Life of Mellow is a survival simulator game developed by MondayOFF where you help the titular beings survive in a distant land after being swept up by a tornado. The Mellows will need your guidance in gathering resources, building shelter, and not just surviving, but thriving in this new land. The game can get overwhelming at first, with all the Mellows moving about, but you will eventually get used to the flow of gameplay.
As with many survival games, Life of Mellow has you assigning tasks to your Mellow villagers in order to survive in this new land. Your villagers will not have to fend off any hostile entities in this game, so the only real threats you will have to face are the weather, starvation, and disease. Over time, the population of your new village will gradually expand, either through other Mellows that wander into your town and ask for shelter, or from newborn Mellows that learn to live along with their parents and neighbors as they grow up.
The game has significant content as it is, but offers an optional DLC that expands on the base game, adding new buildings and jobs for your Mellows to do. You can get quite far without it, so this guide will assume you did not make any in-app purchases. For those interested in what Life of Mellow has in store, stay with us and learn what this game has to offer.
Starting Up Survival
Life of Mellow has three save slots by default, and additional ones can be purchased via in-app transactions. Unless you are planning to try out multiple strategies, there is not much reason to buy additional save slots. All the slots require an active internet connection so that they can be stored and retrieved in the cloud. Playing offline will prevent you from making progress in the current save file, so make sure that your connection is steady before accessing or making a save.
Life of Mellow lets you choose between several starting scenarios. The choice you make determines what resources your Mellows start off with. Do note that only the basic scenario is available for free. Here, you are given a meager amount of food and tools for your Mellows to use. The other scenarios must be purchased, and include challenges such as starting off with a surplus of one resource. Regardless of starting scenario, you will be provided with tools and food. The other scenarios are not necessary for progress.
All new games in Life of Mellow start you off with three Mellows, a tent serving as storage for resources and tools, and a building waiting to be constructed. The map is an isometric grid with various resources to collect, but it will require the right Mellow for the job. Each Mellow wears a neckerchief that determines what job they have been assigned. Mellows not assigned to any job have white neckerchiefs, and the colors change depending on what job they have been given.
Mellows will pick up the appropriate tools for their job and use them until they wear out, getting replacement tools from nearby storage buildings when needed. For now, you can assign Mellows the following occupations by tapping the button on the screen and selecting the Mellow icon:
- Builder (Cyan): These Mellows ferry resources to construction sites and build whatever has been placed. They use hammers and can only “focus” on one site at a time.
- Lumberjack (Green): You will need wood to build most structures, so assigned Lumberjacks will scour the map for trees to cut down with their axes and wood to pick up.
- Miner (Green): These Mellows take pickaxes and excavate minerals. Miners are split between Stone Miners and Iron Miners, and can only gather the assigned resource.
- Hunter (Green): These Mellows use bows to track down deer and sheep for their meat, along with leather and wool, respectively. They will track down any valid animals as long as they are in range.
- Fruit Picker (Green): Instead of tackling wildlife, these Mellows are assigned to fruit picking duty. They will take baskets and head to nearby trees, gathering fruit and bringing it to nearby storage buildings. This gives your population something other than meat to dine on, and helps take the load off your hunters. They should not be confused with Gatherers.
- Gatherer (Green): Like Fruit Pickers, Gatherers use baskets to collect seeds and herbs from nearby bushes. These are not eaten as is, but are instead used by other buildings later on.
Regardless of their allotted profession, your Mellows can only carry up to ten items at a time before they have to unload their inventories. You can select individual Mellows by tapping on any Mellow that is not in a building. This will show their name, age, gender (male or female), inventory, and current task. All Mellows have three stats that players must keep track of: Health, Happiness, and Hunger.
- Health naturally determines how well your Mellow is. It is reduced by injury, disease, or starvation. If it gets too low, your Mellow perishes.
- Happiness quantifies the mood of your Mellow, going up when your Mellow has something to do or has ready access to supplies. Mellow Happiness goes down when the Mellow cannot find what they need. This stat becomes more relevant if you purchase the DLC.
- Hunger simply shows how satiated your Mellow is and is increased by eating food. If it goes down too far, you can expect both Happiness and Health to take hits.
The needs of the overall population are displayed via the Notice section at the left side of the screen, and give a generalization of what your Mellows are missing (i.e housing and tools) or their current status. The Notice section also has a demographic graph depicting how many Mellows are in a given age range, along with the current distribution between genders. This allows you to gauge how well your Mellow population is doing and if it is growing or not.
