This week’s App of the Week, Gardens of Time, was awarded Best Social Network Game at Game Developers Choice Online Awards, earlier this month. Playdom’s hidden object game won against the likes of CityVille (Zynga), Dragons of Atlantis (Kabam) and Ravenwood Fair (Lolapps).
Genre: Hidden object game (HOG)
Platform(s): Facebook, Playdom.com
Launch: April 7, 2011
Languages: English, German, Spanish, Dutch, French, Portuguese, Turkish, Italian, Norwegian, Russian, Malay, Indonesian, Japanese, Chinese
Monthly Active Users: 10.9 million (October 24)
Monetization: Free-to-play with paid premium currency
Gardens of Time is a social hidden object game that launched with 40 re-playable scenes and four distinct modes of play. New scenes and artefact collections are added regularly. The game is globally localized and offers a rich cultural setting across continents and history.
What’s it all about?
The game evolves around a so-called Time Society a ‘mysterious organization established in the early 20th century to guard the secrets of time travel’ which needs player’s for help to preserve history by finding hidden objects. This story is basically a pretext to introduce the time travel narrative an scenes across exotic locations in the game’s more than 20 chapters.
How to play
Players discover randomly hidden objects in scenes from different eras by clicking on them. The game offers different hint functionalities, e.g. a looking glass that can be used to point out one object every 45 seconds. Scenes must be completed multiple times and as fast as possible, however, frantic random clicking is punished with a five second ban. Objects don’t change their position, making it easier for players to finish a scene faster and faster in the process. In between quests, the player’s garden of time needs to be upgraded with artefacts to earn reputation which is necessary for progressing to new levels, called chapters.
Solving quests and performing other in-game actions uses energy which will be refilled automatically over time but can be gained instantly by spending the game’s virtual currency Gold. It can also be used to decorate, unlock premium scenes. Players can challenge friends to beat a highscore, send them gifts and hints and visit friends’ personal gardens to help out with quests.