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Sunday, January 13, 2008

New Game - "Home Sweet Home"

For those of you who love HGTV, especially the room remodels like Divine Design and Designed to Sell, and who are looking for an interesting computer game, well I have found the perfect game for you. "Home Sweet Home" by Oberon Media gives the interior designer in you a chance to flex some design muscle. The premise is simple: you are a new designer signed on with an interior design firm owned by Dee Ziner (yeah, cute right?). She needs help with a list of new clients, each of whom has varied tastes and quirks about how they want their homes furnished. Some of your new clients will be straightforward in their requests while others will couch their wishes in puzzling language, including acrostics, anagrams, and pidgin languages.

You earn more money when you reach 100% customer satisfaction; as a matter of fact, you want be allowed to submit your plan until you reach the minimum level of satisfaction and the minimum number of furnishings needed. You're allotted different budgets for the various clients. Their are a variety of paints, wallpapers, carpets, floorings, furniture, accessories to choose from. Once you submit your plan, you are then introduced to the three workers (two men and a woman) who will build a room based on your specs.

The building phase will be your most frustrating point of the game because through a flurry of clicks and drags, you have to make sure your builders are equipped by dragging necessary tools to their avatars. Otherwise they will stop working on the projects and time is of the essence as you're given only a matter of days to finish. Other impediments are their rapidly decreasing energy levels which you can boost by dragging a coffee pot over their avatar. If you don't give them coffee in time, they will take a long coffee break and leave their projects. And projects become "undone" in a matter of seconds. To complicate matters further, each worker has a color assigned to them (pink, green and blue) and assigned furnitures will be outlined in their respective colors. The workers tend not to tire as fast when working on pieces assigned with their color.

However, you will soon notice that the color prompts quickly change even as the worker is building an item. What was once pink, green or blue can quickly change to another color. Workers tend to get injured when they are working on another worker's project. And thus the most irritating aspect of the game - you have to drag a first aid kit over the avatar in order to heal them, which should be simple except the screaming idiots are running around, making it that much harder to click on them and costing you valuable time. If you run out of the allotted days, you have to start the build phase over again.

The best point of the game is that you're given your own room to design for yourself and as you earn more money, you get to buy pricier furnishings which you can arrange and re-arrange to your liking. Also, take a pic for your album as you re-do a living room into a dining room into a media room, or whatever you want. (This version doesn't have bathroom, kitchen or bedroom furnishings; those are offered in a sequel game.) Check out my living room/media room pics:

Despite the minor frustrations, I really like this game. Ironically, I had wondered if a game existed where I could get in touch with my inner designer, and I just happened to find this on the MSN game page. I'm not one to give too many reviews, but if I were to assign "Home Sweet Home" a rating on a 5-star grid, I would have to give it a 3.5 or even a 4. It would have been a straight-up 5 if the designers had just allowed the player to design and build without trying to turn the game into an arcade game, because this game isn't geared toward the kiddies and adults have low frustration thresholds. Well, I know I do anyway.

You can download a trial version of the game at GameZebo.


Sharon Cullars Coffee Talk at 1/13/2008 10:58:00 PM Permanent Link     | | Home


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