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Gardens Inc.: From Rakes to Riches Review

Gardens Inc.: From Rakes to Riches is a blustery whirlwind of a game that will challenge even the most hardcore time management fans. Clear paths, plant flowers, and beautify the neighborhood in order to save your grandparents from losing their home to the greedy Mr. Gold.

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by on 03-19-2013     

Lately, I've been feeling like that lonely little girl at the dance, waiting for the perfect game to come up to me and challenge me to a dance off right then and there. There's been some challengers, but I pretty much have wiped the floor with them and sent them running off to their mamas.

But today... today was different. Today, I met Gardens Inc.: From Rakes to Riches. I was a little hesitant in the beginning, wondering if this game was even worth my time. Would a farming game that included decorating really have what it takes to satisfy my insane obsession with difficult time management games?

Only one way to find out... so, I cautiously accepted the challenge and fired the game up.

Title

My stomach clenched a little when I was presented with the story. A little hackneyed, a little absurd. Grandma and Grandpa are losing their home because they made bad decisions in life and now owe Mr. Gold, (really, Mr. Gold... we couldn't come up with something a little more sinister and less obvious?), wait for it... One  Million Dollars. 

But don't despair, because new college graduate, Jill, with no gardening experience at all is going to save the day by winning the local gardening contest where the prize is... wait for it... One Million Dollars.

Map

Really? The local gardening contest has a million dollar prize? I don't know about you... but that seems a bit far-fetched to me. I'm pretty sure if there are local gardening contests, the prize would be something like dinner at Olive Garden or free bags of manure. Not... One Million Dollars.

If there were gardening contests where I could win a million bucks, I'd be out there shoveling instead of sitting at my computer writing all day long.

But anyhow, it's not like I expect heart-stopping plots from time management games, so I set the story aside and got ready to experience the gameplay.

Graphics

First off, the graphics were darling. Much more than what I expected. I could see a good amount of detailed work went into the artistry of the game, and I was pretty impressed. I could see the little blades of grass on the patches I had to cut, the stones in the pathways were nicely textured, and the tiny petals of the flowers were distinguishable. Really, the game was just lovely to look at overall. 

The music was a tad overwhelming. Typical elevator music meant to provide background and nothing else, but the overall volume was a bit much. I had to turn it down a bit because it was somewhat distracting as I tried to play.

But here's where we get to the really good part... the gameplay was fantastic. The tasks you had to complete were varied and they continued to add to the things you needed to do or build as the levels progressed. And, before I knew it... gold was slipping through my fingers and I was left staring at silver...  YES!! I mean... NO!!

Gold

OK Gardens Inc.: From Rakes to Riches. You now have my full and undivided attention.

I was soon completely absorbed in achieving gold levels. I collected seeds and tools, built water sheds and wood sheds, planted flowers, and pretty much ran around like an idiot trying to get everything accomplished AND achieve the optional level goal where you had to figure out some pattern to plant the flowers in or only plant one kind of plant.

Gameplay

I even enjoyed decorating the Villa, a.k.a. Grandma and Grandpa's home, although it took me awhile to figure out that decorating the home was what was going to win the contest. I thought we were spending frivolous money on the home when we should have been saving up to pay Mr. Gold ourselves. I'm still not convinced this whole contest thing was a good idea considering the costs of some of those upgrades. Did we really need seraphs carved into the garden wall?

Oh well, overall, Gardens Inc.: From Rakes to Riches was a really great time management game that satisfied even my weird obsessions. If you love to work at getting gold levels like I do, and you enjoy a good challenge, you've got to give Gardens Inc.: From Rakes to Riches a go.

More Gardens Inc. Articles

Gardens Inc.: From Rakes to Riches Walkthrough

Gardens Inc. 2: The Road to Fame Walkthrough

Gardens Inc. 4: Blooming Stars Walkthrough

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