Gardens of Time
- Release Date: 2011
- Publisher: Playdom
- Developer: Playdom
- Genre: hidden object
Would you like to run in a mysterious machine to travel through time and explore endless incredibly beautiful gardens? There are various kinds of puzzles challenging your eyesight, such as Find differences and Find as much staff as possible in one minute.
Gardens of Time is a free online Facebook hidden object game where you are able to use your Time Machine to locate hidden objects throughout history, unravel the intrigues of a secret society, and protect the world from sinister forces!
The exquisite artifacts you discover can be used to decorate your garden, based on which you can level up by increasing your reputation. You will unlock other gardens with different breathtaking scenes according to your performance. You can also invite your friends to play with you or challenge other players around the world. Jump in your time machine and embark on your adventure!
The ingame graphics, however, are just what City of Wonder has employed. Take characters for example, I have seen that woman too many times in city of Wonder, but in Gardens of Time, she keeps appearing, which looks like a spokeswoman of your company.
Playdom’s Gardens of Time is the best hidden object game (HOG) that I have ever played. I am never alone to harbor such a thought, for more than 900,000 players play this game on a daily basis. We like it with good reasons: great artwork about the graphic, many a exquisite scene, supportive garden building element, different modes of competition and interaction among friends. It simply has what it takes to make an enjoyable game.
Role-playing as a new recruit to the Time Society, we will travel by time machine to different historical periods, finish the hidden object puzzle there, and build our time garden into a antique-theme park so as to unlock more scenes to play.
Unlike most HOGs that move on from one scene to another purely via the accumulation of XP or collectable items, Gardens of Time has structured its procession in a different way. We need to build the garden to win reputations which then unlock more playable scenes.
Garden-building is made easy but characterized by a cultural vibe. Under its Build tab, there are listed six types of facility that can be built in the garden. While the Decorations, paths and expansions are usual setup with multiple of common choices offered under each title, the other three of Artifacts, Buildings and Wonders are categories filled by culture-laden objects, such as the observatory El Caracol with its spiral staircase, Tomb of Horus, and Egyptian Chariol statue etc. Some structures can be bought for silver coins or golden bars; some are level-locked; and buildings of Wonder are specially quest-locked, each locked by one Chapter.
There are all together 22 Chapters in the game, each including several different scenes. Every chapter is designed with a unique theme, covering a wide range such as Great Caesar’s Ghost, Return to the Nile, Hollywood Follies and A Road to El Dorado, just to name a few. And under different chapter, you can surely expect to feast your eyes on never-identical, delicate scenarios. And to start, we will access into a series of postcard-like scenes featuring exotic views of Ancient Egypt.
In each scene, a certain amount of hidden objects needs to be found in the deliberate jumble. The name of the object is listed on the below of the screen. Adjacent to the name list are four small icons, representing different kinds of helpful hints. The basic type is offered immediately at start to help you find one item by circling a narrowed search scope; then goggles unlocked at Lv. 5 can be used to scan the whole picture, highlighting objects (which will glow) when the cursor moves close to them; and further on Thermometer and Flash can be unlocked at Lv. 10 and 15 respectively to make the item exposed even more obvious. Hints are useful, but their usage is limited differently at the same time. The basic time has a cool-down time after one use, and the other three can be successively used three times without limit, with more requiring purchasing.
And there are two gaming modes: the console-styled Main Story (namely, the Chapter) and the social Weekly Blitz Challenge. Scenes of each chapter set no time limit that we can take as long as we like to find the all required objects. Yet speed does count in the rewarding system which scores every round with a Time Bonus and Skill Bonus (combo will boost the latter). Each round of gameplay is rated by Star, with a maximum of four stars for each scene. Thus, we can always replay the previous scenes for more stars as well as rewards like coins, energy and XP, etc.
And the Weekly Challenge offers us a chance to ascend in the leader-board, pitting us against friends in competition for higher rewards. Its rule is different: we need to find as many hidden objects as possible in 60 seconds, with same hints available. Also unlike the common silver coins and XPs given in Main Story, a certain number of gold bars are the 1st place reward for winner. And this mode costs fifteen units of energy to play one round, five more than the normal sole-play. Repetitive play is available, too.
Same in the two modes, replaying is easier and thusly repetitive. Different from Mystery Manor, another well-polished HOG, objects in the game stay where they are in all gameplay rather than changing locations in different rounds. Moreover, it’s inevitable that some of the required hidden objects in the list will be re-appearing many times during revisits of the previous scenes.
Comparatively, the main story comprises the bulk of gameplay. In this mode, there is no time tap, so there is no possibility to kick player out of every round of play, a setup commonly adopted in lots of HOGs. Yet the game tolerates no blind-click. If we click too many times randomly without pinpointing one single needed object, we will be punished to suspend in mid-play for 5 seconds.
Although there is an energy setup, 10 units per play (the Main Story mode), it actually doesn’t force the gameplay to an unpleasant halt or drag down the level-up. Energy refills automatically over time; and more importantly, it is also given as rewards of each play and even recharged to full in every level-up. Of course, there is always premium energy package in in-game shop. And needless to say, money talks not only in this aspect.
Will Gardens of Time be a HOG of all times? It perhaps can make it.
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