Like the first Virtual Villagers game, the sequel is packed with challenging puzzles and quirks. To help you succeed, I've compiled a list of tips, tricks and cheats to make solving the game less frustrating. If you haven't downloaded the game yet, you can download Virtual Villagers 2 here.
For a game walkthrough and hints for Virtual Villagers 3: The Secret City see the tips for Virtual Villagers 3.
General Virtual Villagers 2: The Lost Children Tips
Finding more food - if you are running low on food, you can game the food system by sending every available villager to gather food at once. Send a mass of villagers to harvest crops or a coconut tree and you can often get far more than the normal yield for the food.
Game Speed - while playing the game, keep it at Normal or 2xSpeed. When you step away from the game for an extended period (like 24 hours or more), be sure to pause the game so all your villagers don't die.
Villager Skills - Assign skills to each villager on the villager's detail page. You can train villagers by pointing them in the direction of a task you want them to do, like farming or building.
Exploration - Gain exploration skills by sending villagers to examine every corner of the map (and all the space in between the corners).
Solving the Puzzles- The 16 puzzles require a combination of skills in order to solve. You'll need a certain level of village technology, exploration skills, farming knowledge, and in some cases other puzzles completed prior to completing another puzzle. This list of tips provides clues for solving each of the puzzles - there are spoilers here, so don't read them if you want to be surprised.
Puzzle #1 - Build a fire in the fire pit by dragging a villager to the pile of dry wood in the southwest part of the village. After there's wood in the fire pit, have them find some dry grass west of the coconut trees. After both grass and wood are in the fire pit, drag a villager to the pit so they light the fire. The supply will need to be restocked periodically our your fire will go out.
Puzzle #2 - Build a dam to route water from the stream to a suitable farming location. After getting Level 2 Engineering, drag a villager to the rocks in the middle of the lower end of the stream. As long as you have the Engineering Tech, you will see a message about building a dam.
Puzzle #3 - Build a scarecrow to protect the crops from birds by dragging a Master Farmer to the twisted wood and vines located in the northern corner of the village. You'll need to bring supplies back to the farm area twice in order to get enough supplies to complete the scarecrow. If you don't finish construction on the scarecrow, birds will eat your crops.
Puzzle #4 - Make cutting tools to remove overgrown vegetation around the village. After acquiring Exploration Tech Level 2, drag a Master Scientist to the northern part of the village to the rocks by the twisted wood and vines. Something will be discovered and two trips will be required to make special tools.
Puzzle #5 - Master six plants located around the village. You will know each plant is mastered when a message appears on screen. Starting with the odd-looking plant just left of the very dry grass in the northwest part of the village, move clockwise toward the blue flower between the thorns and rocks. Next find the small lavender flower at the north end of the graveyard, followed by the black flowers by the waterfall. Proceed to the reddish flowers south of the dam. Close with the orangish-red flower at the south edge of the village.
Puzzle #6 - You must create the Esteemed Elder, which requires having one villager become a master in three skills. A totem is created in the village.
Puzzle #7 - Remove the algae in the ocean caused by over fishing. After achieving Farming Tech Level 3, take a Master Farmer or Master Scientist to the pond where they will gather algae eating fish used to re-populate the ocean. You will have unrestricted fishing when enough fish are returned to the sea.
Puzzle #8 - Remove vines covering the wall on the east side of the village. Get Level 3 Culture Tech and be sure to complete Puzzle #4 before dragging a villager to the vine-covered wall, the villager will begin cutting away the vines.
Puzzle #9 - Make stews for your villagers. Exploration Tech Level 2 is required, along with a cauldron from the wood pile and mastery of at least one of the special plants from Puzzle #5.
How to make a stew:
1 - Place a villager on the cauldron to put it on the fire.
2 - Place a villager on the cauldron a second time to get water for the stew.
3 - Place a villager on a mastered plant to gather herbs for the stew. (Each stew requires 3 herbs)
4 - Place a villager on the cauldron and the villager will add food to the stew.
5 - When the stew is finished, the villager will move the cauldron off the fire.
The stews have varying effects on villagers, from curing disease to making them a bit strange. Try different combinations of plants to get different results.
Puzzle #10 - Uncover the ancient covered floor in the southeast part of the village by dragging a villager with Level 3 of Engineering Tech and Exploration Tech to the location.
Puzzle #11 - Construct a hospital. Get both Engineering Tech and Medicine Tech Level 3 and a foundation will appear for the villagers to construct a hospital.
Puzzle #12 - Build a sewing hut. Get Culture Tech Level 2 and Science Tech Level 2. A foundation will appear for villagers to build on. This sewing hut allows you to change the villagers clothing.
Puzzles 13-16 are all part of the Gong of Wonder, which is the final challenge of the game. The four parts of the Gong of Wonder are:
Puzzle #13 - Take 3 Master Builders to the crate on the beach where one of the gong pieces are hidden.
Puzzle #14 - Clear thorns blocking access to the gong encasement. With Exploration Tech Level 2, clear away the thorns covering the gong encasement revealing a piece of the gong.
Puzzle #15 - Using the stew making steps from Puzzle #9, make a stew to allow a villager to dive for the sunken gong piece in the pond. Use one black flower and two orange-red flowers from the south side of the village. You can see the required herbs on the wall where you removed vines in an earlier puzzle.
Puzzle #16 - With Puzzles #6 and #10 complete, drop the totem in the center of the mosaic discovered in puzzle #10. This will assemble the gong. Bang the gong a maximum of once every 24 hours (in game time) to see what impact it has on the village.