Inn Tips and Tricks
~Introduction and General Info~
At first, Mystic Inn may seem too easy. Some people have said that it's too easy all the way through, but I'm not one of them. Because of the difficulty I encountered, I decided to share some of the tips and tricks I picked up along the way. I hope they'll prove helpful.
The mechanics of Mystic Inn will be familiar to anyone who has already played this type of casual game. You seat and serve customers while keeping them as happy as possible, thereby earning money (or, in this case, magic) to make improvements, which will attract even more customers, etc.
Mystic Inn has no Help file, and the brief tutorial that represents Level 1 doesn't begin to cover what you'll need to know, particularly if you're new to the genre. So first, let me offer some general information.
You don't have to seat customers in the order in which they arrive. I didn't discover this until I'd played the game several times because I hadn't been able to pull it off, and nothing is mentioned about it anywhere in the game.
I finally found that clicking on a party that's further back in line will highlight it in order to choose it for seating, but the highlighting can be difficult to see. I also discovered that it's easy to think one party is highlighted when, in reality, another one is, which can result in your seating a party you hadn't intended to seat. If you're employing any kind of strategy, this can throw a big wrench into it.
If you're able to master the art of seating parties in an order of your choosing, it can help your score. For instance, it can enable you to match numbers of customers to seating capacities of open tables so no space is wasted. It can also allow you to give priority to wizards in yellow, who are the least patient.
But if trying to seat parties in an order you specify slows you down too much, it can defeat any point advantage it may yield. The game can still be won if you seat parties in the order in which they arrive. You'll just have to work a little harder.
The tutorial will tell you that you can perform up to four actions at a time (commonly known as "chaining"). But this doesn't necessarily mean that you can perform four of the same actions in a row. For instance, if you try to take or serve more than two consecutive orders, the game won't let you do it.
Along with tables, you'll have a bar at which the drinks you make will go directly to customers. The bar can handle either one party of four or two parties of two. It doesn't accommodate parties of six.
If you find you're in serious trouble and want to play a level over, you'll have to complete the one in progress even though you know you're going to lose. This holds true even if you exit the game and re-enter it, because it will remember where you were and take you back to that spot, even if it's in the middle of a level.
The game will allow you to replay a level you've already played if you want to try for a better score in that level only. After you finish, you'll be returned your highest completed level. In other words, you can't go back and replay all levels from a given point up to where you left off.
Depending on the way you've played the game, you may reach an insurmountable impasse at some point. I encountered such an impasse twice, and could find no alternative but to start the game over from the very beginning.
The goals for many levels fluctuate, apparently at random. For instance, the goals for Level 40 can be either (a) 63,000 points minimum/77,000 expert; (b) 62,000 minimum/76,000 expert; or (c) 64,000 minimum/78,000 expert. I could see no logic in such increases and decreases.
Also, you'll notice a Hint button at lower right. It's not very helpful. As far as I can tell, it will either reiterate something the game has already told you, suggest a party to seat or serve or an action to perform next, or do nothing whatsoever.
When the Hint button has something to tell you, you'll hear a doorbell sound (ding-dong) when you click on it. Other times, you may hear that same sound without having clicked on anything. When this happens, it appears that the game might be trying to call something to the player's attention. But sometimes, the sound seems to play for no apparent reason. And as I've said, there will be times you'll click on the Hint button and nothing will happen.
The Menu button just below the Hint button can be used to pause the game.
As a matter of interest, you'll have two two-party tables in Levels 8, 13 and 27, but there are no parties of two within those levels. Sneaky, that Mystic Inn.
These will jump around a bit, as I could find no way to logically present them in the same order in which they appear in the game.
Tip! The tutorial will have you clicking on customers seated at tables to take orders, then making the drinks, clicking on the bar to pick them up, and clicking on the customers again to serve them. For the levels in which I wasn't making drinks in advance (this is covered later), I found it faster to click the customers, the bar, and the customers again in rapid succession, and make the drinks on the way to the bar. Note: For customers at tables, the game won't let you avoid a "serve" click by double-clicking on customers when you take their orders. You have to click on the bar before you can click on the customers to serve them.
Tip! The rounds of drinks ordered by customers vary in number. A good way to tell that a party is going to place an order after they've finished the first one is the reappearance of menus at the table. Some parties order two or three rounds; some have only one. Keeping an eye on this can help you gauge when to seat new customers.
Every so often, you'll be obliged to play mini-games that will award you certain Power Potions. Depending on how well you do, each Potion will carry a percentage representing its duration. You'll also be awarded points that are added to your overall score.
