Many Years Ago


Many Years Ago

GrinnypThe casual village sim Many Years Ago drops itself in a crowded genre, competing with games like My Tribe, Virtual Villagers, Escape from Paradise, Totem Tribe, and many more. Why, then, should anyone bother with another village sim? In four words: laid-back and relaxed gameplay. In one word: dinosaurs!

Many Years AgoYour island civilization has been wiped out by a volcano (my, that sounds familiar). After customizing the tribal chief (a.k.a. you), start the villagers off by assigning a few basic tasks such as gathering resources, constructing buildings, finding tools, and so on. Before you know it you'll be charged with completing major tasks that require tons of resources, several tools, and a little effort on your behalf.

Building up resources will take up most of your play time, the rest goes by in a flash. Navigating the island paradise is smooth and easy, featuring three simple ways to get around: click and drag, scroll at the edge of the screens, or click the inset map to jump from place to place. Put a villager on a task by left-clicking the villager followed by his or her destination.Your people will happily take care of themselves, dropping their tasks to eat and drink, take a nap, or visit with friends or family and occasionally making a new little villager. They can also be surprisingly picky eaters, forcing the player to keep a wide variety of foods available.

Whimsy is a cornerstone of Many Years Ago. Chuckle as your villagers chatter to each other in their incomprehensible language, each voice unique to the person speaking. Ponder what the little furry creatures are for. Worry that once the bridge is built the dinosaurs will wreak havoc on your little settlement. Yes, dinosaurs. That is indeed a helpful pterosaur occasionally flying by to drop coins into nests which can be used for experience points. The sauropod and hadrosaur living on the other side of the river will wander by, feeding on the trees near your village and checking out the toddlers in the corral. Yes, toddlers. Yes, a corral.

Yet another thing that sets Many Years Ago apart are the tasks — many practical, some just out and out funny — like building a wooden corral to keep the village children from running amok and disturbing your workers at their appointed chores. Some duties can even be surprisingly complex. Baking bread, for instance, takes several steps, including the construction of three separate areas along with an intricate sequence of harvesting and milling the corn, transporting the flour, baking, and storing the bread.

And hey, how about those mini-games? Familiar fare such as match-3, pipe puzzles, and pair matching have been beefed up to an almost ridiculous degree in Many Years Ago. Two games feature an astonishing 49 levels each, moving them into the category of mega-mini-games.

Many Years AgoEach mini-game has a nice little "twist" on the standard setup. Match-3, for instance, features a cute sabre-toothed kitty who you must lead along a path inside the grid. Make matches that allow him to follow said path to a treasure chest and you can win resources, but only if you've managed to break all the blocks and chains before he arrives. The pipe puzzle is a maze atop a plant that needs to be manipulated for the seedling to grow to the surface so it can bloom. However, the plant is already growing, so rotate the pieces fast before it hits a dead end and dies. Beginning several of the tasks also leads to little one-shot, micro-mini-games that are fun and quick and can also be skipped if you're not in the mood.

Analysis: To begin with, Many Years Ago is filled with lush scenery and animations throughout its environments. The palm trees have that lovely interwoven bark that makes you want to run your hands over them. (Note: Not advisable in real life, since that dense bark in some varieties of palm trees harbors a nasty breed of scorpion.) The palm fronds are a luscious, verdant green, and gently sway in the tropical breeze. Small furry creatures shuffle around on the ground, perhaps searching for food. Water in the spring and your storage area is actually running. Listen closely and you can almost hear the pounding surf. Perusing the backgrounds almost makes you feel as if you were on a vacation, and the "kick back and sip some tea in the shade" gameplay fits the visual setting perfectly.

The tutorial gets you started and nudges you in the proper direction without being too obtrusive. Objects that need to be found are in plain sight, no monkeys or other visual aids needed. The nicest feature of all? Three mega-mini-games are entirely optional. This leaves you free to play the mini-games as you wait for your villagers to rack up needed resources, to gain more resources or experience points, or just for fun. Or you can just ignore them completely and watch your villagers spear fish in the river.

Many village sim games feature time management tasks so intense you can feel like a paranoid taxi driver on a three day coffee jag trying to navigate downtown New York during rush hour. The casual, laid-back atmosphere of Many Years Ago takes a complete 180 from that mind-set. There are no hidden items to collect, no mysteries to solve. Everything is laid out in the task directions so some might consider the game too easy. This, however, is missing the point. While many of these type of games can be as stressful as a day at the office multi-tasking, playing Many Years Ago feels more like hanging out in a hammock, watching the sunset, enjoying the beach, and hoping the vacation never ends. True casual gameplay.

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Walkthrough Guide


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Many Years Ago Walkthrough

General Information

  • There are 28 separate tasks that need to be completed to finish the game.

  • There are eight mini-games, three large multi-level and five small one-shot.

  • All of the mini-games can be skipped after a certain amount of time.

  • It is not necessary to complete all rounds of the large mini-games to complete the game.

  • You can customize your chief at the beginning of the game. Choose between male and female, then use the green arrows to change hair color and style, facial features, skin color, and outfit. You can also change the chief's name.

