Lion Studios is a prolific game developer hailing from San Francisco, California, who is behind in-demand games such as Slap Kings and Clue Hunter. The studio recently rolled out a new game on mobile called Merge Villa – created in collaboration with 4Enjoy.
If you’ve played Metacore’s Merge Mansion before, then you should have no problem easing into Merge Villa’s atmosphere. The two games are practically identical, except for the slightly tweaked storyline.
In Merge Villa we follow Alice’s story who just returned to her grandparents’ mansion, where she used to spend summer as a child. Unfortunately, her nostalgic memories are shattered as she finds the villa in ruin after a massive tsunami hit the coast. The good news is that Alice’s grandparents are OK so together they join forces to restore the estate and make it even better than it was before.
To begin repairs around the mansion, Alice needs your help to craft tools. These are produced on a merging board, which is basically the central component of this game. The gist is this – find two matching elements and merge them together to create a new higher-tier one. Then find or make a pair for the new item and combine them together and so on. Eventually, you’ll end up crafting an element that’s included in the game’s task list and is needed to renovate an area around the house.
Understanding Merge Villa’s mechanics isn’t too difficult, but in case you’re experiencing some trouble making progress reasonably fast, we have some tips for you. We’ve put together a Merge Villa beginner’s guide where we’ve included a list of suggestions that will hopefully help you to get better at crafting the items needed to move the game along.
1. Keep An Eye On The Tasks
Lion Studios’ latest game is all about merging similar objects until you can obtain the right ones. Continue applying the recipe to create more advanced objects, but don’t do so mindlessly. Make sure to always check the Tasks tray in the lower right part of the display and see what items are needed for renovations around the house.
The majority of these tasks offer rewards in the form of XP (pink stars) and Chests – which are essential to your progress. We’ll discuss the former more in depth in section 7, but for now it suffices to say that if you want to advance quickly, you should really do your best to follow the tasks.
Keep your eyes on what you need to produce next. After all, it doesn’t really matter if you managed to craft a level 10 item, if the next available task requires a level 5 one to be completed. That’s certainly not to say that you can’t find a use for the object later on in the game, of course. However, in the early stages of the game, it would be a good idea to focus your energy on collecting XP and Chests through tasks.
2. Create Permanent Item Sources
At first, you should merge indiscriminately until you uncover your first Permanent Item sources. These are objects that drop other items on the board. A lot of pieces that are needed to create these sources come from Chests, so this one of the reasons why you need to get your hands on as many of them as possible.
While it’s important to have lots of Permanent Item sources to be able to access the items required for tasks, don’t forget that these sources can be merged to higher levels as well. Doing so is actually recommended because a more advanced source will drop more objects on the board than a lower level one.
Another thing worth adding here is that once sources run out of items, they will need time to regenerate a fresh batch of objects for you. During this time, the source becomes unavailable, so you’ll just have to wait until it comes back to life (or use the other sources at your disposal). The good news is that higher-tier Permanent Item sources take a little less to recharge, so they can go back to dropping items faster.
3. Check The Information Tab To Learn How To Craft Each Item
Merge Villa makes things a bit easier than other games in this category we’ve played before, by offering clues regarding the ingredients needed to create a certain item. Sometimes, it’s not as intuitive to guess what base items produce a certain object. For example, it can be a bit of a stretch to predict that a Broken Vase (level 1) can be used to craft Luxurious Painting (level 6).
If you’re having troubles figuring out how to make a certain item, visit the Tasks sections and tap on the blue “I” button underneath each element. You’ll see the progression needed to unlock each piece. If you scroll down below, you’ll also be able to see which Permanent Item source can create these pieces. At the same time, you can also tap on the “I” button on the source to see how you can create it.
Indeed, some elements in the progression might be hidden from view (you haven’t created them on the board just yet), but at least this way you’ll be able to make some educated inferences as to where to start looking. So don’t forget, whenever in doubt, go to the Tasks tray.
4. Don’t Ignore Those Cobwebbed Elements
You’ve probably noticed the presence of a series of dusty elements that are covered in cobweb on the board. These are inactive items which can’t be moved around as your heart desires. Instead, you need to pair them with a similar object so that you can wake them up from their dormant state.
Given their immobile status, these elements can be quite annoying as they lay scattered negligently across the board, taking up space. It would be in your best interest if you could remove them as soon as possible, but that can be easier said than done. Some of these cobwebbed elements can be paired only with items that appear every so often. So until you can uncover them you’ll have to hold on tight, and do your best to work around these dusty elements on your board.
