Games that develop themselves over of a number of days are becoming more and more popular for today’s casual game player and Playrix Games’ Gardenscapes adds a unique entry into the market. But does Gardenscapes have what it takes to keep players coming back for more? Let’s find out.
The game begins with an introduction to yourself. You’ve just recently inherited a house and discover that behind it lies a once beautiful garden. Your job is to start from scratch to rebuild the garden and restore it back to its natural beauty. You jump right into the game with a puzzle to collect a variety of apples. This is just a taste of the puzzles to come.
The graphics consist of pre-rendered 3D elements on a 2D backdrop. The puzzle board, which is the main part of the game, is bright and colourful, and reminds me a bit of Columns for the Sega Genesis. The detailed graphics are what makes the game really shine.
In the match 3 game, you need to to match up 3 items.
Levels take a long time to complete, and earning a single star can be a bit slow. Since the number of moves you have is limited, you need to carefully strategize each move. If you run out of moves, you need to start from the beginning and you lose a life. You have a limited number of lives, so again, your strategy becomes important. Once you run out of lives, you need to wait a pre-determined amount of time before attempting the puzzle again.
As the puzzles get harder, you’ll encounter areas where you need to get creative. Some challenges include the waterfall where game pieces move as you destroy other pieces, the acorns, which are collected by matching different types of pieces closeby to them, and boxes, which take two hits to chip away at.
The main boosters are the bombs, twirlybird, and dynamite. These boosters are almost essential for some of the puzzles. Boosters can be earned by . Here’s a tip: match two firecrackers together to get the twirlybird quicker.
The main character has a seemingly unlimited amount one-lines to say, and just about every object is dynamic and touchable. While playing, you’ll encounter other characters that have their own unique traits. The development of the garden is actually a mini-game in itself, and you have the opportunity to improve it based on the amount of stars you collect.
The music is bright and cheerful. I’m reminded somewhat of The Sims. The music is very appropriate for the game and is relaxing to listen to when you just want to play a quick puzzle.
Because Gardenscape is a free game, in-app purchases are available. Since the levels become hard quickly, you have a choice to pay to speed up the wait times, or just wait. You can buy the boosters that speed up some of the more difficult puzzles.
You can get some free perks by signing up friends and sharing your Facebook information, but I really don’t like doing this, and the majority your friends won’t appreciate the game request its sure to push out.
Gardenscapes is available right now for iOS and Android.