  • To raise one skill you need 10 experience (EXP) points. Gain EXP points by completing a task, playing mini-games, or collecting the coins dropped by the pterosaur.

  • The status bar at the bottom of your screen has multiple functions. Use it to keep track of food supplies, building supplies, individual villager status, access the overview map, and quickly locate an individual. screenshot.

  • The status bar can also let you know if one of your people is sick. If you see a green frowny face icon, they are ill and need treatment. screenshot.

  • There are three nests located on various parts of the island where the pterosaur drops coins. Use the map feature to check for coins and quickly move to collect them.

  • Coins can be collected simply by clicking on them.

  • There are two magic flowers in the game which grow in random areas. The blue magic flower can be collected and dried for medicine. The red magic flower can only be eaten by the chief, and causes them to become younger. This will help you keep the chief from dying of old age. screenshot.

  • To pick up any item, simply left click on the nearest villager and left click on the item. A list of items that can be found on the ground:

    1. Tools (seven)

    2. Gems (varies)

    3. Animal hides (used in construction)

    4. Blue magic flowers (used to heal illness)

    5. Red magic flowers (only the chief can pick them up)

  • There are seven tools that need to be found over the course of the game. The tools will appear around the main house in random places.Certain tools need to be found and picked up before certain tasks can be completed. Once you spot a tool left click on your nearest villager and left click on the tool. Here's a screenshot of the harpoon, which is used for fishing. Remember, it will not always show up in the same spot.

  • Animal hides show up all over the island. When you spot one have a villager collect it, they are useful in construction. Here's a screenshot of what a hide looks like.

  • Gems show up in random places around the island. When they start showing up go ahead and collect them, they will be needed for a future task. Here's a screenshot of what some of the gems look like. Remember, they show up in random areas so you may not see them in this exact location.

  • Your villagers will take care of their own needs, eating, drinking, sleeping, and family time. Just make sure that there is an adequate supply of food at all times.

  • Once in a while family time will result in the birth of a toddler. Toddlers who wander loose distract the adults in the area away from their tasks. Once the kindergarten is built direct the toddlers there and keep an eye on them. They will occasionally get bored and make a run for it.

  • Children who reach the age of 10 can now join the workforce in a limited capacity. They can do "light" tasks such as collecting fruit or coconuts, spear fishing, or collecting items on the ground. They cannot do "heavy" tasks such as chopping wood or quarrying stone.

  • Once a child reaches 16 they are an adult and can perform any task.

  • Villagers can be picky eaters. Each will suddenly crave one type of food, so keep a generous supply of each type in storage, once it is built. Before the food storage is constructed all you can keep are 50 coconuts and 50 fruit.

  • Here's a list of the maximum amount of foodstuffs that can be kept in one food storage unit, once it is built:

    1. Coconuts (400)

    2. Fruit (400)

    3. Fish (250)

    4. Dinosaur eggs (50)

    5. Bread (50)

  • Occasionally the coconut tree and the fruit tree will run out of fruit. Just wait a few minutes and more food will be available. You can tell food is available when you see coconuts or fruit on the ground around the tree.

  • Use the overview map to keep track of the nests. If a nest has a coin it will show on the map. screenshot. Each coin is worth 3 EXP points. The pterosaurs will only drop coins into empty nests.

  • You will begin with two villagers, a chief and their spouse. Other villagers will join as tasks are completed.

  • If you get a question mark when you try to set a villager on a task, that means there is something preventing them from attempting it. Some reasons for the question mark:

    1. Too many villagers already working on the task (only 2 people can harvest from a tree at a time)

    2. The tool allowing you to do the task has not been found yet

    3. They are physically unable to do the task (children between 10 and 16 cannot do "heavy" tasks such as chopping wood)

    4. The task can only be done by the chief

    5. Your villager is sick and needs treatment

  • The circular "portrait" of each villager is surrounded by a rainbow pattern that fills in as they get older. When the circle is complete, they will die of old age.

  • Once your chief gets to be about 30 go ahead and have him/her eat the red flower to get younger. Do not let your chief die of old age.

  • Use the info "i" button to check on a villager's skill levels. Use the green arrows to add collected EXP points to their skills. screenshot.

Tasks

  • Before you begin a task check the status bar to make sure you have enough supplies to do the job. Do not start building until you have the proper number of supplies. Each task will be listed with the number of materials needed as well as any tools.

  • Task 1: Build the Main House (50 wood, 50 stone, 10 hides). You should already have these materials to start. However, you cannot begin this task until you find the hammer. Look on the ground around the area where the house will be built. Each time the game is played the hammer shows up in a different spot, so check above, below, and to each side of the construction area. screenshot. Once the house is complete two more people will join your village.

  • Task 2: Gather 30 Fruit. Search the area around the main house for the basket. Once a villager has picked up the basket then you can harvest coconuts and fruit. The coconut tree is to the left and below the main house, the fruit tree below and to the right. Make sure to harvest from each tree as some villagers are picky and will only eat one or the other.

