Suburban Timewaster

I play video games and review them.

Awakening: Kingdoms (iPhone App Store)

Queen Sophia’s away on another quest. As steward, it’s your job to bring Skyward Kingdom back to its former glory.

Okay, I wasn’t going to touch this game because I try to avoid free-to-play whenever possible. If Monika Guballa from Boomzap (the company that made the Awakening games) hadn’t emailed me personally, I would’ve never even played it. Like I said, instead of taking the role of Queen Sophia, you take the role of the steward. You meet characters from previous Awakening games and help them accomplish their goals.

The game play is a mixture of hidden object and building sim. You gather materials by participating in various hidden object scenes. You use the items to construct buildings throughout the land. During the game, characters will give you quests and it’s your job to complete them. You can also send messages to your friends and play mini-games in various buildings.

This game is beautiful and addictive. I give it 7 out of 10; it renewed my interest in the Awakening series.

Fishdom (Bigfishgames.com)


Have you ever wanted an aquarium but didn’t want the responsibilities attached to it? Now you can with your own virtual fish aquarium. Design the tank to keep your virtual fish happy.

That’s right, this game has no story whatsoever. You just purchase equipment, fish and decorations for your three tanks. You can get the money by playing a match 3 game. The fish will sometimes give you hints on what you need to purchase. You can’t unlock the next tank until you’ve decorated the current one to bronze. If you’re a perfectionist, try to go for the gold on all three.

This game is addictive and beautiful. I give it 8 out of 10; a nice distraction for when you’re bored.

Barn Yarn (Bigfishgames.com)


Tom and Joe are back and this time they bought a barn. Only problem, it’s not in good condition and they need your help to fix it up.

That’s right, the characters of Farmscapes are back. There’s not much to say about the plot so I’ll just skip to the game play. It’s exactly the same as Gardenscapes. You participate in hidden object games in order to sell your junk to your neighbors. Sometimes, you’ll get letters asking you to assist only one neighbor. Keep going until you can afford decorations for the barn.

This game is incredibly addictive. I give it 8 out of 10; better than Farmscapes.

Farmscapes (Bigfishgames.com)


When Tom’s parents send him to his grandpa Joe’s farm, he thought it would be backbreaking labor with no computer to play on. Little did he know that Joe’s farm is in debt and it’s up to both you and Tom to save him.

The plot of this is quite simple. The town wants to build a mall and they’re using Joe’s farm as a space for their parking lot. You’d think it was one of those small towns don’t want big city malls destroying their pleasant atmosphere despite how it would help the economy plots. Instead, the town settles on a compromise that they get to later in the game.

The game play is your basic buy decorations for the farm. In order to get the money, you need to take part in a match 3 game. Sometimes, citizens will write letters to you or call you for special orders. During the game, you can read newspaper articles in order to further explore the story.

This game is addictive and beautiful. I give it 7 out of 10; typical Gardenscapes game with a twist.

Manor Memoirs (Bigfishgames.com)

When Scarlett gets serious writer’s block, she moves into a beautiful 19th century mansion. Only problem, the place needs a little work. Can Scarlett count on you to fix the mansion up?

The makers of Gardenscapes came up with a new fix-it-up/hidden object game for you to play. Except there’s more going on than just fixing up the mansion. During the game, Scarlett discovers the diary from a former resident, which inspires her to write the owner’s life story. The more you buy, the more she’ll write.

The game play is exactly the same as Gardenscapes. You find hidden objects in different scenes in order to make money. Every bit of your funds goes to decorations for the mansion. You’ll also get cut scenes that require you to take part in mini-games.

This game is incredibly addictive. I give it 7 out of 10; a fun game from the makers of Gardenscapes.

Fright (Bigfishgames.com)

When the bus crashes in a strange town, it’s up to you to heal the injured bus driver. Not only that, but strange things occur around town. Can you get the bus fixed and unlock the town’s mystery?

