Life Quest (mobile)


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Life Quest (mobile)

JohnBLife is tough. Games, though, are fun, so when you mix the two, you get... fough? No, wait, you get Life Quest, the life simulation game recently ported to mobile iOS devices by BigFishGames! As soon as you graduate from high school, the world is yours to command. Once you get a job, earn some money, float above your rising pool of debt, and somehow come out ahead, that is! But since it's all fun and games in Life Quest, you get to kick back and enjoy an experience not unlike The Sims meets a time management game, which is to say, you'll spend a whole lot of time getting very little done! (Just like real life, no?)

lifequest-m.jpgAfter jumping through the initial tutorial hoops, Life Quest turns you loose in a city full of promise. There are buildings to utilize throughout the town, such as universities, apartments to rent, restaurants, clothing stores, furniture outlets, and much more, much of which is locked at the beginning of the game. Your goal is to live life to its fullest by outdoing your classmates as they present you with challenges. The game takes place in daily increments where you'll try to earn money, then use that money to do the things you need (and want). As soon as one task is done, the next classmate appears with bigger and better goals in mind. You won't have to worry about managing too much in Life Quest, as there are very few stats to keep an eye on, and progression is largely automatic and a simple byproduct of your daily activities.

Where Life Quest really shines is its plethora of options. You can tinker around all you want with this game, customizing your character, picking just the right job (assuming you're qualified for it), picking out clothes to wear, getting appliances and buying groceries, etc. It really is its own little simulation world, but with a nice rivalry-fueled incentive to keep outdoing everyone you knew in high school. This does lead to a less character-centric approach to the game, however. Even though you'll spend a lot of time focusing on who you are and what you do, the goals are always about outdoing someone else, not meeting and beating your own personal life goals. But hey, that's what real life's for, right?

Life Quest was an excellent game when it was released for the downloadable casual games market, and the mobile port effortlessly brings that experience to touch screen iOS devices. Have a little virtual life in your own hands, no matter where your real life takes you!

NOTE: This game was played and reviewed on an iPad. Game was available in the North American market at the time of publication, but may not be available in other territories. Please see individual app market pages for purchasing info.

Walkthrough Guide


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Life Quest strategy guide

NOTA BENE: This guide's goal is to give you the information you really need to not only beat the game but do it faster and better, not to hold your hand with screencaps. You don't need someone to circle the "accept" button and write "CLICK HERE" on top of it, right? You're smarter than that.

For one thing, Life Quest has an EXCELLENT tutorial, which points out all the areas and buttons to you much better than I could hope to with screen captures and text.

While I will talk about how to beat every challenge, more importantly to you, I'll talk about what the best items to buy are to beat the challenges faster, and what does and doesn't matter.

OVERALL ADVICE:

Do not forget to eat! You can eat at any time during the day, so you may want to eat first thing, especially once you can eat at home.
Keep travel times in mind. Try to plan out your day to avoid backtracking, especially in the beginning of the game when you're slow.
While the most expensive item usually offers the biggest bonus, it frequently is not the best deal per point of bonus. Typically the best deal is somewhere in between. Don't just look at prices: check what the stats are on the item. Sometimes the cheaper item even offers a bonus that is larger absolutely. Check the Best Values guide for help with this.
WATCH FOR SALES. Especially "monster sales". That's your chance to grab big ticket items. Remember that for courses at the gym and colleges, you can buy the course and finish it later. When they have a big sale, buy a bunch of courses at the bargain prices, and finish the courses on another day.
Pets give a small but crucial happiness bonus, enabling you to avoid going to bed unhappy or push your happiness up to full in the morning. You can have up to five pets at a time, but only one fish at a time (since the fish go into one slot in your house). As far as I know you can have any combination of dogs and cats.
You can only have one game open at a time per user, however, you can make as many users as you want.

BEST VALUES:

I give the single best value item, with other notes if necessary. In general the best absolute bonus is the most expensive item, so I only mention what the best absolute item is if it is NOT the most expensive item.

4Reelz:
All of the movies cost the same, but the better the movie, the higher the happiness or love payout. If you buy the movie guide at the Kitchen Sink, you'll see which movie title gives the best payout by how much of the bar is full of color. (Even with the very best movies, your date says it wasn't that great, but you still get the full love payout of +200.)

Buccaneer Burger:
This fast food place is all between 3 and 5 cents per point of happiness, so buy based on what you can afford and what level of happiness boost you need. I suggest the Salad Baaar if you don't need happiness, just to eat. Eat the Burger if you need the max happiness boost. It's still a pretty cheap way to get happiness. I'd also suggest the Burger if you're taking your date here. It's a cheap date anyway, you might as well get the max.

College of Knowledge:
You'll want to eventually take every intelligence and practicality course offered, and most of the charm ones. Always train intelligence first.

Fashion Passion
If you're a woman: The best overall outfit you can have is any+20 top, any +40 bottom, and the +50 shoes. If you're a man, it's any +40 top, any+40 bottom, any+30 shoes. That's because the most expensive "tops" for a woman are actually dresses, and prevent you from wearing a bottom. So you can buy a +60 dress, but that only ends up being the same as +20 + 40, and is more expensive. The total value of both "best outfits" is still the same at +110. The cheapest price for a a maximum bonus outfit for a man is $238 (assuming no sales). The cheapest price for the maximum bonus for a woman is only $178. However, I must lament that the only +50 shoes for the woman are hideous furry boots, which are hideous in real life and only more hideous in pixel form. I feel better having said that.

Flex
You'll want to do every course here, but wait to do the last three until you have 1000 intelligence, as otherwise they take much too long.

GrocerEase
Processed food is the best value and only requires a microwave (which the game makes you buy anyway), whereas organic food gives the best absolute happiness boost. Try to keep both in your fridge. As for the lottery tickets, I bought 20 in a row and never won any prize at all. Just like real life!

