We've been playing Nemo's Reef in our house for a while (username claireelane) and I find it frustrating that there isn't a "real" guide to the game. We are currently working on Level 26. Our little one did most of the navigating for the first few levels and now we've kind of taken over the tasks; this game is really not made for children to sustain the upper levels.
The first smart move we made was making a large bed of Fan Coral plants next to a large bed of Yellow Table plants. They cost very little and yield twice per minute. When you first begin, your reef is relatively small; your reef layout will change as the game progresses. What you have planted will change as well. To start, do the fan corals and table plants.
Until around Level 30, we had about 30 Fan Corals next to 50 Yellow Table plants. The reason for doing this is that every 30 seconds they will bloom with algae and sand dollars, respectively. So if you're in need of money to purchase a new plant or algae to feed a new plant, you can get more quickly. You will want to keep a good stockpile of these, as you'll need money to buy new plants but more than that, you'll need algae to feed the new plants. You will have tasks in the upper levels that will completely wipe out your stock of SD and Algae, so save, save, save!
You also need pearls, which are very difficult to earn. You can also purchase them ($4.99 for 220 pearls), but you can also get them by signing up for stuff. We got 350 pearls for signing up for a free credit monitoring service that I cancelled as soon as I got my pearls a few minutes later. If you wait to earn them, it will take an eternity to get through the levels (and it already does...).
As for the walk-through, you're going to be given tasks every level that you must complete to attract new fish, move up levels, or expand your reef. The ? next to a fish on the left side will explain your tasks. As you progress through the levels, the tasks will get more time consuming. One tip that I learned was that if it tells you to grow a Mystery Seed, don't use pearls to speed up the growth or you won't get credit for the plant.
**A note on the pearls: don't speed up growth unless you really want to get moving along; you're going to need lots of pearls as you get higher up in levels. Our task in Level 18 was to grow 8 Extraordinary Mystery Seeds, which cost 10 pearls each. Also, don't buy the hints before checking here. There are some really fabulous people here that have already purchased those hints and posted them here
That little heart in the corner of your screen will display the vitality of the reef, the health so-to-speak. The idea is to be at 100% on each of the levels. In order to get 100% in every category, you need rare plants. Rare plants attract rare fish. If your rare plants are at 25%, chances are your rare fish are around that level as well. You'll see below my notes on how to get rare plants. Guests will almost always be at 100% because the game dictates when you get them - all you can do is make sure you KEEP them by planting whatever the creature demands (see below). Regular plants will almost always be 100% because that will include all the non-rare plants that make up most of your reef. I'll repeat this again, if you want rare fish, you have to plant rare plants.
You will attract certain creatures to the reef and some of them have requirements you'll need to meet in order to get them to stay. These are the ones I can remember: **Note that another forum has been created for a more complete listing!
Yellow Jellyfish: Yellow Pillow (if I recall - sorry)
Green Seahorse: Green seaweed cluster (it's a ball shape for 100 sand dollars - the straight seaweed doesn't work)
Brown Seadragon: Green and Brown straight seaweed, planted right next to one another
Blue Jellyfish: Rose seabed and Heap of Stones (if it doesn't stay, you need to plant more Rocks and Boulders around the reef)
White Seahorse & White Seadragon: **I don't have these yet but others do; please see later posts on these
Red Seahorse: Plant a NEW "Bright Green Marine Bonsai" (I planted two together but the seahorse stayed when one of the plants completed; oddly, it settled next to an old bonsai instead of the new...)
Orange Octopus: It FOR SURE needs "Big Yellow-Green Seaweed" (8000 SD) and POSSIBLY Heap of Stones and/or Orange Plateau (I'm not 100% sure because I followed another's instructions for 2 Orange Plateau and 2 Heap of Stones and that didn't work; the hint said it needed rocks and big plants to hide in - the seaweed is what kept it)
In your menu, you have the option to visit the reef of a friend. You can select random or add a username. I don't want to post others' usernames unless they've been posted already but y'all know mine is claireelane; there is also tiffersreef, LouiseBradwell, Muppet2873824, nicothereefer, and twansangie - these are folks who have offered their usernames in the postings that I visit often.
The point of visiting friends, aside from checking out their reef, is to tap on their items and earn rewards for both of you. Before you jump in and start trying to tap everything, please note that you only get to tap FIVE items per day. Soooo, choose wisely. You only get half of what you would get in your own reef. My tip for this is to carefully edge your way around the reef (if you accidentally brush a Fan Coral, it counts against your five...) and find the highest yield items. If you're lucky enough to visit my reef when the Cats Paw has bloomed you would get 100XP. When you're checking out other reefs, find one of these - Cat's Paw Coral, Bamboo Coral, Psychadelic Coral, Pipe Coral, or Yellow Small Grass.
Each level requires you to get a certain number of XP (the little purple stars that come out of plants when you "harvest" them). This goes up with every level. When we were on level 18 and it demands 58,900 XP; at 24 it demands 201k. I recommend checking out friends' reefs on here to see how they are set up. Our username is claireelane and you'll find we have at least one of every plant, a huge stock of Yellow Table & Fan Coral, Psychedelic Coral, Yellow Small Grass, Eggshell Coral, Orange Tubes, & Blue Mushrooms. I also moved all my rare plants over to the far side of the expansion (this expansion comes at level 22-23, I believe) so that I can ignore that side while I'm harvesting.
