Tech

Your Next Mobile Gaming Obsession is About Competitive Decorating

Design Home is not just for moms, we promise.
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With the pace and variety of news and content that we all have on tap these days, it can sometimes feel like games are the last thing we need our phones for. And unless you’ve acquired a taste for the likes of Clash of Clans or Mobile Legends or whatever else the guys at the IT department are playing now, truly good mobile games can also be pretty hard to come by. A lot of the newer and more popular ones tend to be far too intricate and laden with special effects to be something a grown man would play on his phone—and unless you’re a ‘serious’ mobile gamer (in which case, you have my deepest sympathies), they aren’t usually worth the storage space they take up.

That’s why Design Home is an especially rare and unexpected gem in the App Store and the Google Play Store. It’s an interior design game that’s simple, straightforward, and refreshingly quiet. No hyperactive animations, no anime characters with disproportionate anatomies, no zombies—just homes, rooms, and furniture to decorate them with.

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Getting started with Design Home is easy. You begin with a set amount of money, diamonds, and keys. Then you’re given a decorating challenge: a space for which you must shop for furniture and decor using your money and diamonds.

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Shopping might just be the best part of the game, because you get to choose from hundreds of items by real furniture and decor brands, all of which you can mix and match. Choose a chair, a sofa, a coffee table, a bookcase, a console table, a rug, a lamp, and whatever else you think your space needs. This is the design process, and it’s great fun.

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Then once you’re satisfied with your design, hit “finish” and it will be sent out for other players to vote on over a period of time (usually a day or two). This process is entirely subjective—it works kind of like Tinder, but for contemporary living rooms and Scandinavian apartments. At the end of the voting period, your design will be given a final score out of five, and you’ll be rewarded accordingly with more diamonds or more furniture.

To continue joining challenges after that, you need keys, and to earn keys, you need to vote on the designs of other people. This part can be pretty relaxing, because all you need to do is pick one design over another and release all your pent-up frustration at tacky interiors.

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Succeeding challenges also come with different parameters—sometimes, a challenge will restrict you to using only a specific style or brand of furniture. This way, you never get too stuck on a set of personal favorite pieces.

The game also incorporates a social element when you hook it up to your Facebook account, by letting you borrow furniture from friends. But the best part of playing this game with other people is still just comparing designs and scores.

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Design Home is fun and addictive because it’s a game of taste—there’s never too much pressure to be better than everyone else, but there’s a lot of gratification when people concur with the black leather ottoman you picked for your mid-century modern home. It can be competitive if you want it to be, but if you’re just in it to appreciate some nice-ass furniture, it can serve that purpose too. In fact, we’d go as far as to say that this game can even refine your eye for interior design, and maybe help you decorate a real space. But more than anything, Design Home is a relaxing game that offers respite from all the other bullshit you’re fed through your phone, which is what a game is supposed to be anyway.

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Miguel Escobar
Assistant Features Editor for Esquire Philippines
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