Tactile Games, the developer behind the smash hit Lily’s Garden, has recently unveiled a new game called Penny & Flo: Finding Home.
For those who are familiar with games like Toon Blast, Penny & Flo is built around similar gameplay dynamics. The newcomer is a tap-to-blast puzzle game where players complete levels in order to unlock new chapters and find out what happens to the main characters.
The story in Penny & Flo: Finding Home gravitates around a romantic dilemma. Penny is just a few weeks away from getting married, but as she spends time with Flo, the wedding planner, she opens up about having serious doubts whether she should really go through with it.
Wanting to give Penny space to process these feelings, Flo takes her on a quick road trip which accidentally turns into an extended getaway after their car crashes into the gates of a derelict mansion owned by former Hollywood diva Daphne.
The two friends end up befriending the lonely woman who, as it turns out, is also desperately in need of some assistance regarding home renovations. Penny and Flo team up to help and soon get an idea – what if they started their own home decorating business?
This narrative provides the setting for all the levels in Penny & Flo: Finding Home. Players can progress through episodes by winning levels and earning stars and gold. Each level features a set of goals, as well as a number of moves to complete the goal with. Objectives vary from having to clear a given number of tiles of a certain color to removing or collecting a number of special elements from the board.
In the highly crowded puzzle games space, Penny & Flo manages to distinguish itself through a number of particularities, even though at its core it’s a pretty straightforward affair. Like it’s the case with most of these games, levels tend to become harder and harder as you make progress, so there will be times when you might find yourself at a loss of what to do to continue the game.
The good news is that we’ve put together a detailed Penny & Flo: Finding Home beginner’s guide filled with tips and tricks that are meant to help you power through these tougher challenges. If you need some inspiration on how to move things along in Penny & Flo: Finding Home then continue reading below.
1. Take Your Time Solving A Level
This is probably the most important rule to apply in puzzle games of this kind. While players can turn to Boosters for help every time things get a little rough in the game, we strongly advise against it, especially during the first 100 levels or so.
Instead, just try your best to solve levels on your own. Compared to other games in the category, it’s possible to crack most puzzles in Penny & Flo without employing aids. It’s true that you might have to play these levels multiple times before succeeding, but this strategy will pay off once you’ve made it to the more advanced stages of the game where Booster-use actually becomes more of a necessity than an option.
Don’t rush things and under no circumstances whatsoever should you start matching at random. Rather, take your time to inspect the board carefully, until you can decide which matches will benefit your gameplay and bring you near to reaching the level objectives. Actually, taking a few seconds to think things through might make the differences between winning and loss.
Try different strategies to solve the level, before giving up. If, for example, you initially started matching on one side of the board, the next time you play the level you might want to begin matching in a different region see where that takes you.
Make the most of the breaks the game imposes upon you to clear your mind and gain a new perspective. You see failure to complete a level will result in the loss of one of the five lives which make your reservoir in the beginning. In case you ran out of all five, you’ll be forced to exit the game and wait until your lives get regenerated. Be as that it may, don’t be afraid to try as many times as necessary to solve a puzzle.
Or you could try to log in with your Facebook account and invite your friends to the game in order to score extra lives.
2. Don’t Use Boosters, Unless You Really Have To
In Penny & Flo, larger clusters of tiles can be turned into Boosters right there on the board. These are powerful tools which can destroy a hefty number of elements with only one tap. They are called in-level Boosters, but other types of power-ups are available to be used when things get really rough, as we will explain below.
To begin with we’re going to look at all the in-level Boosters that you can take advantage of while playing. The game makes it easier to spot these power-ups, as it marks the specific block clusters with a relevant symbol. This is unlike what happens in match 3 games, where you have to spot these larger matches on your own. Fortunately, this is not the case here, so things are a bit easier in this respect. Below you can find the complete list of in-level Boosters:
Rocket – match five to seven tiles to create a Rocket, which can either be horizontal or vertical. When activated the Rocket clears an entire column or row of blocks.
Bomb – match eight to ten tiles and create a Bomb. When activated the power-up can clear away a big chunk of blocks.
Paper Plane – match six tiles or more to create this Booster. The power-up is one of the most effective in the game. Once formed, it takes off and destroys 3+ elements which are included in the level objective.
Cross Rocket – to make one match eight or nine tiles of the same color. This basically has the effect of two Rockets combined. Once activated, the Booster will clear a column and a row in a cross shape.
Magic Flask – to create a Magic Flask you need ten tiles. When set off, it removes all bloccks of the same color as the liquid inside it off the board.
As you might expect, it’s possible to combine these Boosters for a more explosive effect. For example, pairing a Rocket with a Paper Plane will result in the latter taking off and carrying the Rocket to another location on the board, where it then sets off to clear a row or a column.
The most effective combinations you can make in this game involve the Magic Flask. This Booster has the capacity to multiply the power-up you’ve paired it with. So for example, if you combine a Paper Plane with a Magic Flask, the flask will replace all the tiles on the board that match the color of the liquid inside it with Planes. All these Paper Planes will then take off and remove tiles and elements across the board. Making Booster combinations is relatively painless in Penny & Flo, and we will explain how in the next section.
