You, your partner, and your adorable pet have just moved into a new home on a quiet, cozy street. Sure, the house is small right now, but it’s home! Welcome to Pocket Love, a charming little mobile simulation from HyperBeard Games, available on both the App Store and Google Play.
Pocket Love isn’t based around active gameplay – you won’t find minigames or long-lasting activities, which is refreshing in a media world usually full of time-consuming dailies and events.
So what do you do in Pocket Love?
- Keep the block clean! Tap any trash or dirty spots on the sidewalks to clean up your neighborhood (and earn coins)
- Get fashionable by collecting clothing items and changing up your (and your partner’s!) look
- Say hi to your partner and pets – you’ll get cute little bits of dialogue when you check in with your loved ones
- Create cozy spaces by getting new furniture and decorating
- Check for visitors. In your phone book you can see who visits on which days and interact to get new hair colours, items, and even pets.
Being able to idly check in on Pocket Love and see how my character and my partner are interacting has been a really nice experience during the day. I’m in the last couple months of living several states away from my partner before we move in together, and I really enjoyed being able to recreate us, complete with our cat and dog. The game is LGBTQ friendly, and you can create your partner any way you wish – it defaults to they/them pronouns and clothing and hair items have no gender locks on them. Feel free to create your little life and relationship however you like!
There are a lot of cute items in Pocket Love, and two different currencies you can use to buy those items.
Types of currency:
- Coins are more common and can be earned easily by selling extra furniture, watching ads, completing daily challenges and picking up trash
- Dogllars are a little rarer, but you can get them by watching ads, spinning the daily wheel, and completing offers by Tapjoy
Things to buy:
- Furniture items (coins/dogllars)– you’ll find plenty here for any room you wish to create, even a garden or outdoor space!
- Hair colors (coins/dogllars), including an NPC who drops by on weekends carrying unique colors
- Hairstyles and clothing (dogllars)
- New rooms (dogllars)– you can have up to 4 rooms at the moment
- Seasonal or limited items (dogllars) which include temporarily-available premium sets that can be purchased piece by piece, or purchased in cheaper, randomised packs of 1, 3, or 5 items
Earning currency (without breaking the bank!)
You can buy dogllars with real money, and dogllars can be traded for coins, but Pocket Love is surprisingly free-to-play friendly! You’ll get packages every once in awhile with new items, and seasonal sets offer one free random item each (which is one of my favourite things!).
To be clear, game devs absolutely deserve money for their hard work, and I’ll very rarely knock a game for having microtransactions as ways to get new things, but whenever a game can be enjoyed without having to pull out a credit card, it’s impossible not to appreciate that.
In-game, you can pick up trash and clean up the streets to get a few coins. It accumulates throughout the day, so any time you’re on just take a look and see if there’s any cleaning to do!
Pocket Love also takes advantage of trading ads for freebies. There’s a wheel in the game that you can spin each day, with the first spin being free and a handful more being available in exchange for watching ads before each new spin. You can win dogllars, items, and coins in varying amounts. Each day also lets you watch an ad for free items in different categories, letting you build up your collection in exchange for a couple minutes of your time.
There are offers from Tapjoy in Pocket Love, though I find them to be hit or miss (which isn’t Pocket Love’s fault, but just be aware going in). I’ve had no trouble receiving rewards from checking out offers, but when it comes to downloading and playing other apps, Tapjoy only seemed to recognize one of the three I tried out.
The bottom line
I’m finding Pocket Love to be an adorable, enjoyable experience and I love that I can check in a few times a day to see what we’re up to and open surprises.
There are a couple downsides – there are a few bugs including my dog disappearing for a full night until I’d restarted a few times, and now that I have a fourth room, whenever I log in my character seems to be there unless I manually click another. At this time, there’s also no cloud save or way to save your account, which is unfortunate if you need to delete the app for some reason. Part of why I’ve held off spending money in-game is because I know that when I get a new phone later this year, I’ll lose everything unless they change this (which I hope they do!)
Those aside, I’ve really been enjoying it, and feeling like I can enjoy the whole game for free in a world of games that make microtransactions necessary to fully play is a really welcome aspect.
If you’re looking for something cute and hands-off to brighten up your day, this one is absolutely worth a try!