If you’re a match-3 game enthusiast and you’re currently searching for your next challenge, you might want to take a look at Big Farm: Home & Garden. The title – developed by Hamburg-based Goodgame Studios – is a new entry in the category with a unique gameplay that will surely peek your interest.
The new addition extends Goodgame Studios’ popular “Big Farm” brand, which to date has attracted 92 million players worldwide, according to the company.
Big Farm: Home & Garden is the story of Sarah, a successful professional who just arrived in the country side to oversee a renovation project. She ends up liking the place, and eventually decides to stay. She soon teams up with Benny – a handyman and farmer – and together they set out to help farm mates and families revamp their farm buildings and home areas.
The resources necessary to pay for these furnishing and decorating projects come from solving match-3 puzzles. These are structured a bit differently than what you’d expect from your average match-3 game, so players might not fully grasp how things operate right off the bat, but with enough time and practice, things eventually fall into place.
If you still have questions though, know that we’ve put together a Big Farm: Home & Garden beginner’s guide just for you, so go ahead and consult it below. It contains numerous tips and tricks, as well as explanations regarding certain aspects of the game. So if you just started playing the game, but you feel like you’re not making progress as you should, you’re invited to check out this guide. You’ll most likely find the answer to your woes, so just keep reading.
1. Understand The Basics
If you played match-3 games before, you’ll notice at once that Big Farm: Home & Garden’s puzzles are quite unique. Sure, the main goal is still to complete the level objective by removing a range of special elements from the board. And of course, players will have to put their matching skills to good use in order to achieve that. But Big Farm: Home & Garden also introduces a new component called “the pet” – this is farm animal, for example, a dog, lamb, or duck – whose purpose is to help you out during puzzles.
All animals need to be fed to be activated and one can do so by matching three pet food elements on the board. Once the pet is awake it will be able to move on the board exactly like Rooks move on the chess board. With one notable exception, three feed bags can only allow the helper to travel up to 4 tiles at a time.
Why are pets important? You can use them to target special elements which are part of the level objective. Once an animal is near one such tile, it will automatically collect it for you. And so, you won’t have to worry about getting to it by virtue of using matches.
The special elements that need to be eliminated from the board in order to win challenges vary. You start with tags – which are normal veggie-type tiles that have been tagged. In order to eliminate one such element, you’ll need to match it with tiles of the same type (so a tagged carrot has to be matched with 2 or more carrots). Or you can instruct the pet to get it.
Another special element you’ll encounter is the waterlily. These items need to be touched by water so to be made to disappear from the board. Water is brought in the equation by the pet (a duck) which leaves an aquatic trial every time it moves on the board. Water is a spreading tile, so if you match using a tile that’s in water, the liquid will spread.
Alternatively, you’ll stumble upon many levels where the targeted special element is green grass. Grass is an automatic spreading tile. Leave a patch of lawn unattended and it will grow out and engulf the tiles in their vicinity. You can stop it from doing their thing by matching next to them and sending over the pet – in this case the lamb.
2. Really Think Your Moves Through
Matching at random won’t do you any favors in Big Farm: Home & Garden. If you want to win, you’ll need slow down a bit and give yourself a chance to examine the board properly before making a move. Start by determining which area needs your attention first and then proceed to identify the matches that suit you best before proceeding to action.
Remember that each level comes with a fixed number of moves which you’re supposed to use to complete its objective, so each move you make should matter. Don’t waste them unnecessarily on bad matches. Since puzzles aren’t timed, you can take all the time in the world to look for decent vegetable/fruit matches.
Like in any match-3 game out there, the larger the match the better. Not only does a combo clear more space, but it also allows you to make some really handy Boosters (we’ll talk about them in detail in section 3).
While playing Big Farm: Home & Garden, you shouldn’t forget about the all-classic strategy of matching at the bottom. This allows players to clear space in the lower part of the board and in the process, if you’re lucky, also make new combos from the incoming pieces coming from above. These cascades can do wonders sometimes, so if you ever feel stuck and the tile arrangement allows it, we encourage you to go for it. It might allow you to clear a level using a minimal number of moves.
