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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
What's it about?
MATCHINGTON MANSION is a match-3 puzzle game where, guided by their designer friend Tiffany, players renovate a manor that they've inherited. To advance, players need to win matching games and earn stars, which can be used to purchase furniture or perform tasks like cleaning or getting the front door fixed. Coins that you earn from completing puzzles as well can be used to buy extra lives, furniture, and other items to help them solve puzzles. Players will unlock new rooms as they progress, and matching games get increasingly harder -- but they get hints when they play to help them finish.
Is it any good?
While players use match-3 puzzles to slowly redesign a home, but the feeling that you don't fully have control over the plot elements of the game makes it for puzzle fans only. While the gameplay of Matchington Mansion advances at a steady pace, some elements, like the lengthy explanation before each stage and the visual depiction of fireworks going off as you clearing rows, can slow things down a bit. But at least players get lots of guidance, so it's hard to get stuck or be confused, and there are plenty of activities to keep players busy. The app is also pretty kid-friendly, and there's no inappropriate content. But it can feel like you're watching things unfold more than you're an active participant.
Players can't respond or verbally interact with other characters. As a result, Tiffany, the friend helping you redesign the mansion, does most of the communication and other legwork, which takes some control out of your hands. Gamers can sometimes choose what activity to pursue next, but letting them choose how Tiffany will respond to another character or situation would make the game more engaging. It'd also be nice to see how far you've progressed and have a mix of challenges. The matching games increase in complexity as you continue, but they appear to essentially all involve the same format, which can get boring over time. While the twist of working on a house is clever, Matchington Mansion really only appeals to fans of the puzzle formula.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about positive life skills like perseverance and not giving up when things take longer than you think. How can you motivate yourself to stay on task?
Why do you think match-3 puzzle games are so engaging or addictive? Is it the ease of play, or is it because they frequently give a decent challenge for gamers?