzzle 3 allows access to the ocean. Villagers don’t like dirty beaches.
For Puzzle 4 you should take a highly skilled villager exploring just north of the research table.
Puzzle 5 requires a certain level of Village Tech. Take a villager exploring in the northwest portion of the island.
Puzzle 6 requires a certain level of Village Tech, a highly skilled villager, and the completion of puzzle 5.
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 has no dependency on either Village Tech or other puzzles, and can be completed very early in the game. It involves more than one game location.
Puzzle 9 depends upon the completion of puzzle 5. Take a villager exploring on the east side of the village.
Puzzle 10 depends upon the completion of puzzle 14. Take a special person exploring the island.
Puzzle 11 requires a certain level of Village Tech. Take a villager exploring on the southeast side of the village.
Puzzle 12 depends upon the completion of puzzle 11 and additional Village Tech. Take a villager exploring on the west side of the village.
Puzzle 13 will produce a very special person who will be able to do very special things. Certain levels of Village Tech and the completion of the idol are required to complete this puzzle.
Puzzle 14 depends upon the completion of Puzzle 13. Take the special person exploring the island.


Puzzle 15 has no dependency on other puzzles. It can be solved as soon as you have the necessary Village Tech and a villager who has mastered a specific skill. Unlike the way you located the other puzzles, you have to actually [b]drop[/b] your skilled villager in the right place to find what you're looking for. Dragging him around the island won't reveal the location.
Puzzle 16 depends upon the completion of puzzle 13. A special person will do something that no other villager can do.



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