  • Task 3: Build a Kindergarten (100 wood, 20 stone). Look around the main house to find the axe and the pickaxe, you will need to have collected both before you can begin. To the left of the main house is an area of logs that will be the kindergarten corral. Have at least 2 tribe members cutting wood and one quarrying rock. You can cut wood from any palm tree that is not bearing fruit. There are two giant boulders that can be quarried, one to the left of the coconut tree and another above and to the right of the main house. screenshot. While your villagers are working on the resources look around the island. You will notice that gems are beginning to randomly show up in different areas. Go ahead and collect them, you will need them for a future task. Once the kindergarten is built click on a toddler and click on the kindergarten, they will stay there for a while, but they do get bored, so keep an eye out for escape attempts.

  • Task 4: Build the First Totem (3 gems). If you didn't find three gems while building up the resources for task 3 then go ahead and find them now. You cannot begin building until you have all three. The First Totem building site is far above and to the right of the main house, at the top of the island. Here's a screenshot of the location on the overview map. Completing the totem unlocks the match-3 mini game and gives your villagers knowledge of fire.

  • Task 5: Build the Camp (80 wood, 40 stone). As always make sure you accumulate the needed resources before you begin the task. The camp itself is a circular rock just below and to the right of the first totem. Here's a screenshot of the location.

  • Task 6: Kindle the Firewood. Find your chief and move him/her to the fire pit in the camp to kindle the fire.

  • Task 7: Gather 2 magical flowers. Once task 6 is completed you need collect and dry the blue magic flowers, necessary to cure illness amongst your villagers. The rack in the camp can hold five flowers, so fill it up.

  • Task 8: Build Swing (80 wood, 20 stone, 1 hide). To accomplish this use the build sub menu (you will find the button in your status bar at the bottom of the screen). Click on the swing set in the sub-menu and place it in the kindergarten, then move your builders over to complete. The swing will help keep the toddlers occupied and lower the incidents of jailbreak. screenshot.

  • Task 9: Build Water Tower (100 wood, 100 stone). As always, do not start until the resources are gathered. The build site is located in the lower left corner of the island (screenshot). When you first begin building a "find the differences" mini-game will appear. Here's a screenshot of the solution. When complete the Water Tower allows your villagers to store water for a more secure supply.

  • Task 10: Build a Spring (30 wood, 30 stone). The spring is located above the main house, halfway between the house and the First Totem. screenshot. While building the spring gems will once again begin to appear on the ground, so collect them.

  • Task 11: Build a House (100 wood, 40 stone, 2 hides). Build up your resources before you begin. Click on the build sub menu and select house, then place the house in the empty area above and to the right of the main house. The game itself will let you know if you are trying to put the house in a restricted area. Building the house allows more population. In fact, when you build, 2 more villagers will arrive to join your crew.

  • Task 12: Build Food Storage (100 wood, 100 stone, 15 hides). Collect all resources before you begin. When the resources are all there, simply click on a villager and click on the food storage area and they will begin to build it into a proper building. Once the storage is built make sure to assign at least 2 (even better, 4) people to collecting food. You can now stockpile a great deal of food. Here's a screenshot of the food and material storage locations.

  • Task 13: Build Material Storage (100 wood, 100 stone, 15 hides). Collect all resources before you begin building. When completed, the material storage can hold up to 1000 wood and 1000 stone. Here's a screenshot of the completed food and material storage.

  • Task 14: Build More Houses (100 wood, 40 stone, 2 hide each house). The task is to bring your total up to three, so you will need to build 2 more houses. As always make sure the resources have been collected before you begin building. Use the build sub-menu and place 2 more house foundations in an empty area. Once the houses are built 2 more people will join your village. screenshot.

  • Task 15: Get 10 Fish. Now the harpoon will show up somewhere on the ground around the main house. Find it and have a villager collect it. Once the harpoon is collected you can click on a villager then click on the river and they will start fishing. screenshot.

  • Task 16: Build Second Totem (6 gems). I hope you've been collecting gems. If you have 6 gems go ahead and have your builder (or builders) begin construction. Completing the Second Totem unlocks the pipe mini-game and gives your villagers agricultural knowledge. screenshot.

  • Task 17: Build 3 Corn Fields (30 wood). The corn fields can be built simultaneously, so you can assign a builder to each field. Once done the corn will slowly begin to grow and you can eventually harvest it to make bread. screenshot.

  • Task 18: Build the Mill (300 wood, 300 stone, 25 hides). As always, build up your resources before you begin building. When you begin building it will trigger a sliding puzzle mini-game (screenshot). When completed you will be able to grind corn into flour, you will gain 50 EXP points for the village, and 2 more folks will show up to join the party. screenshot.

  • Task 19: Harvest Corn. Now the sack will show up somewhere around the main house. Once a villager picks up the sack, you can harvest the corn. Simply click on a villager and click on the nearest corn field. The villager will harvest that field and automatically move on and harvest the other two as well. Remember when harvesting: make sure all three corn fields are mature before you begin to harvest. The corn will be taken to the mill and ground into flour automatically once harvested.