With the small number of Mellows at the start, assign one Mellow as a Builder, one Mellow as a Lumberjack, and the last Mellow as a Stone Miner. The building for construction is a Craft Shop which fashions tools to replace those that have worn out. For the time being, your Mellows need housing.
First, we would recommend you to demolish the Craft Shop by selecting its construction site and tapping the Demolish icon on the top left corner, as you cannot prioritize what buildings must be finished first. Selecting a construction site also views what resources the Builder Mellows still need, as well as the time left before construction is completed.
You can speed this up by thirty seconds by watching an ad, but generally buildings take about four minutes at most to construct. Builder Mellows will not complete construction in one go, and will take breaks to get some food or acquire fresh tools. With the Craft Shop out of the way, you can start building houses for your Mellows.
You can construct buildings via pressing the menu button and tapping the hammer icon. From there, just select the building you want to construct and place it on the map. You can rotate the building as you see fit, but the difference is cosmetic. Houses can shelter up to two Mellows of different genders, along with any children they have.
Those Mellows will gather food from storage and bring it to their chosen house, preferring to eat at home as opposed to snacking at the storage area. There are two houses you can build: wooden houses and stone houses. Stone houses keep your Mellows warmer more effectively during wintertime, but require iron to build along with stone and wood. Given the number and type of resources needed, you will build wooden houses for the time being.
Unfortunately, this is when the random starting Mellows might mess up a new player’s run as it is possible for your Mellows to start with the same gender. This means that you will need to build three houses to accommodate them all. It may be challenging for people new to this sort of game, but if you are up to the challenge, you can go for it.
If there are two Mellows living in the same house, they may procreate, with the female Mellow becoming pregnant immediately after. Pregnant Mellows can still do their tasks, but they will return to their house to give birth. Mellow children cannot contribute to the village until they are old enough.
At this point, new Mellows will arrive in groups ranging from two to four. An indicator will appear at the right side of the screen, letting you decide if you want to take them in or not. New arrivals will require some resources to convince them to stay, or you can watch an ad to recruit them free of charge.
If you cannot take them in for whatever reason, you can also send them away. For new players, we recommend only taking in two Mellows at a time, three at most, as you may become overwhelmed with managing more than that Mellows.
For now, assign one Mellow as a Builder to help expand your housing, and appoint any remaining Mellows to gather food, either as Hunters or as Fruit Pickers. Once you have enough houses to shelter your Mellows, you can start construction on different buildings.
Seasons And Structures
Around this point, the in-game season should be around summer or fall, which is a good time to discuss the passage of seasons in Life of Mellow. Seasons typically last five minutes and the current season is displayed at the center of the screen, along with the current temperature. From spring to fall, your Mellows should have no trouble thriving and doing their jobs.
However during winter, the temperature drops and the Mellows will start feeling the chilly air. Any food-producing plants will either die or go dormant, so stocking up on food before winter hits is essential. To keep themselves warm at home, your Mellows will need to burn firewood, and Stone Houses need less firewood to keep their inhabitants warm.
Once winter passes and spring begins, all resources will respawn. New trees and bushes will grow, deer and sheep will enter the map, and new deposits of stone and iron will even spawn. At the start, your Mellows can weather out the first winter, but as the population goes up, you will need to build new structures not only to craft firewood, but also to replace your first set of tools.
Artisan Buildings become much more important, and the Craft Shop we mentioned earlier is one such example. These buildings, with one exception, require Mellows to man them so that it can produce stuff. Associated neckerchief colors, if applicable, are also included below:
- Craft Shop (dark blue): Mellows assigned here are Craftsmen, and build replacement tools out of wood and stone. You can queue up to five tools, and your Craftsmen will gather the necessary resources to manufacture these tools and bring them to the nearest storage.
- Storage: This is essentially a warehouse, and the only building on this list that does not require Mellows to operate. It can hold up to 500 resources compared to the tent’s 300, and we recommend building one as your population grows.
- Sawmill (tan): Mellows assigned here are woodcutters, and can turn wood into two resources: the aforementioned firewood, and wooden planks (labelled as “wooden plates”) needed for more advanced buildings like those listed below. This also means that you will need extra Lumberjacks once a Sawmill is in full operation.
- Herbalist’s Shop (white with green cross): Herbalist Mellows craft potions from any herbs your Gatherers may find in their outings. These potions can restore Health and cure any illness or injuries your other Mellows might pick up or sustain. Since this building requires herbs to produce medicine, only build this when you have Gatherer Mellows on the field.
