The Love Boat: Puzzle Cruise

App review by
Paul Semel, Common Sense Media
The Love Boat: Puzzle Cruise App Poster Image
All ages match-3 puzzle game is best for fans of the show.

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

Ease of Play

The game uses simple touch controls that are explained well.


There's some flirting in the game, but it's all very PG.


The game is about inspired by a TV show and is about buying things to fix up a boat. Players can spend real-world money to get in-game currency, which they then use to keep playing when they run out of turns or lives. They can also watch ads to keep playing. An option to not allow in-game purchases is included.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters toast with champagne. The boat has a bar and a saucy bartender.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Love Boat: Puzzle Cruise is a match-3 game for iOS and Android devices. The game has no objectionable content in terms of nudity or profanity, but it does talk about drinking (the crew is shown toasting with champagne) and has some cheeky flirting. The game is based on a TV show, and has you earning money so you can fix up a boat. To do this quicker, players can purchase in-game currency with real money, get some through playing, or watch ads. This allows them to keep playing when they run out of turns or lives. But there's an option to turn off in-game purchases. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared, and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

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What's it about?

When THE LOVE BOAT: PUZZLE CRUISE begins, it's been years since The Pacific Princess has spread love anywhere. But at the behest of the newly reinstated Captain Stubin, you can put the "love" back in The Love Boat, fixing her up and restoring her to her former glory... and maybe finding some "love" for yourself as well. Well, when Gopher isn't being his usual self, that is. Players interact with the puzzles here like any other traditional match-3 puzzle game to clear items from the game board, and will earn coins to upgrade sections of the ship as well as stars to unlock new areas and story moments.

Is it any good?

Ask any child of the '70s who watched a lot of The Love Boat in the '80s, and it'll be their pleasure to set sail on this clever match-3 puzzle/home improvement game. In The Love Boat: Puzzle Cruise you have to help Captain Stubin fix up The Pacific Princess. To do this, you have to move three or more of the same floaty pool toys on a board so they line up, thus removing them from the board and, hopefully, fulfilling the requirements of that particular puzzle before you run out of turns. Doing so not only opens up the next puzzle, it also gives you a chance to pick out some new drapes, carpets, and other furnishings that will hopefully spruce up this cruise ship.

As match-3 puzzle games with home decorating aspects go, this is solid, if uneventful. While the puzzles do get progressively tougher (as they always do), this isn't as inventive as other ones that've been released. Which is why this is more for fans of the original TV show who enjoy this kind of puzzle game than just people solely into the puzzle game itself. It's just too bad they didn't go full throttle with the nostalgia and get the original actors to voice their characters. But if you can live with Captain Stubbing, Doc, Isaac, Julie, and Representative Gopher being Sims-like computer characters who don't talk, and you enjoy matching three rubber duckies in a row, you should set a course for the adventure that is The Love Boat: Puzzle Cruise.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about advertising. Along with earning gold coins by playing or buying them with real money, you can also get gold coins by watching ads, but why do you think this is so common in games? What do you think the people advertising in this game hope you'll do?

  • The Love Boat: Puzzle Cruise is based on a TV show, so do you think they're trying to get you to watch the show or are just appealing to people who are fans of the show already? Can't it be both?

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPad, Android
  • Price: free with ads and microtransactions
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Release date: December 19, 2019
  • Category: Puzzle Games
  • Size: 123.50 MB
  • Publisher: Gameloft
  • Version: 1.0.3
  • Minimum software requirements: Requires iOS 9.0 or later; Android 4.1 and up
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

Our editors recommend

For kids who love puzzles

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