  • Task 20: Build the Oven (100 stone). screenshot. This is the final step to being able to bake bread. Once you have enough stone assign a builder to the site.

  • Task 21: Bake 10 Loaves. You should have already harvested your cornfields once, and there should be a sack of "breadstuff" sitting at the mill. screenshot. Click on a villager, then click on the "breadstuff" and they will begin transporting it to the oven. Wait a little while and a loaf of bread will show up in front of the oven. screenshot. Once it does, assign a villager to collect it and they will take it to food storage. Each loaf you see in front of the oven actually represents 15 units of bread. The complete bread cycle: Assign a villager to harvest the corn. Wait for the mill to grind it. Assign a villager to carry the flour to the oven. Wait for the bread to bake. Assign a villager to carry the loaves to food storage.

  • Task 22: Build the Bridge (600 wood, 400 stone). It will take a little while to accumulate all the materials necessary for this task, so use the time to bake bread, collect skins, or play the mini-games. Assign a builder to the bridge and watch them go. screenshot. Once the bridge is built your villagers can explore the other side. And here come the dinosaurs!

  • Task 23: Build the Stable (300 wood). Yes, you are now building a stable for dinosaurs. Once you have gathered the resources assign a builder to the site (screenshot) and a mini-game will appear. The purpose of the game is to match the tracks to the creature. Here's a screenshot of the solution. Once the stable is built you will have the ability to lure the dinosaurs into it and collect their precious eggs as an additional protein source.

  • Task 24: Gather 10 Eggs. After the stable is built the rope will appear somewhere in the vicinity of the main house. Find and collect the rope and you can begin the task. Once the rope is found it will appear on the gate of the stable. Before you attempt this make sure that you have at least 30 fruit stored up. Click on a villager and click on the rope attached to the gate. screenshot. The villager will collect a bunch of fruit from storage and bait the trap. Eventually a dinosaur will wander in and get stuck. They will then lay an egg in the nest at the back of the stable. The stable door will open and the dinosaur will wander off. You can then assign a villager to pick up the egg and take it to storage. The egg in the nest represents 20 egg units. The first time you attempt this task it will open a strategy mini-game where you play against the computer to get 5 eggs in a row. You can play the game or skip it. Note: while working on task 24 gems will begin to appear again, on both sides of the island. Collect them.

  • Task 25: Build the Third Totem (5 gems). You may have noticed while collecting resources for the previous tasks that gems began to appear on both sides of the island, especially on the left (dinosaur) side. If you haven't already collect 5 gems in order to begin the task. The Third Totem is located on the left side of the island (screenshot). Once built it will open a pair-match mini-game with 20 levels.

  • Task 26: Build a Second Spring (30 wood, 30 stone). The second spring site is also located on the left (dinosaur) side of the Island. See the screenshot for the exact location. Building the spring will expand the water resources for your growing community.

  • Task 27: Mega Task. The Mega Task itself is to accumulate the following resources:

    1. 150 fruit

    2. 150 fish

    3. 150 coconuts

    4. 30 bread

    5. 30 eggs

    6. 1,200 stone

    7. 1,500 wood

    8. 80 hides

  • It looks like you're stocking up for a big task. This will take the longest and will require that you build a second materials storage somewhere on the island. There's a good spot on the left (dinosaur) side of the island to build one, just above the spring. While your people are hard at work you can use the time to play the mini-games.

  • Task 28: Build Ship (1000 wood, 400 stone, 40 hides). Yes, you are on a volcanic island, it is perhaps time to escape. If you completed the Mega Task you should have everything on hand you will need. Assign a builder to the boat (location) and a min-game will appear, a jigsaw puzzle. To assemble the puzzle you can pick up the pieces with a left click and rotate them with a right click of the mouse. Here's a screenshot of the finished puzzle.

  • Congratulations, you have escaped!

Mini-Games

  • There are three large and five small mini-games in Many Years Ago.

  • The small mini-games are triggered when certain tasks are performed, and their solutions are discussed in the Tasks section.

  • First Totem Mini-Game: Match 3

    1. This is a basic match 3 game with a twist, there is a small sabre-toothed kitty in the puzzle and he wants to follow a path to the treasure chest. Clear the path in front of him and he will move along until he reaches the chest. screenshot. When he does, you will earn a resource. However, in later levels there are blocks and chains that need to be broken. All the blocks and chains need to be broken before the kitty reaches the chest, otherwise you don't earn the resource. There are 49 levels to this game, each level moving the kitty further up the mountain path until he reaches the top.

  • Second Totem Mini-Game: Pipe Puzzle

    • This is a basic pipe puzzle, rotate the pieces until the seedling has a clear shot at growing up to the surface and blooming. However, the plant will start to grow the minute you click the first piece, so move fast. In the pipes are small icons representing stone and hides. If your plant goes through one of those sections you will earn that resource. The longer it takes for your plant to reach the surface the more EXP points you will earn. Below are solution screenshots for all 49 levels. Please note: there is more than one solution to some of the levels.

