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The parents' guide to what's in this app.
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What's it about?
In HOMESCAPES, when a butler named Austin goes back to his childhood home, he finds that it's not as delightful as he remembers it, so he decides to fix it up. Which he does, oddly, by matching three or more of the same colored and shaped icons on a board to earn stars for new carpets and other home furnishings, as well as to do such tasks as cleaning your room.
Is it any good?
While adding a home decorating component doesn't really make this more fun, this match-3 puzzle game does have some new mechanics that make it stand out a little. In Homescapes, you have to match three or more of the same kind and color items so you can clear the board and earn stars. You then use these stars to buy new furnishings for your childhood home, or to perform such tasks as sweeping the floor. But while the interior decorating parts of this are limited, and really only motivate you to keep going, the puzzle parts add some fun new mechanics to this familiar puzzle type. For starters, you don't need to match special icons to activate them -- you can tap them twice instead. There are also times when a level will have multiple parts, and you have to complete one to move onto the next, and only by solving all will you get your precious stars. The biggest downside is this one new aspect that's rather annoying: When you finish a puzzle, your on-screen companion will clap his hands at you even if you don't move on to the next part. That part doesn't really make a lot of sense, and it's really odd because this can be pretty noisy. Which is why Homescapes may be the next match-3 puzzle game to eat up your time, but you'll want to play it with the sound off.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about helping your parents. In this game, you're fixing up your parents' home. What can you do to help your parents? Maybe take out the trash without being asked? Or clean your room ... without being asked?
Talk about pattern recognition. This game is all about matching three or more of the same item. How can you apply this skill to your life?
Discuss money management. While you can spend money on this game to keep playing or buy boosts, you can also just wait, so does it make sense to spend a lot of money on a game like this?