Author: BigPond Game Arena
Magitronic, gadget and game review about Gardenscapes : Game Review. Rebuilding the garden is a breeze. You simply choose from pre-made elements each time you finish a game level. You can add fountains, gazebos, dog kennels, and even mini-gold holes. There is almost no end to the combinations of more. Each item you place into your garden adds just the kind of flair needed to make it stand out and shine!
Sounds great, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, there is just one snag. The biggest problem holding back the restoration efforts is a common one many landscapers in the real life face–cash flow (or lack thereof, actually). Adding all of these lovely statues, living sculptures, and other fascinating things to one’s garden requires money. The game doesn’t allow you to peddle watches on the street or sell your soul, but it does let you sell off loads of junk found throughout your house, err, mansion (who said mansion owners couldn’t be pack-rats, too?). Each game level puts you in one of the fifteen different rooms located within your mansion. The goal is to meet the demands of each customer that stops by. People wander in asking you for all kinds of weird stuff like ash trays, gloves, empty wine bottles, and even food. It is your job to rummage through all the clutter in the room to find what they’re looking for (even if it is a silly request). Sometimes these items are easy to find. Other times it can be almost impossible without asking the computer for a hint.
It helps to get good at this job, because the quicker you find a customer’s requested object the more they pay for it. The more you earn the faster you can afford new flair for your garden, which then gets you closer to winning the city gardening club’s “most beautiful garden” contest.
Like most games in this genre, there are little mini-games on the side to keep you from getting bored of the mainline game-play. This is especially helpful for this game considering that some levels tend to repeat finding objects in the same places. That being said, at least the mainline game-play keeps you busy finding other stuff like random coins and free hint tokens while you wait for customers to come in.
Another interesting feature that stands out in Gardenscape is your butler. As previously mentioned, Austin is a fully-animated character that assists you throughout the game. You can even send your right-hand man out to do tasks like watering and feeding the dogs. The game’s environment is completely interactive and customisable. The game even throws in a bonus screensaver featuring your garden. You don’t have to leave your garden behind once you finish the game. You can save it as a screensaver and show it off to your friends and family.
Gardenscape may not attract hardcore or even mild-core gamers, but its immersing storyline, presented in beautiful animation and sound, is bound to attract gardeners, pack-rats, and rummage-sale addicts who are stuck on their PCs at work with nothing better to do. Even if you’re not a real game or computer user, the idea of having a virtual garden may be appealing to you. With a huge percentage of our population owning too much stuff, this should make many people feel right at home. Got a customer who wants three pairs of scissors, a half a dozen old-school floppy disks, or even ten flashlights? You can’t sell them the ones you probably have in your own garage, but you’re bound to find them in this mansion!
Gardenscape is available for online play and also by download for the Windows and Mac OS X operating systems. Windows systems require a CPU with a minimum 1.0 GHz clock speed, 512 MB of RAM, and DirectX 8 or greater. Mac users require OS X 10.4 or greater, a CPU with 2.0 GHz clock speed, 512 MB of RAM, and 128 MB of video RAM..
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