Sunday, January 6, 2013

A Closer Look at Mermaid World app for iPhone and iPad

Ok, so banner ads do work.  I got roped into this new app for my iPad when I saw one such ad at the bottom of another game I was playing.  The app is called Mermaid World and while it might look like a way to distract a 6 year-old girl, it is a surprisingly fun and challenging game.  I played it for about 2 days and then Aimee got curious, now we are both addicted.

(For Updates, scroll to the bottom of the page)


Mermaid World is basically a DragonVale clone with a few added challenges and, of course, cute mermaids.  You purchase realms for your mermaids to live in and can "summon" different kinds of mermaids to populate your realms.  Mermaids have different characteristics that are described by color.  For instance, a Velvet Twist mermaid is a Red, Blue and Green mermaid.  Mermaids can have up to three characteristics, but may only have one.  Characteristics determine the type of mermaid and are static.  However, each individual mermaid has 4 criteria that determine their happiness.  Mermaids like realms that are 100% decorated, they have a special trinket item that they like, they also have a preference for and against one other kind of mermaid.  When all 4 criteria are met, the mermaid is ecstatic.  Each realm can hold up to 5 mermaids and if you can make all 5 ecstatic, then your realm will rate 3 stars.  Having 3 star realms is the goal of the game and will earn you pearls.  Pearls are the in-app purchase for Mermaid World, and like DragonVale, the in-app purchase system here is done the right way.  Pearls can be earned in game both by having 3 star realms and by sending mermaids out on explorations.

Explorations are the primary method of obtaining decor and trinkets.  As the mermaids lounge about in your realms, they earn gold that you can spend on decor or explorations (trinkets cost pearls).  The more characteristics a mermaid has the more it will cost to send them on an exploration, but there seems to be some correlation between the amounts of characteristics and the rarity of the mermaid and the items and trinkets they are able to find.

The balance of the game is spent trying to build, decorate, and populate your realms and then elevate your mermaids to ecstatic status.  Populating your realms can be achieved by summoning mermaids by spending coins or pearls, but the much cheaper and more challenging way is to "call" them.  Calling mermaids is conducted by having two mermaids sing a duet.  The siren song they sing will summon a new mermaid to your realms.  The kind of mermaid that is summoned will depend entirely upon the kinds that are singing.  For instance, if an Aqua (blue) mermaid and Coral (red) mermaid sing, they might summon other Aqua or Coral mermaids, or they might summon a Fuchsia (red/blue) mermaid!  Needless to say, the combinations can build from there.  All in all there are 51 possible mermaids to summon ranging from those that have a single characteristic to those that are more complex and have three characteristics.  There are also rare mermaids that have unique characteristics not governed by color types.  Every kind of mermaid can be summoned by "calling."

(Click Here to visit the Mermaid World Calling Guide)

Calling mermaids is done by sending two mermaids to the Singing Summit.  Once there, they will being their song and a status bar will appear telling you how long it will take them to sing the song.  Generally speaking the longer the song, the greater the rarity of the mermaid summoned.  For instance, the Tiger Lily mermaid is extremely common and takes only 5 minutes to summon, however the Silversong mermaid is fairly rare and takes 10 hours to summon.  Those times are a bit deceiving, however, because in addition to the time it takes to sing the song it takes an equal amount of time to summon them, so a Tiger Lily mermaid will take 10 full minutes to summon in full (5 for the song and 5 for the summoning) and a Silversong will take 20 hours.  It should also be noted that the cost for singing a song will be determined by the rarity of the rarest mermaid singing, not the rarity of the mermaid being summoned.  Thus an Aqua/Coral duet may only cost 135 coins to sing their song, while an Aqua/Koi duet might cost as much as 2065 coins to sing.

There are other aspects to the game play that are explained within the game.  For instance, your mermaids will go to sleep after some time if you are not actively engaged in singing or exploring.  Sleeping mermaids earn no gold, so you'll have to check in regularly to keep them up and going.
WAKE UP!