The Kitchen Sink
"Best value" isn't really a consideration for this store since most of the things are required to unlock classes and activities. The only case might be that of musical instruments. Any musical instrument will unlock the music course, so if you just want to take the course, the cheapest is the triangle. However if you want the accordion teacher job, you need an accordion. If you get the accordion, there is no benefit to buying either the triangle or the guitar.

More Decor:
Coffee Table: While technically the milk crate is the best value, the Basic Coffee Table is still respectable at a $1/point.
End Table: Again, technically milk crate, but Basic End Table is better.
Lamps: The $12 lamp at $1.20/point.
Paintings: The medium paintings are the best deal at 50 cents a point. Plus, getting a painting allows you to take an intelligence course, which you will need to max your intelligence.
Rugs - While the small rugs are technically the best value at 50 cents a point, the large rugs are still only $2 a point and give such a large absolute bonus for their price that it's worth picking one up when you can.
Plants: The $3/7 point small plant and $5/7 point large plants are the best values. In the small plants, even the most expensive is still so cheap that it's worth it. In the large plants, for some reason the most expensive plant is only worth 10 points.
Sofa - Recliner is the best at $13.3/point.
Window Dressings: Either drapes or blinds at 50 cents a point are the best value.
Wall Paint, TV Unit Paint, and Carpet: All of these give you a one time happiness boost and no boost at all to relaxation. This is basically just for changing colors.

PETropolis:
Fish - You might as well get the most expensive fish. Although it isn't the best price per relaxation point, it's a mere $4 a point, which is better than any of the dogs or cats, and only $40 total.
Cat - The $300 is the best value at $20/point.
Dog - The $1000 dog is the best value at $40/point.

Sparks
All of these things add a relaxation boost. The game will force you to buy the biggest tv, cable box, the biggest speakers, a game console, stereo, a fridge, and either an oven or a microwave, so you don't have much choice here. The DVD player only gives a relaxation boost and is not really worth it.

Spa-La Land
The primary purpose of this area is to allow you to change your skin color, eye color etc, but you also get a permanent charm boost for changing them. However, charm is pretty easy to get in the game, and doesn't need to be maxed to beat the game, so you might just skip Spa-La Land altogether.

The Stuffy Truffle
Everything is a worse deal in terms of price per point than Buccaneer Burger, but they do give bigger absolute happiness and love payouts than the fast food joint. The best dish in absolute terms is the Upper Crust.

Whatsamatta U
You'll want to take all the electives eventually, and all the business courses to get the best job in the game.

The Wheel Deal
A good progression would be skateboard to motorcycle to toro to chariot. A monster sale at Wheel Deal is like a gift from heaven. Buy the most expensive thing you can afford if you're lucky enough to be touched by that angel.

SUGGESTED JOB PROGRESSION:

Start as a dog walker ($13)(see tutorial section to see how to skip the first three jobs and qualify for this).
When you master dog walker, immediately go to City Hall and become a dog groomer ($17).
Buy a sewing machine at the Kitchen Sink, take the sewing course, and have 100 intelligence and 100 practicality to become a seamstress ($31).
From here, you can either take a fashion design course to become a Fashion Designer ($47) or get your intelligence and practicality to 200, buy an accordion at the Kitchen Sink, and take the music course to become an Accordion Teacher ($49). Both jobs have the "fun job" bonus.
From there, save up and hope for sales to get your business degree at Whatsamatta U, and also train up your charm to 400 to enter Middle Management ($65). You can't take this job until Incorporated, Inc is unlocked during the Chloe challenge. If you want max bonus points score, do not complete your degree until the Chet chapter--otherwise you will skip over him and lose out on Life Points. However, if you want minimum days score, you'll want to get this job ASAP. That's up to you.
After mastering Middle Management, you should also have the job of Buyer ($88) unlocked, and you should switch to that while you make enough money to get a master's degree.
Once you have the degree and 400 intelligence, you can become a Vice President ($98).
From there, you need 800 charm and mastery of Vice President to get President and CEO ($152), the highest paying job in the game! Alright!

Keep in mind that during the Dora chapter, you will have to stop whatever job you are doing and switch over to DJ and master it.

WALKTHROUGH:

TUTORIAL/DAPHNE:

-Get a job
-Buy a fish
Always do the tutorial at least long enough to get clothes. Otherwise, you're missing out on $20.
My suggestion is that you buy cheap 10 charm top and shoes, and the cheapest 20 charm bottom. Choosing everything cheapest adds up to exactly $20 if you're a guy. If you're a girl, this will add up to $19, so you can make one item one dollar more expensive if you want. You don't get to keep any money left over, so you might as well spend it. Make the outfit whatever color you like.

After this, you can turn the tutorial off if you want by clicking on "menu" and "settings", and then unchecking "enable tutorial".

If you haven't played before, go ahead and play through the tutorial. It's worth it because it explains everything very well.

However, if you have played before, turn the tutorial off. It forces you to take certain jobs and do certain things in a certain order. If you're trying to max your score or end in the fewest possible days, this will cost you time. (If you want, you could always play through the tutorial, go back to the main menu, click "Play" and then click "Start Fresh" to start over. If you plan on doing that, make sure you visit all the unlocked areas while the tutorial is on, because your sister will give you helpful tips about all of them.)

Ok, I'll assume that you're playing without the tutorial from here out. (You have to pick up the phone before you can click menu and turn it off.)

There are three jobs open to you at City Hall. However, all of the jobs are low-paying and either time-consuming or depressing. However, if you just had ten more charm, you could get a better paying, non-time-consuming, non-depressing job of dog walker. How do you increase your charm? Two ways:
1. Save money to buy a 20 charm top, which costs $13.
2. Take the cheapest charm course, which is $10 and increases your charm permanently by 50. At your current intelligence level, it will also take you 6 sessions to complete.

