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What Is Even Happening In These Video Game Ads, Help

Merge Mansion is the latest mobile game to garner attention for its weird ads

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Gif: Metacore Games / UCDream / Kotaku

We’ve all been there, waiting to collect something free in a mobile game in exchange for watching an advertisement for another mobile game. This is usually a chance to stretch or take a drink, but some ads are just so batshit crazy that you can’t help but watch them whenever they come up in the rotation.

Last year, a mobile game known as Lily’s Garden captivated the world with nonsensical, story-based advertisements that had nothing to do with the game itself. And while attention on Lily’s Garden has died down, a new game is ready to take its place: Merge Mansion, from Finnish studio Metacore Games.


Merge Mansion, like Lily’s Garden before it, is a simple mobile game, this time about cleaning a giant house. It also has some of the strangest ads you’re going to see on your phone, all of which involve a woman and her grandma. David Harmon on Twitter provided the most complete picture yesterday.


The young woman is clearly having a rough day as it is, arriving home alone, distraught, and wearing a wedding dress. But that’s just the start of her bad luck, as she also finds her house has been destroyed in a fire. With nowhere else to go, she contacts her grandma, who invites the woman to move into a giant mansion as long as she helps with remodeling it.

Everything seems to be fine until, one day, the grandma is arrested. Before the cops drive her away, the old lady manages to share one final message with her granddaughter from the back of the squad car:

“He is alive.”

Wait, what? Her fiancé? We’re supposed to assume he was dead and didn’t just, I don’t know, leave her at the altar or something?

Again, just like Lily’s Garden, there are several Merge Mansion ads floating around the internet, with each one providing more questions than answers.

Take this one, for example. It replays the scene of the grandma getting hauled away by the fuzz, but replaces her original message with something far more ominous:

“You’re next.”

Metacore Games / UCDream (YouTube)

Well shit, grandma! Sorry for cleaning your house!

Another ad appears to continue the story, showing that the woman somehow believes her grandma is innocent despite everything that’s happened.

Metacore Games / Coool Gamers (YouTube)

And, of course, some of the ads are just complete nonsense.

Here’s one where the woman matches with her grandma on a dating app and both of them seem kind of into it.

Metacore Games / UCDream (YouTube)

Another is just about the woman banging some dude in a bush.

Metacore Games / UCDream (YouTube)

And then we’re apparently provided a peek at an alternate reality where the grandma ignores her granddaughter rather than take her in.

Metacore Games (YouTube)

Just for shits and giggles, here’s what the official Merge Mansion listing on the Google Play store says about the game:

Maddie’s grandmother has something to tell. This mansion is full of stories unheard of! Help Maddie discover what her grandma has to reveal about the family’s adventurous past.

Wipe off the dust and find new items, merge them into useful tools and earn surprising treasures. You never know what awaits behind the mansion’s next corner.

Let the mystery adventure begin! Run a full home makeover, go ahead and decorate your house just the way you always wanted. Unlock new areas within and around the Mansion, unveiling decade old family secrets on the way. With an abundant combination of items to discover and hundreds of engaging puzzles to solve, the Mansion makes sure it always has new secrets waiting for you.


Oh sure, that totally comes through loud and clear in these ridiculous ads. But then again, Merge Mansion probably wouldn’t have garnered the attention it has without them. The mobile gaming market is no doubt a scary, cutthroat place, so I can’t blame devs for doing whatever possible to stand out.