I am so totally hooked on this game. I bought it for the iPhone. Don't read this or look at the link if you don't want to ruin any spoiler information. These are just some tips I wrote down for reference.
Also here is someone else's link with helpful info.
In the beginning you might choose to have some people research, some people build, and some people farm.
Make sure to go into the Menu and assign their Job. It helps keep them at it - it's their task preference. As you assign a person to a new task, they'll tend to want to go back to their Job, but you can pursuade them to do something else with a few tries. New untrained staff are especially stubborn but they'll pick it up if you keep dropping them on it.
You probably don't want to assign a Parent just yet, else your population will get out of control! Manually do this task as needed (females over 50 are no longer fertile). It's nice to have a kid around so they can get collectibles, but also the mushrooms. Those really help supplement the food supply during rough times. Plus when they turn in collection items, even ones you already had, it gives you some tech points.
A nursing mother will do nothing but care for the baby.
It's a good idea to have someone well trained in just about every other area, though.
You'll begin to need tech points like crazy, so dump as many people onto this task as you can spare.
By this point, as you gain those tech points and start to increase other areas, like building and farming, it seems most beneficial to dogpile the whole population onto large tasks. They can all knock out a building, a dam, and planting or harvesting a crop much faster together.
Also I find that if they all grab the crops fast, it's better because then you can start planting new ones while there's still some food remaining!
Right now Farming is the most helpful. You'll be able to get the coconuts with level 2.
Engineering level 2 allows you to investigate the rocks to build a dam to provide farming.
Then, it takes an adept farmer to investigate the vines up beside the sacred area. Build a scarecrow to protect your field.
Medicine might help too, after you get all that, because by now some of your villagers are getting old. You don't want to lose your village elder and if he gets sick and no one heals him while you're away, this is a valuable investment. You need to train an elder to be a master in 3 things.
Keep population at 12 until after you reach farming level 3. It's a strain to feed 13 people on the farm alone.
Once you reach farm level 3, and the villagers can both farm and finally fish again, you can really start working on research.
After that, you can gain exploration; it requires level 2 to build the sharp cutting tool, and a master Scientist. This will hack you through the thorns to find something you really had no need for before now, anyway: the site of a large Gong.
Plus, after you get Exploration level 2, any adult villager can find a cauldron down by the firewood. Recipies yield different effects because the plants have special properties. This news article says that
"If you combine the three red plants you'll give your villagers a boost of energy. The blue plants will clear their nose and throat. Three orange-red flowers give a very sweet smell; three blue flowers (near the thorny vines) make them jumpy; three red flowers (near the dam) give them a burst of energy, while three dark flowers (near the waterfall) are harmful. Add three mauve flowers (north of the graveyard) or three red flowers from the northern beach (next to the very dry grass) to give your villagers a boost of health."
3 master builders are needed to break into the crate. It contains a 2nd piece to the gong.
The sharp tool helps you fish better but you can't fish again until you get rid of the green algae. This requires Farming level 3 when master farmers or scientists can spot some algae-eating fish from the blue pool on the right side of the map, and move them.
The ancient markings require level 3 Culture to learn the story of the gong pieces.
One gong piece is in the crate.
One piece is uncovered when you move the Elder totem to the mosaic.
One piece is found after clearing the thorny vines.
The 4th is in the deep pond the algae-eating fish came from. This is where one of your stew recipes will come into play: 1 dark flower, and two orange-red flowers (directly left of the mosaic).
The mosaic requires both level 3 Engineering Tech and level 3 Culture Tech.
There are other little tidbits to uncover along the way, as well, of course.
If you have a Master who also has sufficient Parenting experience, drag and drop them on a child and they will teach them lessons.
Otherwise, they will tell them a story.
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