You're permitted to have a maximum of three Power Potions at any given time. But even if you're already carrying some or all of them when a set of mini-games comes up, you'll have to play the games anyway. If a particular Potion you're carrying is included in a round of mini-games, the new Potion you've just won will replace your existing one. So you could end up relinquishing a Potion with 100% duration for one that carries less power.
There are three varieties of Power Potion: Speed, Freeze Time, and Triple Magic (triple points). I found the first two to be relatively useless.
Speed doesn't last long enough, and although it will speed you up, it won't accelerate the making of the drinks. And I was seldom able to find a practical use for Freezing Time. You may be more fortunate.
If you find the Potions useful, knowing when you'll be getting more of them will help you know when to use any you might already have, so here is how they play out during the game:
Important Tip! Try not to use the last of your Triple Magic until you reach Level 50 (the very last level). It's very, very difficult to beat the level (and hence, the game) without it, although I did come up with this Down and Dirty Trick.
Trick! After you get the Speed Potion between Levels 3 and 4, you can go back and play Level 3 again twice, have two more chances at the mini-game, and get two more Speed Potions before continuing to Level 4.
Trick! You can also replay Levels 6 and 10 just after you've completed them, replay the mini-games once, and get an additional Freeze Time Potion. (You'll have to play for both the Speed and Freeze Time, but since you can only carry three Potions at a time and you will have collected two of them in the first round of mini-games, one will be lost.)
Tip! At Level 7, you'll get a Podium where you can do magic tricks to entertain customers standing in line. There's no "recharge" period, but you will have to keep clicking the podium to continue refreshing customers' happiness.
Tip! Each time you make only as many drinks as it takes to serve patrons who have ordered them, you'll see an "empty bar" notation and gain 150 points. After a certain level, though, you're likely to get stuck if you continue to employ the "empty bar" strategy. Instead, you'll have to start making drinks in advance. Oddly, you won't be penalized for any drinks that are left over at the end of any given level.
Tip! I've found it advisable to wait until the Podium appears in Level 7 before I start making drinks in advance. It will work even better after you also get the two cauldrons in Level 15. At that point, you can use the podium to interact with customers in line to keep them happy while you're making drinks, and the drinks are finished twice as fast as they were with one cauldron.
If you lay in a good supply of drinks before you start seating customers, it's just a matter of noting which ones are being served and replenishing the stockpile.
Trick! Keeping a lot of drinks in reserve also helps with the owl who (who! who!) flies in for take-out during Levels 4 through 50. If the drinks are there, he'll just pick them up without any help from you and fly away.
Tip! When you make drinks -- particularly a lot of them -- you'll notice that they queue up in the bottom of the panel (see illustration, below). This means that they aren't on the bar yet. When you make a bunch of them in advance, keep in mind that they won't all be available until there are no more in the queue. Also, say you need four green drinks when other kinds of drinks are already queued up. You'll have to wait until those are made before the green ones will appear on the bar and become accessible.
Tip! I've found that it's best to have the queue empty before seating customers -- particularly at the higher Levels -- in case there's a run on a particular color drink that isn't sufficiently stockpiled. Also, when making drinks in advance, note that once the queue is full, you can continue to click on drinks to make more of them but they won't show up. The game won't "remember" what you've clicked, so you'll have to wait until there's space in the queue and click on them again.
Tip! If you're making drinks in advance, don't forget to keep refreshing the Podium. Also, be sure to do a refresh just before you seat any parties who are in line, and return to the Podium as frequently as possible while you're serving customers!
At Level 25, you'll get a magician who does tricks for customers waiting in line. This is supposed to help keep the customers from getting upset too quickly. Similarly, at Level 31, you'll get a self-playing harp that allegedly does the same for seated customers. For me, neither of these devices made an appreciable difference.
Starting at Level 20, you'll have to deal with a dragon who tries to steal drinks from the bar. It will fly in over the bar, then run across the floor once it has the drinks. This will happen numerous times during each Level. (Note: If the dragon appears and there are no drinks on the bar to steal, it will hover over the bar indefinitely -- turning various shades of red -- until you click on it.)
Each time you shoo the dragon away by clicking on it, you'll get 150 points. But clicking on it can also work against you.
Dragon-related Tips/Tricks! If you've served customers at the bar and have left their Tokens (points) there for chaining, clicking on the dragon while it's at the bar will result in your collecting the Tokens instead, thereby removing them from any anticipated chaining bonus. You'll then have to click on the dragon again to get rid of it.
An alternative to nailing the dragon at the bar is to click on it as it tries to depart with the stolen drinks. You'll get the full 150 points no matter where or when you dispatch the dragon. Go figure.
But clicking the dragon as it runs away can be tricky if you have some Tokens waiting at a table that's situated quite close to where the dragon exits the screen.