The challenge of Mermaid World is that is can be extremely difficult to get a three star realm.  When you consider that you need to meet the 4 needs of 5 different mermaids, and three of those needs are diverse and distinct, getting all of those criteria met is tough.  You can spend pearls to randomize these criteria if you chose. This can be helpful if you have a rare mermaid with undesirable criteria, however the cost to randomize is based on the rarity of the mermaid being altered.

Keeping all of these criteria in balance can be a real challenge and will require summoning multiple mermaids of the same type to fit perfectly into a specific realm.  One major tip is to remember that you only need a mermaid that likes an existing member of a realm and is not disliked by anyone in the realm.  The only time you will need a specific type of mermaid is to meet the Liked criteria of an existing mermaid and if you do it right, you'll only have to worry about that once or twice per realm.
For a more in depth look at how to create Harmonious Realms, check out our Mermaid World Guide to Harmonious Realms!

To help you summon each and every kind of mermaid out there, Aimee and I are working hard on building a Calling Guide that lists the duets that will summon each type.  This guide is a work-in-progress and will be updated regularly.  I am putting the guide on its own page to help keep the size manageable.  You can access the guide from this link or the link at the top of the page.

I never honestly expected to like, play or enjoy Mermaid World, but I gave it a try anyway. I assumed it was going to be some manner of silly dress-up paper doll game, but I am pleased to say that I am wrong.  On its face this game appears to be geared for young girls, but I think the appeal is much broader and I think that players of all ages and genders can find something fun here.  The in-app purchase aspect is minimally important to the enjoyment of the game and there is a broad social aspect as well.  The only major downfall is that the game is bit buggy (lots of crashes and minor glitches) and it requires you to be friends on Facebook in order to be friends with people in the game.  This can either severely restrict your friends list, if you have few who play games like this or are terrified of hybrid sub-sea dwellers, or it can open you up to friending all kinds of random people on the internet just to play a mermaid game.  However, the game is new and hopefully will see enough support to get regular updates and improvements.

So go give Mermaid World a try.  It's rather addictive and fun, and the mermaids are just as cute as they can be!

UPDATE!

I got the Limited Edition Winter Mermaid!  She is super-awesome!  Check the Calling Guide for details about how to add her to your list!

Also, I got a Stinger and something a little odd occurred.  I have mentioned above that the game is a bit buggy. Well Stinger's favorite trinket was a question mark, big one.  When clicked upon, the question mark identified itself as a mandolin.  I later found the mandolin (you can see it in the picture of Winter above), but the question mark icon remains.  Was this intentional?  If so, why?  Is this a bug?  What is the question mark really for?  And where is the image for the mandolin? Weird.

31 comments:

  1. Hi, do you know how to get mermaids out of the lounge? I bought the basic lounge for 20k, sent two mermaids to it....and now I can't figure out how to get them back! Any help would be greatly appreciated. And your calling guide is awesome!

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  2. Jen, just tap on the row of dots at the bottom of the screen. That will take you to your realm menu. Once there, scroll left. The Lounge tab is between the realms and the Singing Summits. Tap the Lounge tab and it will open your Lounge Menu. From there, tap the "Place Her" button and then select the realm you want to place the mermaid in.
    Thanks for reading!

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  3. I just wanna ask if I delete the game and re-install it, will I lose my progress?
    I am signed in to game center

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  4. I was hoping to find out about the question mark. My Kelp mermaid keeps turning into a question mark. She always comes back though.

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    1. The game seems to have a glitch that picks a mermaid or trinket and replaces it with the question mark icon. Aimee has had Celestia replaced with the "?" and my Stinger seems to have the Mandolin trinket permanently replaced with it as well.

      If you notice any other weirdness with the "?" let us know!

