Mystic Mansion Improves on Smartphone Match Games

A game that allows you to make fun living spaces for the gods

Mystic Mansion Improves on Smartphone Match Games
Source: Google Play.

Matching games can be very addictive. I’ve started playing some of them to meet survey challenges. Yet most times, match games fail to pass muster with either the story, challenges, or moral clarity of the game's development. In one instance. I had drafted a review of a Swagbucks-sponsored game, only to find out that it had stolen assets. 

Mystic Mansion is the latest challenge I’m trying. While I will not reach all the levels in a week, I am having fun. I can clearly tell it’s not another blatant cash grab, which is truly a breath of fresh air!

Author's note: I am playing this game as part of a challenge on Swagbucks.

Match gems to clean a decrepit mansion

Mystic Mansion has a pretty straightforward premise: You are a human brought into a world of sentient animals and gods, tasked with cleaning up a large house that has seen better days. While the owner is chill, the residents aren't and each has their own problems. Cupid lies on a dirty floor in their room, bereft of confidence, while a crocodile named Chomper hides in a mess of grass and weeds, terrified of any hostility. You can solve their problems by doing a little Marie Kondo magic. 

The owner, Meowlin, knows that you are a human, but no one else does. There is a strong Spirited Away vibe as Meowlin encourages you not to reveal your identity. Superintendent Purrcy gives a list of tasks to clean up every room, and you must complete matching rounds to gain the stars required to complete each one. You can choose the decor, the food, and sometimes the balloons if that is what the resident wants. 

We have discovered that most of these mansion residents are gods who have been displaced from all around the globe. They’ve lost their purpose, courage, or confidence, and feel the world no longer needs them. While you can’t help Cupid shoot love arrows outside the mansion, they are happy to match-make inside; it's the little victories that make all the difference.

What makes this game better than other matching games?

For one, despite the spiking difficulty levels, the story and design are strong. You can tell that the creators had a lot of love for this mysterious world. The line work is solid, and we get gentle coloring to reassure us that the Mansion is safe. Yet we can sense all is not well as we turn this fixer-upper into a crowd-pleaser.  

The story is pretty solid as of my foray into giving Chomper the crocodile plants for his room rather than weeds and grass. We get tidbits of lore as we clean up, and Meowlin hides their true purposes behind a catlike mask of civility. Clever and emotional dialogue builds out the characters, so we see why Purrcy is a salty superintendent and how Cupid became a blob. Having an endgame means that we won’t be matching gems and stones forever. 

Most importantly, the game does not push micro-transactions, at least as far as Chomper’s room goes. While you can purchase coins and boosters for real money, and you have to sit through advertisements if you want to avoid forking over a few dollars, mostly, you don’t receive pressure. 

Instead, you can wait a few hours and try again at the same level. More ad-watching gives you boosters if you are struggling. That means you make progress, rather than wait for hours or become tempted to fork over a dollar to complete a level. 

Sure, this may change as the levels get harder, but for now, I am pretty satisfied with the narrative. My hope is that even if it takes ages, I refurbish all the rooms and make some deities happy.


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