2022-02-14 - Miracle Merchant
On February 8th 2022 I got contacted by a Miracle Merchant player called Raftmb who showed me their new highscore of 200 points!
This marks an incredible milestone for the game since the old top 10 ranged from 188-196. But once again the incredible players of Miracle Merchant proofed that this game has surprisingly long legs and I never believed you could even reach these crazy highscores. I took the opportunity and asked Raftmb a few questions on how you achieve great scores in Miracle Merchant.
Since when are you playing Miracle Merchant?
I started playing around August 2020 and slowly began to understand because the game is not translated in my native language. It probably took me a week or 2 to completely understand all the mechanics and only after a month I started to complete 3 tasks daily.
How many games did you won with more than 160 points?
Probably more than 100 times. I consider 160 a good result, but it is much less than my 10 best attempts. My 9 best games start from 174 to 179 and finally my best now is 200.
When you play for a new highscore, what is you general strategy?
It’s actually very complicated to have a general strategy because the game is very dynamic and a lot depends on the cards you get. But my strategy is usually to get rid of black cards first, so that the next turn I can make the best potion with a Tripple or Duplex recipe. It also helps a lot to get rid of black cards using a Twin potion with black cards, because the bonus from the Twin recipe can negate the black cards. In general sometimes things just don’t line up and sometimes the cards fit perfectly.
Which potion combination is the best for getting a very highscore in your opinion?
If we are talking about achieving the maximum points for one potion, then Duplex potion is probably best. But scoring high with individual potions is actually not that important overall. You can collect a very good potion once, but the remaining 12 will turn out to be not so good in total. When I scored a potion with 47 points, the game itself only scored about 160-170 points, which is normal. When I scored 179 points, the best potion was only 26 points. In my record game of 200 points the game developed early at the beginning even without being ahead of the graph on points (my measure for a good game), but at the end in the last 3-4 moves multiple very good combinations were scored and the last one also formed perfectly. You never know before the game ends if you are onto a new highscore.
What is an effective strategy to avoid the black cards?
Avoiding black cards will not work. They just need to be included in potions and it is probably most convenient to remove them in bulks by 2 cards, or even 3 if the setup allows it.
Are there any start combinations of cards / customers that are important for highscores?
Theoretically yes, but that such a combination will be shown is very unlikely and since you don’t know the cards in advance it’s irrelevant. Again, the best combinations are Duplex and Tripple, of course in the color of the favored ingredient to get the best possible scores.
What are you top 3 tips for a successful game.
Honestly, I don’t know, but I think many people write down or remember the sequence of the requested potion in order to know what cards will be needed at the end. I don’t do that because card consumption usually tells you what next potion will be required. You probably could calculate the probability, like in poker.
Sometimes skipping a customer also helps, because then at the end you know exactly which potion will come up and you can even plan a few customers to show up in a specific order at the end of the game. When black cards are multiplied by 2 in a potion, it is best to leave this customer for the end (but not the very last) when there are already less black cards with a value of -2 or -3. Colored cards that will raise the black value from -1 to 0 are preferable when you can use 3 black cards at once.
If the top card in the deck has an “all connector” with the same color as the card itself and the color of the card is needed (not favored) in the potion, I usually skip this customer. Because the benefits of having such a card as the favored color is very crucial to score big potions in the range of 25-30. In genreal I only use cards that are favored by a customer in the beginning and make potions that don’t get the favored bonus at the end of the game and not in-between.
What are you wishes for a bigger Miracle Merchant update?
I would like to see a replay function for games which could be interesting and would help to analyze games of others to improve your own play. Please add more translations (Russian is my first language and it was hard to understand the tutorial) to improve accessibility of the game. I also would like to see more statistics of the game, for example how many of each type of potion I made, how many recipes types and what scores they made. Then I also would love to know more about the card generation / shuffling logic, how cards and connectors are mixed and match. I also would like to know how the order of black cards is decided, because they will not appear first or last for example.
And as a comment: The music and style of the game are very cool and fit the whole theme very much, kudos to the whole team and thanks for making an awesome game, for me it’s up there with the greatest puzzle games.