Love & Pies is a new merge match game from Trailmix Ltd., a relatively new gaming studio hailing from London, UK.
Their debut mobile game comes packing wonderful graphics and a soundtrack to match. Players follow Amelia, who just moved back to her childhood town to help out her mother with the family café. But as she arrives, she finds her mom is missing and the café in complete disarray. It’s up to you to help Amelia figure out the mystery behind the disappearance, and restore the coffee shop to its former charm.
Players can kick start renovations around the café by completing levels in Love & Pies. These are match merge levels where you essentially locate and merge together similar looking items to create higher-tier ones and so on.
The goal is to complete orders from customers which are shown at the top of the screen and earning gold coins in exchange. The money can then be spent to pay for renovations and complete various other tasks that also move the narrative along.
Putting aside the polished graphics and engaging story, playing Love & Pies feels a lot like Metacore Games’ Merge Mansion. The gameplay is quite similar and follows the same constructs. So it should come as no surprise when we tell you that making progress in Trailmix’s latest game will be an extremely slow affair. As orders keep getting more complex, you’ll take increasingly longer to craft the items required.
Not to worry though, we have your back with our new Love & Pies beginner’s guide which explains all the basics you need to be aware of to start merging efficiently. We’ve included enough tips and tricks, so that you can improve your merging skills and become a master at playing the game in no time.
1. Start Dropping Items On The Board
As you start Love & Pies, you’ll notice a series of items on the board. Some are covered in cobweb and appear to be inactive, while others are accessible to you right then and there. Locate two that look the same (one of them can be cobwebbed) and merge them to create a higher-tier item and so on. Continue the process until you manage to create an item with a lightning bolt sign at the bottom. That’s your cue that you’ve created a permanent item source.
These items are crucial to completing orders and earning money, and will drop low-level items every time you tap on them. For instance, the Open Paper Bag (Level 4) produces Bag of Flour (Level 1). It takes two Bags of Flower to create a Mixing Bowl (Level 2). Detect another Mixing Bowl and you’ll be able to create a Cookie (Level 3) and so on.
An interesting aspect you should keep in mind is that permanent item sources can be merged as well. The Open Paper Bag, for instance, can only drop Bags of Flour, but if you merge it with another item of the same sort, you’ll create the Full Paper Bag (Level 5) which can also produce Apples (although the chances are smaller for that), as well as Mixing Bowls. The more you level up your permanent item sources, the faster you’ll be able to create higher-tier items, so make sure you don’t pass on the opportunity to do so whenever it arises.
You’ll need to identify other permanent source items as you go along, like for example the Basic Oven (Level 1) which produces Baking Tray (Level 1). Eventually, you’ll be able to create Baking Basket if you continue on this particular merging path – which is also a permanent source item!
Tapping on a permanent item source to get new elements isn’t free. The game puts at your disposal an energy reserve of 100 points and each tap will drain 1 point. Energy regenerates itself back up over time (1 energy point every 2 minutes), so if you ran out you will most likely have to abandon the game for a while until you get some of juice back.
In our experience, energy runs out quite fast especially once you’ve made a bit of progress and customers start requesting higher-tier items like the Rainbow Cake (Level 11), so we recommend taking an extended break and waiting for full energy to get restored. You won’t feel like you’re playing much if you return to the game only to find that you have 50 energy points.
Each permanent item source is affected by a cool down period depending on their level. Obviously, higher-tier permanent sources can produce more elements and need less time to become functional again. So aim to level up your item sources as much as possible. It’s going to be a slow affair like everything in this game, but keep this goal in the back of your mind because at some point you’ll need to make a decision regarding which items to keep on the board, and which to remove.
Our advice is to try to prioritize keeping low-tier items that can be merged into a permanent source item. But more about this topic in a later section.
To uncover new permanent item sources faster, you should merge using the cobwebbed elements on the board. You’ll get the needed matching items by opening up Chests and similar items. This will have the effect of unlocking these trapped elements and making some much needed room on the crammed board.
While most permanent item sources can drop several types of items, others are limited to one category. For instance, the Functional Beehouse can produce only Honey and affiliate products. These usually have a smaller drop rate than others.
2. Complete And Deliver Orders For Cash
While merging items indiscriminately and randomly can be fun, you won’t get too far by doing that in Love & Pies. Instead, you should keep an eye on what customers are asking you to make and prioritize crafting those specific items.
