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iPhone  header logo

Forest Home - We're never going home


For: iPhone   Also on: iPad

Really wooden

Product: Forest Home | Publisher: The Binary Mill | Format: iPhone | Players: 1 | Version: Europe | App version: 1.0.1
 
Forest Home iPhone, thumbnail 1
There's a puzzle game you've probably seen and played a bunch of times. You connect coloured points, using snaking paths, without allowing the paths to cross. All of the grid's squares must be filled, adding complexity to proceedings.

This, in a nutshell, is Forest Home, only the paths are traversed by cute little animals.

Oh, and the nutshell is glued to a boxing glove with 'IAP' scrawled across it in marker pen, which repeatedly punches you in the face until you beg for mercy.

Running towards nothing

The basic game isn't too bad but it is dull. You drag paths about, getting a rabbit to its burrow, or a bee to its hive. The visuals are jolly, with the coloured paths being distinct and relevant - the bee flies above a carpet of purple flowers, for example.

Over time, new elements are introduced, like food for animals to collect en-route, multiple animals to get to the same home, and bridges that enable two animals to use the same grid square.

IAPs explained
Acorns are this game's currency. Nine get you a challenge replay and 12 a lives refill. They can also be used to buy boosters - hints (6 acorns), "20% more moves FOREVER!" (99), and "UNLIMITED Lives for 2 hours" (55).

Watch an ad and you get three whole acorns. For 79p/ 99c, you get ten. And, you know the drill, this goes all the way up to a ridiculous £39.99 / $49.99 for 650 acorns, laughably referred to as "best value".

You will need acorns to break through roadblocks, unless you're very patient. But you'd be better off spending the money on a better game instead.
To three-star levels, you must complete them rapidly, and in as few moves as possible. The problem comes when you - through error or the interface not recognising what your fingers are doing - don't manage this.

Trunk route

Use too many moves and a life is lost - and lives are replenished by a timer. Oddly, puzzles when retried also happen to be somewhat randomised, shuffling the layout, but with the same number of objectives.

This might boost replay value, but it means puzzles aren't static challenges, and it makes the going harder should you get stuck.

During early levels, this is unlikely, although you will slam up against 'roadblocks', which offer stern tests to be completed within very strict time limits.

You can bug friends of Facebook for 'help', unlock the roadblock using acorns (i.e. money), or play through three puzzles. These can only be tackled at the rate of one per day, though. So you get to twiddle your thumbs for 48 hours, pay, or play something else.

For a game seemingly aimed at kids (given its visuals and general level of challenge), this approach is distasteful in the extreme.

You'd be better off buying RGB Express for a cute, fun, rewarding pathfinding game, or arming a youngster with Flow Free: Bridges and telling them to pretend the green dot is a frog and the blue one is a hedgehog.
 
Forest Home - We're never going home
Reviewer photo
Craig Grannell | 21 July 2015
A run-of-the-mill puzzle game that could have been OK for kids had it not been buried under eighteen tons of IAP
 
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