Family Hotel is an exciting, plot-driven match-3 game on iOS and Android platforms. Created by Russian developer PlayFlock, the game combines decoration gameplay with traditional match-3 puzzles.
The story is by no means unique, but comes with enough plot twists to keep players hooked. You follow Emily – a rich town girl who wants to prove to that she can restore and successfully run a hotel that has been in her family for generations. When she arrives at the location she meets Max, the grandson of the other hotel founder.
The two don’t hit it off immediately, but as the plot progresses they start to realize just how much in common they really have. Together, they set out to build, furnish and customize the hotel and deal with all the emergencies that arise in the process. Throughout the game, you’ll also get to meet countless interesting characters, as you unravel secrets and mysteries from Emily and Max’s past.
This narrative is, of course, closely intertwined with match-3 challenges. Actually, you depend on solving these puzzles to unlock renovations around your hotel. Each time you successfully complete a puzzle in Family Hotel, you’ll receive a Key as a reward, as well as a sum of gold coins. Keys are elements that can unlock renovations and upgrades around your venue, so they are essential for making progress.
As for the match-3 puzzles they are pretty standard. Each level has an objective which you need to complete before running out of moves, or else you’ll lose a life from the 5 you get at the start of each gaming session. Objectives vary depending on the level you’re at. They are simple enough at first, for instance, you’re instructed to collect a number of tiles of a certain color, but as you make progress these become more complex.
As it’s the case with match-3 puzzles, and this is no exception, a series of special elements will be thrown into the mix to make things more interesting. These are tiles you either have to collect or destroy in order to fulfill the tasks outlined by each level objective. Obviously, puzzles steadily grow in difficulty, and the game actually flags those that are trickier, so you can be prepared going in.
While Family Hotel is a very typical match-3 game, it’s not always a smooth sailing experience. Levels can get really difficult, and it’s easy to get frustrated if you’ve tried really hard to solve a puzzle, but constantly found yourself failing in your efforts.
Fortunately, we’re here to give you a hand. We’ve created a Family Hotel beginner’s guide where we’ll go on to detail a series of tips and tricks that will help you get better at solving puzzles. While we can’t offer the exact solutions to the many levels of Family Hotel, we can provide you with some insight into how to fine-tune your strategy. Continue reading below to expand your knowledge regarding what useful tactics to apply in this game.
1. Find The Larger Matches
The essence of Match-3 games is all about identifying and creating matches of 3 tiles that are of the same color. This is the standard rule, but in order to be successful while playing you will have to make an effort and learn to detect the larger 4+ tile ones.
Larger matches hold the key to solving levels fast, since they can create in-level Boosters while you’re being active on the board. These helping tools can make things a lot easier for you, so the more you can produce the better. Some special elements can’t even be removed from the board without a Booster, so focusing on larger matches is the best way to approach this game (or any other match-3 game, for that matter).
2. Avoid Matching At Random
Playing a game like Family Hotel requires quite a lot of concentration on your part. It’s important to remember that you won’t do yourself any favors if you rush into matching. Take a few seconds to look at the board first. The levels aren’t timed, so you can take as long as you need.
Focus on creating matches that serve a specific purpose, for example, they can help you get rid of certain special elements, or will create a Booster for you. Don’t just tap on the first match you spot. You will end up just wasting a move for no good reason.
Our advice when playing Family Hotel is not to rush your actions. Take your time, and try to think like a chess player – with a few moves in advance. Make an attempt to envision what would happen if you make a certain match. Will the effect be advantageous or perhaps a little less so?
3. Ignore The Game’s Suggestions (For The Most Part)
Sometimes when it looks like you’re waiting too long to make a move, the game will take it upon itself to suggest your next match. However, most of the times these matches won’t be of much help, so our advice is to simply ignore them and go find your own matches.
Every now and then, though, the game will show you how to make a Booster, and this can be useful enough if you still have a few moves to spend at your disposal.
Either way, know that you’re under no obligation to actually take up the suggestion, though, so if you think that particular match does not benefit your purposes, go ahead and skip it.
4. Match At The Bottom, Whenever Possible
Matching at the bottom is a classic match-3 strategy that you should try to employ in Family Hotel whenever you can for a chance to refresh your tiles.
The strategy has the effect of allowing new tiles to pour on the board from the top in cascades. It usually results in spontaneous matches being created on the lower part of the board and quite possibly a few new Boosters too, which is great.
It’s not always possible to match at the bottom, though. Sometimes the lower part of the field could be blocked, and so you’ll have to focus on removing the obstacles first, to be able to apply this stratagem. Make sure you don’t waste too many moves on idle matches just for the sake of matching at the bottom, though. The matches you make still have to be purposeful and help you achieve your objective.
5. Mind Your Level Objective
Before you start matching, make sure to take a good look at the level objective. Sometimes, you might not even have to eliminate all the special elements from the board to be able to pass to the next stage.
This is important, because being aware of your objective will enable you to conserve your moves as much as possible. Finishing a level with moves to spare should be high among your priorities, because this translates into higher rewards.
