A House Is Not An Adorable Home
The life simulator market is undeniably huge right now. With the success of console titles like Animal Crossing: New Horizons, players everywhere are realizing it is a lot of fun to engage in a more casual gaming experience. These titles are in demand and appearing more often across all platforms. Unfortunately, not every game in the genre is a smash hit. Such is the case with Adorable Home by HyperBeard Games. Despite its more progressive elements, it still falls short of several game making benchmarks.
Adorable Home has you pick one of several gender-neutral avatars for both yourself and your virtual partner. Immediately, the tastes and priorities of the developers are evident: make a game that anyone can see themselves in. This is an excellent approach, drawing in a more diverse audience to enjoy a life sim. However, the game provides players very little in terms of individual expression at the outset.
While pronouns are not automatically assigned, the colorful, representational clothing and items advertised are nowhere to be found upon launching the app. You and your partner receive dull, white outfits. It feels almost anti-inclusive because all characters wear the exact same thing.
It’s A Living
Players receive a cat with their home and get to take cute snapshots of the new home, viewable via an in-game album. After introducing the stock furniture provided for the house, the game explains the “love” system. Disregarding the notion that love here is transactional and therefore problematic, you earn love by completing tasks for your partner and pet. Provide cat food, make lunch for your partner and collect log-in bonuses to earn Adorable Home’s main currency. Outside of these and a few frustrating, repetitive minigames, there’s very little to actually do here. Various colorful furniture pieces and new rooms taunt you from the virtual shop. Though, you can only complete tasks every few hours, severely limiting their acquisition. That is, unless you pay for it in the real world.
Love also comes from microtransactions in this life simulator. You also double your reward from activities through watching ads for other games. These monetization efforts wouldn’t be so intrusive if more content was provided by this free to play title upon launch. Even with daily play, currency adds up extremely slowly in comparison to customization prices. Not only that, but the available activities are so repetitive that little incentive to grind remains. You end up feeling like your actively wasting time.
I want to acknowledge that there is a good chunk of likeable content within Adorable Home, despite my criticisms. The aesthetic is charming and all of the assets are creatively designed to fit within in. Still, this is a game after all, and the lack of engaging interaction with such visuals limits enjoyment more than provides it. There is a lot of potential here. However, too many rooms and activities are locked behind microtransactions or grinding. Until the developers change this, there’s just not enough here to satiate even the most casual players.
Is it Hardcore?
While a lot of potential sits within Adorable Home, unbalanced mechanics and halfway representation mars the experience. Players are likely to become frustrated or disinterested in the stops in regular progression. Unless you’re content to play the same frustrating minigames over and over again, it’d be best to pass this one up.