In this guide, I will describe the basics of No Time to Relax as well as give tips and strategies for getting started with the game.
Table of Contents
How to Start
You win the game by scoring points based on the four stats below as well as your pet (if you buy one). There are 3 hidden bonus objective that score minor points and are competitive.
Money: This state measures you monetary wealth. You get this by working, investing, and earning interest from you bank account.
Health: The measure of your physical health. This can be increased by visiting the gym, buying items from the appliances shop, doing the hiking culture event, petting your pet, and buy cleansing food after you’ve purchased a refrigerator.
Education: You education can be raised by pursuing degrees at the college. The amount of time you need to invest here depends on the length of the game.
Happiness: Can be increased a number of ways. Buying food at Cluckers, petting your pet, buying items at the mall and appliances shop, and buying tickets at the cultural center.
Pets: You can purchase a pet for $99 at the mall. You will obviously need to keep the pet fed in order to increase it’s health score. The pet also has a happiness score which is increased when you spend time in your apartment to pet them. Toys you purchased for them increase this gain. At the end of the game pets provide you points based on their health and happiness bars.
Bonus: There are three competitive hidden objectives each game that give a small point boost at the end of the game. You can discover these by reading the paper at the market.
Cheap Housing: Rent is $200 and is charged every 4 turns. While cheaper than the fancy apartment, during crime waves items can be stolen from this apartment. It also seems that worse random events happen while living here.
Market: You can buy food here if you own a fridge (don’t buy food here if you don’t own one). They also sell lottery tickets which have a small chance of getting you ~$500. The newspaper will show you the hidden bonus objectives for the game, completing them will give you a small score boast at the end.
Fancy Housing: Rent is $400 and is charged every 4 turns (note that rent events happen every 4th turn, moving in here doesn’t push that off). It is best to move here on a rent turn before paying the $200 for the starter apartment (the $400 to move in covers your rent event for the week). Your stuff will not get stolen during a crime wave event.
Bank: You come here to pay rent, deposit and withdraw money, and take loans (not really worth it as you can’t even take loans until you have money anyway). It’s important to note that any money deposited in the bank earns around 5% interest every turn, this can make you a lot of money over a longer game. You can also buy investments in the broker tab, these can pay off if you keep an eye on the market, though you will lose money to unexpected changes.
VexCorp: They sell 3 different transportation options for faster travel around town and the VexPhone (which lets you pay for things from your bank account).
Job Office: You come here to get jobs, there are separate tabs for each location in town and not all locations are equal.
Culture Center: Come here to buy event tickets. On the next turn your random event card will be replaced with a positive culture event (earning you happiness and/or health).
University: This is the only location to work on your education bar.
Appliances: They sell appliances for your apartment here. The toaster and tv tabs provide happiness, the air conditioner tab provide health. Buying from here is some of the best ways to boast your happiness. The Refrigerator is by far the most important item here (see strategies)
Mall: Come here to buy clothing when you get events to buy new clothes. They also sell decor for your apartment which provide happiness, pets, and pet products. Pets provide their own point category at the end of the game, the better you treat them the more points you get.
Cluckers: The towns fast food option and your only option for food if you don’t own a refrigerator. You will need to visit here every turn at the beginning of the game to eat (you get a serious time penalty if you don’t). If you eat too many fries you will get negative penalties, the best option is to buy fries turn one, clucker burger turn two, back to fries, etc…
Gym: This is the primary location to work on your health bar. Working out is a good and cheap option to lower stress at the beginning of the game, yoga is by far the best option to boast health mid to late game…namaste! I never saw the point to letting it burn or protein shakes.
Work and Education
Climbing up the corporate ladder is important in this game in order to make the big bucks. There are three requirements for getting a job: job experience, education, and availability.
Job Experience: Each time you click the “work” tab you will gain job experience, you gain experience equal to your $ per hour. So at the start of the game you will gain 4 experience each time you work. The higher paying the job the more experience you’ll need.
- 100 – $6/hour jobs
- 200 – $7/hour jobs
- 400 – $9/hour jobs
- 800 – $14/hour job at the market (it’s the way)
Education: You can get 4 and 6 $ per hour jobs before needing any education. It’s for this reason that it is not worth spending your time getting education in the first 4 turns of any game (except maybe 10 weeks). The first 2 degrees only need 6 investments of your time (each) so you can earn one of the degrees in a single week after you already have enough job experience to get a higher paying job.
Availability: This seems entirely random to me. If the location you’re after isn’t available it’s likely that another location with the same pay will have a job (but not always).
Clothing: It’s important to note that each job has a clothing requirement, you will be unable to work without the proper clothing. Precious time can be wasted if you don’t notice this requirement when changing a job.
I always take my first job at Cluckers, it’s close to the cheap housing, the gym (for early stress reduction), and you can eat where you work.
- Second Job: $6/hour at the market or mall, short travel time, close to Cluckers/Gym.