Remember how we told you that for each solved level you’ll receive a nice Key plus a nice sum of gold coins? Well you can increase the amount you get at the end of a stage, by making sure you complete the challenge with as little moves as possible.
If you catch yourself matching at random without a clear goal, stop yourself, recheck the level objective and then target only the elements included in the goal.
6. Create As Many In-Level Booster As Possible
There are a few categories of Boosters in Family Hotel. The most readily available, though, are the in-level Boosters. These are power-ups you can make yourself on the board while playing. There are four of them, and each results from a different tile combination. Boosters can be set off either by double tapping on them, or swapping them with an adjacent element.
Rocket – match four same-colored pieces vertically or horizontally to create a Rocket. When activated, the power-up will promptly clear out a full row or column.
Bombs – create these power-ups by matching five or more elements in a T or L shape. When activated, the Bomb can remove all elements within a 3×3 radius.
Bee – players can make a Bee by matching four similar pieces in a square pattern. This is a unique power-up that when activated will destroy the elements in its immediate vicinity in a “+” pattern. The Bee will then proceed to take off and land in a different location where it will destroy another tile, one that is part of the level objective.
Spinner – create one by matching five elements of the same color. When swapped with a regular piece, the Spinner will remove all the tiles of the same color off the board.
While in-level Boosters are quite effective on their own, their usefulness increases considerably when used in combination. If you ever happened to notice two power-ups sitting next to each other on the board, go ahead and merge them.
For example, combining the Bee with a Bomb will result in a massive explosion that will clear three full rows or columns of tiles in one go. Now, whenever you’ve created a power-up, don’t just use it immediately. Scan the board and see if you can create another one in the close vicinity of the first, so you can work towards creating a nice combo.
Alternatively, pairing the Spinner with any other power-up (especially with another Spinner) is a winning combination. The Spinner will replicate the second Booster across the board, replacing all tiles of a certain color in the process. Then all these power-ups will explode all over the field at the same time. Most of the times, this maneuver all but solves the level. Although this outcome is not always guaranteed, the scheme is certain to help your efforts considerably.
7. Use The Other Types Of Boosters In Moderation
In-level Boosters aren’t the only helpers that can come to your aid when you find yourself in need of a bit of extra help. First off, you have the pre-level Boosters. These have to be activated before you begin playing a level and come in three flavors: Spinner, Bomb + Rocket and Double Bees.
Indeed, pre-level Boosters are no different than their in-level counterparts. But the important distinction here is that the former have to be activated before a level even starts and doing so ensures that you’ll be able to start a level with a bunch of power-ups already formed and waiting for you on the board. These tools can be of great help, especially during really hard challenges.
Actually, it’s a good idea to enter a difficult level with all three pre-level Boosters activated. In most occasions, this proves to be a winning recipe, but be careful of how much you rely on these power-ups because they tend to run out fast.
Once you’ve depleted your resources, you will have to buy them back using gold coins, if you want to keep using them. Or you could go to the Shop and spend real world money on special packages, although the majority of users will probably prefer to continue playing in F2P mode. For this reason, you need to keep your pre-level Booster usage in check, and only take advantage of them when you’re dealing with really hard levels.
Additionally, players can acquire these Boosters organically, just by playing the game and finishing up chapters. At the end of each of these sections, it’s possible to redeem a gift packages which usually includes more power-ups. However, these come in limited supply, so you won’t be able to access them as often as you’d like.
The game also puts at your disposal 3 additional power-ups, which can be used while playing. These should be viewed as a last resort, a way to quickly solve a level when you’re just mere steps from doing so on your own. Using one of these tools won’t waste one of your moves away.
Hammer – removes one tile, regular or special from the field.
Sledgehammer – removes one row and one column doing damage to special elements.
Glove – interchanges two adjacent elements.
The same rule as above applies to these tools, as well. Don’t overuse them or you risk ending up with none at all. The prize boxes which unlock as you make progress are not readily available. You’ll need to work hard for them and so it takes time to get to the next one in line. Which is why it’s a good idea to try and rely on your own forces, as much as possible.
8. Tips To Try If You Can’t Seem To Crack A Level
Speaking of which, don’t get discouraged too easily if you can’t solve a level immediately. Puzzles tend to get harder and harder in Family Hotel, and so dealing with some of them will prove to be highly challenging. When the time comes to play such a level, there are a few things you can do to make sure you can secure a positive outcome, and we’ve listed them below.
Try multiple times to solve a puzzle – this is an important rule. Dedicate some time to solving this puzzle. Don’t just give up immediately. Try to approach the puzzle from different angles. Every time you reload a level, the initial tile loudout will be different, which means you get a fresh chance of doing things differently. Exploit the game’s randdomness factor as much as possible and rethink your strategy each time.
Unfortunately, if you don’t like the initial tile loudout and you think you could do better next time, you aren’t permitted to leave the game without wasting a life. Don’t worry too much about lives, though, because in Family Hotel you have ample opportunities win Unlimited lives (more on that in the next section). Basically if you feel, the tile loadout is working against you, go ahead and exit the level and try again.