3. Get The Most Out Of Boosters
Boosters can cause a bit of a headache in Big Farm: Home & Garden. For starters, there’s no tutorial explaining how Boosters work and which does what, so you’ll have to figure it out by yourself as you go. As we already mentioned above, you can make Boosters on the board as you play. These are so called in-field power-ups and they can be of great help, provided you can make some. One thing we noticed while playing Big Farm: Home & Garden is that, compared to other match-3 games, there are reduced chances of creating Boosters on the field.
This might be due to the fact that most of the times, boards appear to be packed with lot of obstacles which makes it harder to create the larger matches needed for the crafting of Boosters.
When these larger matches do appear on the field, however, making use of the newly formed power-up is not instantaneous. Instead, you’ll have to match again to explode it. This is to say that making and setting off a Booster will cost you two moves, thus making the whole affair a bit less convenient.
So, even if you can eye a Booster-making combination on the board, you will have to find and make another one in order to be able to actually use what you’ve created. It’s a downside, but that shouldn’t keep you from trying.
Now, there are a few types of in-field Boosters you can craft in Big Farm: Home & Garden:
The Line – match four vegetables in a row either horizontally or vertically. Once set off, this power-off will clear a full column or row of tiles in one go.
The Swirl – match four vegetables in a square shape. Once activated, the power-up will remove one of the special elements that are included in the level objective.
The Lightning – match five vegetables in a row either horizontally or vertically. When activated, the Booster will cause an explosion that will remove 2 x 2 tiles.
The Colorful Flower – created by matching six or more vegetables. This is a Booster you can use without having to match again. Just swipe it with one of the adjoining pieces, and the power-up will remove all the vegetables of that type from the board. The flower can be used in combination with pet food, as well, but we don’t recommend this course of action.
What this would do is remove all the pet food from the field, and you certainly don’t want that. We do, however, recommend to use it in combination with another Booster – if the opportunity arises. This will have the effect of multiplying said Booster on the board and then setting them all off at the once.
While individual Boosters can’t be set off immediately after creation, if you happen to spot two power-ups sitting next to each other on the board, know that you can go ahead and combine them for an instantaneous blast. No extra matching involved. The effects are usually much stronger than the destruction a sole power-up could bring about.
Another detail that should be mentioned here is that your helpers can set off a Booster even if asleep, provided they are sitting next to it. They will jump back to life solely for the purpose of giving you a hand with exploding the power-up. Alternatively, if a Booster gets detonated in the vicinity of a pet, it will re-activated it in the process.
So while the situation with Boosters isn’t ideal, you can make the best of it, by employing the tips we’ve outlined in this section. Don’t give up on the idea of actually striving to make power-ups while you’re playing, just know they are going to be a bit scarce.
Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as pre-level Boosters in Big Farm: Home & Garden, so you can’t start off a level with power-ups already waiting for you on board. However, there are a few other aids you can employ if things get really bad during a stage. You can find them in the right part of the display:
Target – Removes a vegetable of your choice from the board without wasting a move;
Cross – Destroys a row and column of vegetables in a cross shape without wasting a move;
Pet Wake-up – Wakes up your pet from its slumber, so you can move it on the board without wasting a move.
Naturally, over-reliance on Boosters will cause you to run out of Boosters quite fast. Unfortunately, in Big Farm: Home & Garden you don’t have a lot of options when the time comes to get more. You can either win some by making progress in the game which automatically unlocks rewards now and again, or you can be on the lookout for Booster deals. If available these will be listed in the right part of the display, but you’ll need to pay real-world money in order to take advantage of them.
4. Aim To Get A Three-Star Rating For Each Level
Another reason to really think before making a move (like we’ve explained in section 2) is this – the more moves you have left at the end of a level – the better your rewards will be. We’re not just talking about the amount of gold coins you receive at the end, but also the star rating you get after you’ve completed each puzzle. If you managed to use a minimal amount of moves, you’ll be able to unlock the maximum of three stars, but if you exhausted most of them, your rating will probably be just one star.
Why should you care about stars anyway, you might be wondering at this point? Well, the more you accumulate the faster you’ll be able to unlock the nifty star-dependent progress rewards that are waiting for you.