My suggestion is to get the top, because when you are higher intelligence, it will take you fewer sessions to complete the charm course. In any event, you need a way to get money without actually having a job. How do you get that money? Easy. Simply go to the Kitchen Sink, where the gnome who works there will recruit you to spot gnomes and pay you $5 per gnome spotted.

Then go back and forth between the Buccaneer Burger and Fashion Passion until you save up enough money to buy the top. DO NOT FORGET TO EAT BEFORE THE END OF THE DAY. You probably won't make enough money in the time you have the first day. When it comes to what to buy at Buccaneer Burger, consult the "Best Values" guide.

Once you've got the $13, buy a 20 charm top. Then go to City Hall and take the job as a dog walker. Work enough to have at least $20, and buy your fish!

You should be able to satisfy all of Daphne's goals by the end of day 2. However, if you want a more expensive fish, you might save up $40 to get the best fish, which might take you until day 3.

VIVIAN

-Visit College of Knowledge
-Complete a course
-job over $10
-visit City Hall

You should be able to beat Vivian in basically one day. You already have a good job which you got at City Hall. Simply go to the College of Knowledge, take and complete the $10 intelligence course. Train intelligence first because the smarter you are, the quicker you learn other courses and the quicker you become expert at your job.

By the way, when you master dog walker (either in Vivian or in Reggie), go immediately to City Hall and take a position as dog groomer.

REGGIE

-Buy a vehicle
-Buy a sofa
-Go home and relax
You may want to do these things in a different order depending on whether a store has a sale or not.

Vehicles have trade-in values, and the jump in time-saving is so great, that I suggest you buy a skateboard at $50 as soon as possible. If there's ever a monster sale at the vehicle store, upgrade to the best vehicle you can afford that day. Vehicles save so much time that they're one of the best investments you can make, and the earlier the better.

The best sofa costs $200 if there is no sale. Hopefully there will be a sale at More Decor, and if so, jump on it.

If there's a monster sale at College of Knowledge during this time, buy several courses. The most important thing to train first is intelligence. You will need to buy a chess set for $30 and a camera for $60 to unlock two +100 intelligence courses.

LIBBY

-Buy a yoga mat at the Kitchen Sink
-Complete a yoga course
-Watch a movie

The yoga mat is only $10, so waiting for a sale isn't really necessary.

Hopefully you've been training your intelligence, so the yoga course won't take too long to complete.

Regarding watching a movie, it may seem tempting to do the review option and get paid. But be warned it takes a significant chunk of your time to do this. It's not worth it from a monetary prospective at this point.

Now is a good time to buy a sewing machine at the Kitchen Sink for $80, and take the sewing class, which will unlock the Seamstress position. At $31, it's a great job and what I suggest you take after Dog Groomer (look at "Suggested Job Progression).

NORA

-Have a job which pays over $20
-Eat at the Stuffy Truffle

I literally beat Nora the next turn after beating Libby. All I did was go to the unlocked Stuffy Truffle and order something. Boom. If you're following this walkthrough, you should have the Seamstress job by now. If you don't, look at the Libby section to see how to unlock it.

OLIVIA

-Rent or buy a condo at Tower Terrace
-Buy a dog or cat

First off: do not buy a condo. Rent for eight days is $200, and to buy is $1200. You will not be staying in the condo for 48 days, so it's much more sensible to rent than to buy.

You must move up to the condo before you can get a dog or cat. I suggest you get the $300 cat, which is the best value per point.

At this point I suggest training up to Fashion Designer or Accordion Teacher; please see the "Suggested Job Progression" section on how to do that.

BROCK

-Spend at least $40 at 8 different locations.

You might as well use that $40 to buy and do useful things.

First, buy swimming goggles and weights at the Kitchen Sink. Then, train the first three classes at Flex. This will give you more overall time. You should be intelligent enough by now to go through the first three classes fairly quickly.

For what order to do the rest of the things in, I suggest following the sales. If there's no sale that day, work at your job to save up money.

If you're a woman: Buy the +50 charm shoes or +40 bottom at Fashion Passion. If it's a monster sale, you might need to buy something else to get it above $40. The best overall outfit you can have is +20 top, +40 bottom, +50 shoes. If you're a man, it's totally different. That's because the most expensive "tops" for a woman are actually dresses, and prevent you from wearing a bottom. So you can buy a +60 dress, but that only ends up being the same as +20 + 40, and is more expensive. For a man, however, you can wear a +40 top and a +40 bottom. Your highest charm shoes are only +30, so the highest total outfit is still the same at +110. The cheapest price for a a maximum bonus outfit for a man is $238 (assuming no sales). The cheapest price for the maximum bonus for a woman is only $178. However, let it be said by me that for this to happen, the woman is forced to buy hideous furry boots, which are hideous in real life and only more hideous in pixel form. I feel better having said that.

I suggest buying a video game console at Sparks. You'll need it for a later challenge anyway, and buying it allows you to take an intelligence course at College of Knowledge. It also ups your relaxation and gives you something to do with a date. You can also buy a microwave, oven, or fridge, which you can't use until the next chapter, but are needed to beat that chapter.

Speaking of dates, you might want to head to the newspaper office and place two ads: a personal ad, and an ad to sell something. This will put a check at the newspaper office, plus the sooner you start dating the better. You have to date someone at least 7 days to propose, and you have to have a good love percentage for them to accept (at least 70%, I think). Try to go out with your date everyday by clicking on the "love" icon. Dancing, which you unlock in a later chapter, and watching a movie, are the best single increases in love points (+200) but take a significant amount of time. If the day runs out before the date is over, your date will be unimpressed and you'll actually lose points. In my opinion, the best dates are the ones that don't require you to travel or spend much time: playing video games, watching tv, playing chess, etc. Regarding the ad to sell something, just sell anything you don't need. You probably won't recoup the $25, but that's alright.

Go to Stuffy Truffle and buy anything above $40. You might want to wait until you have a date to take there. The Upper Crust is the best dish to order.

Buy some more class unlocking things at the Kitchen Sink, such as musical instruments and sports equipment.