There are several strategies for this game and you'll read about them more in-depth further on (I don't want to tromp on someone else's post as I update this one). The basic rundown is that you can either grind out the levels (meaning, plant fast producers like the Yellow Table or Fan, and tap until your fingers fall off) or you can go big. I find I'm in the middle there, planting those that have decent yields every hour. I took this cue from LouiseBradwell and added a large stock of Orange Tubes & Blue Mushrooms, in addition to the Eggshell Coral. I also have a healthy assortment of Giant Red Grass, Orange Plateau, Orange Vase Coral, & Pink Sponge (**Note you'll get most of these ones at higher levels). These produce between 20-35 XP every hour. You'll see I also have a mammoth collection of Psychedelic Coral - not because I think it's pretty (it's hideous), but it yields 80XP every 90 min. None of these are not high producers for your SD and Algae bank. I recommend a blend of many plants. Visit some of the other reefs and you'll get some great ideas.
When you're buying new plants at the Nursery, watch to see how often and how much they will yield. Corals will give you more algae (Carnation Corals give the most but the Christmas Tree Coral gives you almost as much at once and can be harvested more often), Living plants give you sand dollars (Yellow Plateau plants give the most but only every 12 hours but Giant Brown Grass gives 10 every 30 minutes), Ornamental and Rare don't have any yields.
**Please note that as you level up, you will have access to new plants. You will also probably overhaul your reef a few times depending on your level of play. I have very few long-growth plants (12/24 HR) because they don't have the high XP like the Psych Coral or Orange Vase give every hour or so. Plant whatever you want - just try to keep a HEAVY stock of algae and sand dollars (you'll need it!) and pick items with the highest XP that you really like to look at
Some of those you'll have to work up the levels to earn. When you're buying plants, note the tiny algae under the name of the plant - that tells you how many algae you will need to feed the plant to make it grow complete. For example, the Cup Coral needs 300 algae every 5 minutes to grow (each growth cycle has a time period noted next to the algae and they all take three cycles). This means you not only have to pay 700 sand dollars for the plant, you'll also need 900 algae in a short period of time to grow the plant.
These plants also take up plenty of room - most require 4 squares (you'll see what I mean if you try to move any of them) but some ornamental plants use only one. We have loads of these to fill single spaces. My tip for planting is to bunch them close together - you will eventually need that space. For items you will be regularly harvesting, keep those piled up next to one another. I can't screenshot our entire reef, as it is too large, but as I noted above, the entire top "row" is filled with Fan Coral and Yellow Table Plants (as well as tons of single square ornamentals like Giant Dark Yellow Seaweed, Bright Green Marine Bonsai, Red/Lilac Cirripathes, Seaweed Clusters, Sea Pens, Turquoise/Lilac Stems, Flat Rocks, Mineral Hedges, Straight Seaweed, Brown Cactus Coral, Pink/Lavender Sea Blossoms, and Red/Violet/Silver Branches). As you move along the edges of the reef, we have placed Fan Coral all along one edge and Yellow Table Plants along the opposite edge. In those bunches there are also Green Seabushes and Fruit Loop Coral, respectively. The point is for us to sweep around the reef, harvesting algae and sand dollars quickly. If you plant them right, you'll never want for either for very long. Our stockpile is up to about 140,000 sand dollars and 350,000 algae.
Because our daughter is obsessed with planting new plants, we have no more space for large plants and have been waiting for an expansion for some time. You can dig up plants if necessary (in the Menu, select MOVE and tap the plant you want to dig up, then tap the red shovel - it will confirm that you want to sell the plant). You would also move plants using this tool - drag the plant to the desired location (make sure all the grid squares are green) and tap the green check mark to save.
When we began level 18, Dory's tasks were supposed to lead to a reef expansion but they didn't. I don't think the game is intentionally deceptive by any means, but sometimes it seems to pull a fast one on you. This expansion comes at Level 20, if I recall. It's a HUGE expansion but you will not get another one for a very, very long time. Another example is the Mystery Seed. They started out at 300 sand dollars and took a small fortune of algae to grow (200 every 3.5 hours, I believe), plus they take FOREVER to complete; many times we've planted them (they later go up to 800 and then 1200 Sand Dollars, then 2000) and they have turned into Red Branches, which are a 10 sand dollar ornamental plant.
**Note that some wonderful (and very smart) poster further down realized that if the Mystery Seed is going to turn into a rare plant, it will have little sparkles around it. The sparks are not constant, however. They are very subtle but if you watch your seeds, you'll eventually see it. Do not move the plant if it sparkles; it will stop sparkling. Many posters have found that if you're trying to grow rare plants from Mystery Seeds, you need to plant A LOT of them. Save up your Sand Dollars and plant at least 10 at a crack. Look for the sparkle - if you don't have any that are sparkling, plant more. None of us have figured out what the trick is to getting rares from these seeds, but keep reading the later posts and you never know what others will find out!
