Repair the Flow of Time in Playdom’s New Gardens of Time on Facebook

Gardens of TimeSocial developer Playdom is moving into the hidden-object style of game with its most recent release, Gardens of Time. Though the company’s games enjoy a combined total monthly active user count of nearly 18 million and a daily active user count of 2.2 million, according to our AppData service, this choice of genre seems risky as we have yet to see hidden object titles perform well on Facebook — although Playdom isn’t the only company launching this type of game now.

Here’s our Early Look at the title’s first weeks online.

Following closely on the heels of Game Insight’s own hidden object game release, Mystery Manor, Playdom is seeking to add an extra decoration element to the game, increase socialization within the game using a series of established social elements, and introduce power ups unique to the hidden object genre.

In Gardens of Time, players join the Time Society, a group charged with the protection and preservation of history. However, upon entering this world, players discover that something is amiss within the flow of time. Using a time machine mechanic, players travel to different time periods which offer hidden object puzzles. Like Mystery Manor, each puzzle requires a set amount of energy to play, thus restricting the number of times a player can try a for free puzzle per day. In each puzzle, players search for objects that are not native to the time period. The list is finite, and players are scored based on how quickly, and accurately, they find them all, with extra bonuses by finding them in quick succession. The better they score, the higher their Star Rating goes at the end of the puzzle. Each puzzle’s Star Rating is cumulitave, encouraging players to revisit puzzles frequently to gain the max rating of four stars.

Time GardenThe Star Rating is put toward leaderboards scored between in-game friends, one of several social elements included within Gardens of Time. Friends can also share bonuses after completing a level or earning a reward via a Facebook Wall post, which nets your friends the game’s basic currency, Silver.

Gardens of Time differs from other hidden object games in that it offers players a decoration/builder experience in the form of the player’s garden. Far from being just an aesthetic element, players unlock decorations as they play through time periods. The decorations are tied to a reputation score within the Time Society, and as reputation increases, more levels are unlocked. The garden also functions as a social feature where friends can send gifts and visit between gardens. Friends that appear in your garden can be clicked on to enter a mini-game that Playdom calls “blitz mode.” Here, players try to find as many hidden objects as they can in 60 seconds, earning Silver based on how well they do.

Hidden ObjectThe other way in which Gardens of Time stands out is in the power ups players can use to complete puzzles. Unlike Mystery Manor, which charges players virtual currency for hint or time-extension objects, Gardens of Time gives players a zoom-in-on-object feature that can be used for free as many times as a player wants during a puzzle. The catch is that the zoom has a cool down period between uses, costing players valuable time that could otherwise earn bonuses. Three other puzzle help tools become available after a player reaches a certain level, but they must be bought with virtual currency. An example is a pair of special goggles that highlight specific objects when moused over them.

The monetization comes primarily from buying these special items and from buying premium decorations for gardens. Besides the standard Silver, Gardens of Time offers a premium currency called Gold that players can purchase in quantities ranging from four to 500 at the cost of $0.99 to $99.99, respectively. Gold can also buy energy refills, unlock levels early, or be exchanged for Silver.

Considering the choice of game type, Playdom will be hard pressed to make Gardens of Time grow. There have been very few hidden object games on Facebook that did especially well. Examples include Bounty Quest Mystery, from Nimbus Games, which only hosts around 1,000 MAU, and Big Fish Games’ hidden object mini games in Treasure Quest, which ultimately was shut down due to low user numbers. Still, Playdom is betting that these games declined due to a lack of truly social play and that Gardens of Time’s existing features and future features will succeed where the other games did not. In the immediate future, Playdom plans to roll out different styles of hidden object gameplay in Gardens of Time, such as a “spot the difference” mode.

You can see whether or not Gardens of Time pans out into a successful hidden object title via AppData, our social games and developer tracking service.

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53 Responses to “Repair the Flow of Time in Playdom’s New Gardens of Time on Facebook”

  1. Jack, Discerning says:

    Four-year-olds love the I Spy books. But, how many adults love this type of activity and want to play it for weeks, no, months on end?

  2. Ruth Crisler says:

    This is a very good game to keep your mind sharp. Any little or tween girl will love it because of the beauty and imagination and it will get more challenging I’m sure It is a great game with no violence that any parent would approve of and I as a mature women also enjoy the look of it,and the fun. Playing games and puzzles are good for people to exercise the mind. It is an acceptable game for anyone and fun too.

  3. The Better Game: Mystery Manor vs. Gardens of Time says:

    [...] Gardens of Time hit Facebook about a week later, right around the time developer Playdom also launched the role-playing game, Deep Realms. Interestingly, it seems as though Deep Realms enjoyed a lengthy alpha test phase on Facebook beginning as far back as February when the app first appeared on AppData. Gardens of Time appeared literally overnight and already surpasses Deep Realms in traffic (ISG contributor Tami Baribeau, goes into more detail about the competing launches on her blog). The game adds a decoration meta-game to its design where players earn reputation by decorating their gardens, and the reputation unlocks new levels, each being a hidden object puzzle. [...]