Once you have the class unlocking thing, take a course at College of Knowledge. The music course will unlock the slightly better paying Accordion Teacher, if you've been a Fashion Designer up until now. Taking intelligence courses is never a bad idea.

At More Decor, I suggest buying a small rug ($5/10 points), the $12 lamp (10 points), the $10 coffee table (10 points), either the drapes or blinds ($5/10 points), the $5 large plant (7 points), and the $3 small plant that offers 7 points. That's exactly 40 dollars if there's no sale, and it gives you an amazing 54 relaxation points! If there is a sale, feel free to splurge a little more.

If you do all of these things, you'll have spent at 8 locations. If you'd like to do something a little different, check the "Best Values" guide for ideas.

GRETA

-Purchase a fridge
-Purchase either a microwave or an oven
-Buy groceries

I suggest buying a microwave rather than an oven, because I suggest buying organic and processed groceries, never regular ones.

Always buy by the week. Not only does this mean fewer trips, but it's cheaper. Organic groceries are not the best value per happiness point (processed food is) but since they have a higher absolute happiness boost, I think it's good to have both in your fridge. If you need a happiness boost, eat organic. Otherwise, eat processed.

If you get lucky and there's a sale at Sparks, you can beat Greta in one day, but it won't take you long, regardless.

VIJAY

-Purchase the biggest TV
-Purchase any speakers
-Purchase a cable box

You'll need the most expensive speakers for a later challenge, but you probably can't splurge on them just yet, unless you get a monster sale, so buy the cheapest speakers. The cable box is just one price.

You'll probably need to save up for the biggest TV.

Whatsamatta U is unlocked in this chapter. If you get a sale here, JUMP ON IT. If you are trying to max out your Life Points, don't finish a degree until the Chet chapter.

You also will want to do some more training at Flex. Obviously, if there's a sale, that's great. Try to do at least the first two rows of Flex classes. The next time there's a sale, try to do the third row. Wait on the fourth row until you've maxed your intelligence.

CHLOE

-Spend $300 at Fashion Passion
-Have $400 charm

Check the "Best Values" section for how to spend your money most wisely at Fashion passion. Now is the time to get your max charm outfit if you haven't already. If you have, then buy whatever you want until you hit $300.

ZIGGY

-Buy a video game console
-Buy a Buccaneer Burger
-Relax 5 times in one day

If you are following this walkthrough, you probably already bought a video game console. So just spend $10 at Buccaneer Burger, and then make sure you have enough time left in your meter to relax at home five times.

WINNIE

-Purchase a house in Hilltop Heights
-Upgrade your kitchen

It costs $3000 to buy a house, so you'll probably have to save up. So now is a good time to move up into middle management. Finish your degree at Whatsamatta U and you'll be able to take the position, since your charm is already above 400. (If you're trying for max score, however, you need to keep slugging away at Accordion Teacher, because you won't want to finish your degree until Chet next chapter. You might get everything done except one session on your degree, so you can grab it and end Chet right away.)

Assuming your practicality is above 400, it's better to do the kitchen upgrade yourself than pay a contractor. However, for the smaller jobs, it's better to pay the contractor, because the sessions are not equal in time: your session is 300 time points, whereas the contractor session is only 100 time points. When you get a better job, you can earn the money to pay the contractor much faster than you can do it yourself.

You should also try to get your date's happiness up in this chapter and propose to him or her. You'll need to have been dating 7 days, and also you need to be married 3 days to have your first baby.

CHET

-Finish any degree at Whatsamatta U

I suggest the business degree, of course, since it's the path to the best career. You will need to do two electives, basic business, advanced business, and business degree. Hope for sales and do intelligence courses first!

AMIR

-Have a baby

You started dating back during the Brock challenge, right? And you got married back in Winnie, right? Well, if you're behind, it's going to take you at least ten days to beat this chapter. You can find a date either through a personal ad (which takes a couple days to get responses) placed at the newspaper, or by charming the pants off people by dancing at Dancy Pants. The love percentage you start out with appears to be random. Propose after seven days together. Then, you'll have to wait three days to have a baby.

Now that you have a degree, you can get the Middle Management job and the Buyer job. Work the Middle Management job to expert first, then take the higher-paying Buyer job. Neither of these jobs are fun jobs, so keep an eye on your happiness and start eating organic food if necessary.

DORA

-Buy a stereo
-Buy the most expensive speakers
-Take a music course at the College of Knowledge
-Become an expert DJ at Dancy Pants

At this point, focus on getting your intelligence up to 1000. That will make everything else in the game much easier. The items needed to unlock all the intelligence courses are: camera, telescope, chess set, book, and scrapbooking kit, all from the Kitchen Sink; any painting, from More Decor; and a game console from Sparks.

Hope for a sale at Sparks, otherwise save up the $2000+ you'll need for the speakers and the stereo. With 1000 intelligence, you'll master the DJing job in no time.

KATHRYN

-Write nine movie reviews

With your intelligence at 1000, you'll get paid $100/review. It can take a significant chunk of time to write a review, so you eat before you run out of time.

Start saving money to get a master's degree so you can move into the Vice President position.

RYAN

-get 1000 practicality
-Make any home improvement

Get the Vice President job if you haven't already. As soon as you make expert at VP, get your charm up to 800 (take courses and/or do beauty treatments at the Spa). Then get the highest paying job, President and CEO. Then work hard for the money to do all the practicality courses at Whatsamatta U and College of Knowledge. Then either DIY or hire a contractor for any of the home improvements (the deck is the quickest).

SAMANTHA

-get 1000 intelligence
-get a Ph.D

You should already have 1000 intelligence if you've been following this walkthrough. If you don't, again, do all the intelligence courses.

You should already have your masters degree, and be President and CEO. Finish that up if you still have to work at it. Then, make money from that job to get the $4000 to become a Ph.D.