The Extraordinary Mystery Seed will always be a Rare Plant but that does NOT mean it's going to be a new one or attract any new fish. The upper levels also give you the option for an Enigmatic Seed that costs 10,000 SD and takes 2,000 algae per feeding. You will face a task around level 20 that requires you to grow rare plants from these seeds; it took me 9 plants to get the two rares - that's 90,000 SD and a huge pile of algae. YOU MUST STOCKPILE AS MUCH ALGAE AND SAND DOLLARS AS YOU CAN!
As for Rare Fish, at our level of high-intensity play, we still have very few to speak of. Remember the only way to attract a new rare fish is with a new rare plant. At Level 25, we have the following:
Pink Emperor Angelfish
Yellow Dusky Batfish
Orange Dusky Batfish
Short Brown Seamoth
White Clown Frogfish
Red Clown Frogfish
Blue Emperor Angelfish
Green Emperor Angelfish
Our guests include: **Note that not everyone gets these or in this order**
**Deb (Level 33)
**Gil (Level 38)
To earn more XP, you'll need fancy plants that give off a bunch. They don't list this when you buy plants, so here's what I've learned so far:
Yellow Table Plant------ 2XP --- 2 SD --- 30 SEC ***I highly recommend a VERY large bed of these
Giant Green SeabusH----8XP --- 5 SD --- 4 MIN
Red Tube Sponge------12XP --- 8 SD --- 4 MIN
Orange Tube Sponge---25XP --- 10 SD --- 1 HR ***Plant a large bed of these
Yellow Sponge Bed---------------25 SD --- 6 HR
Yellow Plateau PlaNT---60XP --- 30 SD --- 12 HR
Giant Brown GrasS-----10XP --- 10 SD --- 30 MIN
Blue Pipe Sponge------30XP --- 20 SD --- 30 MIN
Maroon Pipe SpongE---30XP --- 30 SD --- 2 HR
Yellow Small Grass-----90XP --- 50 SD --- 12 HR ***Another recommendation - plant LOTS of these
Giant Green Grass----------------80 SD --- 8 HR
Orange Plateau PlaNT--15XP --- 10 SD --- 20 MIN
Orange Barrel Sponge------------250 SD --- 24 HR
Red Barrel Sponge -----8XP------4 SD --------- 4 MIN
Giant Red Grass -------15XP-----15 SD---------40 MIN
Pink Sponge Bed........................200SD............12 HR
Fan CoraL--------------1XP --- 2 AL --- 30 SEC *** Plant a very large bed of these
Fruit Loop CoraL--------2XP --- 3 AL --- 1 MIN
Violet Brain Coral-------8XP --- 5 AL --- 3 MIN
Sunset Cup------------ 4XP --- 5 AL --- 5 MIN
Blue MushrooM---------20XP --- 10 AL --- 1 HR ***I highly recommend a large bed of these
Brain Coral-------------70XP --- 45 AL --- 24 HR
Orange Pillar Coral------30XP --- 10 AL --- 30 MIN
Green MushrooM-------30XP --- 15 AL --- 5 HR
Carnation CoraL--------60XP --- 30 AL --- 12 HR ***Plant several of these
Pillar Coral-------------15XP --- 5 AL --- 30 MIN
Christmas Tree Coral---40XP --- 22 AL --- 6 HR
Green Bubble CoraL----45XP --- 25 AL --- 8 HR
Bamboo CoraL---------80XP --- 50 AL --- 24 HR
Silver Bubble Coral-----12XP --- 6 AL --- 15 MIN
Fire CoraL-------------20XP --- 5 AL --- 30 MIN
Cup CoraL-------------60XP --- 15 AL --- 6 HR
Finger Coral -----------25XP --- 12 AL --- 45 MIN
Cat's Paw CoraL------200XP ---180 AL --- 10 HR **These cost 30 pearls but plant as many as you can!
Blue Cat's Paw --------15 XP ----7 AL ---------- 10 MIN
Eggshell Coral --------- 45 XP ---35 AL --------- 1 HR ***I recommend a large bed of these
Pipe Coral -------------80XP ---- 20 AL ---------12 HR
Psychedelic Coral ------75XP -----15 AL---------90 MIN ***Plant a large bed of these (after Level 25)
Orange Vase Coral.......80XP.........25 AL.............1 HR ***These cost pearls but try to plant as many as possible!
Tentacle Coral............................40 AL..............8 HR
Vase Coral.................15 XP........10 AL...............20 MIN
As we continue to work through the levels, I will try to come back and post more information. It is the slowest progression of a game I think I've ever seen and there is not much consistency. Some users will have different guests appear at different times.
Another user has created an AMAZING spreadsheet with all of this information. Check out his link at http://madmodders.se/temp/Nemo/nemos%20reef.html
**Notice by Games Dreams moderator**
(This thread is getting longer and longer, so try to post your questions or guide in new threads if possible since it is hard for others to find info from page to page)
**New thread has begun for LEVEL 25 AND UP***
**New threads for 1-10, 11-20, 35-UP, and Combinations, Vitality, HOW TO KEEP ?? CREATURE***