Now back to power-ups. Once you pass the initial stages, you’ll be able to unlock two additional tools which will then appear throughout every level.
The first is the Hand Trowel which enables players to remove a tile, any tile from the board without wasting a move. This power-up is excellent whenever you find that you’re only one element away from completing a challenge.
The second tool is the Robot Vacuum which is designed to clear all the tiles in a row and a column of your choosing. These power-ups are effective, but they should be used as a last resort, whenever you’re close to achieving your goal, and you require an extra push to complete the job. Despite their undeniable qualities, you shouldn’t overly rely on these power-ups, as you risk running out of them quite fast. Afterwards, you’ll be required to spend your hard earned gold coins to buy more, and they don’t come cheap.
3. Choose Where A Booster Is Placed On The Board
Every time a cluster of tiles that can be molded into a Booster appears, you have a choice. You can pick the position of where the Booster will form on the board. So take a look at it and see where it will be more advantageous to place the power-up. Then tap on the exact tile where you would like to see the Booster appear.
This is a very handy option, especially if you are using a Rocket and you’re targeting a certain column or row that you want to see cleared of all the tiles. Additionally, you should use this feature to easily make Booster combinations. If you have two clusters of blocks that can be turned into Boosters, make sure to place the two power-ups near each other, so that you can combine them for a more destructive effect.
4. If You Lost A Level, Try Playing As The Other Character
Penny & Flo has a unique dynamic where users are allowed to play a level either with Penny and Flo. Sometimes, the game will even suggest which one you should use, but you’re under no obligation to follow that advice. Actually, at times, it might be best ignored.
Penny and Flo gaming modes differ a little bit, which is why during certain levels you might benefit from playing as Penny, whereas during other challenges it would be wiser to go with Flo. However, it’s not easy to distinguish which is the ideal choice, because levels can be unpredictable. Your own playing style should be factored into the equation as well.
The main difference between Penny and Flo are the Boosters they each bring to the table. With Penny, you’ll get preferential access to Rockets. Sometimes Bombs and Magic Flasks will also be available, but they appear occasionally at best – depending on level. But overall your strategy when playing Penny will revolve around using Rockets to hit your goal.
As for Flo, she likes the Paper Planes, so you’ll get plenty of those when you select her mode. In addition, she can also make you Cross Rockets and Magic Flasks from time to time.
The two gals also bring different pre-level Boosters to the table. These are Boosters that should be activated before a level starts. Usually, it’s the best thing to do as you’re heading into a harder challenge, one which you’ve failed to complete a few times before. This way you will be able to start a level with a power-up (or more) already formed and waiting for you on the board.
If you go in as Penny, you can choose to activate a Magic Flask, Bomb, or Rocket, but if you go in as Flo your options are Magic Flask, Cross Rockets, and Paper Planes.
Make your choice regarding who to play based on the level at hand. If, for example, you’re dealing with a smaller board with multiple rows or columns of elements that need to be removed, then you might be better off playing as Penny, since using Rockets can effectively destroy whole lines of tiles vertically, as well as horizontally.
On the other hand, if you’re looking at a level that has a lot of elements that are hard to get to, then you might want to use Flo instead because her Paper Planes can easily destroy any leftover items that you need to get rid of.
During more complex levels, don’t just stick to playing with just one of the girls. Even if the game recommends to play with one in particular, try switching up between them until you can get the level sorted out. Alternating between Penny and Flo will give you a fresh perspective on the board, which is just what you need when it comes to beating a tougher challenge.
Keep in mind one more thing – luck certainly plays a big role in whether you win or lose. While having a strategy is important, the random tile factor should not be underestimated. You can’t really influence the tiles you get during a level, but if you play it enough times, you are bound to get a more favorable tile deal at one point.
5. Exit The Level For A Potential Better Tile Loadout
Speaking of which, as you initially go into a level, examine the board carefully and if you don’t feel like the tile loadout is an advantageous one, exit the level and try loading the level once more.
Hopefully, this time around the tile loadout will be a lot better. Don’t worry about wasting a life by doing this maneuver, as it won’t happen in Penny & Flo. Every time you feel that the initial tile loadout doesn’t benefit you, go ahead and try to get a more favorable one. Do keep in mind one thing, though, this method does not work after you’ve started playing. You can’t decide to exit a game mid-way through, not without losing one of those precious lives.
6. Abstain From Spending Too Many Gold Coins
After each level, players will be awarded some gold coins. The amount of moves you have left at the end of a stage influences the quantity of gold you’ll obtain at the end of a game. Coins are an important resource because they can buy you the means (five extra moves) to continue playing a level which you’ve failed to complete.
But even if taking up that offer might sound tempting, our advice is to resist that impulse as much as possible. Instead, do what we’ve suggested in sections 1, 4 and 5. If you still can’t seem to get anywhere using these methods, then you might want to consider employing pre-level Boosters before starting a level and see if that helps. If it doesn’t, maybe it’s time to invest some coins towards securing those five additional moves.
