The Podge is at it again, dipping their hands of game making magic into a resource management, simulation, Boom Town. Come for the explosions! Stay for the gameplay! You play as a frontiersperson who's out to mine some gold and build a town while you're at it. You'll have to keep an eye on your mining operation (and drive the ore truck) while ensuring people continue to move onto your land, earning you more money. Most of the selections are done with the click of the mouse while driving the truck and scrolling the screen happen with either the [arrow] keys or [WASD].
In the beginning, most of your cash will come from selling the gold you mine by setting off various forms of dynamite on your land. After the ore is blasted to the four corners of your property, you then have to drive your little ore truck to pick them up. Of course, it can't be as easy as finding each piece, you also have to keep an eye on how much ore your truck can carry before having to return to the Drop Zone and also how much fuel you have left in the truck, both of which can be increased by purchasing upgrades. The day will end when you've either collected all the ore or run out of gas.
On the other side of this game is creating your bustling village. As you progress through the game, you'll unlock various buildings you can place on your land which will attract new residents. Some of them will only increase the likelihood of immigrants while others will also earn you cash based on how many people live in its area of influence. And of course people like variety in the amenities available around them.
Despite the two seemingly different aspects of this game, The Podge has done a wonderful job joining them together into a well-made package. While it would have been nice to have had a wholly mouse controlled scheme, other polished areas make up for it (the music just makes me want to wear plaid, overalls and some heavy boots). Once you've ironed out a strategy for keeping up your funds as you dig for more gold, you'll easily find yourself spending 100's of game days at it. Now y'all will have to excuse me; I've gotta hop back on ma big rig and git back to minin' some gold!
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Boom Town Strategy Guide
You can plant bombs anywhere on the map, but be aware where there isn't a lot of gold. The first map tells you where a gold deposit is at first, but does not happen again until you get the Surveyor's Office.
The upgrades consist of different and more powerful explosives to use, truck enhancements, and mine upgrades to improve the rate at which you collect gold.
The truck enhancements include better wheels, more load capacity, and an efficient engine.
The better wheel upgrades will prevent you from skidding in different directions as you collect gold. The extra skidding wastes gas and prevents you from collecting for as long as you would like.
The bigger load capacity prevents you from having to drive back and forth between the gold and your drop zone. It becomes a big waste of gas later when driving to the top of the level where gold becomes common.
The engine upgrades gets you more gas to use for driving around which is the most important of all the truck upgrades. It speeds you up and allows you drive for long periods of time.
The refinery upgrades are what you want to get up first so you can get a larger flow of gold from your mining. Upgrading this early is most beneficial to your town.
The permits allow you to use more bombs and gets you access to more explosive devices. These upgrades are the second least important upgrades next to wheel upgrades.
When you only have one plot of land, do not mine near the edges of the land. Ore will get sent out of the area and you will not be able to get it. It wastes resources and money quickly if it happens a lot.
Other upgrades include a safe for gold, a surveyor to locate gold desposits, a larger drop zone, and better mining capabilities of explosives.
Environment obstacles like trees and hills cannot be driven through, but grass patches, gold signs, and buildings can be. Keep that in mind when you are mining.
Check behinds signs after the explosives go off because ore can hide behind the signs quite easily.
Spots of land can drop other objects like emeralds, diamonds, tin cans, etc. that will give you lots of money quickly. Grab these first when you see them pop up.
When driving the truck early on, do not try to switch directions of motion without coming to a complete stop. It wastes gas faster if you do not drive carefully.
Even if you aren't going anywhere when you are driving into a tree, it wastes gas, so be careful driving around environmental objects.
Clear trees and hills from your land whenever possible since ore can fly in a patch of trees, though you will be able to grab it. Effectively clear trees so you have a path to drive between them.
Running out of gas while collecting ore is not a big thing unless a lot of ore is just sitting on the map. As long as your car has ore in it when it runs out of gas, then you still get the gold from it.
Clear all the gold from a large section of land before you start building a town up so the town doesn't get blown up.
Check the in-game tips for more useful info.
Order of Preference for Upgrades
The mine refinery is what you should upgrade first, since lots of gold can be scarce early on.