  4. Hidden Object Games Appear at the Top on This Week’s List of Fastest-Growing Facebook Games by MAU says:

    [...] users is lead by Playdom’s new game Gardens of Time. We reviewed this hidden object game earlier this month and thought that the road to fast growth might be particularly difficult for the game, given the [...]

  5. Cathy says:

    I have been getting only half a page on garden of time since yesterday afternoon(may24)can you tell me how to fix it plus I’m not the only one having this problem.someone needs to put a fix in on facebook.I hate to start a game and then it messes up,now I will be behind.thank you

  6. Cathy N says:

    Like Cathy above I am only getting half a page on garden of time for 3 days now.How do I fix this. Good game but totally frustrating at the moment. Also I cannot see neighbour acceptance and loose half of my gifts when I click on 1.

  7. MISS SUE says:

    One thing gets fixed and another part goes down.
    Will it ever ALL work at the same time?

  8. margaret williams says:

    i cannot travel when the patron of peril asks me to find things in a neighbors gardan

  9. anthony says:

    i think garden of time is a exelent game to play. i find the only downfall is the grid is not big enough for the reputation the game calls for. and the expansions are too small for the for the addition of reputation for the size of the object it calls for.

  10. dee says:

    Love this game, but now in Chapter four. Will not let me continue to hanging gardens.Will not play when I click on Adventures. Please fix.
    thank you

  11. elsie says:

    i loss points energy and have a hard time getting on i should be be giving free gold for the screwups and aggreavation

  12. kea says:

    I’m at the end of my social network, how do I find more people to invite to be neighbors? I need more people! I’m at 17th level and stuck. Help.

  13. eleanor burrell says:

    start up with hour glass can send gifts but can not play i did before why now

  14. Denise says:

    I have become addicted to Gardens of Time, as have many of my friends. It is a great concept, however there are problems with it. It steals your gold, doesn’t let you build the larger objects without the help of neighbours, won’t let you contact neighbours for that help etc. You can get so far, but without it being fixed, you can go no further. Playdom’s support is diabolical, as is their website. You can’t even sign up. Perhaps they should concentrate on one game at a time and getting it right.

  15. Elaine says:

    I have not been able to get my gardens of time, to load for about 3 weeks, I love this game and I would like to have it back it help me relax at night. Hpe you can get it fixed soon. Thanks

  16. Kelly Novak says:

    Anyone want to be my neighbor. Please add me in Garden of times. I dont know many people that play. Facebook…Kelly Novak from Cornwall Ny. Blonde hair. just to make sure you have the right person. I live in Kissimee fla now and i am 40 yrs old. Please add me. I`m not a weirdo ..lol..Just need neighbors…Thanks

  17. mari ragandap says:

    i love the game but why i cant open it now,..what happen with it?is it the new concept again?im already in level 26.

  18. Catherine Edwards says:

    Gardens of Time neighbor?

  19. venice corpuz says:

    what happened to gardens of time? i cant open it anymore!!! i love this game so much. met so much friends on line already.

  20. susie says:

    My friends list for free gifts and ask for help to build wonders has went blank and i do not know what happen..I wish facebbok would repair this for me

  21. jake vandiford says:

    i cannot pull up my friends or neighbors on this game, therefore i cannot request any help from my neighbors or dsend anything unless they request something from me. this has been going on for over a week. please let me know what is the problem. thanks

  22. Helen Diehl says:

    I can’t get a password

  23. Melissa H says:

    I cannot get Gardens of Time to open on facebook anymore. It was working two days ago and now its like it shut down. I pushed play, help, etc and got nothing. Does anyone have any ideas as to what happened and what i need to do to get it open again.

  24. LOU HESS says:

    IT IS DOING THE SAME THING FOR ME I CANNOT PLAY AT ALL

  25. dianne martin says:

    I can get on to Gardens of Time, but will not let me play. This has been for 3 days now. Why?

  26. kathy says:

    Gardens of Time disappeared from my Facebook and I’ve tried everything to get it back. It let me set a new game, but I don’t want that. All my friends say that I am still on their game. What’s up with this

  27. kathy says:

    Does anyone with the website ever read these. I want Gardens of Time back on my computer.

  28. clare says:

    why wont gardens of time load for me???????i am up to level 22 not happy

  29. Bonnie says:

    I’m with Kathy and Clare!!!! I’m on level 30 something on Gardens of Time and it totally disappeared off of my facebook. My friends can still see my garden but I have absolutely NO access to it!!! I want it back!!!!

  30. jake says:

    Why take all these complaints and not do anything about them?…Straightrn out your act Playdom.

