Gardenscapes is one of the most wonderful iterations to the puzzle game genre, as it combines elements from other beloved games to create an exciting new take on Match-3 games. This game has a captivating storyline that makes you feel like you’re actually in the game creating the garden yourself. The game offers a basic tutorial, but if you want to learn more in-depth tips for the game, keep reading our beginner’s guide so that you’ll be ready to take on anything.

Beginner's Guide to Playing Gardenscapes

The game features a mix of elements from various game genres. Because of this, there are a lot of things happening in the game that non-hardcore gamers might miss out on. In this beginner’s guide, we’ll be talking about the crucial parts that you need to know to keep up with everything going on in the game. Here are some things you absolutely must know before diving into the game so that you can take a massive step towards progressing smoothly towards the story.

Collecting Stars Is Essential!

Stars are a form of currency in the game that lets you unlock a piece of the storyline. The story isn’t linear in the sense that you can choose from various options at the same time, but you’ll eventually need to unlock them all before proceeding to another stage. Each segment of the story is separated by “days,” which act as the main separator between one chapter and the next. You’ll need a certain number of stars to unlock all the parts of one chapter before you can proceed to the next.

Beginner's Guide to Playing Gardenscapes

Stars are earned by completing a stage. This is done by clicking on the yellow arrowhead on the lower-right side of your screen. Each story scene usually only costs one star in the beginning but becomes more and more expensive as you progress further. Completing a puzzle will usually only give you one star, and there is currently no alternative way to earn stars other than by completing these stages. 

Austin’s Bad Dreams

Austin’s Bad Dreams is the minigame mode of the game where you need to solve puzzles to help your friend, Austin, get out of a sticky situation. If you’ve ever encountered the game’s advertisements on social media or streaming platforms, those are exactly the kind of puzzles that you need to solve to help him achieve the goal. Austin’s Bad Dreams appear every once in a while after completing a regular puzzle stage in the game.

Beginner's Guide to Playing Gardenscapes

Completing Austin’s Bad Dreams rewards you with a certain amount of Gold. Most people immediately tap the skip button, so they might miss out on these minigames. Gold is a very important resource that’s pretty difficult to earn in the game, so make the most out of these minigames by trying to take them whenever you’re given the opportunity to do so. It’s also quite enjoyable to watch the kind of messed-up situations Austin finds himself in when he’s in his dreamworld.

Move Limits & Goals

For new players that aren’t familiar with the game genre, you might not notice that there is a limit to the number of moves you can play in a match before you need to complete a goal. At the start of the game, the stages are quite basic and don’t need a lot of complicated thinking to complete. While dumb luck is actually a great tool to abuse in these match-3 games, the higher stages will have more move limitations, which will make completing a stage that much more difficult.

Beginner's Guide to Playing Gardenscapes

You’ll need to check your stage Goal and Moves before you begin the game so that you can map out how you want to play it. There will come a time where you’ll find that you’re only given an extremely low number of moves for such a high requirement on your stage goals. This will really test your problem-solving abilities and overall patience for the game. But let’s not forget that a puzzle is only as good as its difficulty.

Recommended Moves

When you’re taking a long pause during the game, you’ll notice that you’re given a hint with some pieces blinking faintly, suggesting that you should make that move. These Recommended Moves are a central part of any Match-3 game, as they give the player a chance to get a free move without thinking too hard. However, recommended moves aren’t always the best thing in the world and can really drag you down.

Beginner's Guide to Playing Gardenscapes

It’s important to note that Recommended Moves are there for the sake of giving the player an option to move. This means that it doesn’t care if the move is relevant to the player’s aim of completing the goal for the player to complete the goal. It’s very tempting to make the recommended move, but players are always urged to always think about whether the move being suggested is a smart choice or if it will simply waste your precious move counter. Sometimes it’s better just to ignore the obnoxious blinking and look at the puzzle as a whole.

Joining a Team

Teams in Gardenscapes are like Guilds or Clans in other games. The purpose of the team in this game is purely for support. You can ask a team member to help you refill your hearts so that you can acquire additional chances to defeat stages in the game. The most active teams in the game can help each other cycle hearts so that they’ll never lose out on precious game time or have to buy extra lives with real money just to keep playing a game that they genuinely enjoy.

Beginner's Guide to Playing Gardenscapes

Joining an active team might be difficult though, since most of them have full rosters. The maximum number of players in a team is capped at 30 people, so you’ll find that most teams are already full at this point. There’s also the issue of Time Zones. If you want your team to refill your hearts during the time that you usually play the game, it is recommended that you find a team from your own country so that you won’t have to wait for hours just to get the refill that you need.