MICHAEL

-upgrade into a mansion
-purchase the most expensive car

In order to get the mansion upgrade, you have to get all the other upgrades (including 3 extra rooms). It's faster to pay a contractor at this point, bacause your President job pays you more for your time than you spend to pay the contractor.

The car costs $10000 if there's no sale, however, you also have the trade-in value of whatever your current vehicle is, so keep that in mind.

Once you beat Michael, you've beaten the plot of the game! Now you're free to do whatever you want. I tend to have a celebratory spree at decorating my mansion.

Following the walkthrough this way, with a little luck in sales, can easily have you beating the game before day 60.

RECORD TIME SUGGESTIONS:

If you are trying to get a record time, rather than a record score or seeing all the challenges (the normal walkthrough), your priority is getting your intelligence to 1000 , making the day last the max amount of time, and going through the job progression as fast as possible. You can beat the game in like 45 days if you push yourself and get lucky in sales, and you'll actully skip a number of the challenges. I suggest playing the game once the normal way before trying to do a record time run.

Feel free to share your own tips!

We originally featured this guide here. Thanks to joye for the walkthrough!

1 Comment

Life Quest strategy guide

NOTA BENE: This guide's goal is to give you the information you really need to not only beat the game but do it faster and better, not to hold your hand with screencaps. You don't need someone to circle the "accept" button and write "CLICK HERE" on top of it, right? You're smarter than that.

For one thing, Life Quest has an EXCELLENT tutorial, which points out all the areas and buttons to you much better than I could hope to with screen captures and text.

While I will talk about how to beat every challenge, more importantly to you, I'll talk about what the best items to buy are to beat the challenges faster, and what does and doesn't matter.

OVERALL ADVICE:

Do not forget to eat! You can eat at any time during the day, so you may want to eat first thing, especially once you can eat at home.
Keep travel times in mind. Try to plan out your day to avoid backtracking, especially in the beginning of the game when you're slow.
While the most expensive item usually offers the biggest bonus, it frequently is not the best deal per point of bonus. Typically the best deal is somewhere in between. Don't just look at prices: check what the stats are on the item. Sometimes the cheaper item even offers a bonus that is larger absolutely. Check the Best Values guide for help with this.
WATCH FOR SALES. Especially "monster sales". That's your chance to grab big ticket items. Remember that for courses at the gym and colleges, you can buy the course and finish it later. When they have a big sale, buy a bunch of courses at the bargain prices, and finish the courses on another day.
Pets give a small but crucial happiness bonus, enabling you to avoid going to bed unhappy or push your happiness up to full in the morning. You can have up to five pets at a time, but only one fish at a time (since the fish go into one slot in your house). As far as I know you can have any combination of dogs and cats.
You can only have one game open at a time per user, however, you can make as many users as you want.

BEST VALUES:

I give the single best value item, with other notes if necessary. In general the best absolute bonus is the most expensive item, so I only mention what the best absolute item is if it is NOT the most expensive item.

4Reelz:
All of the movies cost the same, but the better the movie, the higher the happiness or love payout. If you buy the movie guide at the Kitchen Sink, you'll see which movie title gives the best payout by how much of the bar is full of color. (Even with the very best movies, your date says it wasn't that great, but you still get the full love payout of +200.)

Buccaneer Burger:
This fast food place is all between 3 and 5 cents per point of happiness, so buy based on what you can afford and what level of happiness boost you need. I suggest the Salad Baaar if you don't need happiness, just to eat. Eat the Burger if you need the max happiness boost. It's still a pretty cheap way to get happiness. I'd also suggest the Burger if you're taking your date here. It's a cheap date anyway, you might as well get the max.

College of Knowledge:
You'll want to eventually take every intelligence and practicality course offered, and most of the charm ones. Always train intelligence first.

Fashion Passion
If you're a woman: The best overall outfit you can have is any+20 top, any +40 bottom, and the +50 shoes. If you're a man, it's any +40 top, any+40 bottom, any+30 shoes. That's because the most expensive "tops" for a woman are actually dresses, and prevent you from wearing a bottom. So you can buy a +60 dress, but that only ends up being the same as +20 + 40, and is more expensive. The total value of both "best outfits" is still the same at +110. The cheapest price for a a maximum bonus outfit for a man is $238 (assuming no sales). The cheapest price for the maximum bonus for a woman is only $178. However, I must lament that the only +50 shoes for the woman are hideous furry boots, which are hideous in real life and only more hideous in pixel form. I feel better having said that.

Flex
You'll want to do every course here, but wait to do the last three until you have 1000 intelligence, as otherwise they take much too long.

GrocerEase
Processed food is the best value and only requires a microwave (which the game makes you buy anyway), whereas organic food gives the best absolute happiness boost. Try to keep both in your fridge. As for the lottery tickets, I bought 20 in a row and never won any prize at all. Just like real life!

The Kitchen Sink
"Best value" isn't really a consideration for this store since most of the things are required to unlock classes and activities. The only case might be that of musical instruments. Any musical instrument will unlock the music course, so if you just want to take the course, the cheapest is the triangle. However if you want the accordion teacher job, you need an accordion. If you get the accordion, there is no benefit to buying either the triangle or the guitar.

More Decor:
Coffee Table: While technically the milk crate is the best value, the Basic Coffee Table is still respectable at a $1/point.
End Table: Again, technically milk crate, but Basic End Table is better.
Lamps: The $12 lamp at $1.20/point.
Paintings: The medium paintings are the best deal at 50 cents a point. Plus, getting a painting allows you to take an intelligence course, which you will need to max your intelligence.
Rugs - While the small rugs are technically the best value at 50 cents a point, the large rugs are still only $2 a point and give such a large absolute bonus for their price that it's worth picking one up when you can.
Plants: The $3/7 point small plant and $5/7 point large plants are the best values. In the small plants, even the most expensive is still so cheap that it's worth it. In the large plants, for some reason the most expensive plant is only worth 10 points.
Sofa - Recliner is the best at $13.3/point.
Window Dressings: Either drapes or blinds at 50 cents a point are the best value.
Wall Paint, TV Unit Paint, and Carpet: All of these give you a one time happiness boost and no boost at all to relaxation. This is basically just for changing colors.

