• Operating System:
  • Version:
  • Updated:
    Dec 23, 2022
  • File Size:
    321.4 MB
  • Developer:
    PLR Worldwide Sales Limited



Gardenscapes is a match-3 game with a tremendous amount of character (and number of characters too). Playrix certainly knows how to make games with a good mix of mechanics, lore, and compelling imagery, and Gardenscapes is no exception. We already saw that with Fishdom and Township, so seeing them deliver once more is not surprising.

If there’s one word to describe Gardenscapes is polished. There is no blemish to be found throughout, at least in terms of design. Undoubtedly there are some things to improve upon, and I will not skimp on pointing them out here. Nevertheless, flaws are trimmed to a minimum. 

Starting with the character design, you can really tell they’re handcrafted. Sure, you may say they were inspired by something else, but there’s hardly any artwork that doesn’t take inspiration from a previous one. 

The characters here just exude personality, and Playrix works pretty hard to make them relatable and likable, with Austin being the prime example. Some people do hate Austin with a passion, but yeah, screw them, I say! (just kidding!)

Speaking of the visuals, I can only describe them as “lovely.” Having the correct visuals is vital in a game like this, and Playrix doesn’t disappoint. Again, the “polish” is noticeable from the moment you launch the game. 

The UI is elegant for the most part. While it’s not absolutely perfect in every sense, it’s largely serviceable. And don’t get me started on the cinematics. They’re just plain gorgeous! 

Ok, so the premise of the game is pretty straightforward. You inherit a big yet wrecked mansion from your uncle with an overgrown and highly bedraggled garden. The butler - the aforementioned Austin - offers to help you collect the money for reparations by selling some antiques lying around the house. It’s apparent that Austin doesn’t want to go jobless, but, whatever Austin’s motivations are, you have no option but to accept his proposal. Oh, you also get to meet his adorable dog! (whom you name).

How to play

Y’all know what this leads to: Match-3 games! You’ll be prompted to play these quite a lot to complete the relevant tasks. These puzzles are really “simple” (if I can call them that): You find three identical tiles and combine them to make them disappear. You’ll also earn power-ups, which are like “shortcuts” that enable you to deal with more tiles than usual. Of all the power-ups you’ll obtain, the Rainbow Blast is among the strongest.

There are also some minigames of varying quality. Most involve Austin’s personal stuff, leading me to question, “Who’s the boss!” Austin even reminds me of Tony Danza in places (sans the romantic overtones!)

But perhaps the most significant point of contention concerns the pay-to-win tactics that the game presumably employs. I say “presumably” because, while it’s true that the game gets exceedingly tricky as you get to higher levels (and I don’t mean this in a gratuitous manner), I have been able to get to very high levels without power-ups. In all honesty, you’ll be hard-pressed to buy some at a certain point, yet I reckon Homescapes is infinitely worse in this respect. This has been my experience, although yours could conceivably differ from mine. There’s always the chance that Playrix could screw up the difficulty balance even more as I write this.

Lastly, I do have to admit that some power-ups (such as shovels) are hard to obtain without spending your hard-earned money. On top of that, the algorithm is prone to play some tricks. It’s like it remembers how you roll and then tries to manipulate you into thinking you’re beaten and need golden tickets to move forward. Whenever this happens, I just put the game down for a while and forget about it (I eventually return because, you know, “masochism.”)

Gardenscapes is a game I recommend wholeheartedly. It pushes many right buttons and can provide hours of genuine fun. However, be reminded that it’ll get tough, so it’s best not to approach it with a competitive mindset. If you hit a “wall” during your playthrough, put your phone down and “smell the flowers”!

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