- Crop Field (light green): Farmer Mellows grow crops on these plots using any seeds your Gatherers may find, providing a more stable and closer source of food for your burgeoning town. Note that your farmers must start growing crops around spring time. For wild plants however, the Crop Field will become inactive once winter hits, leaving your farmers with nothing to do unless you assign them to another job.
Note that each Artisan Building can only house one Mellow at a time: if you have two Craftsmen you will need two Craft Shops for example. While there is a lot of jobs for your Mellows to do, the DLC you can purchase from the in-game store unlocks additional buildings you can construct and new jobs for your Mellows to take on. These buildings include, but are not limited to:
- Blacksmith’s Shop: Blacksmith Mellows can make tools out of iron instead of mere stone. These tools are more durable than their stone counterparts.
- School: Mellow Teachers can educate Mellow Children and increases their inventory cap, allowing them to carry more resources once they are old enough to work.
- Tailor: Tailor Mellows craft clothes out of leather or wool, dropped from deer and sheep respectively. Clothes keep Mellows warm during the winter and this definitely helps if the temperature drops too low for your houses and firewood to handle. Unfortunately, even if you do not buy the DLC, your Hunter Mellows will still collect leather and wool with no way of getting rid of either, and they end up taking precious storage space.
Whether you choose to purchase the DLC or not is entirely up to you.
Presents And Passes
The game offers some bonus gifts you can redeem by watching an ad, which can help meet the demands of your Mellows. These include lump sums of resources like fruits, golden tools with infinite durability for the next two minutes, or a temporary multiplier to your resource gathering. If you are having trouble with managing your town and one of those bonuses comes up, feel free to use it because it helps a lot.
Completing the needs of your Mellows awards more than their satisfaction. The game has a Survival Pass that awards points by meeting certain tasks. These tasks range from recruiting new Mellows to gathering a set number of a given resource. Once enough points are collected, you advance to a new rank in the Survival Pass. You can view your current Pass progress by tapping the ticket icon at the left side of the screen, just above the store icon.
Normally, you only get rewards after every other rank. These rewards can range from small resource gifts, to tool bundles, and even tickets that speed up construction. If you prefer, you can purchase a Premium Pass that awards more gifts, along with gifts for each rank progressed, as opposed to every other rank. Rank 5 in the regular Pass awards a special building: a placeable statue that lets you summon a small herd of animals to its location after watching an ad, with a five-minute cooldown between uses.
This herd will come even during winter, but you can only call upon its power every other season. Also, unless you purchase the DLC, you will have to deal with the junk leather and wool that the herd brings along, so be mindful of its use.
Tips And Tricks For A Thriving Township
Even without the DLC, you can still get some significant progress in Life of Mellow. Here are some tips to keep your village up and running:
- Professional adjustments: Learn to change your Mellows’ jobs as needed, especially when winter hits. Fruit Pickers and Farmers will have nothing to do while it snows, so consider placing them in Lumberjack duty to help keep up with firewood demand. Conversely, Woodcutters are best assigned from fall to winter, as they can produce firewood when it is most needed, along with some wooden planks for future expansion.
- Hankering for housing: A village is nothing without homes, so always be prepared to build new houses, especially once Mellow children start becoming more relevant. That way, new Mellows that move into your village will have a place to immediately call home, rather than loitering out in the open.
- Rural planning: Though houses can store some resources, nothing beats a dedicated warehouse for bulk storage. Try to build your houses, storage buildings, and Artisan buildings close by so that your Mellows do not spend too much time walking back and forth.
The DLC does offer a dedicated “restocking” job for the village, where any assigned Mellows will automatically deliver food and firewood to houses that need them. However, it still pays to plan your village properly.
- Know your micromanagement limits: It may be tempting to get any new Mellows that wander into your village, but remember that it will mean more food to gather, more houses to build, and more tools to craft. Play it smart and know when to turn down any newcomers, as your village might not be able to handle the extra strain. Remember that any Mellow children that come of age at around the same time you recruit more Mellows may pose a problem.
- The inevitable end: As upsetting as it is, your Mellows are not immortal. Some of them will die no matter how well you take care of them, be it from old age or disease. Unless you are trying to keep all your Mellows alive for as long as possible, you will have to accept that fact and ensure that there are other Mellows that can take their place when the time comes.
That concludes our guide to Life of Mellow. There are some rough edges here and there but it provides a solid experience for people who are into survival games, or newcomers who want to try it out this genre. If you guys have any tips or suggestions you would like to share, please let us know in the comments area down below!