By Erin Brereton,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Slow progress, directionless play make themselves at home.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Ease of Play
No specific tutorial. New elements are explained as they're introduced, although some can still be a bit confusing.
Products & Purchases
Players can speed up the waiting time involved in the game portion with various types of in-app currency, which can be earned by playing or can be purchased with real-world money.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Merge Mansion is a puzzle game for iOS and Android devices. To help players get the necessary garden tools and other items they need to complete the app's home renovation-based tasks, they need to match, or rather merge, identical items on a game board, which converts them into other items. Clicking on each item image will show the progression that each object can go through. The game portion involves some timed elements, which may require a wait, not having any things available to be matched until a timer ends and the tool barrel is able to provide additional items. They can spend coins in some instances to speed up the time, buy additional items that match ones on the board, and spend real-world money on in-app currency packages that will help facilitate gameplay. You can use some coins and diamonds earned by playing, so you don't technically have to spend any cash, but in-app currency items are listed alongside things that cost actual money -- which could potentially be a little confusing. Confusion can also occur about other game aspects, such as how selling items from the game board works. The app has a FAQ, but it doesn't cover many topics.
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Videos and Photos
Based on 7 parent reviews
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Fun for adults and kids
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What’s It About?
In MERGE MANSION, Maddie tries to renovate her family home while uncovering secrets her grandmother has hinted about. To obtain objects needed to complete home repair tasks on a checklist, such as raking leaves, you must match tools and other items on a board. The items are upgraded as you merge them with like items. Pulling an image of seeds onto a square that contains another seed image, for instance, will transform them into a seedling. Players may need to wait for the chests and other elements on the board to generate new items they can match.
Is It Any Good?
A lack of instructions, confusing gameplay features, and imprecise controls condemns the hard work you'll put in at this mansion. In Merge Mansion, players move between character conversations that reveal a plot involving family secrets to combining similar items on a game board to convert them into things necessary to perform home renovation work. Merging two garden knives, for instance, creates a garden fork -- which, when paired with another garden fork, will create shears that can be doubled up with another pair of shears to eventually make an ax.
In some instances, the developers' efforts to explain things clearly pay off. For example, you can click on an item on the game board and see the merge-related evolution it needs to go through to reach its final stage. The XP/leveling-up process and some other game aspects, though, are less clear. The replenishment of certain items involves a time countdown, such as eight minutes, while the wait for others isn't as specific. In some instances, timers seem to hover at the end mark indefinitely. Players will also periodically be asked if they want to sell something, and then see a message that says one item was valuable and be asked if they'd like to cancel the sale, but they aren't told which item they might reconsider selling, or how that process works. Gameplay can feel wonky at times. Sometimes, when you're trying to merge an item with something else, the object will just move past what you're trying to connect it with to another square on the board. The app also just contains a hefty number of components. The amount of matchable items, upgrade capabilities, and other elements that are involved may overwhelm young kids -- and the gameplay can start to feel a little tedious after a while. While new items are introduced periodically to match, you're primarily just switching between trying to create the items you need for tasks and watching the work quickly be performed -- and visitors may not want to linger long in Merge Mansion as a result.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about strategies to use in Merge Mansion. How can you create a plan to check items off your task list? Can you use this strategy in real life? What similar type of goals could you set and work toward at home?
Do you feel like it's necessary to spend money when using the app? How can you tell if purchasing something within an app to facilitate gameplay is worth it, or if it would be better to wait for items to replenish or try to earn more currency through playing?
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Mac, Android
- Pricing structure: Free
- Release date: June 18, 2021
- Category: Puzzle Games
- Publisher: Metacore Games Oy
- Version: 1.6.3
- Minimum software requirements: Requires iOS 11.0 or later, macOS 11.0 or later and a Mac with an Apple M1 chip, or Android 6.0 and up.
- Last updated: June 29, 2021
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