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Playrix have a bit of a reputation for releasing accessible games that have slightly more depth than your average puzzler. Recently, we gave away their classic three-in-a-row game Fishdom Have Fun With Ocean-Themed Line-'Em-Up Game, Fishdom for Windows [Giveaway] Have Fun With Ocean-Themed Line-'Em-Up Game, Fishdom for Windows [Giveaway] Puzzle game fans rejoice -- we’re giving away yet more software, and this time it’s a rather addictive three-in-a-row game from Playrix called Fishdom. The full version for Windows retails at $19.95 but we’re giving... Read More , which involves solving puzzles as you build up your own aquarium. Today, we’ve got a similar formula in the form of Gardenscapes.

Gardenscapes is of course an entirely different game, and instead of three-in-a-row this one involves finding things. On paper, this might not sound like the most interesting concept, but Gardenscapes might actually be one of the most fun casual games I’ve yet played.

What’s more, we’re giving the Windows version of this hidden item puzzler away, so for your chance to win one of 25 copies worth $19.95 each, check out the full review.

Gardenscapes is available from Playrix at just $19.95 for either the PC or Mac version (at the time of writing, it’s being offered at $13.95). The trial version allows you to play for an hour without so much as a nag, so there’s no reason you shouldn’t give it a try. Download it here.

Much like Fishdom, there are two very unique separate parts to Gardenscapes – the puzzles and the game progression. On launching the game, you’ll discover that there is in fact a story, albeit a loose one designed to gel the two elements of the game together: your rich grandfather has died and left you his mansion, complete with a large and once-beautiful garden. It is up to you to restore the dilapidated garden to its former glory but for this you’ll need cash.

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The garden restoration aspect is the persistent world where you spend your cash and choose different fences, flowers and benches to go in your garden. The progression is largely linear, and you can’t just choose which bits to restore straight away. Instead you’ll need to complete levels to unlock more things to do, and ultimately earn cash in order to restore your garden.

Levels consist of rooms (15 in total) within the mansion, all of which are jam-packed with items of worth, amongst all the junk. Your deceased grandfather’s butler reckons you’ll make a pretty penny for finding these items, and before long you’ve got a list of sought-after items which you’ll need to find in order to finish the level and earn cash.

When you start the game for the first time you’ll be asked whether you want to choose between competitive (against the clock) and relaxed (no time constraints) mode. This has little effect on how the game is played aside from adding a ticking-clock in order to make you sweat a little more. Personally I prefer relaxed mode as I feel it fits the game’s casual nature a little better, but I definitely appreciated the choice.

The way the levels are executed is actually rather good in that you have a shortlist of items to find, but only five can be found at once. This essentially stops you being overwhelmed by things to look for and furiously clicking all over the screen in order to complete the task. The anti-cheat implementation actually means you can’t click all over the screen in the hope of hitting something, and if you’re detected as doing so you won’t be able to click anything for a few seconds (I did this for testing purposes, honest).

There’s something very satisfying about finding a well-hidden object (and believe me, they can be very well-hidden in some instances) and being duly rewarded. I say this as an adult, but for parents thinking about whether Gardenscapes is good for their children then yes, this is definitely a game your kids will love. Small events like the attention of a newspaper photographer in the story mode and constant ramblings of your butler make it feel a little more alive and three-dimensional that a simple spot the object game, and finding objects really is quite fun.

Your garden can be set as a screensaver with variable weather and different sounds which only serves as a reminder to play more Gardenscapes. That’s not a bad thing, it’s a very fun game and even if you’re stuck the hints help you out (but not too much). Remember that you can play the full version of Gardenscapes for up to an hour using this trial, or for your chance to win a copy check out the instructions below.

How do I win a copy of Gardenscapes?

Step 1: Fill in the giveaway form

Please fill in the form with your real name and email address so that we can get in touch if you are chosen as a winner. MakeUseOf giveaways are open to readers worldwide.

