Following in the footsteps of the popular mobile title Gardenscapes, Homescapes is another addictive match-3 puzzle game from Playrix. It’s very similar to Gardenscapes, but now you’re helping Austin restore his childhood home into the great mansion that it once was. You better bring out your designer gloves and your analytic spectacles for this game!
Homescapes is, well, very homely, and everyone in the family can play it. It’s vibrant and positive game, and it never fails to cheer me up whenever I start a game. It also has a healthy and supportive community who will be there to help you when you get stuck on some levels.
In Homescapes, Austin goes back to his childhood home to meet his parents. The only problem is, no one’s been home for a very long time, leaving it in bad shape. To make matters worse, Austin’s parents have decided to sell the house because they can’t maintain it anymore.
That’s why it’s up to you and Austin to get the house back into shape. Replace broken furniture, repair old floors and ceilings, and redecorate with vibrant home-stuff to make your house as fancy as possible. Then maybe, you’ll change Austin’s parents’ minds and get to keep the now-wonderful mansion to yourself.
Don’t let Homescapes’ charm and vibe fool you, though. Its match-3 levels can easily get tricky (and crazy difficult). Don’t go into Homescapes thinking that you’ll be able to rush through its puzzles. You’ll have to plan every move to make sure you’ll be able to finish the levels. This game looks simple but let me assure you: it’s no walk in the park.
If you’re playing Homescapes right after Gardenscapes, you’ll feel right at home here. They share similar mechanics, and the story progression is the same between the two games.
This isn’t to say that new players to either game have anything to worry about. As much as Homescapes is challenging, it’s also newbie-friendly. We have come up with a detailed Homescapes guide to help you progress through the game’s levels, explain the game’s important mechanics, and give you tips and tricks that will help you finish the game in no time. Get your thinking hat on, and let’s get into solving those puzzles!
1. Boost Yourself Up
Homescapes is a match-3 puzzle game, where you try to put three or more of the same pieces beside each other to clear them from a board. The game’s objectives involve clearing pieces in different situations and sometimes, special conditions.
To clear the board faster, there are various Boosters in Homescapes to help you. There are six Boosters in the game. You can choose among three Boosters before the start of a level to give you a head start. The other three Boosters, you could use in the middle of a level.
The three Boosters you could choose from at the start of a level are:
Rainbow Ball: This will let you start with a Rainbow Ball Power Up on the level, allowing you to clear a lot of pieces early on.
Double Planes: What’s better than one Plane? Double the Planes! All the Plane Power Ups you make by matching four pieces into a square will send two Planes instead of just one.
Bomb and Rocket: Similar to Rainbow Ball, this lets you start a level with a Bomb Power Up and a Rocket Power Up. These are very useful when the level has many walls or jelly.
Meanwhile, the three Boosters you could use during a level are:
Hammer: This Booster lets you break a tile, or weaken an obstacle. Hammer is very useful in clearing tiles in corners or hard to reach areas.
Sledgehammer: This Booster clears a whole row and column of tiles at the same time. Use this whenever you need to lay carpets or drop donuts to the bottom of the screen.
Glove: This Booster lets you swap the places of two tiles. You could use this to put two power ups beside each other, allowing you to combine them for awesome effects.
You’ll get introduced to Boosters early in the game, but you should keep them until you’re around level 100. The levels before 100 should be easy enough for you to finish without using the Boosters.
2. Mix N’ Match
Clearing blocks three tiles at a time won’t get you very far. You should make use of power ups to clear as many tiles as you can on each turn.
A quick recap on how you get power ups in the game: Matching four in a row or column will give you Rockets; four in a square will give you Planes; five in an L-shape or cross will give you a Bomb; five in a row or column will give you a Rainbow Ball.
Using power ups will remove many pieces on the board, helping you clear the level easier. Swapping two power-up positions will combine their powers and will trigger bigger and more awesome effects.
My personal favorite is when you combine a rainbow ball and a plane. This will turn all pieces of a particular type into planes, which will immediately fly to different parts of the board. Since planes target pieces and elements that need to be cleared to complete the level, sometimes just doing this once is enough to finish everything. Aside from being really powerful, it’s also really cool to watch!
Mixing and matching power ups will give you a massive boost in progress, but there’s also a right time to do this. For example: mixing rockets with a bomb will let you clear a lot of cookies easily, but given the same situation, mixing two rockets won’t clear as many blocks because rockets can’t go through cookies. Become familiar with how the power ups work so you can learn the best time to use them.
3. Stuck In A Rut? Try These Tips And Tricks
While there are literally thousands of levels in Homescapes, the game is kept fresh and interesting with the introduction of new Elements. New updates of the game extend the story by revealing a new location in Austin’s childhood home, which will usually be paired with a brand new Element. You don’t have to worry about running out of content in this game.
It may be scary for players to encounter new Elements for the first time. It can be hard to figure out how to finish these levels, so here are some tips on how some to deal with some of the most common Elements in the game.
