Hustle Castle – A Portal’s Tale

On Spending Money

A good name is more desirable than great riches;
    to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.
– Proverbs 22:1

In-Game Purchases

Everyone knows that in order to make rapid progress in Hustle Castle, you must spend money. The game is designed to slow to a virtual standstill as you get further into it. In other words, it’s designed to entice you to pay the developers!

Now let me be clear. I have no problem with spending money on games, nor with paying someone for a service rendered. I am a gamer at heart, and I like to consider myself a generous person. In the case of in-game payments, these two qualities often complement each other.

I have made several Hustle Castle purchases. My recent success in the Portal is a direct result of a very large purchase, along with a bit of ingenuity.

My Hustle Castle Purchase History

I’m going to open up my Google Play account history to you. Here it is:

Google Play Expenses Page 1
Google Play Expenses Page 2

I want to point out 2 things of note about my Hustle Castle purchases in this account:

  1. They are atypical. While I do occasionally spend money on Android games, I don’t tend to spend such large amounts, or make so many purchases.
  2. They are escalating. I started out with small, occasional purchases. Recently, they have been larger and more frequent.

My Hustle Castle Purchase Rationale

Here is how I rationalized this recent $50 purchase:

  1. I buy entertainment all the time. I think nothing of dropping more than $50 on a board game or console game. I spend much more than $50 on dinner with the family. I spend more than $50 taking the kids to see a movie. In relation to other entertainment purchases, it’s not unreasonable.
  2. That amount of money certainly won’t break the bank. Maybe not exactly a wise purchase (more on this later) but it’s not going to endanger my family’s financial well-being.
  3. I’m getting to the point in the game where good equipment will have a significant effect on my progress. The equipment that I got here was in the 75-78 level range. I will soon have fighters at level 85, and the purple shards that I got can be used to craft level 85 equipment.
  4. My clan needs me! We’ve been having some difficulty in wars recently, and I feel motivated to up my game to help out. I really enjoy playing with my clan, and I like winning!
  5. Legendary rings! I’ve been waiting for a portal with legendary rings for a long time. It’s been several weeks since legendary rings were on offer. My rings were the weakest part of the squad, and I also consider rings to be the safest portal purchase, after shards.

My Hustle Castle Purchase Folly

Despite all of these excuses, I actually felt that spending that money was not a good idea. I was able to convince myself that it was “okay” but I didn’t feel right about it. I should have listened to my conscience.

Here is what I have learned, in hindsight, about the ramifications of my decision:

  1. It has sown suspicion on my character. As the Proverb above states, a good reputation is always preferable to wealth. As a result of spending an amount of money that is disproportionate to that of my clanmates, I have put my reputation at risk, and  all in the pursuit of in-game “wealth”.
  2. It has sown discontent among my friends. In my quest to improve my own squad, I didn’t take into account how my clanmates would feel about it.
  3. I have perhaps set a bad example. Romans 14:15 tells us that we should be careful of the precedents that we set for our brothers and sisters in Christ. I was not considerate in this regard, and I could possibly cause someone to make an unwise decision to imitate my own.

A Formal Apology

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.
– James 5:16

I apologize to all my clanmates, and my brothers and sisters. I should have listened to the Spirit’s leading when He told me not to do this. As a result, I have caused discord in the clan. Please forgive me.

The Mathematics Behind My Portal Run

Now that I’ve gone through that, I would like to explain the past couple days, in an effort to regain lost trust and friendship. I will start with the math of how this all came about. I guarantee you that it all works out because I did it.

Initial Conditions

  • My food storage was full (490k food) as was my food court (105k food)
  • I had approximately 1.3k diamonds saved up. I don’t remember the exact number.
  • I had approximately 30 red-and-gold friend gift chests saved up. Each held 37k food. This is about 1.1M food. NOTE: I think I said on chat that it was about 40. This number was wrong. It was closer to 30.
  • I had approximately 40 blue portal chests saved up from previous portal runs.  They each had a varying amount of food in them, from 4k in some to over 50k in others. I don’t know exactly how much food total was in these. I’m going to estimate that these 40ish chests had a total of around 800k food in them.
  • All 6 of my fighters were at level 70
  • My Training room was upgrading, and had about 1.5 days left before it was done.
  • I had 3 lvl 75-78 legendary suits of armor, and 1 lvl 75 legendary sword saved up.
  • I had purchased 13k diamonds from the market.


