YvoCaro Plays: Gardening Games

Welcome to another YvoCaro Plays!

As always, these blurbs are mostly about the video games I’m currently playing. Unedited thoughts spring up in my mind, mostly game-related, sometimes not. Or a random train of thoughts starting with the game and ending somewhere completely different!

If you like these bits of gaming thoughts, you can find the previous ones here.

Hobbies Can Change

Isn’t it typical how your hobbies can change during your lifetime? Not to make this a heavy topic that is about the existence of being or whatnot, but I have found over the years that the way I spend my free time has changed radically. In my case, finding my passion for video games has shaken things up. It’s a hobby I have found late in life, I played my first game when I was 42 years old. While most of you have grown up with the gaming consoles of the day, I had no interest whatsoever in them. But when it hit me, it hit me good. Not only leading to actually playing video games but also to this site!

The one hobby that has stayed with me all my life is reading. I haven’t been without a book ever since I could read, and I still have plenty of books to keep me occupied. Plus, a lot of video games have a good storyline and ample reading to do as well.

My Inner Titchmarsh Has Left

There’s one passion, though, that has dwindled to nothing: gardening. From the time that I had my own first living space, I was interested in growing my own plants. Dealing with weeds was a necessary evil that had to be done to make everything look pretty. But it was finding new plants at my favourite nursery, renovating a part of my garden or the look of freshly planted borders that I loved.

So much so that I ultimately bought myself a used greenhouse where I tried to raise my own plants. Annuals, mostly, to put in luscious hanging baskets. I had all the names memorized, and used a self-made Access database to keep track of growing months, the height the plants could reach and what specific needs they had to make them bloom at their best. Every Friday, I sat at the television to watch another episode of Gardeners World. First, with Geoff Hamilton presenting and later with Alan Titchmarsh.

Gardener's World Alan Titchmarsh
Purposefully not mentioning current frontman Monty Don…Alan was Gardener’s World face for me.

Even writing this down, I feel a spark of enthusiasm. But after years of trying to get the best results possible, I was more and more chagrined by the weeds that just kept coming back. No need to nurture them. Despite pulling them out time and time again, they pushed through the soil at a constant rate. And after I had less time to do gardening when my daughter was born, my enthusiasm dwindled. We now have a garden that’s a maintenance-free as can be!

Combining Gardening and Gaming

A couple of years later, as I already mentioned, I found video games, and with that, I found a new outlet for my creative needs. From the start, I searched for good gardening games. Ones that would allow me to do all the things I loved in my garden without the dirty hands and the battle against weeds. At first, though, it was hard to find them. I often turned to farming sims instead, though it’s not exactly the same. What I wanted in such a game was to grow a plant on a more detailed level, creating a lush garden, finding new hybrids and more. Lately, I feel as if more and more of those kinds of games are being developed, thanks to the way wholesome and casual games are embraced. Finally, I say!

With that, I have a couple of suggestions for gardening games that might catch your fancy.

Viva Piñata Pocket Paradise for DS (other Viva Piñata games are available on Xbox)

This is definitely a gardening game with a twist, being that the plants or structures you need in your garden are secondary to the creatures that flock to your garden. Add some fantasy to that, and you find yourself working to house a couple of Whirlms (the most basic species) and happily have them become a snack to entice Sparrowmints to live in your garden. This is one management gardening game that I absolutely loved, my review is here.

(Image thanks to IGN)

Streetpass: Flower Town/ Streetpass Garden

Some may think this was the most boring one of the 8 Streetpass games the 3DS had, but to me, it was perfect. The idea behind it was a simple one. You grew your own plants and put them in pots, greenhouses etc. Getting a streetpass hit from another user and seeing the little green light pop up meant I had a chance at growing another rare seed, making a cross breed or getting new colours. I built my collection, trying to find special seeds and enjoying the little trivia about the real plants that the game held, although, of course, there were some fantastical gaming plants too. The mini-game still works in the MiiPlaza, but you might have some challenges in finding new StreetPass hits through your gates.

Streetpass Garden Flower Town


Not long ago I found a game where bunnies run a greenhouse: BunHouse. It’s available on Steam for now, and coming to the Switch as well. Lots of bunny trivia in there, but the main draw for me was growing plants. In the game, you are a bunny that has a greenhouse, and you can buy seeds, pots and more. Sow them, make sure they have enough water and light and sell them to get in-game currency: carrots. At the start you need those carrots to buy more seeds and pots and items to make a gardener’s life easier. Eventually, you will focus more on making the greenhouse look great, a stage to make your collection shine.

What convinced me that this is a good gardening game? It was the way the root system of a plant (you see that when you uproot it to sell it) fit with the actual way a plant’s root system looks. For example, the root system of the Forget-me-not is an actual clump, straining for a bigger pot. Much like in an actual garden, where it would take over a larger plot in no time. A lovely little game!

Bunhouse Review

Garden In!

I recently reviewed Garden In! on Steam, released on January 26. And I can testify that it totally fits the bill! It’s a cosy sandbox game that focuses on growing plants. You can turn your room into an oasis by placing pots and sowing seeds. Try to cross-breed them as well. Pure gardening with the thrill of discovery and looking at the lovely blooms. Here’s my review for it, and I can assure you that once it comes to my favourite handheld console, it’ll be a day one buy  for me!

Garden In! Review LadiesGamers

We love to hear from you!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.