5. Get Your Dose Of Extra Energy
Your merging efforts in Merge Villa are limited by Energy restrictions. Every time you tap on a Permanent Item source you’re actually spending a tiny amount of juice. As Energy eventually runs out, players are forced to take a break from the game to allow it to regenerate.
It’s possible to get your hands on more Energy if you have an Energy chest at your disposal. Simply drop it on the board and tap on it to release the Energy bubbles. Don’t forget to merge them, so you can secure a larger amount of Energy.
Another avenue for obtaining energy is by Spinning the fortune wheel. Every day, you get the chance to grab two bonus rewards simply by playing the wheel. The first try is for free, while the second one requires that you watch a quick ad. Most often than not the bonus ends up being extra 50 Energy points, but you can win other stuff including Crystals, Coins and Chests.
If you want more spins, you can use the Crystals you’ve accumulate so far to do that. You can get 3x more prizes this way, but be careful of how often you use these resources because you have a limited amount of them.
6. Focus On Leveling Up
In Merge Villa you gain XP when you complete a task or when you create higher-tier items. Once you’ve accumulated enough XP you’ll be allowed to level up, which should be high on your list of priorities because it unlocks the sought-after Chests.
Chests can contain anything from Coins, Energy to pieces you need to crate certain objects for tasks or to build item sources. So the more Chests you have at your disposal, the better.
Levelling up is easy enough at first, but as you make progress it will take a lot longer for you to hit the next level. Crafting some of the objects included in tasks might take even days at a time, so in the meanwhile what are you to do to get your hands on extra XP?
The answer is by creating medium-tier items through merging. It takes a level 5 element to produce a level 1 XP Star. If you can make multiple such elements and then merge the XP stars, you will be able to level up a lot faster.
Whenever you’re waiting for a Permanent Item source to unlock, focus your attention on the others that are still active and ready to drop elements. Spend your Energy to get items from them and continue merging until you start getting Stars. Then merge those so that you can collect bigger chunks of XP.
7. Chests Are Your Friends
Players get Chests for levelling up and sometimes even for completing some tasks. These are valuable items which should be carefully utilized, and we already explained how important it is that you work hard to obtain as many Chests as possible.
The chief reason is that some Chests will contain the necessary resources that can help you craft various elements needed for tasks. For instance, the Furniture Gift Chest can produce the parts needed to create a Wooden Box (Level 4) which is a Permanent Item source that drop level 1 items such as Logs.
It’s impossible to get these pieces anywhere else, so getting your hands on Chests is indeed essential to making progress in Merge Villa. Keep in mind that some chests can’t be opened instantly. Instead, they require that players wait an amount of time before “spilling their guts”.
It’s not necessary to hold off on using these Chests. The sooner you can get these items on the board, the better it will be for you. Our advice would be to simply to drop them on the board once you get your hands on them.
Not all Chests carry items, though. Some come bearing Coins, while others offer Energy or cobwebbed items. Both Coins and Energy bubbles from these boxes can be merged to create upper-level elements, which are more rewarding.
8. Prioritize Tasks, Later On
As you make progress in the game, the board starts getting cluttered with all kinds of stuff and so, you’ll end up having limited space to drop new items on. When that happens, you’ll need to start prioritizing tasks. Take a look at the list of objects that need to be crafted next and focus on those tasks that yield bonus items – meaning not just XP points. Remember we told you above that tasks can win you additional Chests.
Once you’ve successfully completed a task, the object you crafted will disappear from the board, thus making more room for you to merge on.
It would be useful if you could keep your board organized. Simply group elements from the same source in one place to better view the matches available for you. It’s important not to leave similar items laying on the board (unless you need them to complete a task). Merge whenever it’s possible, because this way you can make space.
9. Use Coins To Buy New Slots For Your Inventory
You can store items in your Inventory. By default, you get 3 free slots but you can add more in exchange for Coins.
Use the gold you’ve accumulated when playing the game to purchase extra slots for storing items. As you advance in the game, these slots will become more and more necessary. The cost increases as you add more of them, so hold on to the cash and abstain from spending it on something else if you want to have the funds to expand your Inventory.
10. Be Patient When It Comes To Getting Certain Items
As you dive into the game, you’ll find that some items are harder to produce than others. That’s due to scarcity. Permanent Item sources like the Toolbox drop tools for the most part. This includes objects like the Screwdriver, Saw, Hammer, Axe and so on. But the Toolbox can contain additional items which only pop up occasionally.