That’s right; it’s a horror plot and quite a good one. The mystery of the town just keeps you guessing and the animation’s so wonderful that the people actually look real. I don’t agree with a few things in the game. Unfortunately, I can’t talk about them because I don’t want to give away any spoilers.

The game play is your typical hidden object. You go from scene to scene collecting items for your inventory. You do have to partake in hidden object scenes but they’re more like putting items in the correct places until you get one object. Instead of a journal, you carry around a camera that takes pictures and describes the scene. If you’re stuck, use a hint.

This game is intriguing yet boring. I give it 4 out of 10; terrific story, lousy game play.

Huru Beach Party (Bigfishgames.com)

Lindsey wants nothing more than to form a volleyball team for her school but the president of the sports association, Jake, refuses to spend money on it. Now she has to get a job at the beach in order to raise funds for her team. Can Lindsey get the money and show Jake who’s boss?

If you’re familiar with this type of plot than you don’t need me to tell you how it ends. However, I will tell you about the game play. You deliver items to the customer that requests them. Some items will require you to participate in a mini-game. During the game, you will have to purchase upgrades both in and out of level. The more stars you get, the more upgrades you can afford. Meet all the required goals for each level as fast as you can to earn the most stars you can.

This game is simplistic yet addictive. I give it 6 out of 10; a fun game for when you’re bored.

Hot Dog Stand: The Works (Amazon.com)

You’re in charge of your very own hot dog stand and you need to meet the goal before the game ends. Can you use all of your business skills to make your stand successful?

That’s right; I’m reviewing a game for little kids. I would have never even touched this game if it weren’t for an email from Christopher Doran about his upcoming game, Culina: Hands in the Kitchen (which is currently being greenlighted on Steam). One of the games that inspired him was this one. There’s nothing to say about the plot except the only characters you’ll find are talking hot dogs. Yet they’re okay with you selling hot dogs for people to eat. Is this a world where the human race enslaves living hot dogs and, if no one buys them, they serve them as food?

The game play is that of a typical business sim. You fulfill the items on your checklist. Then you buy products and sell them in your stand. Make sure you meet the goal before the game ends.

This game is stupid and weird. I give it 0 out of 10; don’t waste your money on it.

Reflections of Life: Tree of Dreams (Bigfishgames.com)

When a young orphan named Grace receives a visit from a man claiming to be her uncle, she discovers that, not only does she have a family; she also belongs to another world. Unfortunately, that world is in danger and her parents lie in a coma. Can she revive her parents and save her world from evil?

This plot is not exactly unique but that doesn’t make it any less interesting. It’s fun discovering the laws of the world Grace came from and why her parents gave her up. Not to mention that the plot has enough twists and turns to keep you guessing.

The game play is your typical hidden object. You go from scene to scene collecting items for your inventory. Some items will require you to participate in hidden object scenes. Any item that’s important to the plot goes straight to your legendary items bag. If a place is too high for you to reach, your owl will assist you. You also carry a crystal that activates hidden portals in mirrors. If you’re stuck, use a hint.

This game is addictive and intriguing. I give it 8 out of 10; thinking of buying the collector’s edition.

Awakening: The Redleaf Forest (Bigfishgames.com)

Queen Sophia’s journey to save her parents finally ends at Redleaf Forest. She has to destroy the evil Dreadmyre once and for all.

That’s it, the end of the Awakening series and it’s about time. In this game, you learn about the conflict between the centaurs and the dwarves. That’s right; you have to bring peace to two peoples in order to advance the plot. In the bonus story, you play an unknown nanny who takes care of Sophia’s kid.

The game play is your typical hidden object. You go from scene to scene collecting items for your inventory. Some items will require you to take part in hidden object games. You will have to play a mini-game in order to advance through the story and you will be backtracking throughout the game. If you’re stuck, use a hint.

This series was fun at first but now it’s past its prime. I give it 4 out of 10; glad it finally ended.

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