  31. charlotte taylor says:

    why cant i unlock level 30 tried loads of times

  32. Ruth says:

    I am having big problems with my garden of times on Facebook. It will let me get to my garden and I am able to do things. However, when I try to play a scene it will shut down my garden and put me back to my Facebook site or it will just close down my browser completely. I am at level 49 and have spend real money in the game. Also, I am playing on a Toshiba thrive and can’t /don’t know how to do a screen shot. Is there anyone out there who can help, since the company doesn’t seem to be interested in helping me.

  33. cindybarber says:

    I can not get garden of time to play. it takes over an 1/2 hour to load .the grey circle keeps going around and around.

  34. steve says:

    garden of time is taking all my seconds and causing me to have a lower score. because of unresponsive script errors. all other games i have no problem , just this game its been slow and unresponsive for two weeks..i almost dont want to play this game. its aggervaiting..

  35. Sally says:

    I too am having trouble getting past the grey circle going round and round. I had got up to level 9, and would really like to continue, but am feeling very frustrated at not being able to. I’m in my early 60’s, and love playing this game. I have also tried to get in to Journeys of Moses, but nothing has happened there either. Please fix these problems so we can all enjoy these games again.

  36. Sally says:

    I am also wanting some neighbours in Gardens of Time, so please feel free to add me as a neighbour. Thanks.

  37. Katie says:

    2 1/2 weeks and my game won’t load….level 38….

  38. Inside Social Games · 2011′s Biggest Rumors and Controversies in Social Games says:

    [...] moratorium on new game launches at the beginning of the year, first with Deep Realms and then with Gardens of Time. The latter completely eclipsed the former — and just about every other game Disney Playdom [...]

  39. JUDY LEVESQUE says:

    i keep getting an ERROR ON PAGE MESSAGE WHEN I CLICK ON play on gardens of time.please fix.

  40. Brenda Smith says:

    I love this game Gardens of Time,I wished you could expand the garden land to go bigger and bigger… Thank you…

  41. Cricket Wood says:

    Love the game. Will garden size ever be increased to <33×33? I'd like a list of all items (& sizes – 1×2, 3×3, etc) with the era they belong – does Naan maker go in Egypt, China, France??? Would be nice to know o I can "redo" garden according to eras and not just have things helter-skelter around. I'm keeping the snow scenes, perhaps in the summer, I'll put them in inventory so they'll be there for winter 2012. Would be nice to upgrade the ones I didn't get to at some point – perhaps next winter to earn that final award bldg.
    Thanks, again for a game that helps me keep my mind sharp – as I'm a "shut in" & don't want to lose what mind I have left! :-)

  42. Elaine Pounds says:

    Can not get on my Garden of Time game. It keep coming up trying to load and then flipping back saying something….. Disallowed Key Characters in global data. What the heck is that. and what is ((( http:// hog-web-activ… ))) that keep showing up at the bottom of my screen, when I try to hit on it for it to pull up it does nothing, I know it is something to do with the playdom. But it will not connect me with it. PLEASE HELP ME WITH THIS PROBLEM. PPPPLLLEEEAASSSSEEEEE…..HELP…….

  43. laura tolbert says:

    what is global data that keeping my game from loding it ay somethkng about disallowed key charaters please help

  44. kathy hulsey priest says:

    gardens of time won’t level up and can’t receive gold, this has been going on for 2 months now. please help

  45. terry coulter says:

    I’m not able to get into the garden of times. it come on but will not play.What can I do?

  46. Inside Social Games · Words With Friends, Hidden Chronicles lead this week’s list of fastest-growing Facebook games by DAU says:

    [...] Gardens of Time [...]

  47. Patricia Finif says:

    I can’t send material to fellow players in gardens of time. When I click on send gift or material the page goes blank and on the bottom it says “http://hog-web-acti… It is getting real old. I play these games to relax and it is not working. This is my favorite game and I can’t advance, help or enjoy the game with this HOG mess what to do. Is anybody out there. Don’t we matter.

  48. Patricia Finif says:

    I just posted in length what the problem is THIS http://hog junk when i try to play Gardens of Time not letting me send or receive. I spent 5 min posting and when I hit post all my info comes back and says post comment. I did do u people work for head doctors because I am going to need one after dealing with this system. Here I go posting again.

  49. luella johnson says:

    I have not been able to get into gardens of time since it was updated. What is wrong?

  50. John Lhotka says:

    I can’t open gardens of time since yeaterday 1-21-12
    What is the problem?? please advise asap and thanks

  51. Judy Cox says:

    I keep getting this hog-web stuff when I tried to send request for more neighbors, when I try to get out it sends me to this Hog thing. Please fix and get off my game GOT. I can not even request new neighbors, do not know if they are getting my request. Please fix

  52. Betty Cornett says:

    can’t recieve or send gifts. How long is it going to be to get it fixed?

  53. eleanor leggs says:

    please can you help me get this off of here because mine keeps showing hog too .. thank you

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