Solitaire has been a staple of digital gaming since the early 90s attracting players of all ages from all over the globe. The game is still going strong and continues to maintain a pretty solid fan base, especially with all the remakes available to play these days.
Case in point, Canadian mobile game developer Uken Games has recently joined the hype and overhauled the classic gaming concept. The result is called Ava’s Manor – a mobile game that blends restoration elements with a tri-peaks solitaire-type gameplay.
Actually, Ava’s Manor is built pretty much like a classic match-3 game (think Gardenscapes), but it replaces typical match-3 puzzles with solitaire challenges. Other than that, the structure remains virtually unchanged, as the title revolves around a gripping narrative like most offerings in the category. This time around the story ark focuses on Ava and her adorable pet dog Marlowe.
Ava is struggling to find inspiration to write the follow-up of her debut novel “Murder by Moonlight”, and she’s not having the best time all cooped up in her tiny apartment. When she receives a mysterious letter telling her that she has inherited her uncle’s manor, she flies out to Europe, thrilled by the prospect of a new adventure. Unfortunately, she finds the estate in derelict condition and she soon learns she only has 30 days to save it from being demolished by the city council.
Ava reluctantly takes on the challenge and teams up with Olive, the butler and Cooper, the landscaper to start renovations on the estate. Players are tasked to help Ava and her friends complete Quests that will kick start restorations around the old property. This can be done by playing solitaire matches and winning stars at the end of each level. These stars can then be spent to perform new renovations and unlock new areas around the manor.
The initial layout includes a series of cards dealt face-down and a handful of open cards on the tableau. Below, players will notice a stock pile with the first card from that pile turned face up. The goal is to start getting rid of the cards on the board by matching them with the cards from the pile. The general rule that needs to be applied is this: match cards that are +/- 1 than the open card from the draw pile.
So for example, if the card in your stock pile is 3, you’ll need either a 2 or a 4 card to be able to match and make the 3 disappear from the board. If there are no cards to match on the tableau, players will need to draw another card from the pile. The game ends once you’ve cleared all the cards from the tableau or you don’t have any more cards left in your pile. When that happens you can either tap the “End Game” button to restart, but you’ll end up losing a life. Or you can continue playing the game by opting to use Boosters.
It’s pretty easy to learn the basic rules of Ava’s Manor, but you should know that the game can get quite difficult. For clarity, really hard stages are actually marked out, so that you’ll know what you’re heading into.
Nevertheless, considering everything, Ava’s Manor is pretty easy to pick up and play for players across all age categories. If you’ve just started playing the game yourself and you’re looking for practical advice on how to approach a challenge, continue reading as our Ava’s Manor beginner’s guide contains a bunch of tips, tricks and strategies that will allow you to complete levels fast so that you can find out what happens to Ava after she moves into her uncle’s manor.
1. Survey The Tableau Attentively
The key to becoming a solitaire master in Ava’s Manor is not to rush things. Examine the board very carefully before you decide it’s time to draw another card from the pile.
While you might be tempted to shuffle through the cards from the pile quickly, as the rules are very simple and there’s no way you could do get anything wrong, right? – you should resist the urge. Sometimes you might overlook perfectly good matches, just because you rushed things and didn’t take a proper look at the tableau. It’s true, you can undo a move, but that usually costs gold coins, and you’ll want to conserve those as much as possible (more regarding coins in Section 5).
Meticulously pondering your next move is also important if you are faced with multiple choices when it comes to matching a card. When that happens, you’ll need to figure out which of the matches available lead to other matches or unlock more cards. Depending on the situation, you’ll have to make the choice only after you consider all the possible scenarios involved in your mind.
To recap, it’s crucial that you slow down your pace when playing a challenge. It’s true that a lot of players, fueled by curiosity, will want to fast forward to find out what happens to the main character – does Ava finally manages to finish her novel and where does she finds the inspiration for it? But our recommendation is not to let curiosity get the best of you. Since there are no time constraints on any of the levels, you don’t have to hurry at all. Instead take your time surveying the board and deciding which move will suit your goals better.
