MLP:FiM Game for iPad/Android: Strategy Guide

MLP:FiM Game for iPad/Android: Strategy Guide

Learn how to maximize your experience with this adorable game.

NOTE: An updated strategy guide has been posted here. This article is obsolete.

This quirky little game is taking the world by storm. Brought to you by Hasbro in conjunction with Gameloft, the My Little Pony - Friendship Is Magic game has some significant differences from the usual "click then wait eight hours" game genre.

 
1. Time stops when you're not there
Unlike most games in this genre, the businesses only work when you have the game running. This is why (as you may have noticed) all of the time spans on the tasks are in the 1-5 minute range. 
 
This single fact will radically affect most people's gameplay style. Instead of logging in once a day to collect your cash and start more tasks, the game forces you to play it for as lengthy a session as possible. 
 
Luckily it doesn't demand much of your attention. You can make a lot of progress just by having it running next to you while you do something else. (Kids: don't play the game while doing your homework, or Twilight Sparkle will be very disappointed.)
 
2. Ignore the games (after you get a star)
The mini-games have two purposes: they distract you while you wait 30 seconds for a shop to drop cash, and they let your ponies earn stars. 
 
However, each time you play a game it also costs a minimum of 100 bits. If you play it just to kill time while you wait for your shops to finish, you are probably losing money, given that most shops only earn 30-50 bits at a time.
 
Play the games enough for each pony to earn at least one star. That's enough to get them hired at a shop. Beyond leveling up each pony, ignore the mini-games.
 
3. Clear land
I'm surprised by how many obstacles (like rocks and tree roots) are on each plot of land, and how much they cost to clear. Particularly given how many map squares most shops take up. Tempting though it may be to just keep buying more land, it's a better use of your money to clear your existing plots before buying new ones.
 
4. Group all the shops
Try to cram all the shops into the same plot of land. If you can see them all on the same screen without scrolling, it's a lot easier to keep an eye on them while you're doing something else.
 
Got a tip, trick, or observation of your own? Tell us in the comments!