Before starting the portal, I used the majority of my diamonds to finish upgrading my training room and level up my fighters to the point where they could use the new equipment. Finishing the training room cost 1.2k diamonds. Leveling up the fighters cost between 120 – 250 diamonds per level. These tasks cost a total of (I think) about 8k diamonds. I don’t know the exact amount because I figuratively stuck my fingers in my ears and sang “la-la-la” to myself to ignore the incredible waste of resources. I considered it a “necessary expense” in order to prepare for what I wanted to accomplish.

I also spent about 1.4k diamonds on a soul tripler. I don’t remember the exact cost of that item either, and my store doesn’t currently show the price because I have already purchased it.

Food Calculations

I had about 6k diamonds. At my current level, I can fill my food stores for 200 diamonds, which gives me 490k food each time. The numbers aren’t exact because I never had exactly zero food in my food stores at the time that I bought more. Even so, with 6k diamonds, I can purchase around (6000 / 200) * 490000 = 14.7 M food.

My food court can produce over 54k food per hour, plus I get a 20% bonus with Premium. I didn’t lose much (if any) of this production potential during the entire 31 hours of my run. This yields approximately 31 * 54000 * 1.2 = 2M food.

I requested food twice from the clan. The clan was very generous, and gave me 120k food.

I got the daily chest twice, which gave me 50k food each time, for 100k food.

Gifts from friends gave me (I think) about 100k food. I don’t know for sure because I’ve never paid all that much attention to exactly how much food I get from gifts from friends. It’s small enough to be relatively inconsequential. Please don’t take this to mean that I don’t appreciate it!

Add all this to the 595k food I started out with, and you get a total of around 17M food across the 31 hours that I participated in the portal.

Dark Soul Calculations

The previous section had some hand-waving involved. This section will, similarly, involve a little bit of vaguary, for two reasons:

  1. I couldn’t do the same portal level every single time. I had to work my way up from level 1, same as everyone else.
  2. At the beginning, I was trying to farm level 59 of the portal. I did this at least a couple dozen times. However, I eventually abandoned it because it was too difficult. I had to occasionally spend a resurrection to prevent defeat, and I knew that I wouldn’t be sustainable.

I eventually ended up farming level 57 over and over. I don’t know exactly how many times I fought level 57. I can only guess based on the numbers. It was a lot.

Level 57 costs 34200 food each time, and yields 208 dark souls (before triple). Ignoring the two details listed above, if I simply used all of my food for level 57, then I could play it 17000000 / 32400 = 497 times. This would give me a total of 497 * 208 = 103367 dark souls, before applying the tripler.

As of the time of this writing, the number of dark souls that I acquired is public record. I am currently ranked 81st on the portal ranking, with 103079 dark souls. This is suspiciously close to the calculation that I just detailed.

After applying tripling, you get 103079 * 3 = 309237. I actually got 42 less than this because I (for my own reasons) didn’t buy the tripler until I had already beat the first two levels. So I actually accumulated 309195 dark souls.

Prize Calculations

I bought myself 5 legendary rings, costing 28109 each, for a total of 140545 dark souls. I also bought 40 purple shards at 4216 each, for a total of 168640 dark souls.

In theory, that would mean that I should have 10 dark souls left. I actually have 4 left in the store right now. That means my calculations are somehow off by 6. I can’t account for it. Sorry. I’m not perfect!

Time Calculations

In Hustle Castle, time is as precious a resource as diamonds and food. I am often more limited by time than I am by other resources.

Level 57 always starts with 5 minutes on the timer. The length of the run varies from one to the next, but I typically have 3:15ish left on the timer at the end. This means that a typical run takes about 105 seconds. Since I double the speed with Premium, it’s actually around 65 seconds. Now you need to add to this time for loading screens. So let’s say it takes right around 2 minutes per run.

I previously calculated that I must have done around 497 runs. Multiply this out, and you get 497 * 2 = 994 minutes / 60 = 16.5 hours. Obviously, in a 31 hour period I would have enough time to do the required number of runs. In fact I did them all and I got about 5 hours of sleep, and I drove children to school, and went to work, and went out to dinner with my family, and bathed my children, and brushed their teeth, and tucked them into bed, and spent time with my wife, and had a couple of friends over for a visit, and… and…

It was a pretty good couple of days, and while I know my family was aware that I was playing a bit more than normal, I don’t think that it encroached too much on my life. How did I do this? Yes, I admit, I did something akin to what is frequently called “botting”.