Coins can also be used to buy extra Boosters, as well as to fill up your life reservoir. While spending coins on Boosters might become necessary eventually, it’s not advised to use your gold reserve to pay for extra lives. It doesn’t take all that long for your life supply to be regenerated automatically, so just take a break from the game and come back once they are available again. This way you’ll conserve your coins for more important tasks.
Boosters can also be obtained by simply playing the game and making progress. At the end of each episode, players will be able to unlock a gift that usually consists of a few power-ups including an Unlimited Lives one.
In order to secure more lives, you can always connect to your Facebook account and invite friends over to the game. Once your buddies have accepted your invitation, you’ll be able to ask them for additional lives.
7. Play During Events
The occasional event takes place in Penny & Flo, and it usually extends for the duration of multiple days. When such an event is going on, you’re encouraged to visit the game and play because during these periods you’ll be able to take advantage of certain perks like getting access to extra Boosters. Actually, it’s a very good idea to visit the game each day so you can redeem the Daily Harvest. This is a daily reward which mostly consists of Boosters.
Anyway, back to events, they can offer some great prizes. For example, during Happy Hour, if you can beat up to 3 levels in a row, you will be able to unlock a total of three Boosters at the start of each level. This will certainly make your job a lot easier while playing levels.
8. How To Master Levels With Special Elements
Special elements are items that need to be cleared away from the board or collected, so that you can move on to the next level. In this section we’re going to look at some of the most common ones that appear in Penny & Flo and provide you with some hints regarding how to deal with them.
Paper Scraps – these elements show up in numerous levels. They can be either standalone or contained in other elements such as boxes. Your goal when you’re dealing with Paper Scraps is to remove them from the board and you can do so by matching in their vicinity. Depending on whether the Paper Scraps are in a box or not, you might have to match multiple times next to them in order to set them free and eventually destroy them. A lot of the times Paper Scraps will be arranged in rows or columns on the board, so it’s a good idea to use Rockets on them, so you can clear an entire line of them using only two moves (one for creating the Booster and one for setting it off).
Books – Books are elements which you need to collect. To do so, you’ll have to bring them to the bottom of the board. Books usually show up in levels that feature other special items, so make sure you don’t forget about them while you concentrate on the others. When dealing with Books, try matching towards the bottom of the board to ensure you create a passage for them to fall through. Using Boosters such as Rockets and Paper Planes is highly recommended during these challenges.
Bubbles –bubbles will appear on top of select blocks, and users’ goal with be to clear the tiles under to collect them. Bubbles can blend in very well with other elements on the board, so it might be easy to miss some of them, therefore you need to pay close attention. Employing a Bomb or even better, a combination between a Magic Flaks and a Bomb would be most advised in this case, so you can get rid of a large quantity of Bubbles in one go.
Boxes – these might contain items such as Paper Scraps and Gold Bars, while others might be double-sealed. In both cases you’ll need to match repeatedly in order to be removed completely from the board. When Boxes are present during a level, they will more likely form a barrier preventing tiles from fully filling up the board. This is why it’s important to focus your attention on getting rid of the Boxes first by matching in their vicinity. Once the blockage is removed and you get full access to the board, it will become easier to solve the level. To remove Boxes, using Boosters like Bombs, Rockets or even Paper Planes will prove highly effective. Similar to Boxes is another class of elements called Mail. These also come in double-sealed packages or simply in plain envelop format.
Tubs with ducks – Tubs are a particular type of element that produces ducks. Players need to match next to the tubs to release these ducks and can use Boosters to do so for a more effective collection process. During the course of many levels featuring tubs, the elements may appear blocked by other tiles. As a consequence, you will need to focus on getting the obstacles out of the way in order to gain access to the tubs and start squeezing those ducks out. A variation of the Tubs with ducks element is the Generator. This item produces collectable light bulbs once it’s activated by matching.
Cushions – These are color-coded elements, which means you will need to match them using tiles of the same color in order remove them the board. This can, sometimes, prove incredibly hard to do, which is why if you could use a Booster or two on these elements it would make things a lot easier. Cushions are not the only color-coded items you’ll stumble across in Penny & Flo. There are others, for example, Vases, which function in similar fashion.
Hardhats – Hardhats are elements which can only be removed from the board using the destructive force of a Booster. Whenever you’re dealing with a level that has Hardhats in it, make sure you try your best to create as many Boosters as possible. Try to think with a few moves in advance and visualize how you can create a bigger cluster of blocks. For example, removing a small batch of red tiles which is surrounded on all sides by green blocks will have the effect of creating a larger group of green tiles. This will allow you to create a Booster and remove some of the Hardhats you need to destroy to win the level.
This is all we have for our Penny & Flo: Finding Home beginner’s guide. There is certainly more knowledge to be gained from spending additional hours playing the game, but we’re confident that the tips and strategies that we’ve outlined so far will give you a better idea on how to effectively start tackling the puzzles in this game. If you think you’ve mastered Penny & Flo already and have some extra tricks up your sleeve which you’d like to share with the community, we invite you to do so via the comment section below.