PETropolis:
Fish - You might as well get the most expensive fish. Although it isn't the best price per relaxation point, it's a mere $4 a point, which is better than any of the dogs or cats, and only $40 total.
Cat - The $300 is the best value at $20/point.
Dog - The $1000 dog is the best value at $40/point.

Sparks
All of these things add a relaxation boost. The game will force you to buy the biggest tv, cable box, the biggest speakers, a game console, stereo, a fridge, and either an oven or a microwave, so you don't have much choice here. The DVD player only gives a relaxation boost and is not really worth it.

Spa-La Land
The primary purpose of this area is to allow you to change your skin color, eye color etc, but you also get a permanent charm boost for changing them. However, charm is pretty easy to get in the game, and doesn't need to be maxed to beat the game, so you might just skip Spa-La Land altogether.

The Stuffy Truffle
Everything is a worse deal in terms of price per point than Buccaneer Burger, but they do give bigger absolute happiness and love payouts than the fast food joint. The best dish in absolute terms is the Upper Crust.

Whatsamatta U
You'll want to take all the electives eventually, and all the business courses to get the best job in the game.

The Wheel Deal
A good progression would be skateboard to motorcycle to toro to chariot. A monster sale at Wheel Deal is like a gift from heaven. Buy the most expensive thing you can afford if you're lucky enough to be touched by that angel.

SUGGESTED JOB PROGRESSION:

Start as a dog walker ($13)(see tutorial section to see how to skip the first three jobs and qualify for this).
When you master dog walker, immediately go to City Hall and become a dog groomer ($17).
Buy a sewing machine at the Kitchen Sink, take the sewing course, and have 100 intelligence and 100 practicality to become a seamstress ($31).
From here, you can either take a fashion design course to become a Fashion Designer ($47) or get your intelligence and practicality to 200, buy an accordion at the Kitchen Sink, and take the music course to become an Accordion Teacher ($49). Both jobs have the "fun job" bonus.
From there, save up and hope for sales to get your business degree at Whatsamatta U, and also train up your charm to 400 to enter Middle Management ($65). You can't take this job until Incorporated, Inc is unlocked during the Chloe challenge. If you want max bonus points score, do not complete your degree until the Chet chapter--otherwise you will skip over him and lose out on Life Points. However, if you want minimum days score, you'll want to get this job ASAP. That's up to you.
After mastering Middle Management, you should also have the job of Buyer ($88) unlocked, and you should switch to that while you make enough money to get a master's degree.
Once you have the degree and 400 intelligence, you can become a Vice President ($98).
From there, you need 800 charm and mastery of Vice President to get President and CEO ($152), the highest paying job in the game! Alright!

Keep in mind that during the Dora chapter, you will have to stop whatever job you are doing and switch over to DJ and master it.

WALKTHROUGH:

TUTORIAL/DAPHNE:

-Get a job
-Buy a fish
Always do the tutorial at least long enough to get clothes. Otherwise, you're missing out on $20.
My suggestion is that you buy cheap 10 charm top and shoes, and the cheapest 20 charm bottom. Choosing everything cheapest adds up to exactly $20 if you're a guy. If you're a girl, this will add up to $19, so you can make one item one dollar more expensive if you want. You don't get to keep any money left over, so you might as well spend it. Make the outfit whatever color you like.

After this, you can turn the tutorial off if you want by clicking on "menu" and "settings", and then unchecking "enable tutorial".

If you haven't played before, go ahead and play through the tutorial. It's worth it because it explains everything very well.

However, if you have played before, turn the tutorial off. It forces you to take certain jobs and do certain things in a certain order. If you're trying to max your score or end in the fewest possible days, this will cost you time. (If you want, you could always play through the tutorial, go back to the main menu, click "Play" and then click "Start Fresh" to start over. If you plan on doing that, make sure you visit all the unlocked areas while the tutorial is on, because your sister will give you helpful tips about all of them.)

Ok, I'll assume that you're playing without the tutorial from here out. (You have to pick up the phone before you can click menu and turn it off.)

There are three jobs open to you at City Hall. However, all of the jobs are low-paying and either time-consuming or depressing. However, if you just had ten more charm, you could get a better paying, non-time-consuming, non-depressing job of dog walker. How do you increase your charm? Two ways:
1. Save money to buy a 20 charm top, which costs $13.
2. Take the cheapest charm course, which is $10 and increases your charm permanently by 50. At your current intelligence level, it will also take you 6 sessions to complete.

My suggestion is to get the top, because when you are higher intelligence, it will take you fewer sessions to complete the charm course. In any event, you need a way to get money without actually having a job. How do you get that money? Easy. Simply go to the Kitchen Sink, where the gnome who works there will recruit you to spot gnomes and pay you $5 per gnome spotted.

Then go back and forth between the Buccaneer Burger and Fashion Passion until you save up enough money to buy the top. DO NOT FORGET TO EAT BEFORE THE END OF THE DAY. You probably won't make enough money in the time you have the first day. When it comes to what to buy at Buccaneer Burger, consult the "Best Values" guide.

Once you've got the $13, buy a 20 charm top. Then go to City Hall and take the job as a dog walker. Work enough to have at least $20, and buy your fish!

You should be able to satisfy all of Daphne's goals by the end of day 2. However, if you want a more expensive fish, you might save up $40 to get the best fish, which might take you until day 3.

VIVIAN

-Visit College of Knowledge
-Complete a course
-job over $10
-visit City Hall

You should be able to beat Vivian in basically one day. You already have a good job which you got at City Hall. Simply go to the College of Knowledge, take and complete the $10 intelligence course. Train intelligence first because the smarter you are, the quicker you learn other courses and the quicker you become expert at your job.