The Dreaded Bot

Botting, or the act of scripting a game, is sometimes frowned on in the community. I’m not sure why. I’m honestly not even sure if what I did counts strictly as “botting”.

I have a tool that I used for the first time in this portal run that allows me to record my actions in the game. It’s pretty limited. There is no logic. It simply records my screen presses and allows me to play them back again. I was able to use it to record the actions required to select portal level 57, start the battle, increase the speed, and exit the level on success.

I was then able to tell the recording to execute a specific number of times. To figure this out, I would look at how much food I had and divide by 34200.  So if I had a full food court, then I could execute the recording 490000 / 34200 = 14 times. I did this while at work, while getting ready for the morning, while hanging out with my family, etc. I just had to occasionally (every 30 minutes or so) take a few seconds to purchase more food and restart execution.

I don’t personally consider this to be cheating. It doesn’t modify the game in any way. It doesn’t have any logic. If anything unexpected occurred (which sometimes did) it couldn’t handle it. It was simply a way of repeating my own actions over and over again.

I intend to make a YouTube video showing how to do this, and sharing it with the whole clan in the near future. It’s surprisingly easy to accomplish, and if motivated, I think anyone with some very basic computer skills could handle it.


Thus ends my tale. Judge me if you will. I find myself guilty of unwise, sinful behavior in some aspects, and for this I do apologize. I hope that this can help to heal the rift that I have caused. Let’s enjoy gaming together!

8 thoughts on “Hustle Castle – A Portal’s Tale”

  1. Yup, botting. My husband and I play the portal on weekends and take turns with the kid and the chores. We only end up with 2 legendaries but it’s fine.

    I mean, you have the rest of the week to craft stuff anyway.

  2. Now The mist is gone and i can see how the big point farm portal clearly… how about the arena? are the top one doing botting as well?

  3. What is your Youtube page called, and did you ever create that video?
    Also, i think you are too harsh on yourself about purchasing something in game, i haven’t spent that much on the game yet but i definitely believe in supporting the developers if you can, they provide a free game and its you & me that keeps it free for the college kids who can’t drop $50 on the portal haha

  4. I have no issue with spending money on the game. The bot however is a form of cheating. I farm the game on the weekends without using a bot. I usually get 2 legendaries and I manage this while taking care of 6 boys cooking cleaning house and taking them to their activities. I manage a busy life and fair game play.

  5. Us Playing and Paying is why the developer are doing what they do…. so … you are good and keep it up. Along with many I also wish the devs allowed auto farming portal and or the ability to start portal at a higher level if you wanted to. Takes to much time to go from level 1 to 60’s. Your right that time is the biggest resource most of us put in the game.

  6. Dude, you absolutely rock!!

    First of all I want to thank you for your great inspiring around the game, your “tips&tricks” and info (I already sent you a reply before on another piece you wrote).

    You are a pure, honest and superb gamer, without bad intentions to screw others ingame. Please don’t think or feel bad because others “wank” about your “so-called-non-real” botting. (If I were you) I would prefer thinking of their replies that they must be really jealous of the fact THAT THEY CANT STAND it that they can’t use it (let me be clear, I can’t do this kind of “tricks” myself either, but well everyone has their own talents – LOL (still figuring out mine).

    Botting or not-to-bot, I think it is smart-play. And people who say you are a “botter”.. well, ok I get them too (for a little bit) – the people who can’t (again, like me) and are struggling with the portal-rewards/points – since there is a limit of portal-points… But I know everyone who play’s this (or other games) and could do/create the same – would do/use it.

    Still it is a good question, maybe ask the creators – and see what they think :-).

    Really love the way you tell everything as open as it is, your honesty and how you write things exactly how they went – you describe things the way – that I notice myself thinking and calculating at the same time as you wrote them…. I am “ROFL-ing” at the same time I am reading your words….. and then people say men can’t do 2 things at the same time…. guess again.

    Thanks for all laughs & info but most on your honesty.
    “thy shall be forgiven”.

    Hope to read more – cheers and have a nice day.

  7. I just want to add to all those supporting comments by saying that you should not feel bad about spending money, especially not for the discontent of your clan-mates. In fact, I doubt if those people should be called “friends”.

    You have the absolute freedom to decide where to spend your money and/or when to boost your game power, etc.. A clan is a place of cooperation but definitely not an authority to govern or judge against your freedom of deciding how to play your game.

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