Regarding phone games, I haven’t progressed beyond Words with Friends. Shout out to high school classmate Aaron, my toughest opponent! However, a screenshot from Fancy Free Clogger Dustin expanded my gaming repertoire at least temporarily to include Homescapes.
Why? The game contains a surprise clogging reference!
Homescapes, a spin-off of Gardenscapes, was released by Playrix in 2017. This match-3 puzzle game progresses with increasing levels of difficulty.
PREMISE: Austin the butler (same protagonist from the Gardenscapes game) visits his childhood home to find the mansion dilapidated. His parents (William and Olivia) drop the news that they plan to sell the house and move into an apartment. Austin decides to renovate the home to make his parents fall in love with it again.
PLAY: The player solves puzzles to earn coins and stars. Every task Austin completes requires a certain number of stars. Coins allow the player to purchase extra turns or boosters to help him/her win at the puzzles. Good luck with that! Those bonuses are expen$ive compared to the number of coins you earn per puzzle! If a player fails to complete the puzzle quest within the allowed number of moves (and does not have enough coins to purchase more turns), there exists a limited ability to try the puzzle again from the beginning. Run out of lives on a difficult puzzle and you must wait an hour or pay real money before trying again.
CONS: The in-app purchases are annoying and would quickly add up if I kept myself stocked with coins and boosters. Be sure to turn off the in app purchase option if children are playing this game on your phone.
Also, I wish home reno projects went this quickly and smoothly in real life!
PROS: The story line is fun and witty. Austin’s actions and comments in the background add to the entertainment value of the game. The player chooses home decor from multiple options of rugs, wallpaper patterns, furniture pieces, etc., giving each mansion a custom look.
I’m not that far along, but there is apparently a subplot revolving around the cat Austin adopts at some point in the game.
But the biggest pro is that someone somewhere in Homescape game creation seems to have a clogging connection!
This is the screenshot Dustin sent me. Austin fixes up the party room (it is a mansion, after all) to prepare for Olivia’s birthday party. The old stage was rotted and on the verge of collapse. A bargain price of five stars outfits the room with a sturdy purple stage.
Want to see it without committing to playing the game? This video shows the story line of the party room level but skips the puzzles. The comment about the clogging competition occurs at approximately 13:47 in.
An internet search reveals strong feelings for and against Austin the butler. I found hilarious forum discussions and pages dedicated to either Austin appreciation or trash-talking the character’s quirks and gestures.
Overall, I find the game enjoyable and will confess to wasting a good bit of time on it over the past few days. THANK YOU to Dustin for sharing his find of a clogging reference “in the wild.”
Time to get back to Words With Friends! Hmm…what word will let me use this Z on a triple letter square?
Have YOU found an unexpected reference to clogging in a book, movie, song, or something else? Please share it in the comments or contact me.
DISCLAIMER: I have no affiliation with Playrix or with the Homescapes game.
UPDATE: Reached the level where Austin gets a cat! I named him Homer.