Perhaps you’ve set a goal for yourself to create a higher-tier item, but if there’s currently no demand for such a product, you should postpone this task in favor of what’s being asked for right now. Completing orders is rewarded with cash and you need the liquidities to complete Tasks in the story part of the game that deal with renovating the café and getting Amelia’s life back on track.
Tasks are rewarded with XP which you require to be able to level up in the game. Every time you reach a new threshold, you get rewarded with a series of goodies including gifts and other type of chests. We’ll explain in the next sections why these are important, and what you can do to level up as quickly as possible.
Bottom line is this, focus on the orders at hand. Some may take longer than others to complete, depending on the products the customers are asking for. Obviously, you’ll get paid more if you manage to serve an order consisting of higher-tier items. So even if it takes time, don’t give up and continue working towards producing these goods.
3. Drop Reward Chests On The Board
Alright, so we already told you that levelling up gets you all sorts of rewards. But once you press the “Claim rewards” button where do these goodies go? They’ll show up above your board and you’ll have to tap on them to get them to appear on the playfield.
It’s important that you don’t forget about this part. To take advantage of what you’ve won through renovating the café you’ll have to unwrap these gifts directly on the board. The items offered for leveling up vary between them. The most common ones are Chests. Once placed on the playfield they require a few seconds before letting you access their contents.
These chests come in different flavors and pack a variety of items. For instance, the Nature Chest (Level 1) produces the following:
- Small Hanging Shelf
- Gold Coins
These are items than can be further merged until they reach a point where they can act like permanent source items. You’ll also be able to merge them with some of the cobwebbed elements on the board, so go ahead and do that.
Note that these Chests can be merged as well. So if you want to maximize the amount of items you receive from them, you can go ahead and merge them to create higher-tier ones. In order to achieve that you could abstain from dropping these rewards on the playfield immediately after redeeming them. Instead you might consider holding on to these rewards and using them all at once you’ve accumulated a few. This way you’ll be able to merge Chests right then and there. The trick is to have two that are of the same color.
Other rewards you can get for levelling up include Energy chests and Piggy banks. These don’t contain items, but energy bits and coins. Again, you can merge the pieces you find inside these containers like you can with any other items on the playfield. Actually, it’s recommended that you do so. For instance, an Energy chest will be able to regenerate your energy reserve completely.
Speaking of Chests, don’t forget to redeem the Free Item Chest from the Shop every single day. This can contain several low-level items such as Mixing Bowl, Cookie, Empty Cup, Cup of Tea or Fancy Tea. This is the only Chest you can get without spending any resources in the Shop. If you want more you’ll have to use Gems (we advise against taking this route) or real-world money to make your purchases.
4. Use Gems To Buy Extra Energy And To Unlock New Slots For The Fridge
The items contained in the chests are essential for making progress in the game, but Gems are also crucial commodities. Unfortunately getting your hands on them, is never easy in Love & Pies. You start off with 200 Gems under your belt, which seems like a nice amount, but you can run out of them rather quickly if you don’t spend them mindfully.
Gems can be used for all purposes including prompting rewards chests to start dropping items the second you place them on the board. At the same time, you can speed up the recharge cycle of permanent item sources or purchase duplicate elements (this option pops up once you’ve crafted a higher-tier item). Gems can also be used as currency in the shop where you can buy additional items. For instance, a Bagel (Level 3) costs 23 Gems in the shop. That’s quite a lot, if you ask us. While Bagels can be scarce items, it still does not justify the high price.
To be frank, we don’t recommend spending Gems in this manner at all. You’ll run out of them instantly and filling your Gem reserve back up will take a long long time. If you want to take the fastest route towards making progress, you’ll have to abstain from spending precious stones left and right.
There are two major avenues for spending Gems, however. You can use them when you run out of energy, but you wish to continue playing. It takes 2 full hours for the energy bar to completely recharge, so if you don’t want to wait that long, use your Gem reserve to buy extra juice. The first recharge will cost you only 10 Gems, which is super cheap. However, if you want to do another one the price will double and keep continue to rise steadily.