2. Replay, Replay, Replay
Luck plays a major part in winning in Ava’s Manor. Despite players making use of clever tactics, sometimes things will simply not turn out in their favor. For example, a common occurrence is starting a level with a card that can’t be matched with anything on the tableau. A lot of times, you might end up failing such a level, but it’s not a general rule, so you should still try your best.
Other times, you’ll just draw the same cards over and over again or useless cards, so you’ll have no choice but to skip over them. As frustrating as that sounds, it does get better – if you re-play enough times. Just try to see levels through until the end, because if you decide to exit one mid-game or even abort from the beginning, you’ll end up losing a life.
The strategy we favor instead is trying your best to solve a level multiple times. Don’t just give up from the first few tries. Sometimes you’ll have to devote a lot of lives if you want to complete a challenge with no extra help involved, but it can be done! You’ll simply need to commit yourself to do the work. But keep in mind – to apply this tactic you’ll need to have additional lives flowing in. How can you make sure that happens? Continue reading below.
3. Join A Club As Soon As the Option Becomes Available
It might seem like an obvious thing to do, but the sooner you do it, the better. To be able to crack a hard level, you’ll require an abundant life supply, so that you can re-play a level as many times as you need to without worrying. Joining a club gives you the opportunity to request additional lives from your team mates.
You’ll find the Clubs tab in the lower left part of the display. Browse through the available options and select a club which has a larger number of members. Chances are that larger clubs have more active members who are logging in the game constantly and so they will be there when you need help.
Additionally, club members are automatically enrolled in various events and competitions. If victorious, players will be able to redeem various prizes including gold coins and Boosters. Speaking of the latter, the next section is dedicated to them.
4. Conserve Your Boosters For Really Hard Challenges
In Ava’s Manor users can take advantage of various Boosters to help them solve levels. There are several types of helpers and below we shall discuss them in detail.
The first one is pre-level Boosters. These are Boosters which players have to activate before starting a level. So if you see you’ve tried your best but found yourself unable to beat a level, the next obvious move would be to use one (or more) pre-level Boosters and see if that solves your problem. There are 3 of them to choose from:
• The Broom – unlocks at level 11. When activated it swipes away a row of cards from the tableau;
• The Bomb – unlocks at level 19. When activated it explodes and removes a bunch of cards from the board. It will randomly be placed on the board;
• Wild Cards – unlocks at level 26. Wild cards are the equivalent of Jokers in Ava’s Manor, as they can be matched with any card on the tableau.
In addition, there’s a set of tools that players can take advantage of during a challenge. There are four of them to choose from and you can find them in the lower right part of the display (except the last).
• Wild Cards – Yes, you can throw in a Wild card during the game as well. It works exactly as its pre-level counterpart;
• Scissors – will cut and therefore erase a card from the board;
• Torch – will hit and light up on fire multiple cards on the board, thus clearing them away;
• Undo – will retrieve a previous card you’ve decided to pass over. Costs gold coins starting from 50.
Obviously Boosters are super useful, but don’t rush to activate one every time a level seems a bit more complicated. Instead, don’t forget what we told you above – try and try again to solve the challenge on your own. Eventually, if you don’t succeed, you can consider bringing in extra help. But your motto should be moderation, nevertheless.
Lastly, there’s one end-level Booster which shows up only if you’ve failed to complete a level. It allows players to draw 5 more cards in exchange for a fee. You should take advantage of this one only if you’re absolutely sure you can finish the level with 5 cards, meaning you’ll need to have a minimum amount of cards left on the board.
Once you run out of Boosters, it will cost you a pretty penny to get them back. Sure, the game rewards your progress by unlocking gifts that might contain power-ups at various intervals. Yet, you’ll hit these thresholds pretty infrequently so you shouldn’t rely completely on getting your Boosters from here.
Of course, players have the alternative of purchasing Boosters using the gold they’ve accumulated, but it won’t be cheap:
• 3x Brooms = 1,800
• 3x Bombs = 2,400
• 3x Pre-level Wild Cards = 3,600
• In-level Wild Card = 600
• Scissor = 1,200
• Torch = 2,400
• +5 Cards = 500
The more coins you are able to collect, the more you’ll have to spend on Boosters which in turn will help you with completing the hard challenges. But how can you get your hands on these precious coins?