The refinery will help maximize gold returns to get quick money. It also helps to get gold out of the ore that has little to none left.
Truck load capacity is second on the list to max out. The more you can carry, the fewer trips you have to make to the drop zone which would waste gas.
Buy the vault and other miscellaneous upgrades as early as possible. Saving gold for more beneficial times like goldbooms is more advantageous to maximize on profit.
The safe is of the utmost importance early. Get it as soon as you have the chance because there are times you would rather save the gold you mined.
The wheels and engine upgrades should be done upgraded simultaneously so your driving does not suffer. Give more preference to the engine since it gives more benefits to the rate of your collection process.
Having bad tires wastes gas due to slipping, and getting the best tires early means nothing if you cannot drive that far. Maxing the engine early with bad tires means you will have a harder time changing directions at a higher speed.
Buy permits whenever it is conevenient for you since cash can be quite scarce early on. It helps to have more bombs, and since you are not looking to beat the game as quickly as possible, enjoy the time you got.
Try to keep your upgrades at the same levels except the refinery. You want that to be more advanced than the other upgrades.
Only buy the more expensive bombs when you know there is a large amount of gold in a particular area. No need to waste big bombs on little profit.
Strategy Guide for Maximizing Cash Flow Early
When starting to build your town, find an area for $1,000 that does not have a lot of trees in the area. It will make it easier to mine without a lot of obstacles.
Try to get a plot of cheap land that is in between some more expensive land. You can purchase those other plots once you have built up some funds.
Buy the refinery upgrade first so you get more gold from the ore you collect. Buy four bombs and get to mining.
Clear out any trees close to your drop zone first and collect any ore from the explosions. If no trees are that close to the zone, just start mining sections of land.
Remain as close as you can to the drop zone until you upgrade the engine and wheels.
Blow up any orange hills with the best explosives you have at the time. They are normally hot spots for large amounts of gold. Specifically look for areas where these hills are grouped together.
Purchase only the cheapest bombs early even if you have access to better explosives. Only use the better explosives on spots you know there is a lot of gold.
The previous statement will vary depending on how late game you are in. It is a good idea though to use the cheaper bombs to clear trees and green hills.
Once you get enough money to get the vault, buy it and save gold whenever the selling price is really low. Sell all the gold you store until a goldboom occurs.
Another time to store gold is when you collected a lot of extras (emeralds, crown, amethyst, etc.). Better to save gold for higher sell values when you got cash instantly from those extras.
After you have the surveyor's office and they show a spot, it is a safe bet that the area around it will have lots of gold too. Use your best explosives on the indicated spot and the eight squares around it.
Check the size of the tavern. Once you clear out a place the size of its area, start building your town up. It will give you a little bit of extra money every day and will only get bigger.
Build new town structures to increase your population and revenue quickly so you make even more money. You should build a new town structure any time it becomes available. Just be sure you will not be mining over top of the places you plan to build.
Using this method will prevent you from having to blow up any part of your town for more gold. It is best to build your town close to the drop zone so early on you will not have to drive that far away.
When you mine a lot of gold, sell enough that you can break even on buying bombs/upgrades for the next day, no matter the selling price. For example, you have $2,000 dollars and you just mined 4 kg of gold worth $3,200. Your max number of bombs to use is 8, so you should spend $600 dollars.
To explain further: You can save a good portion of the gold for a gold boom, have enough money to mine on the next day and still have money left over. You can use the extra still left over on upgrades or better explosives if you want.
Basically in between days, calculate your money from the previous earnings and spending for the next day so you break even. It is a solid business model to follow. You should really only make a lot of money on goldbooms.
Buy one expensive bomb when you know there is a definite spot of gold and buy the cheapest bombs you are willing to purchase for exploration mining.
There comes a point (possibly around Day 40 in game) where your upgrades are almost completely done and all there is left to do is mine the rest of the plots dry. Begin to start building up new towns wherever you can.
Try to build all of your buildings as close together as possible to maximize its growth rate and income.
Towns do not start making a lot of money until you get the hardware store built. Do not try to rely on the town to build money early on. They help more late game.
Posted by: Bryan Gawinski | April 6, 2012 1:17 PM