  • Third Totem Mini-Game: Pair Match

    1. This is a basic turn over the cards and match the pairs game. The twist? They are stacked in layers. screenshot. The basic strategy is to match the upper layer cards first so you don't risk getting stuck.

Grinny wrote the review AND this walkthrough? What? Craziness! \o/

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Many Years Ago Walkthrough

General Information

  • There are 28 separate tasks that need to be completed to finish the game.

  • There are eight mini-games, three large multi-level and five small one-shot.

  • All of the mini-games can be skipped after a certain amount of time.

  • It is not necessary to complete all rounds of the large mini-games to complete the game.

  • You can customize your chief at the beginning of the game. Choose between male and female, then use the green arrows to change hair color and style, facial features, skin color, and outfit. You can also change the chief's name.

  • To raise one skill you need 10 experience (EXP) points. Gain EXP points by completing a task, playing mini-games, or collecting the coins dropped by the pterosaur.

  • The status bar at the bottom of your screen has multiple functions. Use it to keep track of food supplies, building supplies, individual villager status, access the overview map, and quickly locate an individual. screenshot.

  • The status bar can also let you know if one of your people is sick. If you see a green frowny face icon, they are ill and need treatment. screenshot.

  • There are three nests located on various parts of the island where the pterosaur drops coins. Use the map feature to check for coins and quickly move to collect them.

  • Coins can be collected simply by clicking on them.

  • There are two magic flowers in the game which grow in random areas. The blue magic flower can be collected and dried for medicine. The red magic flower can only be eaten by the chief, and causes them to become younger. This will help you keep the chief from dying of old age. screenshot.

  • To pick up any item, simply left click on the nearest villager and left click on the item. A list of items that can be found on the ground:

    1. Tools (seven)

    2. Gems (varies)

    3. Animal hides (used in construction)

    4. Blue magic flowers (used to heal illness)

    5. Red magic flowers (only the chief can pick them up)

  • There are seven tools that need to be found over the course of the game. The tools will appear around the main house in random places.Certain tools need to be found and picked up before certain tasks can be completed. Once you spot a tool left click on your nearest villager and left click on the tool. Here's a screenshot of the harpoon, which is used for fishing. Remember, it will not always show up in the same spot.

  • Animal hides show up all over the island. When you spot one have a villager collect it, they are useful in construction. Here's a screenshot of what a hide looks like.

  • Gems show up in random places around the island. When they start showing up go ahead and collect them, they will be needed for a future task. Here's a screenshot of what some of the gems look like. Remember, they show up in random areas so you may not see them in this exact location.

  • Your villagers will take care of their own needs, eating, drinking, sleeping, and family time. Just make sure that there is an adequate supply of food at all times.

  • Once in a while family time will result in the birth of a toddler. Toddlers who wander loose distract the adults in the area away from their tasks. Once the kindergarten is built direct the toddlers there and keep an eye on them. They will occasionally get bored and make a run for it.

  • Children who reach the age of 10 can now join the workforce in a limited capacity. They can do "light" tasks such as collecting fruit or coconuts, spear fishing, or collecting items on the ground. They cannot do "heavy" tasks such as chopping wood or quarrying stone.

  • Once a child reaches 16 they are an adult and can perform any task.

  • Villagers can be picky eaters. Each will suddenly crave one type of food, so keep a generous supply of each type in storage, once it is built. Before the food storage is constructed all you can keep are 50 coconuts and 50 fruit.

  • Here's a list of the maximum amount of foodstuffs that can be kept in one food storage unit, once it is built:

    1. Coconuts (400)

    2. Fruit (400)

    3. Fish (250)

    4. Dinosaur eggs (50)

    5. Bread (50)

  • Occasionally the coconut tree and the fruit tree will run out of fruit. Just wait a few minutes and more food will be available. You can tell food is available when you see coconuts or fruit on the ground around the tree.

  • Use the overview map to keep track of the nests. If a nest has a coin it will show on the map. screenshot. Each coin is worth 3 EXP points. The pterosaurs will only drop coins into empty nests.

  • You will begin with two villagers, a chief and their spouse. Other villagers will join as tasks are completed.

  • If you get a question mark when you try to set a villager on a task, that means there is something preventing them from attempting it. Some reasons for the question mark:

    1. Too many villagers already working on the task (only 2 people can harvest from a tree at a time)

    2. The tool allowing you to do the task has not been found yet

    3. They are physically unable to do the task (children between 10 and 16 cannot do "heavy" tasks such as chopping wood)

    4. The task can only be done by the chief

    5. Your villager is sick and needs treatment

  • The circular "portrait" of each villager is surrounded by a rainbow pattern that fills in as they get older. When the circle is complete, they will die of old age.

  • Once your chief gets to be about 30 go ahead and have him/her eat the red flower to get younger. Do not let your chief die of old age.

  • Use the info "i" button to check on a villager's skill levels. Use the green arrows to add collected EXP points to their skills. screenshot.

Tasks

  • Before you begin a task check the status bar to make sure you have enough supplies to do the job. Do not start building until you have the proper number of supplies. Each task will be listed with the number of materials needed as well as any tools.