For this reason, we would recommend that you buy energy once or maximum twice a day, so you can take advantage of the cheaper prices. Once the rates start getting higher, you’ll run out of Gems pretty fast if you decide to plunge into an uninterrupted gaming session. Alas if you don’t mind the slow progression of the game, you could elect to just play it at its natural pace and thus save up Gems for later on.
Or you could opt to buy more slots in the fridge. This is actually the second best way to spend Gems in Love & Pies. We will explain more in the following section, but suffice to say now that it’s terribly handy to unlock as many slots in the fridge as possible, as you can store more products that you’re currently not using. Buying slots is an investment in itself, as they cost quite a lot. For instance, unlocking the 6th slot cost a whopping 50 Gems. Therefore, you will have to save the acquisition for later, when you’ve hopefully managed to amass more Gems.
5. How To Make More Room On The Board
As you make strides in the game, the playfield will get increasingly cluttered with countless of items. So what can you do when the board is so full that you lack the space to even drop a few new ones?
Well first off, start moving things you’re not currently using into the fridge. Some items are rarer than others. For instance, a Bee will show up on the playfield a lot less frequently than a Flour Bag. That’s because the Bee is an element that’s contained in reward chests, while the Flour Bag is a common item that’s produced by a permanent item source.
Anyway, since Bees and other related items don’t appear all that often, it would make sense to put them in the fridge until other elements from their family show up on the board. This is why we encourage you to buy more slots in the fridge, despite their expensive price. At some point, you’ll have to start finding ways to get rid of some items from the board if you wish to continue playing. Saving items to the fridge ensures that you get to keep them for later use.
There’s another way to make room on the playfield, but that involves getting rid of items for good. You can opt to sell them to make room on board. Unlike in Merge Mansion though, you won’t get much in return when you sell. For lower-tier items you only have the option to simply delete them from the board. Fortunately, when it comes to higher-tier ones, the game is willing to pay some gold coins in return, but even so, the sums aren’t big.
You won’t get rich from selling items, so our recommendation is to stick to getting rid of lower-tier ones when you run out of space on the board. Indeed, you won’t get anything in return, but more complex items take considerably longer to craft, not to mention the energy resource involved.
So if you have an upper-tier item that you’re not using at the moment, it would be best if you could place it in the fridge instead of just selling it for a few coins. If you really need to make some space, go ahead and sell some basic items, you can always make more without a problem.
6. How Do You Get More Gems?
We talked in a previous section about the best way you could be spending those precious Gems, but the more pressing question is how do you get some in the first place? As we already noted – the game gives you 100 to start with, but then offers limited possibilities to acquire more.
You can find Gems hidden in the chest you get as rewards, and so we urge you to merge them so that you can obtain more precious stones in one go. Actually, it would be a good idea if you could save these higher-tier Gems to the fridge until more become available on the playfield, so that you can continue the merging process for as long as you can. In case you don’t have much space in your fridge left, take some of the items out and then start selling various lower-tier ones to make more room on the board.
Still this strategy won’t get you that many Gems, so you’ll steadily have to work towards gathering a decent number. The key in this game is to cultivate patience for as long as you can. If you get frustrated with the lack of action in Love & Pies, you can always use your card to purchase a Gem bundle from the Store.
7. Merge Coins To Get Access To More Funds
As explained above, you require gold coins in order to complete tasks, and these usually come from completing orders. However, the game offers an alternative way of earning money.
Crafting upper-tier items (starting at level 5 and above) is rewarded with a single coin that drops on the board next to the piece you’ve created. Make sure you merge these coins in order to have access to larger rewards. For instance, if you merge two Level 1 coins you’ll obtain a Level 2 coin which adds 3 coins to your budget.
We know the natural tendency is to clear as many items from the board as possible, and this includes coins, but try to find a place for them on the playfield. Or, you could store them in the fridge until more mergeable coins appear on the board.
Remember, all items in Love & Pies can be merged to a certain degree. Some items (like Honey) come with a rather short upgrade cycle, while others (such as Flour) have a considerably longer one. The former end up crafting products that are quite expensive and so will help you move the story along faster.
With this last tip we conclude our Love & Pies beginner’s guide. We hope that you enjoyed reading this article and that you’ve found at least a few useful tips that you might be able to incorporate in your gameplay moving forward. If you’ve been playing Love & Pies yourself and have stumbled upon some strategies that weren’t mentioned in this guide, you are welcome to share it us via the comment section below!