Vineyard Valley: Design Game

App review by
Paul Semel, Common Sense Media
Vineyard Valley: Design Game App Poster Image
Clever mash-up of puzzle mechanics and interior decorating.

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

Ease of Play

Game uses simple touch controls and, like similar puzzle games, gets progressively more challenging.


Players earn coins by playing, or can buy them in the store. These coins are then used to buy new items for the vineyard or to keep playing when you run out of turns or lives.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The game is set in a vineyard, and there are bottles of wine everywhere, but no one's shown drinking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Vineyard Valley: Design Game is a puzzle game for iOS and Android devices. Players have to fix up a run-down vineyard, which they pay for by tapping on puzzle tiles that are next to tiles of the same color. While the game's about a vineyard, and has a lot of wine bottles in it, no one's shown drinking, and it's otherwise lacking any problematic content. But you do spend the entire game earning and spending in-game currency, which you use to purchase new items as well as to keep playing when you run out of turns or lives. These can also be purchased in the in-game store with real money. 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?

In VINEYARD VALLEY: DESIGN GAME, you have to help your Aunt Margaret restore the Tangled Vines vineyard. To do this, you'll not only need a good sense of design, but also a good eye, as you earn the money needed to buy new furniture, make renovations, and handle other necessary decisions by playing a connect colors puzzle game. Like other Match-3 games, players will try to combine blocks to eliminate bubbles, boxes, flowers, and other objects from a screen in a limited number of turns. Depending on the number of blocks that are matched, you can acquire power ups to help you complete the hundreds of puzzles you'll face in the game.

Is it any good?

Though the game mechanics found in this Match-3 title are fairly typical for this kind of puzzle game and home improvement game, the combination works rather well. In Vineyard Valley: Design Game, you have to help your Aunt Margaret restore the Tangled Vines vineyard. But since new wine racks aren't cheap, you have to earn money, and a lot of it, by solving a series of connect color puzzles. Specifically, you have to tap on tiles that are next to two or more of the same color. As always with these kinds of puzzle games, you have a limited number of taps per puzzle. Tapping a tile that's next to more than three of the same color gives you special tiles that, for instance, will take out an entire row or every tile in a two tile radius.

Now, as these things go, this doesn't add much to the puzzle genre. That isn't to say it's not fun; it just doesn't break any new ground in the Match-3 formula. The same can be said for the restoration/home design segments of the game. Using in-game money you earn by solving puzzles, you get to buy new kitchen counters and other items, with some being free, others being expensive, and none having any real impact on the game or how much fun you'll have with it. Well, unless you want your Aunt to work in an ugly vineyard with mismatched furniture. And yet, this combination works as well as other puzzle game mash-ups we've played. Which is why Vineyard Valley: Design Game is a fun opportunity to test our skills as both observers and interior designers. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about helping other people. In Vineyard Valley, you help your Aunt with her run-down property, but why is it good to help other people? When did you last help someone? And how did it make you feel?

  • In Vineyard Valley, you earn coins so you can buy things for your Aunt's vineyard, but why is it important to not just spend money freely, but to think about how you're spending it?

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPad, Android
  • Price: free with microtransactions
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Release date: August 16, 2019
  • Category: Puzzle Games
  • Size: 302.30 MB
  • Publisher: Jam City
  • Version: 1.8.18
  • Minimum software requirements: Requires iOS 9.0 or later; Android 4.1 and up
  • Last updated: May 29, 2020

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