Gardenscapes Now Available in Browser
Sometimes, the last thing we need after a hard day at work is more stress when we get home, right?
17:49 02 July 2018
While many of us turn to video games as our tonic to unwind, we may not always find ourselves actually relaxing while we play. After all, leaping from a trench into a bullet-ridden sky as you try to take an enemy's position in Battlefield was never going to lower your heart rate, was it?
This is where some of us look for something a little different than the usual slew of shoot ‘em ups, first person shooters, sports sims, or beat ‘em ups. For those of you who wish to chill out during your downtime rather than being pursued, shot at, or blown to smithereens, you would do far worse than giving Gardenscapes a try, a puzzle/sim game that has been a smash hit on both IOS and Android for a while now, but has recently been updated to work ‘in browser’ as well as via a standalone app.
Solve puzzles, build gardens, meet the neighbours
For those of you who are totally new to Gardenscapes, this addictive puzzle game places you in the shoes of the heir to a beautiful garden, with the goal of renovating it in your own style. To upgrade certain aspects of your garden (such as the water fountain or pond), you will have to complete puzzles which unlock rewards. The puzzles themselves are the ‘match-3’ types you would find in the likes of Candy Crush or other similar apps, but Playrix seem to have got the balance exceptionally well deployed here, with challenges neither feeling too easy or too difficult. There is also a rather neat story arc that runs through the game that gives you a sense of purpose, and along with the building of your garden, really does give you a reason to play rather than simply progressing to the next numerical level. Reaching ‘level 7’ in a game is all well and good, but receiving a smart new garden table and meeting a new neighbour just feels like more of a reward.
The look of the game is also rather charming, with its colourful cartoon art style, and is complimented by a wonderfully soothing soundtrack that never deviates from the relaxed feel of the game. Where as some of these ‘match-3’ style games will try to add tension by playing intense music as your time limit runs out, Gardenscapes is constantly relaxing experience. You may find yourself a little challenged by some of the puzzles, but never stressed or frustrated. ‘Twitch-shooter’ fans and action junkies should look elsewhere for their thrills as there really isn’t anything here to boost your adrenaline, but if you enjoy a slower pace of entertainment, then Gardenscapes has got you covered.
One game, any platform
While Gardenscapes isn’t a new game, It also shouldn’t be glossed over that it is now available on the web. For those of us who still spend a lot of time infront of our PCs or Macs, the ability to load up a game, play for ten minutes, log off, and then continue on our phones during our commute home is a godsend. And even if ‘in browser’ gaming isn’t something that you can see yourself doing, any tablet owner knows the frustrations associated with owning two devices that do not cloud-sync their save games. A push towards building universal gaming platforms, rather than singular device experiences is nothing to sniff at, regardless of your play habits. Most of the games published by Plarium now do this, and we can only hope others take note here, as the future of gaming really isn’t going to be on a single platform, let alone on a single device.
Gardenscapes, and similar such games suit this ‘pick up and play’ style of gaming exceptionally well, and as mobile gaming continues to increase, we will hopefully see more use of the cloud, allowing us to continue to gaming wherever we are, and on whatever platform we choose. The evidence for this push can even be seen by some of the biggest names in video games beginning to fall in line, such as Microsoft and their Minecraft Bedrock Edition, which allows for cross-play between Xbox, Nintendo Switch, Android and IOS editions. The hugely popular Battle Royale games of Fortnite and PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds have also gone down the route of cross-play, as has Rocket League and many more besides. This is great news for gamers, but not all of these games suit the mobile platform (just try to play Fortnite on your iPhone against players on their consoles and you will see just how difficult FPS’s are on mobile).
But games such as Gardenscapes play equally as well on a phone, tablet, and thankfully now laptops and PC’s, with your progress synced across all platforms seamlessly. And unlike some of the aforementioned games, there is no difference in control scheme, other than using a mouse instead of your fingers, and as such, you are at no disadvantage playing on phone or PC. So regardless of whether you are new to Gardenscapes or a veteran, there has never been a better time to get stuck into some virtual gardening! With any luck, this approach to gaming will be noticed by more developers, and we end up with a situation where a game that is only playable on a single device is the exception rather than the rule. More choice, as i’m sure you will agree, is never a bad thing.
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