The giveaway is over. Here are the winners:
  • Beth King
  • Brian Abernathy
  • David Johnson
  • Dee Hagerman
  • Duane Arsenault
  • Dyan Malaca
  • Edwin Williams
  • Gary Martin
  • Graeme Wright
  • Jennifer Minnick
  • Joseph Selvaraj
  • Levi Nwachukwu
  • Maria Ditl
  • Mercy cabansag
  • Michael Elphinstone
  • Michael leslie
  • Nicole Diorio
  • Nikhil Chandak
  • Rene Bernal
  • Robin Partusch
  • Ron Hodges
  • Sayan Dhar
  • Stanley Zebell
  • Tim Schmidt
  • Travis

Congratulations! If you were selected as a winner, you would have received your license via email from jackson@makeuseof.com. If you require any assistance, please get in touch with jackson@makeuseof.com before Oct 20. Enquires beyond this date will not be entertained.

Step 2: Share!

You’re almost done. Now, all that’s left to do is to share the post!

Like it

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(Note: no points will be awarded.)

By participating in this giveaway, you agree to the giveaway rules.

This giveaway begins now and ends Friday, Oct 12th. The winners will be selected at random and informed via email.

Spread the word to your friends and have fun!

Interested in sponsoring a giveaway? We’d love to hear from you. Get in touch with us via the form at the bottom of this page.

  1. Nikhil Chandak
    October 24, 2012 at 4:57 am

    I won the game
    !!
    YAHOOoo !!

  2. Waleed Attal
    October 16, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    i got nothing :S

  3. Anonymous
    October 14, 2012 at 7:39 am

    No winner yet??

  4. Sai Krishna
    October 11, 2012 at 5:40 am

    very good game for casual gamers.

  5. 0le
    October 10, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    Fun game

  6. Raghav Gupta
    October 10, 2012 at 5:15 am

    nic game. hope I get the chance to play it

  7. Sarufa Lohia
    October 10, 2012 at 12:38 am

    A nice looking game, hope to win.....

  8. Anonymous
    October 9, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    Thanks for this giveaway. Hope, I will win.

  9. LynnK4
    October 9, 2012 at 12:23 am

    Love this game! So glad I found "MakeUseOf"

  10. LynnK4
    October 9, 2012 at 12:22 am

    What a fun game!

  11. Iva Krstik
    October 8, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    Great game, love HOGs.

  12. Art Clarke
    October 8, 2012 at 11:36 am

    MUO, Thank you for this giveaway. I am a great fan of HOGs.
    I am happy to see you have selected one for this contest.
    Please allow me to enter. Regards, Art

  13. Saul Small
    October 7, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    i used to play this! brilliant

  14. Lisa Santika Onggrid
    October 7, 2012 at 10:44 am

    I do like casual games that provide 'casual mode'. While I appreciate timed challenge, sometimes all I want is to spend a peaceful evening matching rows or finding items. Playrix's games are all good. I already have one from Giveaway of the day, but I recommend this to anyone with slightest interest for hidden object games.

  15. Kavita Shah
    October 5, 2012 at 10:43 pm

    can we get an offer for mac games too... :P

    • Tim Brookes
      October 6, 2012 at 7:37 am

      I would love to be able to say yes, but this is a Windows-only Giveaway (I asked the same question as you). Still, I'm sure there will be more for Mac users, plus you can get some great Mac software over at MakeUseOf Rewards, no games at the moment but we did have some copies of Paragons NTFS left last time I checked (that's a keeper).

  16. Michael
    October 5, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    Love these sorts of games. Would be nice to win this one (though I've never won any competitions in my life!!)

  17. Mac Witty
    October 5, 2012 at 2:07 am

    Very good game and 1 hour is not enough!
    Couldn't wait for the giveaway why I bought it :)

  18. Dany Bouffard
    October 5, 2012 at 1:33 am

    The facebook giveaway code dont show for me too.

    • Tim Brookes
      October 5, 2012 at 7:01 am

      We've sorted the problem and you should be able to see the code on Facebook now :)

      Apologies!

  19. Vasu Gupta
    October 4, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    very!!!!!!! awesome game

  20. Harshit Jain
    October 4, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    I really want it. Hope that I will win.:-)

  21. Duane Arsenault
    October 4, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    My wife loves these games...having a difficult time obtaining the giveaway code on facebook though; receiving an error stating " This content cannot be displayed in a frame"...will have to try later.

    • Tim Brookes
      October 5, 2012 at 7:00 am

      Hi this has been fixed now, sorry about that!

  22. phil
    October 4, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    Nice looking game, something to pass the time with, hope I win.

  23. Nethu Alahakoon
    October 4, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    this game seems nice!

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