Garden Simulator does what it says on the tin. Fed up with the rat race, and with a very pointed reference to the COVID-19 pandemic, the main character has had to work from home for the last few months and is struggling with worsening mental health. They move to their family’s old homestead to revive it and improve their own quality of life, and you’re thrown straight into some gardening.
The garden is small at first, but you can buy extensions which wrap all the way around the house. While some items in the in-game catalogue are available straight away for you to learn the mechanics, others must be unlocked. The criteria for unlocking each item, both decorative and functional, is in the catalogue, which takes the guesswork out of things, but it’s usually to grow X amount of a certain crop or something similar.
Tasks are sent to the mailbox at the house, which provides some focus for gameplay, but these can be quite mundane and aren't particularly challenging to achieve. They reward you with experience points and garden coins. Levelling up gives a skill point, which can be spent to improve certain aspects of gardening life; improving watering efficiency, increased funds from harvesting, etc.
It's really fun to plan out and design your garden; veggies go in this spot, flowers would look nice over there. You can plant in the ground, raised beds, and pots. Everything feels quite realistic, but the controls seem to have a really hard time letting you put things down with any precision, which can really ruin a whole vision.
Garden Simulator is low risk, low reward, but highly addictive. We spent hours before we even realised it, and found the experience to be thoroughly relaxing; exactly what the small plot of the game sets out to achieve. While it’s nice to potter around your small garden and admire your crops, it does feel somewhat tedious after a while. Tasks tend to be repeated in some form or another, and there’s no variation in season or weather. Every day is the same. It feels like a trick has been missed with this, and that so much more could have been done by adding this in, along with some garden pests.
Sounds about as exciting as watching grass grow.
I guess for me, it would make more sense to just get up and go outside and grow some plants in potting soil.
I usually like to do things in games that I can not do in real life.
But if others enjoy something like this... then I say more power to them. You do you....
I don't expect anyone on this site to care about a gardening game. What I would recommend, especially in today's times, is to start your own REAL garden. Grow your own food. It will help supplement you and your family if food supplies run short in stores like we saw during Covid with supply chain issues.
Yard work simulator
Love a good bit of gardening 😌 have a whole ton of chilli varieties growing this year. It's a shame those game doesn't have any seasons or weather changes at that would really spice things up but as @Uncharted2007 says, the time would be better spent doing the real thing!
@Uncharted2007 some people don't have gardens, believe it or not.
Does the game have a plot?
If they had found a way to include Monty Don, it would have been a day one purchase for me.
@TeapotBuddha I lived in apartments for years and understand that. There's ways around it.
I would love it if someone made a game like this but it was a total bait n switch, where for the first 30 or 40 minutes one is actually playing a gardening simulator and droning along doing meditative things, with a radio playing softly in the background. But then the radio becomes more insistent and you start to hear things about an 'outbreak' and then these creatures start shambling toward your house and it becomes an FPS/survival horror story.
Now this I can enjoy. Power wash simulator bored me, but I've always loved gardening and so does my wife. Doing it without the broken back and grubby hands occasionally is appealing to me.
Im glad they didnt introduce 'pests'. They would be the equivalent of the disasters in sim city, which I hated.
Not introducing weather conditions seems like a miss, but I can live with that!
Ive just switched to ps app and bought it, downloading now.
I need to stop screaming at NFS unbound as another car appears from inky blackness in the last seconds of a race to take me out and frustrate me. Maybe this will be the calm I need 😊
Thanks for the review Jade, appreciated.
@Uncharted2007 cries in apartment
@CVCubbington Or it turns into Plants Vs Zombies.
@AdamNovice Yeah, it sounds like it's pretty grounded.
The publisher is going to be raking it in with this one.
My kids will love this but it def looks like a game that’ll be on PS+ extra or Game Pass in no time.
@Titntin did ya try Lawnmower Simulator? That’s pretty good.
@Uncharted2007 It was always a criticism from older people in my childhood: doing thjs on a screen … we used to go outside and actually do things yadda yadda yadda. I usually found that very irritating - obviously. But in this case … they’ve got a REAL point!
@TheArtfulDodger Thanks dude, I'll look out for that too!
As for the game its exactly what I expected for my £15. Boring, yes. Repetitive, yes. But strangely compelling and calming. I'm happy, and my wife gave an excited squeal when I showed her the game! Don't hear too many of them these days 🤣
Don't do it...
I wasted an entire week of holiday game time playing this Lawnmower STIMulator. The gameplay loop is insanely addictive for those that crave dopamine. Every straight line or perfectly rounded tree swirl gave a hit of it. It's the main reason I did not get the powerwash one.
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