By the way, when you master dog walker (either in Vivian or in Reggie), go immediately to City Hall and take a position as dog groomer.

REGGIE

-Buy a vehicle
-Buy a sofa
-Go home and relax
You may want to do these things in a different order depending on whether a store has a sale or not.

Vehicles have trade-in values, and the jump in time-saving is so great, that I suggest you buy a skateboard at $50 as soon as possible. If there's ever a monster sale at the vehicle store, upgrade to the best vehicle you can afford that day. Vehicles save so much time that they're one of the best investments you can make, and the earlier the better.

The best sofa costs $200 if there is no sale. Hopefully there will be a sale at More Decor, and if so, jump on it.

If there's a monster sale at College of Knowledge during this time, buy several courses. The most important thing to train first is intelligence. You will need to buy a chess set for $30 and a camera for $60 to unlock two +100 intelligence courses.

LIBBY

-Buy a yoga mat at the Kitchen Sink
-Complete a yoga course
-Watch a movie

The yoga mat is only $10, so waiting for a sale isn't really necessary.

Hopefully you've been training your intelligence, so the yoga course won't take too long to complete.

Regarding watching a movie, it may seem tempting to do the review option and get paid. But be warned it takes a significant chunk of your time to do this. It's not worth it from a monetary prospective at this point.

Now is a good time to buy a sewing machine at the Kitchen Sink for $80, and take the sewing class, which will unlock the Seamstress position. At $31, it's a great job and what I suggest you take after Dog Groomer (look at "Suggested Job Progression).

NORA

-Have a job which pays over $20
-Eat at the Stuffy Truffle

I literally beat Nora the next turn after beating Libby. All I did was go to the unlocked Stuffy Truffle and order something. Boom. If you're following this walkthrough, you should have the Seamstress job by now. If you don't, look at the Libby section to see how to unlock it.

OLIVIA

-Rent or buy a condo at Tower Terrace
-Buy a dog or cat

First off: do not buy a condo. Rent for eight days is $200, and to buy is $1200. You will not be staying in the condo for 48 days, so it's much more sensible to rent than to buy.

You must move up to the condo before you can get a dog or cat. I suggest you get the $300 cat, which is the best value per point.

At this point I suggest training up to Fashion Designer or Accordion Teacher; please see the "Suggested Job Progression" section on how to do that.

BROCK

-Spend at least $40 at 8 different locations.

You might as well use that $40 to buy and do useful things.

First, buy swimming goggles and weights at the Kitchen Sink. Then, train the first three classes at Flex. This will give you more overall time. You should be intelligent enough by now to go through the first three classes fairly quickly.

For what order to do the rest of the things in, I suggest following the sales. If there's no sale that day, work at your job to save up money.

If you're a woman: Buy the +50 charm shoes or +40 bottom at Fashion Passion. If it's a monster sale, you might need to buy something else to get it above $40. The best overall outfit you can have is +20 top, +40 bottom, +50 shoes. If you're a man, it's totally different. That's because the most expensive "tops" for a woman are actually dresses, and prevent you from wearing a bottom. So you can buy a +60 dress, but that only ends up being the same as +20 + 40, and is more expensive. For a man, however, you can wear a +40 top and a +40 bottom. Your highest charm shoes are only +30, so the highest total outfit is still the same at +110. The cheapest price for a a maximum bonus outfit for a man is $238 (assuming no sales). The cheapest price for the maximum bonus for a woman is only $178. However, let it be said by me that for this to happen, the woman is forced to buy hideous furry boots, which are hideous in real life and only more hideous in pixel form. I feel better having said that.

I suggest buying a video game console at Sparks. You'll need it for a later challenge anyway, and buying it allows you to take an intelligence course at College of Knowledge. It also ups your relaxation and gives you something to do with a date. You can also buy a microwave, oven, or fridge, which you can't use until the next chapter, but are needed to beat that chapter.

Speaking of dates, you might want to head to the newspaper office and place two ads: a personal ad, and an ad to sell something. This will put a check at the newspaper office, plus the sooner you start dating the better. You have to date someone at least 7 days to propose, and you have to have a good love percentage for them to accept (at least 70%, I think). Try to go out with your date everyday by clicking on the "love" icon. Dancing, which you unlock in a later chapter, and watching a movie, are the best single increases in love points (+200) but take a significant amount of time. If the day runs out before the date is over, your date will be unimpressed and you'll actually lose points. In my opinion, the best dates are the ones that don't require you to travel or spend much time: playing video games, watching tv, playing chess, etc. Regarding the ad to sell something, just sell anything you don't need. You probably won't recoup the $25, but that's alright.

Go to Stuffy Truffle and buy anything above $40. You might want to wait until you have a date to take there. The Upper Crust is the best dish to order.

Buy some more class unlocking things at the Kitchen Sink, such as musical instruments and sports equipment.

Once you have the class unlocking thing, take a course at College of Knowledge. The music course will unlock the slightly better paying Accordion Teacher, if you've been a Fashion Designer up until now. Taking intelligence courses is never a bad idea.

At More Decor, I suggest buying a small rug ($5/10 points), the $12 lamp (10 points), the $10 coffee table (10 points), either the drapes or blinds ($5/10 points), the $5 large plant (7 points), and the $3 small plant that offers 7 points. That's exactly 40 dollars if there's no sale, and it gives you an amazing 54 relaxation points! If there is a sale, feel free to splurge a little more.

If you do all of these things, you'll have spent at 8 locations. If you'd like to do something a little different, check the "Best Values" guide for ideas.

GRETA

-Purchase a fridge
-Purchase either a microwave or an oven
-Buy groceries

I suggest buying a microwave rather than an oven, because I suggest buying organic and processed groceries, never regular ones.

Always buy by the week. Not only does this mean fewer trips, but it's cheaper. Organic groceries are not the best value per happiness point (processed food is) but since they have a higher absolute happiness boost, I think it's good to have both in your fridge. If you need a happiness boost, eat organic. Otherwise, eat processed.

