Resources are the basic currency of the game. They are what you need to spend in order to buy items from the Market , or to Search the Forest, or to speed up the game. Each resource is earned a different way, and some are easier to come by than others. In general, the game is designed for you to run short of resources, at which point you are free to buy as many of them as you want for real money. Your own private Brightwoods Adventures Empire will probably only cost you $1000 and the next year of your life. The rest of us must be content with our slowly growing village whose gold miners are lazy, but whose bees are even lazier.
Gold is an optional resource, as you can play most of the game without using any Gold whatsoever. Premium Buildings, Premium Houses, and Premium Decor cost Gold, but are not essential to the game. A few Quests do ask you to spend Gold on Premium Decor. Additional Helpers also cost Gold. And any Phase of a Quest can be completed just by paying a bribe in Gold. Curiously, when you receive a Quest that asks you to spend Gold on a Premium item, it typically costs less Gold just to complete the Quest immediately, without paying Gold for the item. You don't receive the item, but you complete the Quest and save some Gold.
Helpers and Premium items can go on Sale, where it costs less Gold to buy them. A typical discount is 40% to 60%. So save all your Gold purchases for the Sale!
Strategically, if you spend your Gold on:
- Premium Buildings, they will give you Coins, helping you to buy the non-premium items
- Premium Houses, they will give you Cheer, helping you to speed up the game
- Premium Decor, it will increase Happiness, allowing you to build more non-premium Houses
- Helpers, they will let you finish more tasks simulateously
In the early game, Coins will be the most important. Build the Boomerang Hall with your first 13 Gold, as it will also give you a steady supply of Planks. The Premium Buildings that give you Special Items as well are best use of Gold overall.
Axes are needed to search the Dark Forest, which is the first Phase in many Quests. It is impossible to progress in the game without a supply of Axes, and they are given to you as rewards at an alarmingly low rate.
This is because the business model of this "free" game is to get you to purchase Resources that are in short supply in the game. Axes and Gold are the only two Resources that cannot be generated by Buildings, Crops, Trees, or any other structure early in the game. So if you run out, you must buy them. And while Gold is completely optional, Axes are essential to game play.
On average you will spend 2 Axes each time you need to search the Dark Forest to find a new item needed in a Quest. Also, it will take 3 Axes, and later only 2, to explore the Cave. The Cave will always give you 1000 Coins and 3 Gold in return, so this is just a mechanism for converting Axes to Coins and Gold. Unfortunately there is no mechanism that goes the other way until much later in the game, when you find the Axe Generator.
Axes are thus the one Resource in the game that is intentionally in short supply. This is not a design flaw. It is to encourage you to spend money on the game. And you game will grind almost to a halt if you steadfastly refuse to buy Axes. You will be unable to expand your Village or to complete most Quests.
As far as buying Axes goes, if you can just be patient once your Axe supply runs low, you should receive a special offer to buy 50 Gold, 25 Axes and 10,000 Coins for $3.99, or some other bundle of Resources that is too cheap to pass up. If you do not spend these resources on the Sandy Forest Quests, you should find this sufficient to get you well into the game. Otherwise, feel free to save $1 and spend half your day downloading stuff for Free Axes from Tapjoy instead.
The Mysterious Caravan is a slot machine where you gamble Coins, Gold or Axes, and receive Coins, Gold, Cheer or Axes in return. But there is not a 1 out of 4 chance of receiving Axes. If you gamble Coins or Gold, you will never receive Axes in return. So even though it looks promising, this is not a mechanism for converting other Resources to Axes.
Please visit the Coins for Axes page to learn how to earn free Axes by converting Coins for Axes! (This will work as long as Kiwi allows it to work. In other words, it could stop working at any time.)
Most standard game items found in the Market cost Coins. If you build everything the Quests tell you to, the moment they appear, you will soon find yourself running short of Coins. However, if you follow the Walkthrough for the early game, you should find that you always have enough Coins to build what you need to progress the game at a healthy pace.
Planting and Harvesting Crops will always yield a net gain in Coins. If a Helper is idle, have him plant a Crop that takes as long to water as you expect him to be idle. For example, plant Cabbages if you have an idle Helper and are about to go to sleep for the night. When you wake up, you will have an extra 560 Coins to spend!
If you find yourself short of Coins to progress a Quest, this is easy to fix by planting and harvesting Crops until you have made up the deficit. If you don't want to wait, harvesting of Carrots can be sped up for only 1 Cheer, allowing you to bring in around 60 Coins per minute, at a cost of only 12 Cheer.
In the early game, use any spare Coins on Buildings, as those will give you an ongoing supply of Coins for the rest of the game.
Cheer is a resource used to speed up the passage of time. The majority of tasks in Brightwood Adventures require time to complete, be it harvesting, constructing, exploring or regenerating. Cheer can be spent during most tasks to complete them ahead of schedule.
Cheer is best spent on speeding up Bottlenecks like Wild Honey and Quarry Stone, as you will be able to complete multiple other tasks in the 24 hours it takes for the Beehive and Quarry to regenerate.
The other thing to save your Cheer for, is Limited Edition Quests. These have a time limit, and so speeding up a Phase or two can help ensure that you complete them within the time limit.
Cheer is Harvested primarily from Houses. It can also be purchased with real money in large quantities from the Market. Roughly every 6000 Cheer you buy saves you a day of waiting time on a single item.
The amount of Cheer needed is always 4 Cheer per minute of time saved (240 Cheer per hour), except for the final minute, which costs only 1 Cheer.
Because of this exception, Cheer can be exploited using the Tent or Igloo to gain accelerated XP.