I tried and quit multiple design-based puzzle games before I stumbled onto Matching Mansion by Firecraft Studios. From June 2018 until March 2019, I played daily without spending a single dime of real money. Currently, at puzzle #1,916, I’m stuck and have decided it may be time to end my run.
Jane Houston, a best-selling author and family friend, recently passed away. She left her mansion to you – but why? As you clean through the old boxes and restore the mansion to its former glory, you’ll uncover truths about Jane no one knew.
You’ll meet a colorful cast of characters – Tiffany, your best friend and interior designer, Jack, the pun-tastic handyman, and the eccentric artist, Glow. There is a cast of nearly 30 characters that help you restore the mansion, each with their own personalities and roles.
Match three cushions to clear them. With a limited number of moves, complete the designated objective. Early objectives include matching cushions near books to clear the stack, matching on top of letters to collect them, and matching next to boxes to open them and collect stuffed bears.
You start with five health, and every time an objective isn’t completed in the allowed number of moves, one goes away.
As you complete puzzles, you earn stars. Stars are used to complete quests in your log. These quests progress the story, add decorations to the room, or cleans up messes.
From this menu, you can see a “Watch Video” button. Use it twice a day to watch an add, earning 30 coins per watch.
As you clear puzzles, you will be rewarded for the number of moves you have left, plus any matches made automatically on the board. Collect these coins to redeem for power up later, or, better yet – An additional move.
The number of times I’ve been 1-move away from completing a puzzle is frustrating. Keep those coins close for those “almost” moments. You’ll get plenty of power-ups from daily rewards or event prizes.
Coins can also be used to redesign your rooms at a later date.
Like most of the main-stream puzzle games, power-ups can help you complete levels. Collecting cushions in specific patterns can reward power-ups mid-game.
Four in a row nets straight fireworks, which clear a single line, depending on the direction it spawns.
A plus sign or cross spawns a fireworks cluster. Explode it to clear a 2-square diameter circle around it.
Match five in a straight line and get a yarn ball. Yarn balls must be triggered with a cushion or firework. Drag it into a cushion to clear all cushions of that color. Drag it into a firework to spawn multiples of that type of firework across the field. Multiple Firework Clusters spawned by the Yarn Ball only explode in a 1-square diameter.
The spoon knocks out an entire square. Use it to collect an item or clear a spot when you need one last piece and only have one move left.
Every few days, a new event pops up with a chance to win power-ups and infinite life timers.
Bakesale: collect cookies in the puzzles to unlock treats. Combinations of treats earn prizes.
Miss Terri’s Cart: A streak of wins nets you with more and more fireworks at the start of your puzzles.
Race Track: Pick a car and collect as many cushions of that color as you can to win the race.
Hot Air Balloon: Make and use fireworks within the puzzles to collect them.
There are many more and additional ones are added every so often.
I normally scoff at puzzle games that require objectives met within a certain move set. Puzzles, to me, should be relaxing and played at your own pace. I don’t know what drew me into this one. The art style? The existence of a plot? The mystery behind who this Jane lady is and what she’s hiding? All of it, probably.
Lots of puzzles can be completed on the first try, while others took me days of refreshing energy to finally solve. Often, the harder puzzles have multiple easier ones between them, so you feel like you’re accomplishing something.
One major gripe stems from the infinite life reward. When you win one, it starts automatically at that second. If you log in on your lunch break and successfully clear a level five minutes before you have to go back to work, and it triggers that reward, you’ve lost it. I wish these could be saved and activated later when I have the time to devote to it.
But that’s one small complaint in a game that’s kept me hooked for ten months. If you’re looking for a match-three puzzle and interior design game, I highly recommend this one.
If you want to see what my mansion looks like, head on over to my Mansion Tour.