If you're not careful, you'll click the table and collect the Tokens instead of stopping the dragon, who will get away. Or even worse, you'll click the Triple Magic Potion by mistake, and the dragon will still get away.
I find it helpful to click above the white drink, just inside the bottom of the gameplay area. But it's sometimes better just to let the little sucker go. Giving up the 150 points is far preferable to making a major blunder.
On the other hand, some levels are so tricky that 150 points can mean the difference between winning and going down in flames. This happened to me once at Level 50.
The safest way to handle the dragon is to leave either the bar or the lower table empty. But for me, leaving the table empty was risky. I was so used to clicking the dragon at the bar that I sometimes did it out of habit even when Tokens were sitting there, and wiped them out for chaining.
Or, you can try this: serve as many tables as possible, leave all of the tokens where they are, then seat and serve a party all by itself, at the bar. You can keep chasing the dragon away at the bar as long as customers are there, and if you're lucky, they'll finish in time for you to collect their Tokens before the dragon reappears. You can then go on to collect all of the remaining tokens.
Tip! The icons for all Potions appear at the bottom right of the screen. If all three are present, the one for Triple Magic is so close to one of the tables that it's also possible to click it by accident when you're trying to click on the table. Try to keep this in mind, as Triple Magic is your most valuable potion.
Tip! Speaking of Triple Magic, Level 34 can be tough to beat without it. But if you use it there you may get stuck at Level 36, which occurs just before you're given a chance to replenish your Potions.
Level 36 is a killer. There's a ridiculous 20,000+ leap in points between the minimum goals for Level 35 (54,000-56,000 points depending on the whim of the game) and Level 36 (74,000-75,000 points), with expert goals increasing from 69,000 to 91,000-92,000 points. I became hopelessly stuck there a couple of times and had to start the game over. (As a matter of interest, goals drop back down to around 48,000 minimum/58,000 expert in Level 37.)
Tip! Eventually, I did find a way to win both Levels 34 and 36 without using any potions, although Level 36 was a real scramble -- beating it took six tries. I finally skidded to a 75,500 score by the seat of my pants.
Here's the key: I discovered that the game apparently awards extra points for having four or more parties seated at once. There's no mention of this anywhere in the game. These extra points don't represent a chaining bonus because, as I've already mentioned, the game will only let you take and serve two orders in a row. So I'm not really sure why having four or more parties seated simultaneously improves one's overall score -- I only know that it does.
So, if you can manage to keep at least four parties seated as often as possible throughout Levels 34 and 36, you should be able to beat them both without the use of Triple Magic. Or, you can use my Down and Dirty Trick.
After Level 36, you'll not only get to play mini-games for all three Potions, you'll start to move a lot faster. So much so, in fact, that it's possible to trip all over your feet until you get used to it. The game refers to this as "teleporting."
You'll be serving parties so quickly that you'll need to pay special attention to your stockpile of drinks, because it's fairly easy to run out of something. You'll be taking and serving orders in the blink of an eye. Zoom!!!!! (Can you tell I really enjoyed this part?)
With this kind of speed, it's a lot easier to tend to six or even eight tables of customers and gain better scores. But try not to get so carried away that you land in a ditch, which is where I found myself on several occasions.
Then, just when you think things can't get any faster, they do. After Level 43, you'll play the three-Potion mini-games one last time (don't forget to try to save Triple Magic for Level 50!), and you'll also get the ability to teleport drinks directly to your serving tray. This means that you'll no longer have to wait for them to come completely around the bar in order to collect them. Get ready for some ultra-fast serving!
Down and Dirty Trick! Okay, this is slightly insane. But if you hit an impenetrable wall and can't bear the idea of starting Mystic Inn completely over -- particularly if you get stuck on Level 50 -- I have an alternative. This should work no matter how many Power Potions you may or may not have; you won't need any of them. But as I've said, it's a litle nuts.
You will need two things: The podium and the dragon. Serve all parties except the very last one, be sure all tables are empty, and keep some drinks on the bar.
Keep refreshing the happiness of the party in line, wait for the dragon, and click on it each time it appears. It may take awhile to accumulate enough points depending on how far you are from the minimum goal, but doing this will let you advance the score in 150-point increments forever. Eventually, you'll win the level. Then you can then serve the last party.
I came up with this desperate maneuver after I'd tried to beat Level 50 about two dozen times, I'd scored 96,850 out of a goal of 97,000 (there's that irritating 150-point deficit I mentioned earlier) and lost the level, and I'd been moving so fast during gameplay that I'd just clicked Triple Magic by accident. That was the last straw.
Using our little friend the dragon, I managed a score of 100,250 in Level 50 without using any Power Potions. HAH!!!!!
And there you have it. So have fun, don't take things too seriously, and do remember: it's only a game.