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  5. my closed corals are all "?" but on my daughter's phone the picture is apparent. beautiful to look at though. sometimes electra and silversong becomes "?" by the way, I only lack diamond swan and prism princess yipee! but haven't completed all the gilded ones. I have about 10 of them now. If I recall correctly once the last singing summit is unlocked it is specifically designed for summoning gilded mermaids. But, that still remains to be seen once I have all 53 mermaids out. Most of them are in the lounge since I ran out of realms to put them in. The last singing summit requires that you have 9 3-star realms and 45 unique mermaids. Just a few inches to go! My only question is, what happens next when we have all the mermaids including the gilded ones. Limited edition mermaids come once in awhile so that will be something to look forward to. I only started playing this January so I missed out on Jade and all the previous LE's before her. The Joie mermaid was also out for only a couple of days so I wasn't able to summon her successfully. Till then!

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  6. The game seems to have a glitch that picks a mermaid or trinket and replaces it with the question mark icon. Aimee has had Celestia replaced with the "?" and my Stinger seems to have the Mandolin trinket permanently replaced with it as well.

    If you notice any other weirdness with the "?" let us know!

    I have four singing summits, not sure if there are more past that. I have all but Diamond Swan and Prism Princess of the original 50. I currently have 11 realms at 3 star level with 0 duplicate mermaids and am working on Gildeds in the 12th. The gildeds should keep everyone busy for a time, after that I feel confident they will toss us something else to work towards. (if they are smart...)

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    1. wow! good for you! i have duplicates though but not in one realm. i think i have 3 same mermaids at different realms because the other mermaids prefer her. It is celestia, isis, and koi. I wanted to get rid of the duplicates but I just can't seem to summon another set of mermaids that has entirely a set that does not need duplication. Not unless of course if you randomize their preferences by spending pearls. The celestial, gem, magical, and galactical trait mermaids another matter since they only like those that are within their circle. i have 10 realms and it's all 3 star now. i also realize that limited edition mermaids has a standard calling and arrival time of 12 hours. I think when I reach the 12th realm that's the time I get all the 51 regular mermaids out in the realms plus the 4 LE's that I have so that means I have 55 mermaids in 12 realms. I have 12 gilded mermaids now so if I am going to get them all, Crowdstar needs to add more realms. Well, it's a matter of wait see. Till next Stan!

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  7. How do you get all realms at a 100% decor? Is there a guide of what decor percentage each is? the candy anemona is 89% of decor in some realms , in others is nothing

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    1. The clue there is to be able to get Sun Star. She finds the rarest decors and the higher level ones so it's pretty easy to put your realms at 100% decor. When I got her, she solved my problems about the decors. Now, I don't spend on decors anymore. Another alternative is the higher level mermaids. They tend to bring in higher percentage of decors when you send them out on explorations. But it takes awhile. Sun Star solves the problem rather quickly.

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    2. Leo, check out my Harmonious Realms Guide for full information about decking out your realms. In short, rarity determines the % and the higher level realms decrease the % that an item will contribute. You can view the % for each item for each realm by visiting the store from that realm.

      emsg is correct, Sun Star has been key in boosting decor.

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  8. I have a question: Does happiness influence limited edition calling? I've been trying for the Pisces since it began and have had no luck at all at calling it. My Sea Dragon is ecstatic, but my Limelight is only happy. If I make the realm the Limelight is in a three-star realm, it will become happy. :-/ Any suggestions?

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    1. Sorry, I meant it will become pleased.

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    2. Yes, happiness level will determine the success of a call, even with LE mermaids. For the best chances, you want both mermaids in the duet to be ecstatic. I am having similar trouble right now calling Prism Princess with an ecstatic Diamante and only happy Diamond Swan. It is taking forever! Hang in there. I too had a long wait for Pisces.

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  9. I've been playing this game for a while and have had 3 3star realms but never noticed an additional pearl for them. I've only seen pearls added for leveling up and sending mermaids. Any suggestions/thoughts?