Donuts: Donuts appear for the first time on level 18. The objective of these levels is to get the Donuts to the bottom of the screen. The easiest way to deal with this is by making vertical rockets, which will make Donuts fall down, or by using Sledgehammers.
Carpets: Don’t waste time matching pieces on tiles without the carpet. Even Rainbow Balls are ineffective here if they are used on tiles without a carpet. At the start of the level, find the tiles with the carpet, and try your best to make matches on them. Planes are effective here to help spread the carpet between two faraway tiles, while Bombs and Rockets help in spreading the carpet faster.
Boxes: First encountered on level 22, they start out as minor annoyances and then evolve into hard to destroy blocks in later levels. Don’t bother using paper planes when they’re around, as they have little effect. Try to destroy boxes using bombs and rockets, or a combination of the two.
Simple Walls: Walls that you can destroy appear on level 71. They’re a pain to deal with because they prevent you from moving pieces the way you want them. To get rid of Simple Walls, you need to use power ups. Bombs, Rockets, and Paper Planes all do well against Simple Walls. Many other Elements you encounter later on also require the use of power ups just to get rid of them, so keep that in mind.
Oil: It spreads fast, and it will overrun the board if you don’t do anything! Dealing with oil is a messy affair, but focus on getting power ups and activate them one after the other to get rid of oil once and for all.
4. Warm Up And Strategize
When presented with a brand-new level, don’t just go ahead and match tiles aimlessly. First, look at the board and understand it. Remember, the game is a puzzle, and there’s a solution to it. You won’t get far swapping pieces randomly without a plan.
As you play more levels, you get introduced to new concepts, new objectives, and even new Elements. You’ll have to familiarize yourself with how things work as you progress through the game. Make it a habit to analyze the board before moving tiles, so that you’ll always be making the best move every turn.
For example, if you see a level full of cookies, then you’d know that you should prioritize making bombs instead of rockets. Cookies crumble when a bomb explodes, but rockets lose steam as soon as they hit a cookie. On the other hand, a level full of jelly is the perfect time to use rockets. Keeping these things in mind will help you strategize better in the game.
This tip is especially important for your first try of a level. The game will usually give you free boosts when you try a level for the first time. From level 26 and above, once you’ve completed the task Open the Package, you will get additional rewards for completing levels on your first try. This means that you should be brewing strategies right on the first try of any level.
5. Take Care Of Your Heart
Failing a level will take away a life – represented by the heart on the upper left corner of the screen. You have at most five hearts when playing, and your lives refill over time. When you run out of lives, you can buy them with real money or ask friends to give you some. But of course, we’ve put together even more tips so you can avoid losing lives altogether.
Firstly, keep solving levels without doing activities. Try to get as many stars from the levels as you can. By the time you run out of lives, you will have collected many stars.
Don’t spend all the stars in one go, though! Just complete enough activities to get you through one day in Austin’s life. You will usually be rewarded with an infinite lives bonus, which lets you play unlimited levels for 30 minutes.
This way, after playing many levels and losing all your lives, you can easily get your lives back. This will let you collect more stars within the 30-minute time limit, which should then be enough to spend on another day’s worth of activities. You can keep playing forever if you do it like this!
With that in mind, refrain from doing Activities that will potentially end the day unless you’re planning to end the game session soon.
There are also other ways to get the infinite lives bonus in-game, like in events and competitions. Be sure to make the most out of them!
6. Turning Tables With Infinite Lives
Getting infinite lives becomes a big deal late in the game, because that means you will be allowed to keep trying levels you get stuck on. But you might as well just end up spending the whole 30-minutes without completing a level. So how can you make sure that you’ll be able to finish the level immediately?
You could save time by quitting a tough level halfway through. Usually, you will lose a life for doing this. But with infinite lives, you can keep quitting hopeless situations as much as you like—and try again and again. If, for example, you need to fill the board with carpet and you only have ten turns left with barely any of it covered in green, you can restart instead of letting yourself run out of turns.
Remember, time is of the essence here. The infinite lives bonus is a great momentum-builder in the game, so be mindful of time when you have one equipped. Don’t waste it trying to complete impossible levels. Quit and retry until you finally get it.
There are more Elements to discover in the game, but you’ll be experienced enough to solve them on your own by the time you meet them. The important part is that you enjoy the experience that Homescapes gives you – a calm and lighthearted puzzle game that rewards you with home décor for your mansion.
While the story isn’t exactly Oscar-worthy, Austin’s adventures in his own home trying to fix broken furniture and renovating ceilings is a fun and lighthearted one. There’s a diverse cast of wholesome and interesting characters who visit Austin’s home every day, and they always bring something new to the game. Keep playing Homescapes and discover all the secrets of Austin’s home, and you might just be able to convince his parents to keep the house forever!
And that’s all the tips and tricks we have for Homescapes. Hope you’ve enjoyed reading this article and in case you are aware of other tips for the game, feel free to drop us a line in the comments below!