Use all pre-level Boosters going into a hard level – if you think you’ve done everything in your power to solve a puzzle, but to no avail, perhaps you should apply the pre-level Booster strategy we’ve outlined above. Go into a level with all three pre-level Boosters activated, and it should fix your issue in most cases.
Take a break, replay the level the next day – taking a break will not only offer a fresh perspective on the puzzle, but it’s also a good idea for another reason. Pick up the puzzle the next day, and you’ll be offered the option to watch an ad in exchange for an extra pre-level Booster. If you’re short on power-ups and don’t want to use up more, this could be a good solution to your woes.
Grab the daily bonus – logging into the game every day is important, because of the daily bonus. This can be anything from coins and Boosters to decoration pieces. If you’re out of power-ups, it’s might be wise to wait until the next day so you can redeem a few more and thus improve your chances at beating a level.
Buy 5 extra moves – if you still can’t seem to be able to beat this level, you can always purchase an additional 5 moves at the end of your playing session. Mind you, this costs gold coins – and it’s a pretty hefty amount. If you’re absolutely sure you can finish off the puzzle with 5 moves, go ahead and spend some of your hard earned cash.
But otherwise there’s no point in doing so, because accumulating coins is a pretty slow affair in this game. You earn coins by solving puzzles, unlocking progress rewards or redeeming gifts during events. Even so, these sums are quite small, compared to the total of 900 coins which you have to pay to get yourself some extra moves. Bottom line is, buying more moves should be viewed as a last resort, not something to do constantly.
Play during events – events are a great source of goodies of all kinds. Whenever an event is going on, it would be a good idea if you could fire up the game and started playing. During events you can win stuff such as Unlimited lives, as well as extra Boosters. For example, during Amazing Hawaii, you can unlock serious rewards by simply playing levels, collecting air tickets and then using them to grab goodies.
9. Easily Boost Your Coin Reserve
It never hurts to have more coins in your safe in Family Hotel, which is why you shouldn’t ignore the free offers the game throws at you on a regular basis.
As we explained above, make it a habit to check into the game every single day, even if you don’t feel like playing. On top of the Daily reward, you should also check the Shop and grab the Daily gift which includes a small but convenient sum of coins. Additionally, you can always log in with your Facebook credentials in return for more gold coins. If you feel like you want to link your social media to the game, go right ahead.
10. The Number One Rule When Dealing With Special Elements
Like any match-3 game out there, Family Hotel is teeming with all kinds of special elements. As you make headway in the game new ones will be added into the mix and you will have to adapt your strategy accordingly.
Don’t let the sheer number of these elements overwhelm you. There’s one thing you should keep in mind when it comes to these special tiles. The only way to interact with them is through matching.
The majority of them will respond to your efforts of creating matches in their vicinity. Elements like Boxes, Ice, Stars can be destroyed by matching next to them. During certain levels, you might have to deal with versions of these elements which are reinforced. This means you’ll need to match next to them more than once (twice or even thrice) to be able to remove them off the board.
Then there are the more atypical elements like Ducks and Keys. These need to be floated out of the board, either through the top or the bottom. Ducks can only advance on a board filled with water, and in order to flood the field you’ll need to create matches using a different sort of element called Cans.
These are color-coded items, meaning that you can only match them with pieces of the same color. While Ducks and Keys can’t be destroyed, and instead have to be collected, you’ll still need to put your matching abilities to good use to create a path for them so that they can be escorted out.
Another unique element you’ll stumble across in Family Hotel is the Carpet. This moves tiles after every match, thus constantly changing your tile arrangement. Levels with Carpet are tricky but not impossible to beat, just make sure you focus on the elements that need destroying/collecting outside the belt. Try to seize the moment every time you notice an opportunity to make a good match.
At the same time, pay attention to the direction in which the Carpet moves and plan ahead. For example, if you can make a Booster in 2 moves, you might want to abstain from matching and destroying that opportunity.
Donuts are another special element that are dependent on your matching efforts. Create matches next to the Donut plate to collect Donuts. Whenever you have a Booster at your disposal like a Bomb (or even better, a combo to remove more in one go), use them on the plates so that you can collect multiple desserts at the same time. Power-ups work well on any obstacle, so if you have some to spare go ahead and use them, it will speed things up considerably.
Another type of special element is not included in the level objective, but can make things a lot harder for you by blocking your paths on the board. Pipes, for example, can only be destroyed by using a Booster, which is why they are such valued tools during every level.
Bottom line, whenever you’re playing a level with special elements, focus your efforts on matching close to them. Don’t get carried away and keep your attention on what really matters, if you want to win.
This final piece of advice concludes our Family Hotel beginner’s guide. We hope that the strategies we’ve outlined in this article will ramp up your puzzle solving skills in no time. Like always, if you’ve managed to stumble upon any worthwhile strategies that we haven’t included in this guide, you’re invited to go ahead and share them with us in the comment section below!