Finishing off a level with a small amount of moves might be easier said than done, though. It’s up to you to devise the right strategy for each level. If you can’t get it right from the first time, try again, and if you still can’t seem to succeed do it again. In Big Farm: Home & Garden you’ll have to be patient. Given that Booster numbers are quite limited; you’ll have to rely on your own skills more than ever while playing this game.
Try different approaches while playing harder levels, and see which one yields better results for you. Approach a stage differently each time you have to replay it. Don’t use the same techniques, and you’ll eventually be able to best the challenge one way or another. You’ll just have to keep at it, and refrain from giving up after just a few fails.
Note that you can go back and replay those levels for which you didn’t get a maximum score. So if you’ve feel like you’ve improved your techniques, go ahead and give it your best shot for a chance to grab additional stars.
5. Finish As Many Renovation Projects As Possible
After each successfully completed challenge, players can redeem a sum of gold coins. This is the currency needed to unlock renovations around the farmhouses and homes of people in the village.
Often times, you’ll notice that the game offers the option to double rewards by watching a quick ad. If you want to make progress faster in the game, then our advice is to take up this offer every time it’s available. Once you’ve watched a few ads in a row, you’ll need to give the game some time to refill its stock of ads, before you can go back to watching more.
It’s true, the game has quite a lot of ads as it is, so naturally your tendency might be to skip the ones you can ignore. But, if you want to finish off your renovation projects quickly and efficiently, the best solution is to get over your annoyance and simply watch these ads.
Having enough cash at your disposal is crucial for keeping renovations up and so unlock more progress rewards. Always make sure you go back to the scenes and invest the coin you’ve accumulated, so that you can grab the gifts that are necessary for you to be able to continue making strides forward.
6. Take Advantage Of The Other Ad Offers Too
Granted, ads popping up everywhere can be super annoying, but getting over your irritation has its advantages in Big Farm: Home & Garden. For example, if happen to have failed a level, the game will offer up the chance to watch an ad in exchange for 2 extra moves.
The alternative would be to pay 90 Gems for 5 more moves, but collecting Gems is a slow grueling affair in this game that you won’t even have the resources to do so, most of the times. The only problem is that ads tend to run out and when that happens you’ll need to take a time-out and go focus on something else for a while instead until the stock is restored.
Additionally, in Big Farm: Home & Garden, the main goal is to take care of the renovation projects that come your way. By doing this you can unlock progress rewards which can contain Boosters, as well as other items such as Candy. The game makes it possible to double these rewards, as well, as long as the ad reserve is not depleted.
Once you’ve finished a full project, players can redeem a larger reward package which also includes Gems. This premium currency be used to purchase extra power-ups – the pre-made kind you can use while playing a level, as well as extra moves.
Anyway, above we mentioned another type of resource called Candy. This can be used to buy new furniture and decoration items for Sarah’s own quarters. That’s right, there’s a separate redecoration project you can take up by tapping on the icon with Sarah’s face on it in the lower left corner of the display.
Here you get a separate progress meter, and so you can unlock a new set of rewards if you commit yourself to working to improve Sarah’s living space diligently. Again, every time you hit a new milestone, you can opt to watch an ad to increase the number of rewards.
Now and again, the game hosts in-game events which can give you access to additional goodies. For instance, one specifically revolves around ads. Called Video Streak Challenge, the event invites you to watch ads in exchange for even more rewards. Whenever you see it available, we encourage you to take advantage of what’s on offer. You’ll be given the chance to boost your coin reserve for the most part, but the occasional Booster might slip into your pocket as well.
7. Mind Your Energy
Players get five energy points at the start of each day. Now, failure to complete a level will drain one energy point from said reserve. Fortunately, you can win extra energy as you unlock progress rewards or by watching ads.
However, given the harder challenges you’ll have to tackle throughout the game, you’ll probably experience running out of lives at some point. When this happens, don’t despair! You can either swipe your card to get extra energy in exchange for cash or leave the game for a while and thus allow energy to regenerate.
