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  • Writer's pictureL. Sahara McGirt

Early Access Review: Furnish Master

There's almost a video game for just about everything out there. Whether it's fighting big scary monsters, simulating life, or even house flipping. Furnish Master takes an element of everyday life and turns it into a game that's all up to the player's whim. Its concept is simple: Furnish rooms. Some of these rooms are commercial spaces; others are all the usual rooms found in any living space. This could make for a very boring or fun game, depending on how players go about engaging with it.

Furnish Master has two modes: A story mode and a sandbox mode. The story mode is not half-bad. Players start with the simple task of cleaning up a shared living space after a party. The tutorial works out for getting accustomed to the controls, which are mostly mouse-based. It takes a little bit of getting used to, but the controls are fairly simple. After that, another location opens up. This time, it's helping someone redecorate a room at their place with a limited inventory of furniture. After completion, they give the player some money and stars. Money is easy enough to gain as the game goes on. There are opportunities to purchase shops and other spaces and make money off of them. In fact, I sat and just let the game generate money while doing other tasks. It almost makes it too easy, but a star system locks locations until enough of those are gained. So, the game balances itself out.

The story mode is mostly pretty fun and quick to play through. Some of the locations offer unique puzzles and challenges, Including placing items to solve a problem or removing trash to allow for another pretty unique activity that I won't spoil here but will say took me several fun tries to complete.

I went about playing Furnish Master in two different ways: meticulously decorating my way through some of the challenges offered up or just straight up throwing furniture any which way in a room. Some redecorating challenges don't have specifics for how rooms are furnished, and I found that I could just straight up speed my way through by simply dropping items in a room with no rhyme or reason. Other challenges require very specific placements, and getting furniture and other items arranged just right matters.

The lighting physics could be a little better.

As I played through Furnish Master, I found the game to be mostly relaxing. Once I had enough money and stars to buy the largest apartment available, I went about and began decorating rooms to my liking, from customizing wallpaper to flooring and retexturizing furniture. The current furniture catalog has plenty to work with, but I'm curious to see how that progresses because it's still pretty limited. At some point, I did end up going off and playing the Sims because decorating just made me think of some of the homes in the Sims I needed to finish redecorating, and I got just slightly more satisfaction out of that. However, I did wish at points that I could get as deep into arranging furniture in the Sims as I did in Furnish Master. However, I'm not sure if being able to place a chair on the wall upside down is necessarily useful.

Sandbox mode is what it says it is: set up a room with no goals in mind. The nice difference about Sandbox mode is that the shape of a room can be adjusted and changed as I please, so I experimented with placing furniture in odd-shaped rooms just for the hell of it.

Furnish Master is in Early Access, so it is buggy at points. While completing some challenges in story mode, whole pieces of furniture disappeared when I would use the undo button. The game still counted the items as being placed, but they were visibly gone. Make sure to go in and adjust the graphics and frame rate settings even after the game automatically sets them. Furnish Master will stutter and have some other problems if that's not done.

Overall, I look forward to where Furnish Master ends up. It has been mostly developed by solo dev Alex Blintstov and takes a simple concept, making it into an experience that's pretty soothing while looking good. $14.99 is not a bad price point for what it is at the moment.

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