  • Task 1: Build the Main House (50 wood, 50 stone, 10 hides). You should already have these materials to start. However, you cannot begin this task until you find the hammer. Look on the ground around the area where the house will be built. Each time the game is played the hammer shows up in a different spot, so check above, below, and to each side of the construction area. screenshot. Once the house is complete two more people will join your village.

  • Task 2: Gather 30 Fruit. Search the area around the main house for the basket. Once a villager has picked up the basket then you can harvest coconuts and fruit. The coconut tree is to the left and below the main house, the fruit tree below and to the right. Make sure to harvest from each tree as some villagers are picky and will only eat one or the other.

  • Task 3: Build a Kindergarten (100 wood, 20 stone). Look around the main house to find the axe and the pickaxe, you will need to have collected both before you can begin. To the left of the main house is an area of logs that will be the kindergarten corral. Have at least 2 tribe members cutting wood and one quarrying rock. You can cut wood from any palm tree that is not bearing fruit. There are two giant boulders that can be quarried, one to the left of the coconut tree and another above and to the right of the main house. screenshot. While your villagers are working on the resources look around the island. You will notice that gems are beginning to randomly show up in different areas. Go ahead and collect them, you will need them for a future task. Once the kindergarten is built click on a toddler and click on the kindergarten, they will stay there for a while, but they do get bored, so keep an eye out for escape attempts.

  • Task 4: Build the First Totem (3 gems). If you didn't find three gems while building up the resources for task 3 then go ahead and find them now. You cannot begin building until you have all three. The First Totem building site is far above and to the right of the main house, at the top of the island. Here's a screenshot of the location on the overview map. Completing the totem unlocks the match-3 mini game and gives your villagers knowledge of fire.

  • Task 5: Build the Camp (80 wood, 40 stone). As always make sure you accumulate the needed resources before you begin the task. The camp itself is a circular rock just below and to the right of the first totem. Here's a screenshot of the location.

  • Task 6: Kindle the Firewood. Find your chief and move him/her to the fire pit in the camp to kindle the fire.

  • Task 7: Gather 2 magical flowers. Once task 6 is completed you need collect and dry the blue magic flowers, necessary to cure illness amongst your villagers. The rack in the camp can hold five flowers, so fill it up.

  • Task 8: Build Swing (80 wood, 20 stone, 1 hide). To accomplish this use the build sub menu (you will find the button in your status bar at the bottom of the screen). Click on the swing set in the sub-menu and place it in the kindergarten, then move your builders over to complete. The swing will help keep the toddlers occupied and lower the incidents of jailbreak. screenshot.

  • Task 9: Build Water Tower (100 wood, 100 stone). As always, do not start until the resources are gathered. The build site is located in the lower left corner of the island (screenshot). When you first begin building a "find the differences" mini-game will appear. Here's a screenshot of the solution. When complete the Water Tower allows your villagers to store water for a more secure supply.

  • Task 10: Build a Spring (30 wood, 30 stone). The spring is located above the main house, halfway between the house and the First Totem. screenshot. While building the spring gems will once again begin to appear on the ground, so collect them.

  • Task 11: Build a House (100 wood, 40 stone, 2 hides). Build up your resources before you begin. Click on the build sub menu and select house, then place the house in the empty area above and to the right of the main house. The game itself will let you know if you are trying to put the house in a restricted area. Building the house allows more population. In fact, when you build, 2 more villagers will arrive to join your crew.

  • Task 12: Build Food Storage (100 wood, 100 stone, 15 hides). Collect all resources before you begin. When the resources are all there, simply click on a villager and click on the food storage area and they will begin to build it into a proper building. Once the storage is built make sure to assign at least 2 (even better, 4) people to collecting food. You can now stockpile a great deal of food. Here's a screenshot of the food and material storage locations.

  • Task 13: Build Material Storage (100 wood, 100 stone, 15 hides). Collect all resources before you begin building. When completed, the material storage can hold up to 1000 wood and 1000 stone. Here's a screenshot of the completed food and material storage.

  • Task 14: Build More Houses (100 wood, 40 stone, 2 hide each house). The task is to bring your total up to three, so you will need to build 2 more houses. As always make sure the resources have been collected before you begin building. Use the build sub-menu and place 2 more house foundations in an empty area. Once the houses are built 2 more people will join your village. screenshot.

  • Task 15: Get 10 Fish. Now the harpoon will show up somewhere on the ground around the main house. Find it and have a villager collect it. Once the harpoon is collected you can click on a villager then click on the river and they will start fishing. screenshot.

  • Task 16: Build Second Totem (6 gems). I hope you've been collecting gems. If you have 6 gems go ahead and have your builder (or builders) begin construction. Completing the Second Totem unlocks the pipe mini-game and gives your villagers agricultural knowledge. screenshot.

  • Task 17: Build 3 Corn Fields (30 wood). The corn fields can be built simultaneously, so you can assign a builder to each field. Once done the corn will slowly begin to grow and you can eventually harvest it to make bread. screenshot.

