Well, I’m ill. Yup. And it turns out that when your health bar is in the red, your happiness bar plummets too – who knew? And to think all this time I’ve been laughing at the Mummy if she lies down on the sofa in the middle of the day groaning, trying to sleep through Numberjacks. I just thought she was putting on some alternative entertainment for me and my job was to tickle her or shout ‘Boo!’ (my new word). Boy was I wrong. I feel like lying down on the sofa and doing groaning myself now, except when I do I just roll off and fall onto the floor = lose more health points = more unhappiness.
I don’t even know how it happened. One minute I was minding my own business, munching on some play dough and reading The Vision of Piers Plowman (don’t bother: it has no pictures, no flaps to lift or buttons with sounds to press) and the next I had this horrible, screen-shaking cough and a raging fever. Also, snot. Lotsa snot.
But as you know, I am by nature a glass-half-full kind of girl, so I thought I’d draw some helpful lessons from my misfortune to help other gamers. So here is my
Level 1 Illness of Doom Walk-through
How to recognise if you’ve got the Bug.
It’ll be pretty obvious. You get minuses to all your skills: walking, balance, climb, manipulating objects, common sense, perception. You’ll fall over a lot more. You’ll fail spot checks on tasty forgotten treats lying on the floor under the table, or if you do spot them, the penalties to all your skills will mean you can’t get to them before the Mummy sweeps them up. And like I said: massive drain on your happiness. Things that otherwise fill up your happiness bar only making tiny deposits now, or they just make you cry. Yes, even TV. Even Dolly or Baby Bear!
That’s another thing: crying. I seem to be permanently stuck on Cry. Basically, I do a fairly constant Whine, which turns into Cry for almost any reason and escalates to Wail when the Mummy moves further than an inch away from me.
Benefits of the Bug
Ha! Bet you weren’t expecting that, eh? Yes, I have discovered that there are some benefits to the Illness of Doom. I mean, why would it be in the game if it didn’t either give you some new skills or entertain you in some way? Here is what I have found:
* Middle of the night cuddles with all your favourite people: the Illness increases the frequency of Night Waking. Nothing special there, I’m a pro at that already, but the great thing about the Bug is it switches off the Sleep Training Techniques and ensures constant hugs and cuddles instead. Bonus!
* Unlocks new entertainment options: when you’ve got the Bug your stamina for night time crying increases seven-fold, and if you keep up the whining and crying for a very long time, you wear down the Mummy and Daddy’s resistance to the point where they take you downstairs and let you cuddle up with them on the sofa, watch the West Wing and play with their iPhones. Also, if you do Grin and Chatter, they will exclaim about how cute you are and let you stay even longer. Word of warning, you do have to be very persistent with your crying. And exaggerate the cough as much as you can. Also, it’s worth standing up every time the Adult tries to leave the room. Basically, it’s an Easter Egg. I’m not sure what the right combination of crying, standing and coughing is but just mash the buttons and eventually you will get to watch the West Wing I promise.
Although there are some advantages, generally the Illness is a pain in the bottom. Here are the things that seem to help the Happiness and the Health bar creep up again:
* Being held and hugged constantly. Constantly. Don’t let the Mummy put you down for even a second. It does slow down the arrival of food and the environment bar gets minus points, but the most important thing is that you are happy.
* Pink medicine. This magic potion can be found all over the house on shelves, in cupboards, on tables. If you want it to work, though, you need to use the potion with a special spoon and you need the Mummy to pour it into your mouth. Instant health points.
* Go into the bathroom after one of the other players has used the shower. This slows the cough and means you get more time to stock up on health points.
* Sleep. Frequent short stretches boost your health bar most.
* And finally: the Topsy and Tim theme tune, particularly the bit where Topsy waves her arms in the air to catch bubbles. If you wave your own arms in the air at the same time you get +4 happiness.
HTH if you find yourself struck down by the Bug yourself. How are you all doing, btw? I notice quite a few of you have finished the training levels now and are also Level 1. What new skills have you got? Discovered any new objects to interact with or areas to explore? Let me know and I’ll get on it once I’ve beaten this wretched bug.
love & kisses
PS I’ve heard lots of other gamers have left handy and interesting hints on Life Game here on Vic Welton’s blog.