Be careful not to exit levels once you started playing or else you risk wasting lives unnecessarily. Even if you haven’t made any moves yet, you will still lose one energy point if you leave. Like in all match-3 games, luck plays an important part in Big Farm: Home & Garden, so you might be tempted to make a quick exit if the initial tile loadout appears to be less than ideal, while hoping for a better one the next time around. Well unfortunately, this trick can’t be applied here, so you must always attempt to do your best with what you’re given from the get-go.
8. How To Best Use Pets To Your Advantage
The presence of pets during puzzles is what makes Big Farm: Home & Garden stand out from the sea of match-3 games out there. You start off with a dog by your side, but as you make headway in the game you’ll be able to unlock all sorts of other animals.
Anyway, it’s important to understand how these pets operate and what they can do for you in the field. At the beginning of each level, you’ll find your pets asleep. You can wake them up by matching three (or more) pet food items on the board. Once they are active, pets can move up/down or left/right on the board, 4-tiles at a time.
If there’s a blockage on their path, the pet will stop there even if it hasn’t fully completed its 4-tile walk. If the barrier in question is an obstacle (such as crates, stone) or special element (grass, waterlily) then the pet has the capacity to remove it. Unless it’s layered, and so it might need several interactions before being eliminated for good.
A regular match of three fed bags provides enough energy for the pet to move forward over four tiles in whatever direction you choose. But if your wish to get your pet to continue moving, you should choose a path that contains pet food on it. This way, you’ll be able to maintain your pet awake and active.
Another important thing to note here is that moving your pet on the board does not waste moves. Although creating pet food matches does.
Now that you know the basics about how pets operate in Big Farm: Home & Garden, let’s take a look at some of the specific pets you’ll encounter in this game and talk about how to can use them to their full potential.
The Dog – the dog is present during levels where select tiles have been tagged. Your objective is to collect all these tagged veggies. The dog can help you do that, and is particularly effective when you need to reach tagged vegetables which are tucked away in the corners of the board. Don’t forget to create matches as well, whenever you spot a useful one. You shouldn’t leave all the work to the dog, because pet food is usually quite a scarce commodity.
The Duck – as it moves throughout the board, the duck leaves a trail of water in its wake. Water is important during levels which feature a special element called waterlilies, which you’re supposed to collect. Once a lily is touched by water, it gets removed from the board. Use the duck to get to the lilies that are more difficult to reach.
Don’t worry about motioning the duck strictly towards the lily-containing tiles. Even if the bird passes on the tiles adjoining the flower, the lily will still be collected. At the same time, don’t rely on the duck to do all the hard work. Make it a point to create matches so you can spread the water carpet as much as possible on the field and maybe collect some of the flowers yourself.
The Lamb – the lamb’s job is to help you eat the grass patches on the board. If left unattended, grass will grow like weeds engulfing other tiles, as well as Boosters and your precious pet food. Make sure you split responsibilities between yourself and the lamb. Don’t ignore your matching duties, but also don’t allow the lamb to sleep for too long, or the grass might grow excessively and cover everything.
The Pig – levels featuring a pig as your companion are a bit higher in complexity. There’s an extra element during these stages and you need to worry about – the rain cloud. Matching next to the cloud will cause rain to start pouring and truffles to grow from the ground. The goal is, of course, to collect these truffles. The cloud is a moving element that changes position once a patch of ground has successfully sprouted truffles.
The best strategy here is to use the pig to follow the cloud around and activate it in order to make the truffles appear. Then you can use your matching skills to collect them. If you apply this tactic, I shouldn’t take long before the whole field is covered in truffles, so collecting them will be not very complicated.
More pets will appear throughout the game, but using them will fall along the same lines as described above. Make sure you follow all the pointers we mentioned and you should have a pretty handy sidekick who will help you beat levels with zeal.
This wraps up our guide for Big Farm: Home & Garden, the latest installment from Goodgame Studios’ Big Farm universe. We hope that you’ve learned quite a lot and will be able to apply the tips and tricks we shared in your own gameplay. If you stumbled upon an interesting strategy in addition to what we have already mentioned, you’re invited to share them with the community by using the comment section below!