  • Task 18: Build the Mill (300 wood, 300 stone, 25 hides). As always, build up your resources before you begin building. When you begin building it will trigger a sliding puzzle mini-game (screenshot). When completed you will be able to grind corn into flour, you will gain 50 EXP points for the village, and 2 more folks will show up to join the party. screenshot.

  • Task 19: Harvest Corn. Now the sack will show up somewhere around the main house. Once a villager picks up the sack, you can harvest the corn. Simply click on a villager and click on the nearest corn field. The villager will harvest that field and automatically move on and harvest the other two as well. Remember when harvesting: make sure all three corn fields are mature before you begin to harvest. The corn will be taken to the mill and ground into flour automatically once harvested.

  • Task 20: Build the Oven (100 stone). screenshot. This is the final step to being able to bake bread. Once you have enough stone assign a builder to the site.

  • Task 21: Bake 10 Loaves. You should have already harvested your cornfields once, and there should be a sack of "breadstuff" sitting at the mill. screenshot. Click on a villager, then click on the "breadstuff" and they will begin transporting it to the oven. Wait a little while and a loaf of bread will show up in front of the oven. screenshot. Once it does, assign a villager to collect it and they will take it to food storage. Each loaf you see in front of the oven actually represents 15 units of bread. The complete bread cycle: Assign a villager to harvest the corn. Wait for the mill to grind it. Assign a villager to carry the flour to the oven. Wait for the bread to bake. Assign a villager to carry the loaves to food storage.

  • Task 22: Build the Bridge (600 wood, 400 stone). It will take a little while to accumulate all the materials necessary for this task, so use the time to bake bread, collect skins, or play the mini-games. Assign a builder to the bridge and watch them go. screenshot. Once the bridge is built your villagers can explore the other side. And here come the dinosaurs!

  • Task 23: Build the Stable (300 wood). Yes, you are now building a stable for dinosaurs. Once you have gathered the resources assign a builder to the site (screenshot) and a mini-game will appear. The purpose of the game is to match the tracks to the creature. Here's a screenshot of the solution. Once the stable is built you will have the ability to lure the dinosaurs into it and collect their precious eggs as an additional protein source.

  • Task 24: Gather 10 Eggs. After the stable is built the rope will appear somewhere in the vicinity of the main house. Find and collect the rope and you can begin the task. Once the rope is found it will appear on the gate of the stable. Before you attempt this make sure that you have at least 30 fruit stored up. Click on a villager and click on the rope attached to the gate. screenshot. The villager will collect a bunch of fruit from storage and bait the trap. Eventually a dinosaur will wander in and get stuck. They will then lay an egg in the nest at the back of the stable. The stable door will open and the dinosaur will wander off. You can then assign a villager to pick up the egg and take it to storage. The egg in the nest represents 20 egg units. The first time you attempt this task it will open a strategy mini-game where you play against the computer to get 5 eggs in a row. You can play the game or skip it. Note: while working on task 24 gems will begin to appear again, on both sides of the island. Collect them.

  • Task 25: Build the Third Totem (5 gems). You may have noticed while collecting resources for the previous tasks that gems began to appear on both sides of the island, especially on the left (dinosaur) side. If you haven't already collect 5 gems in order to begin the task. The Third Totem is located on the left side of the island (screenshot). Once built it will open a pair-match mini-game with 20 levels.

  • Task 26: Build a Second Spring (30 wood, 30 stone). The second spring site is also located on the left (dinosaur) side of the Island. See the screenshot for the exact location. Building the spring will expand the water resources for your growing community.

  • Task 27: Mega Task. The Mega Task itself is to accumulate the following resources:

    1. 150 fruit

    2. 150 fish

    3. 150 coconuts

    4. 30 bread

    5. 30 eggs

    6. 1,200 stone

    7. 1,500 wood

    8. 80 hides

  • It looks like you're stocking up for a big task. This will take the longest and will require that you build a second materials storage somewhere on the island. There's a good spot on the left (dinosaur) side of the island to build one, just above the spring. While your people are hard at work you can use the time to play the mini-games.

  • Task 28: Build Ship (1000 wood, 400 stone, 40 hides). Yes, you are on a volcanic island, it is perhaps time to escape. If you completed the Mega Task you should have everything on hand you will need. Assign a builder to the boat (location) and a min-game will appear, a jigsaw puzzle. To assemble the puzzle you can pick up the pieces with a left click and rotate them with a right click of the mouse. Here's a screenshot of the finished puzzle.

  • Congratulations, you have escaped!

Mini-Games

  • There are three large and five small mini-games in Many Years Ago.

  • The small mini-games are triggered when certain tasks are performed, and their solutions are discussed in the Tasks section.

  • First Totem Mini-Game: Match 3

    1. This is a basic match 3 game with a twist, there is a small sabre-toothed kitty in the puzzle and he wants to follow a path to the treasure chest. Clear the path in front of him and he will move along until he reaches the chest. screenshot. When he does, you will earn a resource. However, in later levels there are blocks and chains that need to be broken. All the blocks and chains need to be broken before the kitty reaches the chest, otherwise you don't earn the resource. There are 49 levels to this game, each level moving the kitty further up the mountain path until he reaches the top.