For instance, the Toolbox can also produce Gloves and Screws (level 1). These are offered sporadically, so it can be a while before you manage to craft an upper-tier element using these basic items. In other cases, things can get even more frustrating. For example, it’s extremely hard to get ahold of Logs (level 1). These are produced by the Wooden Box which mostly drops only Stools (level 1). Given these circumstances, making the upper-level Planks will take a long time.
Don’t get discouraged by the slow process, though. Keep working those Permanent Item sources and eventually they will drop a handful of the items you need. It’s simply a matter of patience. If you feel like you simply can’t wait anymore and you want to your hands on that item, then perhaps visit the Shop and see if you can purchase that particular object in exchange for Crystals, Coins or real life cash.
11. Take Advantage Of Those Spontaneous Ad Offers To Get Coins And Crystals
Every once in a while a Coin or Crystal bubble with a clapperboard in the upper right corner will show up on the board. When you spot one, tap on it and then on the play button in the upper right side of the display to play an ad. In exchange for that you’ll receive Coins or Crystals for free.
While you can get Coins from various sources, it can be quite hard to get your hands on extra Crystals, so make sure you don’t pass on an offer if you can help it. Crystals are important as they allow you to speed up certain processes in the game, like for example, allowing you to instantly regenerate a Permanent Item source or purchase a second higher-tier element immediately after you’ve crafted one manually.
12. Sell Just Lower-Tier Items
If you really need to clear out space, or conversely you need more Coins to purchase additional slots in Inventory, you can go ahead and sells a few items from the board.
Just be careful which items you pick to get rid of. It wouldn’t be wise to get rid of higher-tier items which you worked very hard on producing, although it is certainly tempting. More advanced items cost more, while lower-tier ones can be super cheap.
Even so, if your end goal is to make room on the board, our recommendation is to focus only on low-end items which can be immediately replaced with others. On the other hand, if you really-really need gold, you might make an exception and relinquish one of these more expensive objects. Provided that you don’t need them to complete a task right away. Alternatively, make sure that you produce objects that are rarely needed for tasks, and sell those. For example, the Fireflies are such items, which are produced by Lamps.
If you’ve accidentally tapped on the Sell button (located at the top of the screen, under the description), don’t worry. Quickly tap on the Undo button and the piece will make its way back to the board. In our opinion you should only resort to selling more advanced items if you really need the money. Otherwise, limit yourself to selling lower-tire ones.
13. Check The Shop Periodically
Below the merging board, in the lower right side of the display you will notice the Shop icon. You should make it a point to visit the store from time to time and take advantage of the offers available.
For starters, you can watch an ad in exchange for free Coins. This offer gets renewed every 24-hours, so you can only take advantage of it once a day. Additionally, there might be other stuff you can get for free such as low-tier items.
The Shop is also the place where you can use your Crystals and Coins to purchase additional elements. For example, players can get Screws (level 3 object) in exchange for 7 Crystals, while a Plank (level 2 object) costs 454 coins.
14. Don’t Spend Coins And Crystals On Decorations
Coins and Crystals are precious resources and should be spent mindfully. While the mansion renovation part of the game is exciting and will appeal to quite a few players, we don’t recommend spending Coins and Crystals on decorations. This might be limiting, it’s true, as by removing these resources from the equation you’ll be left with only 2 options to choose from whenever you renovate, but the decision will be worth it for your long term strategy.
The same goes when it comes to pets. In Merge Villa you can customize the animal companions living in your villa. For example, you can change the cat’s coat or purchase an outfit for the pup, all in exchange for Coins or Crystals. If you really wish to tap into this part of the game, by all means go for it. Just know that it will impede your progress in the game. If you’re fine with that and you don’t mind spending more time in Merge Villa, then go right ahead!
15. Don’t Forget About The Boosters
In Merge Villa there are two types of Boosters. The first one is the Split, which can break an item into two lower level items. This is useful in cases where you merged a little ahead, while ignoring the fact that a lower-tier element was needed to complete a task.
The second one is Skip Time and it allows you to skip over the time needed for a Permanent Item source to regenerate. You get 3x of each Boosters by default, but once you run out of them, you’ll have to use Crystals to get some more.
Boosters can be quite expensive, for instance, one Split will take you back with 55 Crystals. Given how hard is to get more of these resources, we’d recommend that you stay away from spending them on Boosters. Use the ones you have sparingly, and once you run out concentrate on applying the other tips in this list to complete your tasks and make progress in the game.
This is where we wrap up our Merge Villa beginner’s guide and we hope you’ve learned from the basic tips and strategies we’ve shared with you in this article. There are perhaps more secrets to discover in this game which we are yet to figure out ourselves, so if you happen to have found any additional tricks, be sure to drop us a line in the comment section below!