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  10. The problem you had with the ? instead of the mandolin. I think I'm having something similar with the Sculpture trinket. My Isis mermaid wants her sculpture trinket, but the picture for it looks like a dead flower piece of junk decor! I've sent her exploring many, many times and she hasn't found it. I'm not paying 188 pearls for that! lol (maybe I have no taste what do you think?)

    http://i1020.photobucket.com/albums/af327/dbusybee22/photo.png

    The text says it's a diagonal bar - it doesn't look like one to me? Nor anything like a black light!

    I could always Randomise my Isis's preferences to make her like another trinket but I have her buddy with her and that will change the mermaid she likes, plus it's going to cost me! Kinda curious what the trinket will look like. Anyone else got that problem or trinket?



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    1. The picture you posted is the Sculpture trinket. It is supposed to look like a fallen statue, the big part is the head. It is the Uncommon Trinket for Isis, so it will not be easy to find. If you have a Glimmer Rose, search with her instead as the Sculpture is her common trinket and she should be able to find you lots of them

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    2. Thanks for the reply! I expected some granite type thing not something the same colour as many of the junk items I guess!
      That's great thinking I'll put Glimmer Rose on the job, ta! Can feel another 3 star realm coming on except it's a realm where everyone likes someone else but that mermaid doesn't like them back so it's open ended? :-(

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    3. It is a bit odd, that is for certain.

      I have some strategies for getting 3 star realms over in my Harmonious Realms Guide (http://www.electricfrankfurter.com/2013/02/mermaid-world-harmonious-realms-guide.html) You can check that out and see if it helps!

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  11. Please people!!!!!!!!! I just got my Stella Star mermaid and was thrilled! When I went to play later on, the game crashed when I approached the realm she was in. I think it’s because she’s sleeping and I can’t load it at that point. Is anyone having the same or similar problem as me? PLEASE OFFER A SOLUTION TO THIS!
    Also it seems whenever I try to load, I keep getting extra pearls from the 3-star realm bonus, which is nice, but I'm not sure how this well affect my game so far! :(

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  12. Thank you for helping out w this beautiful game I have a mermaid that likes another but she doesn't like her does that mean I will never have an estatic mermaid

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    1. Thank you for the kind words.

      As to your question: not at all. Check out our Harmonious Realms guide for strategies to get all of your mermaids ecstatic. There are many ways to arrange your realms to keep everyone happy. Or you can always randomize your mermaids preferences by spending pearls. But that gets costly!

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  13. Now that Sun Star is unavailable, are there any other mermaids that find items as well as her?

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  14. So I'm pretty proud of my mermaid world: 6 realms are 3-star, two realms are on the way to 3-star. I've got all mermaids up to blue nova and getting the three next ones calling at the moment. BUT! I'm having the hardest time getting enough coins to buy Sunken Valley which is 500K. I don't generally upgrade my chests since they never fill to the limit. Is there a way to get more coins or a strategy to increase coin production?

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    1. Oh and Omnom is my only LE mermaid - all thanks to this blog!

      This blog has been the best help :) I have it on my home screen ;P

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  15. I love this game, BUT I HATE APPLE :C... why dont they make it for android ?

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  16. Downloaded the latest update and WOW there are 5 MORE REALMS now available (beyond the 15 original realms) ! The new realms cost hundreds of pearls instead of gold.
    Also new buttons show the amount to pay before you sell or explore reducing the need for another checking screen and reducing clicking. I just explored and now the found decoration can be placed on whichever realm you are currently in instead of having to return to the realm of the explorer. Also the splash screen and icon has changed. There could be other changes too?
    Well worth updating and playing to setup some new pretty realms and let some bored mermaids free of the lounge!

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  17. Can't get to the calling guide anymore T.T

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  18. Yea i used the guide daily and now it's gone :'(

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  19. Any tips on how to get 3 star realms?? Like how do I arrange all my mermaids

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