If you get lucky and there's a sale at Sparks, you can beat Greta in one day, but it won't take you long, regardless.

VIJAY

-Purchase the biggest TV
-Purchase any speakers
-Purchase a cable box

You'll need the most expensive speakers for a later challenge, but you probably can't splurge on them just yet, unless you get a monster sale, so buy the cheapest speakers. The cable box is just one price.

You'll probably need to save up for the biggest TV.

Whatsamatta U is unlocked in this chapter. If you get a sale here, JUMP ON IT. If you are trying to max out your Life Points, don't finish a degree until the Chet chapter.

You also will want to do some more training at Flex. Obviously, if there's a sale, that's great. Try to do at least the first two rows of Flex classes. The next time there's a sale, try to do the third row. Wait on the fourth row until you've maxed your intelligence.

CHLOE

-Spend $300 at Fashion Passion
-Have $400 charm

Check the "Best Values" section for how to spend your money most wisely at Fashion passion. Now is the time to get your max charm outfit if you haven't already. If you have, then buy whatever you want until you hit $300.

ZIGGY

-Buy a video game console
-Buy a Buccaneer Burger
-Relax 5 times in one day

If you are following this walkthrough, you probably already bought a video game console. So just spend $10 at Buccaneer Burger, and then make sure you have enough time left in your meter to relax at home five times.

WINNIE

-Purchase a house in Hilltop Heights
-Upgrade your kitchen

It costs $3000 to buy a house, so you'll probably have to save up. So now is a good time to move up into middle management. Finish your degree at Whatsamatta U and you'll be able to take the position, since your charm is already above 400. (If you're trying for max score, however, you need to keep slugging away at Accordion Teacher, because you won't want to finish your degree until Chet next chapter. You might get everything done except one session on your degree, so you can grab it and end Chet right away.)

Assuming your practicality is above 400, it's better to do the kitchen upgrade yourself than pay a contractor. However, for the smaller jobs, it's better to pay the contractor, because the sessions are not equal in time: your session is 300 time points, whereas the contractor session is only 100 time points. When you get a better job, you can earn the money to pay the contractor much faster than you can do it yourself.

You should also try to get your date's happiness up in this chapter and propose to him or her. You'll need to have been dating 7 days, and also you need to be married 3 days to have your first baby.

CHET

-Finish any degree at Whatsamatta U

I suggest the business degree, of course, since it's the path to the best career. You will need to do two electives, basic business, advanced business, and business degree. Hope for sales and do intelligence courses first!

AMIR

-Have a baby

You started dating back during the Brock challenge, right? And you got married back in Winnie, right? Well, if you're behind, it's going to take you at least ten days to beat this chapter. You can find a date either through a personal ad (which takes a couple days to get responses) placed at the newspaper, or by charming the pants off people by dancing at Dancy Pants. The love percentage you start out with appears to be random. Propose after seven days together. Then, you'll have to wait three days to have a baby.

Now that you have a degree, you can get the Middle Management job and the Buyer job. Work the Middle Management job to expert first, then take the higher-paying Buyer job. Neither of these jobs are fun jobs, so keep an eye on your happiness and start eating organic food if necessary.

DORA

-Buy a stereo
-Buy the most expensive speakers
-Take a music course at the College of Knowledge
-Become an expert DJ at Dancy Pants

At this point, focus on getting your intelligence up to 1000. That will make everything else in the game much easier. The items needed to unlock all the intelligence courses are: camera, telescope, chess set, book, and scrapbooking kit, all from the Kitchen Sink; any painting, from More Decor; and a game console from Sparks.

Hope for a sale at Sparks, otherwise save up the $2000+ you'll need for the speakers and the stereo. With 1000 intelligence, you'll master the DJing job in no time.

KATHRYN

-Write nine movie reviews

With your intelligence at 1000, you'll get paid $100/review. It can take a significant chunk of time to write a review, so you eat before you run out of time.

Start saving money to get a master's degree so you can move into the Vice President position.

RYAN

-get 1000 practicality
-Make any home improvement

Get the Vice President job if you haven't already. As soon as you make expert at VP, get your charm up to 800 (take courses and/or do beauty treatments at the Spa). Then get the highest paying job, President and CEO. Then work hard for the money to do all the practicality courses at Whatsamatta U and College of Knowledge. Then either DIY or hire a contractor for any of the home improvements (the deck is the quickest).

SAMANTHA

-get 1000 intelligence
-get a Ph.D

You should already have 1000 intelligence if you've been following this walkthrough. If you don't, again, do all the intelligence courses.

You should already have your masters degree, and be President and CEO. Finish that up if you still have to work at it. Then, make money from that job to get the $4000 to become a Ph.D.

MICHAEL

-upgrade into a mansion
-purchase the most expensive car

In order to get the mansion upgrade, you have to get all the other upgrades (including 3 extra rooms). It's faster to pay a contractor at this point, bacause your President job pays you more for your time than you spend to pay the contractor.

The car costs $10000 if there's no sale, however, you also have the trade-in value of whatever your current vehicle is, so keep that in mind.

Once you beat Michael, you've beaten the plot of the game! Now you're free to do whatever you want. I tend to have a celebratory spree at decorating my mansion.

Following the walkthrough this way, with a little luck in sales, can easily have you beating the game before day 60.

RECORD TIME SUGGESTIONS:

If you are trying to get a record time, rather than a record score or seeing all the challenges (the normal walkthrough), your priority is getting your intelligence to 1000 , making the day last the max amount of time, and going through the job progression as fast as possible. You can beat the game in like 45 days if you push yourself and get lucky in sales, and you'll actully skip a number of the challenges. I suggest playing the game once the normal way before trying to do a record time run.

Feel free to share your own tips!

We originally featured this guide here. Thanks to joye for the walkthrough!

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