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PC Game Review

Garden Simulator


Format: PC
Excalibur Publishing
RRP: £24.99
5 060020 474422
Age Restrictions: 3+
Available 15 October 2010

Bring your green fingers to the desktop by lovingly shaping your own garden by growing a variety of flowers, fruits and vegetables. You are the architect of your own personal paradise with the ability to shape and mould your virtual garden at will. With over 40 tools, plants and decorative objects the possibilities are endless. Grow for pleasure or tend your garden in a career mode that sees you earning income from a huge wealth of design objectives...

Garden Simulator could have been an interesting addition to the ever increasing range of simulator games on the market. With a little more attention to detail this would have appealed to both keen gardeners or avid simulator fan, sadly due to poor graphics, hard to use controls and the lack of any real game play, what we end up with is a pretty messy affair.

The game's largest fault is that it's not actually very engaging. All you really have to do dig the ground, plant the seeds, water and fertilise your plants and then harvest your crop. It's neither challenging or very much fun.

The biggest problem with the graphics is that they're not sharp enough - so when you pan around your environment various areas are in focus while others are out of focus (eventually popping into focus when you move the camera). When you're digging your flower beds the camera is placed in an awkward position, making it hard to see what your doing (which is also a problem when you are watering your plants and you need to see when they've had enough water - the icon indicator is fairly high up when watering large plants). And the watering graphics make it look like bubbles are coming out of your watering can rather than water.

Missions are really simple tutorials where you learn how to mow the lawn or grow and sell flowers or fruit and veg. The main game (which for some strange reason you can play with up to three other players) sees you with an empty garden. You then have to go shopping and buy items to help you start getting your garden in shape (although be warned the shopping system is a little poorly designed - basically if you don't remember to click the purchase button when you exit the screen your items won't have been saved for you and you'll have to buy them all over again.

Not only can you buy seeds and general gardening tools, but you can also buy traps to stop animals like moles from damaging your garden.

Sadly the end result isn't very impressive and this isn't a game you'll be wanting to play for very long.


Nick Smithson

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