Parents' Guide to

Small Town Murders: Match 3

By Paul Semel, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Murder mystery puzzler does an average job of solving cases.

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While mixing murder mysteries and puzzle mechanics could've been interesting, this game's only just okay at doing either. In Small Town Murders: Match 3, you're a mystery writer who rents a room in a bed & breakfast so you can write...only to get involved in some murders that, for some reason, you solve by playing a lot of match-3 puzzles. And there are a lot of these puzzles. Every time you want to do anything -- be it question a suspect, search a room, or even just ring the doorbell -- you have to clear a board by moving three or more of the same pieces next to each other.

But unlike the TV show Castle, which this is really similar to, this app doesn't do either the puzzle parts or the mystery parts with any great pizzazz. While the puzzles get increasingly more complicated, this never adds anything new. Similarly, the mysteries aren't all that mysterious, especially since the characters are all one-dimensional stereotypes. It also doesn't help that this has some technical issues. Most notably, buttons sometimes stop working after you watch an ad, forcing you to quit and restart if you want to keep playing. Which isn't to say Small Town Murders: Match 3 is dull or annoying, or even unplayable. It's just that there's better match-3 puzzle games around...and better murder mysteries, too.

App Details

  • Devices: iPhone , iPad , Android
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Release date: July 1, 2020
  • Category: Puzzle Games
  • Publisher: Rovio Entertainment
  • Version: 1.0.0
  • Minimum software requirements: Requires iOS 9.0 or later; Android 5.0 and up
  • Last updated: February 22, 2021

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