  • Second Totem Mini-Game: Pipe Puzzle

    • This is a basic pipe puzzle, rotate the pieces until the seedling has a clear shot at growing up to the surface and blooming. However, the plant will start to grow the minute you click the first piece, so move fast. In the pipes are small icons representing stone and hides. If your plant goes through one of those sections you will earn that resource. The longer it takes for your plant to reach the surface the more EXP points you will earn. Below are solution screenshots for all 49 levels. Please note: there is more than one solution to some of the levels.

  • Third Totem Mini-Game: Pair Match

    1. This is a basic turn over the cards and match the pairs game. The twist? They are stacked in layers. screenshot. The basic strategy is to match the upper layer cards first so you don't risk getting stuck.

Grinny wrote the review AND this walkthrough? What? Craziness! \o/

I've let the dinosaur lure sit for hours... and no eggs yet! am I missing something?

I did all of that, the lure just sits there (with fruit, gate open) and I tried clicking the villagers and the rope again or the stable or a dinosaur... but nothing. The bridge has been built and the lure has been sitting empty for years in villager time :)

Two questions:

1. Is is a bug or a feature for the tutorial to stop after showing you how to assign skill points, before saying anything about how to work in the main game window?

2.

Is it normal for the tools to take forever to show up in the beginning? I'm 50 minutes into the trial and still have no tools to use, so I can't do anything.

Didn't want to install - I kept getting stuff about the "DRM" program not responding.

I think this is a problem with BigFish rather than this game specifically as the same thing happened when trying to install the installer.


Well one thing you failed to mention in the review...

This game is SHORT!

You get an hour for the demo and that will take you almost halfway through the dang game. After you "win" you can't go back and keep playing either! All that effort completely deleted without any warning or options. No chance to go back and toy around with the mini games or just shuffle your population for the heck of it.

I felt like I'd just got a good start going when my game was rudely interrupted with the end scene. That's it? No furthering the civilization or growing my little community?

Hmph!

But for just seven bucks it was kinda fun for a while. :)


Yeah Grin, I know - but now the mini-games don't accomplish anything.

And did you notice the insane imbalance of results in the mini-games? The flower growing one gives incredible EXP or HP or whatever the heck it is... but the goofy cat-on-a-path one gives you what? One stone or wood or fruit? Bah! Paltry rubbish I say!

They need to add more projects and things to do. Maybe a few smaller items in between the major civilization moves and add people at a slower pace. Make the game 3 or 5 times bigger... or fifty times...

Ditto the comment by AaronzDad. I've played it twice because I thought I'd done 'something' to end the game prematurely. Very disappointing! ...and it's such a great game. Can't it be extended somehow by the game creators? I've tried to search for other games with similar 'look and gameplay' but there isn't any around. I prefer this sim game because the characters are allowed to freely move, not 'picked up and dropped' which somehow doesn't have the feel of 'self-will'. Oh Well! I suppose I'll start the game again...3rd time in 5 days!

I am having the same problem with the dinosaurs. Everything is set up, but no eggs. At first I realized that I had a house in the way of the bridge. I removed it and rebuilt in another place. The dinos could then get across the bridge. I how long does it take for them to lay the eggs? They haven't even gone into the corral.

Me too with the lack of dino eggs! I'm waiting to hear back from Big Fish but I'm just wondering if anyone else who has bought the game through them has had any feedback they could share? (48hrs response time seems forever when I'm stuck without the fix and wanting to play now!)

Thanks so much, Mim

Does anyone know how to treat the sick in this game please, or do you just let them die?

I have a full compliment of blue flowers, how do i get them to eat the flowers?, when i click them on to a blue flower on the ground, a ? appears over their head.

other games like this are My Tribe and Escape from Paradise I & Escape from Paradise II. Also available from Big Fish games for just $6.99/each.

I was wondering how long or something special to get a lasso?

I have the same problem with dino eggs. Everything is set, but no eggs.

Here is my glitch...I don't have a rope! Does anyone else have this problem?

i have a question:-
do kids grow in this game? and how to have more of em? my kids arent growing, if they dont grow i dont want any of my villagers to have any... well if i knew how to...
plz answer

so i know that to cure the sick you have to have them eat the dried blue flowers. how exactly do I do that? i'm not really sure how to cure my sick guy and i'm afraid he's going to die before i can figure it out.

Elizabeth, did you build the fire? When you have the sick person selected, click on the fire and they'll go eat one of the blue flowers.

Anonymousdeva-

About kids aging:

Kids will look like babies until they're 9 years old, at 10 they will look like small adults and can forage and fish, and at 16 they are full adults and look normal. They do grow up.

About how to have more kids:

Having kids is a random interaction between a couple, though it seems to happen when family is low. A couple can only have one child until their first is 16 years old. They will have the action "making babies" and will go into a house.

Does this answer your question?

How do you get enough wood and stone to build the boat??

Has anyone gotten past that?

How do I bake bread?

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