With a name like that, you’d probably be expecting a chill-out interior decoration title in the vein of The Sims. And you’d be wrong, because Home Sweet Home actually turns out to be a charming time management game based on the hectic world of interior design. So, you’re this designer who’s renovating an entire street of houses. At the beginning of each level, you’re supplied with a budget and a note from the owner detailing their particular furnishing requirements. This starts out simply enough (“a sofa facing a TV, thanks!”), but subsequently becomes cryptic beyond all reason, so the later puzzles will give you much to think about.
Once you’ve selected a likely piece of furniture from the menu you can drag and drop it onto the blueprint using an elegant control system, which echoes that of MySims. As soon as your proposed interior design fills out the customer satisfaction meter, you’re cleared to begin the building phase. This segment is almost like real-time strategy for dummies. You distribute the workload between three workers, while keeping an eye out for the all-important coffee-o-meter at the top of the screen.
It’s crucial to keep the workers’ energy levels raised by topping up their mugs, because we all know what happens to a builder’s work ethic when the caffeine runs dry. And if you can find the time, you can also help out by mimicking sawing or screwdrivering motions with the remote. Home Sweet Home is infectious without ever really proving frantic, but it’s a distracting number that can provide hours of amusement, as long as you don’t try to experience them all consecutively. And you’ve got your own personal space to decorate, too.
Dec 18, 2008
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