Match Land

App review by
Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media
Match Land App Poster Image
Matching game is engaging but can sometimes move too fast.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn about matching, will be able to practice memory skills. They'll use counting, simple addition, subtraction to figure out how many tokens, coins, other items they have or need in order to advance. Having to click on something to open a store can also reinforce responsibility; stores, after all, can't make money if they're closed. Matching portion's quick pace can also help kids work on their time management abilities. Not educationally focused, but players will tangentially get a little more out of it than some games offer.

Ease of Play

A fairy character walks users throughout the game; simple controls, easy to learn.

Violence

Although there isn't a ton of blood or gore, kids will see blobs suddenly slayed and replaced with a tombstone.

Sex
Language
Consumerism

Users can make in-app gem purchases; costs range from $1.99 for 160 to $99.99 for 14,000 gems.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know Match Land is a matching-meets-commerce game. It features mild violence -- blobs are killed and made into soup that's later sold to hungry diners -- but the deaths often happen without weaponry and aren't bloody. Kids will see a grave marker where the blob once was, though, which might by a little scary for very young users. Playing the game is an isolated experience, so parents don't have to worry about kids meeting strangers through it. You can buy additional items in-game (ranging from $1.99 up to $99) to help you progress faster, but this isn't a requirement to proceed.

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What's it about?

In MATCH LAND, players move forward by pairing up rows of symbols; enough successful pairings will kill nearby blobs that are then used in soup sold at your fantasy medieval market store. Heroes sometimes also jump in to slay blobs and can gain more power by being leveled up using gold, which is earned when your shop is open. You receive various items, including gems -- which can be used to buy gold -- by advancing levels. Users can also purchase gems with real-world cash.

Is it any good?

This fast-paced matching game will keep you on your toes while also testing your business skills, but its speed can take away from the fun. The app involves a number of elements -- dragon eggs you work toward, recovery and health points you need to accrue, team attack bonuses, and more. Gamers will also receive additional challenges to return to previously completed stages, along with tasks to boost their characters and store inventory. Furthermore, they'll also need to check in frequently with their store to collect profits; it can take just a minute for the next batch to accumulate. But players have to be ready to click through this game quickly; while making correct combinations will earn you more time, it doesn't garner much, because the timer in the matching portion of the game runs out unbelievably fast. Sometimes you can only make one match before having to pause to wait for effects like blobs spitting or exploding into coins to wrap up before the board becomes active again. Oddly, despite the pressure to beat the clock, there's a strange push and pull here that can actually make the experience feel kind of slow. You sometimes get a bit of extra time to plot your next move, but when you're in a groove, hoping to quickly knock out some more pairings, it can feel like someone hit pause on your gameplay.

Including aspects like the store component and the ability to unlock and upgrade characters was an admirable move to make the app more than just a simple matching game. But keeping track of everything can start to feel a bit overwhelming. Even just initially figuring out what you're collecting and why, what upgrades you can or should purchase, where you're able to go, and other basic details can be a little confusing. The narrator who pops up to explain things helps; she walks users through some of the steps that are necessary to advance to further levels -- but she periodically throws a fair amount of information out, and there's no written overview on how the game is played to refer to later if kids miss or forget something. It'd be nice if the app provided some content describing what the overall experience entails so that kids know what to expect when they start playing and have something to go back to if they have questions. Without that type of resource, if they get stuck, kids' only hope is to wait for the fairy guide/narrator to appear with an explanation -- which may or may not happen anytime soon.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about strategies to use when problem-solving. How can you plan ahead for your next set of matches?

  • The app's eatery/store can be a way to talk about running a business. What are some of the things involved in operating your own company?

App details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love puzzles

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