5. How To Get Even More Coins
You’ll need all the coins you can get in Ava’s Manor, especially during later chapters when challenges can get quite complicated. The main technique to collect coins is by activating the Streak meter, which we will detail in the following section. In addition, there are other ways you could add some additional gold to your pouch.
For starters, make sure that you check the Goals tab. Access it by tapping on the Book tab in the lower left part of the display and tap the third option at the bottom. Here you can redeem coins for doing stuff in the game. For example, in exchange for Beating 3 levels on your first try you can get 35 coins.
From time to time, the game will offer up free gifts which can be unlocked by watching a series of short ads. If you’re not sure you can subject yourself to an ad-watching fest, know they can be pretty significant including 100 coins. Moreover, the more you complete objectives and redeem rewards, the more you’ll progress and have a chance to grab even more goodies. Check the meter above to view your progress.
Speaking of which, the game also rewards your regular in-game progress by offering up gift boxes from time to time.
Lastly, make sure you are active and playing the game while events are going on Ava’s Manor. Most of the times, there will be coins in for you if you do so. For instance, during Buried Treasure, players are supposed to help Marlowe dig up bones by using any Booster during gameplay which in turn will be collected until a prize consisting of 5,000 coins is unlocked.
6. Fill The Streak Meter As Often As Possible
The streak meter is the principal method for producing gold coins. It’s located in the upper right corner during levels and will become active once you start matching cards in a row without drawing a new one.
The number of cards needed for a streak varies depending on the level and achieving one will result in rewards in the form of coins or free Wild cards that go into your drawing pile. You can double the reward if you make a Streak with just one color!
It’s not always easy to fill the streak meter, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. Make sure you never miss a match by surveying the board carefully before you decide that you need to draw another card from the pile.
Also make sure to uncover new cards quickly the board, as we’ll explain in the following section.
7. When Faced With A Choice, Match With The Card Which Hides More Cards Underneath
Sometimes the card from the drawing pile can be matched with two or more cards on the board. When this happens, don’t rush to make your decision. Remember the game isn’t timed so you’re under no pressure to move quickly.
Therefore, when faced with such a decision, our recommendation is to pick the card that has the potential to unlock more cards. Unless, you are missing out on filling the streak meter by doing so, it’s the best way to approach things.
The faster you can turn all cards on the table, the easier it will be for you to solve the level. This is why, for example, if you’ve drawn a 9 card and you have the option to match it either with a 10 or an 8, survey the board and see which match leads to revealing more cards. In our example, as seen in the screenshot above, the optimal course of action would be to choose the 10 and then the J because together these matches unlock more cards.
8. Remove The Special Cards As Quickly As Possible
Ava’s Manor spices up its solitaire challenges with special cards or hazards. You’ll first become acquainted with Thorny Rose cards. These are cards which need to be matched with a card from the draw pile to be unblocked. Players will then need to match a second time in order to remove the card from the board.
The Thorny Rose cards are usually displayed as you start a level, so in order to be able to take advantage of the other cards which are hidden underneath, you’ll need to focus all your efforts on unlocking these special cards and getting them removed from the board quickly.
Another type of special cards are Shifters. These have to ability to change their digits (+ or – 1) every time you make a move (match or draw). The goal is to match these cards in order to make them disappear. Keep an eye on Shifters whenever they pop up and perhaps you could incorporate them into a longer match so that you can light up the streak meter.
The last of the hazards you’ll stumble upon while playing Ava’s Manor is the Lock & Key. These cards will be hidden in random positions throughout the tableau. When playing such a level make sure you try and dig out the lock card as soon as possible. This way you’ll ensure that you whenever you find the key, you’ll be able to quickly get these obstacles out of the way.
With this we wrap up out Ava’s Manor beginner’s guide and we hope it has managed to provide some useful insights on how you can improve your solitaire strategy in the future. If you have knowledge of a trick or strategy we haven’t detailed above, you’re invite it to share it with the community in the comment section below!