- Third Job: $7/hour at the market
- Fourth: $9/hour at the market
- Fifth: $14/hour at the market (probably won’t get here on a 10 week game)
Food and Eating
Who doesn’t like to eat? Well our NttR avatars like to as well. If you don’t eat on a turn you are slapped with a -80 time penalty which gets nasty real quick.
Early Game (week 1-10)
You’re going to be eating at Cluckers. The best value here is to alternate between eating fries and cluck burgers. If you eat too many fries you will start to get some nasty event cards. The other options at Cluckers are overpriced and only give you marginal happiness boasts (better can be got later).
Mid Game (week 11-18)
By this time you should have bought or be close to buying a refrigerator. This purchase should be a top priority and your first major purchase. It will save you tons of time and money, it is the best investment in the game. After you have the refrigerator you will be buying your food in bulk (4 weeks is best deal) from the market, never go back to Cluckers.
Late Game (week 19+)
You can mix up your food purchases with some Cleansing Foods. This will give you a 1 week supply of food for $120 that provide a health boast. I honestly think it’s more economical to just do yoga for health and I rarely buy this.
At the start of every turn you will get an event, these are usually random but you can control the event if you buy a ticket at the culture center the prior turn, the culture events are always positive.
Rent: This will happen every 4 turn. If you live in cheap housing it is $200, $400 for fancy housing. If you don’t pay your rent you will be charged interest on the balance and a percentage of that will be garnished from your wages every time you work; it also increases stress.
Need New Clothes: The turn after this event pops up your clothing will be destroyed and your character will appear in their under-clothes. They will be unable to work or go to school until new clothes are bought at the mall. If you don’t have money for clothes all you can really do is relax in your apartment. On the next turn, you will be sent enough money to buy clothing.
Crime Waves: These last for 2-3 turns. On every turn after the crime wave is announced there is a chance you will be mugged if you have money on your person and that your apartment is robbed of one random item if living in cheap housing. Both of these can be avoided by keeping money in the bank and moving to fancy housing.
Investments: 2 turns after buying an investment they will be sold and you will be notified if you made or lost money. Investments are a great way to earn money if you can afford to take the risk. Sometimes the market does respond in wacky ways.
Lottery: If you win the lottery you will be notified on the next turn after buying the ticket. It generally pays out around $500. The chance of winning is pretty small though it does happen.
Culture Events: They are always positive netting you either happiness or health. More importantly, they will replace the random event that pops up each turn.
Tips and Strategies
The following tips work well for any game mode except short:
First turn I buy the bus pass at VexCorp, this will get you around town slightly faster until you can buy a car (I skip the scooter, it cuts too much into fridge money). Get a job at Clucker’s, eat some fries, and work the rest of the time. For the rest of these turns work as much as possible while not getting too stressed out by working out at the gym. You want enough money ($200) and job experience (100) on turn 4 to pay your rent and get a $6/hour job. When you go to pay rent don’t forget to check the broker, there can be some good investment options. DO NOT go to college!
Watch your job experience, once you have 200 it’s time to complete your first degree and get a $7/hour job. During these turns my goal is to start saving for a refrigerator, it is the best investment in the game! Manage stress with the gym.
You should have a refrigerator by now and life is good, if not, it should be a top priority. You’ll probably complete your second degree and get a $9/hour job in these turns. If you haven’t begun to store money in the bank, this is a good time to, you earn ~5% interest each turn. After getting a refrigerator you’ll have more time on your hands, why not busy those hands with a pet and start racking up those points (I find it useful to synch the pets food with your fridge). Manage stress with a pet or gym.
You should be able to afford a car by this point which makes getting around town a breeze! After the car buy the VexPhone and put all your money into the bank to earn interest. You should also be close to finishing a business masters and getting that sweet $14/hour job at the market, it’s the biggest money jump in the game. Having between 1-2k money in the bank will start to generate some decent interest. During the rent event on week 16 is usually when I consider moving into fancy housing.
Depending on your game length, you may or may not want to aim for the next job which is $15 at the bank (and requires business clothing, ugh). By this time it’s reasonable to get a good chunk of money in the bank earning interest and investing often.
For Long Games (week 20-30)
Spend all that money doing yoga, buying junk at the appliance store or mall, and maxing out your education bar. Work enough to keep your money bar high and the interest rolling in.
For Marathon Games (week 20+)
I shoot for the CEO job at VexCorp, but it takes A LOT of work experience and education, but since you have to max out the entire university tree might as well aim high. Do yoga and buy junk to raise those bars quicker. You can alternatively justify going the engineering education route first in the education tree on marathon and getting jobs at the appliances store or VexCorp.
The following tips are for short games only (10 weeks):
Follow the tips for the other game modes with the following changes: You probably want to invest in purchasing a pet around turn 3 as long as you’ll have enough job experience to get a new job on turn 4.
Don’t worry about saving for a refrigerator, there’s no point in buying one on a short game. Feel free to spend more money on yoga and happiness purchases during this time. You only need to complete the second degree to max out education in short, work towards this.
It’s generally not worth trying to save money or buy the VexPhone. It’s entirely possible to get the $9/hour job around this time, I wouldn’t suggest trying for anything more.