Forest Home

Forest Home

Forest Home is a game in the style of the classic Flow, but it is much more complex than anything I have played up to this point in this category – and being a huge fan of the style, I did play quite a few titles, both on PC and Mobile. However, it’s also by far the hardest Flow variation that I’ve encountered – don’t get fooled by the cute, childish graphics; the game is deadly serious and extremely challenging. Good news though: on every level you can use a hint button free-of-charge that partially solves the level (it usually solves the hardest path you have to connect); plus, it recharges in a matter of seconds. Using a hint will however take up one of the 3 stars you can get for successfully completing a level.

The gameplay is basically Flow with a couple of twists. Just like in the classic game, you’ll need to connect dots of the same colour and at the same time fill the whole board with your paths. In here, the dots are cute animals that have a starting point and an endpoint, therefore your paths are unidirectional. On top of that, some levels require that you first lead the animal to a specific tile containing the food, and only afterwards to the end – because of that the flexibility is restricted in such levels, making it more difficult to find one of the several possible solutions. Another difference from the classic Flow is that you can have multiple dots of the same colour (2 animals of the same type) and both of them must be guided towards a common den.

There are two game modes available: “Adventure” (in which you solve “quests” consisting of 5 levels each, of various sizes and mixed difficulty) and “Quick play” (more similar to the classic Flow where levels are arranged in packs according to their size and increasing difficulty). Despite the name, there is no story linking the quests in “Adventure” mode, but every 10 levels there is a “Boss” level which consists of 3 extremely challenging puzzles to solve. When you reach a certain number of stars (awarded for completing the “Adventure” puzzles), you unlock a lore page describing one of the elements featured in the game (animal characteristics, forest elements etc.). You can also use the acorns that you gain from completing a level (regardless of the stars or the game mode) to buy different animal skins (a panda instead of a brown bear, a butterfly instead of a bee etc) or unlock level packs in the “Quick play” mode.

The majority of the levels have several bridges, which adds substantial complexity. Two paths can cross over one bridge (a path goes above, the other one goes below) and this makes the solutions very difficult – unless thinking in twisted and knotted paths feels natural to you.

This game is huuuge. There are more than 1000 levels in “Quick play” and more than 800 in “Adventure” mode. With nearly 2000 levels, the game is bound to keep you occupied for dozens of hours. Considering the length of the game, I find the $10 price to be appropriate but you can also wait until the next major sale to pick it up – it usually goes down to 60%.

A note of warning for achievement hunters: the achievements are rewarded for completing all the levels with 3 stars and unlocking various animals; if you use the hint button you will need to replay the level and while doing that it’s worth mentioning that you can’t interrupt your paths (you need to build each path in one go, without releasing the mouse button – not that comfortable when you have big levels with multiple bridges), otherwise a single path will count as two moves.

A few similar games on Steam: Dots eXtremeLink the Animals and on Android: Flow FreeFlow Free: BridgesConnect The Dots – Color Connect – Color LineColor Link Deluxe VIP.

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