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Wildscapes

App review by
Paul Semel, Common Sense Media
Wildscapes App Poster Image
Basic but still fun puzzle game/zoo building simulator.

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A lot or a little?

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

Ease of Play

Game uses simple touch controls that will be familiar to fans of this genre, as will the rules.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

Players use coins and gems to buy animals, buildings, and other things for their zoo. These coins can be earned by playing, or by purchasing bundles in the game's store. Players can also purchase lives or more turns so they can keep playing.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Wildscapes is a combination of a match-3 puzzle game and zoo construction game for iOS and Android devices. It has no objectionable content, but it does have commercial aspects as you spend much of your time buying trees, buildings, and animals for your zoo. To do this, players have to spend the coins and gems they earn by playing, or that they bought in the game's store. Players can also use this currency to keep playing when they run out of turns or lives. 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 WILDSCAPES, you have to fix up your zoo so more people will come to it. Of course, the goal once the people are there is to have them spend money so you can fix up the zoo even more and repeat. To earn the money needed for these renovations and improvements, you have to solve a series of increasingly tougher match-3 puzzles. In these levels, you have to move three or more of the same kind of piece next to each other, which removes them from the board, and hopefully satisfies the requirements of the puzzle you're trying to complete.

Is it any good?

While it doesn't add anything to either of the genres it covers, this still manages to be fun, especially if you like cute animals. In Wildscapes, you run a new zoo that needs a lot of work. It needs animals, a place people can buy coffee, and lots and lots of trees. To earn the money you need to pay for all of these improvements, you have to solve a series of match-3 puzzles. Like similar games, this presents you with a board full of colored pieces. In this game, the pieces take the form of food. Your job, should you choose to accept it, is to move these pieces one square so they're next to three or more of the same kind, which removes them from the board. Sometimes this is the objective and sometimes you're supposed to clear the board by removing pieces that will take out blocks of wood or flowers. But you always have a limited number of turns in which to achieve this goal.

As match-3 puzzle games go, this one is fairly similar to other ones, and follows all of the genre's established rules. Combining four green pears, for instance, creates a green can of soda that will take out an entire row or column when matched to more green pears. The same also goes for the parts where you're building the zoo, although it's slightly restricted  since you don't get to decide where things like the coffee shop go. But it's nice that your customers offer helpful suggestions, and reward you when you listen to their good ideas. While this otherwise offers nothing new in either genre, it still manages to be fun by mixing things up rather nicely in the puzzle parts. It's also damn cute -- the mascot is a red panda, fer crying out loud -- which might annoy those who are dead inside, but they probably wouldn't want to play a puzzle/planning game that has elephants with really long eyelashes anyway. Which is why Wildscapes may not be the most original game of its kind, but it's still a fun place to spend a couple hours on the weekend.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about money management. In Wildscapes you have to buy things to make your zoo better, but how did you decide what to buy? Did you listen to your customers? How did this make your zoo better?

  • Do you think the animals in your zoo are treated well? Why is it important for zoos to be nice to animals?

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPad, Android
  • Price: free with microtransactions
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Release date: October 7, 2019
  • Category: Strategy Games
  • Size: 186.20 MB
  • Publisher: Playrix
  • Version: 1.3.0
  • Minimum software requirements: Requires iOS 10.0 or later; Android 4.2 and up
  • Last updated: October 14, 2019

For kids who love puzzles

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