Gardenscapes is an easy-going puzzle game developed by Playrix in which players enter the enchanting world of gardens. The players experience the joy of restoring a garden and making it bloom like never before guided by the trusty Austin the Butlet. This match-3 puzzle game was initially launched for PC but became an even bigger success with its mobile releases for both Android and iOS with the new Gardenscapes: New Acres. It is not just another simple puzzle title, but it also adds a narrative and characters that are important to its success.
Here we’ll take a deep dive into what Gardenscapes is and has to offer. We will cover the gameplay, characters, and of course cheats and codes available for the game.
While Gardenscape follows the traditional formula for a match-3 game similar to Candy Crush and others, with the addictive and simple yet challenging gameplay, it provides much more. It folds in an intriguing narrative that takes players through a journey of different locations, getting to know a variety of characters. In terms of the puzzles, there are hundreds of unique levels. Each level provides an upgrade to different areas of the garden in restoration.
Perhaps even more importantly, alongside puzzle-solving, the story unfolds as you complete challenges. Each garden has its own quirks and characters, which gives the game a progression in the narrative as you restore each garden. There are dozens of more characters to befriend after initially getting to know Austin the Butler.
The game also provides an in-game social networking function, which allows players to share their progression and journeys through different gardens.
The world of Gardenscapes is full of colorful, lively, and friendly characters. Players meet characters as they progress through the storyline, restoring gardens to their once-held glory. Each of the characters comes with backstories, some more intricate than others, and personalities.
Here are just some of the game’s characters:
- Austin: The heart of Gardenscapes. Austin, a third-generation butler, not only guides players through the game but also shares his rich family legacy. His loyal Yorkshire Terrier is by his side throughout the adventure.
- Olivia: Olivia, Austin’s mother, is an avid traveler and plays a crucial role in the game, especially during certain events.
- William: Retired butler and father to Austin, William shares a strong bond with his wife, Olivia.
- Robbie Wood: This master carpenter, a childhood friend of Austin’s, lends his expertise to the garden, particularly in wooden constructions.
- Einar Davidsson: The biker and owner of the Lucky Spin wheel. Einar brings daily surprises to players and harbors a mysterious new project. You’ll also find him in the Big Race event.
- Martha Goodwill: Martha, who runs the “Bark N’ Purr” animal shelter, introduces Austin to a lovable dog and provides the garden with two magnificent peacocks.
- Winston White: Initially a cleaner, Winston shifts his career to become a private investigator, encountering Austin in the Calvadori Garden.
- Colin Stone: A talented stonemason, Colin is instrumental in several structural projects around the garden.
- Peter Waters: Peter, a retired firefighter, is the Director of the Faithful Tails amateur dog-breeder club and the owner of the world’s best dog, Archibald.
- Lucy: Lucy is a schoolgirl from Austin’s neighborhood. She’s first found in the Fountain Area, where her beloved cat is stranded in a tree.
- Carlos Vega: The plumber Carlos believes that every garden should not only include beautiful fountains but should have plenty of water for lawns and flowers.
Games in the Series
Gardenscapes is part of the larger Scapes series by the game developer Playrix. The studio has a focus on puzzle games, and match-3 games in particular. The Dublin, Ireland-based company has developed several puzzle games under the Scapes brand, of which Gardenscapes is one of the more popular ones.
Here’s a list of games in the Scapes family:
- Gardenscapes: Mansion Makeover
- Gardenscapes 2
- Gardenscapes: New Acres
There are no known cheats for Gardenscapes, at least that the developer would condone or we would recommend. Gardenscapes is a puzzle game, which means that the core of the gameplay is indeed solving a puzzle. Bypassing this process would remove the bulk of the gameplay, which wouldn’t make sense. That being said, we can still give you some help with the game.
Here are some hints that especially new players might find helpful:
Get to Know the Board
As you enter more and more challenging gardens, you’ll find yourself with starting boards that offer fewer good moves. It is important to scan the board for beginning moves with the most potential. A good move at the start could propel you to an easy victory, or leave you wondering how is it even possible to finish the board.
Placing Tiles Strategically
Tile positioning can be super important. A good spot, especially when activating a power-up, could spark new life to a stagnant board. Try to get chain reactions with a single move, and you could be in for a treat. If that is not available, try to look for moves that create other openings.
Match From the Bottom Up
One of the most important match-3 strategies is to do matches close to the bottom first. Unless there’s a superb closer to the top, or you’ll ruin a good one for going for a bottom match, do the bottom one first. This makes it a possibility that the newly added tiles are going to create new combos.
Keep an Eye on Move Count
When there’s a limited amount of moves, it is important to make sure that you spend them wisely.
Get to Known Your Tiles and Obstacles
There are special tiles, including flowerbeds, lemonades, and more, that can be saviors in tough situations, get to know them. They can sometimes circumvent problems with blocked pathways and obstacles.
Find the Gnomes
On levels that require gnome statues, you’ll find them hiding in the grass. If you look closely, you’ll be able to see the silhouettes of the white gnome peeking from the grass. Go for these tiles first to ensure that you uncover all the gnomes in time.
Match-4 and Match-5, Instead of Match-3
While the game is a match-3 puzzle game, you should always aim to get combinations that are better than the bare minimum. Getting better matches and combinations results in upgraded tiles, firecrackers, dynamites, and more, that explode. Needless to say, this makes completing the level much easier.
Shovels are Important
Players can buy powerups, which begs the question: which ones to buy? We think that shovels are some of the best since they allow you to easily get rid of a nuisance of a tile. Often times a tough tile can be the difference between a masterful clear and a struggle.
Continuing with coins is usually not a good idea. Most of the time when a level is failing, it wasn’t because of the last few moves. Instead, try to get a better start and you’ll fly through the level. Only use coins to continue if you are really desperate to finish the level, and you are certain you can achieve it within a couple of moves.
Take a Pause
Don’t forget that this is a game, and you should occasionally take pauses from playing it. It is incredibly fun and addictive, but there’s also a benefit to delaying your gaming. Waiting for a new day will also heal you to full health!
Is Gardenscapes free to play?
Yes, Gardenscapes: New Acres is free to download and play on mobile devices. However, it offers in-app purchases for additional items and power-ups.