Gardenscapes: New Acres is an Android and iOS Match 3 game that combines the classic, no-frills mechanics with a setting that is rather unique as far as Match 3 games go. This is a game that is centered on gardening, but as you build up your garden and go through the story, you will be completing more Match 3 levels. Of course, you will need to restore and decorate various parts of the garden and discover its secrets, and interact with some non-playable characters. There are hundreds of levels, dozens of characters to interact with, and an in-game social network that lets you add friends and meet more people, while keeping up on the latest developments on the game.
It might seem like there’s nothing more to learn about this game, if you’re someone who has played more than your share of Match 3 games on mobile. However, as there are things in this game that you might not have experienced in others, and since there are countless many who might not have the experience playing Match 3 other players do, we’ve put together a complete Gardenscapes: New Acres strategy guide with tips and tricks.
1. What Are The Main Goals Of This Game?
Generally speaking, there are three primary goals to achieve in Gardenscapes’ levels. First, you will have to gather so many pieces in a level, may they be apples, drops of water, leaves, or whatnot. You will also have to find gnomes as your second objective. Lastly, you will have to drop lemonades down to the bottom part of the board. At first, you’ll only get one objective per level, but as you move forward in the game, you will be asked to complete two of these three primary objectives, all in one level. And you’ll need to do that while staying within the maximum number of moves.
2. Go For Matches Of Four Instead Of Three
As usual, matching three pieces would be well and good in many cases. But if you see an opportunity to match four pieces, then go for it. You will, in fact, want to start focusing on matches of four pieces or greater as early as possible, as the difficulty level could increase big-time as the moves decrease. In this game, the difficulty increases greatly in level 8, so that’s when you will really need to prioritize matching four pieces or more.
3. Take Your Time
A growing number of Match 3 games are trying to set themselves apart by adding a time limit mechanic in some or most of the levels. But as we hinted at in the game overview, Gardenscapes is mostly a classical Match 3 title in terms of the mechanics. That means you don’t need to worry about time limits in the levels. Study the board carefully and don’t rush your moves; this could be the difference between making a match of four and settling for a mere Match 3 combo.
4. Look Long And Hard For The Gnomes
During those levels where you have to find gnome statues, you’ll have to look carefully to see where those gnomes are located on the board. They may be hidden behind grass, and you will often need to cut the grass down to its thinnest layer. That will be done by matching pieces on the board – fruits and flowers – much like you would have to do when cracking coated or covered pieces in other games. Better yet, you can use matches of four or more (see below) to get rid of the grass layers faster. You’ll know that there’s a gnome hiding if you see a white light of sorts in the holes.
5. Keep In Mind The Piece Type Needed To Complete An Objective (A Quick Guide To Power-Ups)
When trying to accomplish individual objectives in the levels, you should take note of the type of piece you need to collect in order to successfully complete the level. Work toward matching those required pieces; for example, if you’re asked to collect a given number of apples, focus on matching apples, and try using the Rainbow Blast power-up by playing your matches close to the power-up. That will effectively remove all of the apples on the board. But if you can create a Bomb or Dynamite power-up, you can make significant explosions on the board, and that should also help you reach your quota faster and complete that level’s objective, as existing pieces blow up and new pieces fall down, potentially setting up a chain.
6. How To Bring Lemonade Down Faster
As for the lemonade-related objectives, you’ll need to match three pieces (or four pieces or more) in a vertical arrangement, playing the match in the same column where the lemonade is located. It’s as simple as that, though as you’ll find out in some of the later levels, that’s often something that’s easier said than done. Fortunately, you have power-ups to help you out here, and that’s what we’re going to be talking about next.
7. A More Complete Guide To The Power-Ups In Gardenscapes
By matching four pieces of the same type, you can create a firecracker power-up. Swap this piece with any other piece on the board to make a small explosion. Firecrackers explode in a cross-shaped form, but only take out pieces within a radius of one tile. Alternatively, you can double-tap on the firecracker (or any of the other power-ups) in order to activate them.
Bomb power-ups are created by matching five pieces, either in a T-shape or in an L-shape. Swap a bomb with any piece on the board, or double-tap on it so you can create an explosion with a two-tile radius. You can make dynamite power-ups by matching six pieces, and once again, you can activate it by double-tapping or swapping with a nearby piece. That’s going to get rid of all pieces within a three-tile radius.
Those are all useful power-ups, but the TNT barrel power-up is substantially deadlier; it is created by matching seven pieces or more. And since it could potentially take out most of the board, you’ll want to make sure the power-up is played at the right place; setting it up in the corners won’t have much of an effect at all.
Last, but not the least, you’ve got the Rainbow Blast power-up, which is not created by matching pieces, but rather charged whenever you play any one of the above power-ups. Once you’ve fully charged the Rainbow Blast, it will fall down on a random part of the board. You can then swap it with any adjacent piece on the board in order to remove all pieces of that type. As a bonus tip, you can create a match with multiple power-up types (e.g. a bomb and dynamite, TNT and firecracker, etc.), and since that makes a rather big explosion, that will help toward charging the Rainbow Blast faster.
8. Don’t Use The Rainbow Blasts Right Away
The Rainbow Blasts, no doubt about it, are very useful, and as we said several tips ago, they’re best used in those levels where you have to get rid of a certain number of pieces of one type. That means you shouldn’t use them right away, instead saving them for the right time and when you need them the most. You can also save Rainbow Blasts for levels where you have to spot gnomes, but are having a hard time getting rid of the grass that’s covering them up.
9. Use Your Gold To Buy Shovels
You can buy boosters in the in-game store, but few are more useful than the shovels, which you should stockpile once you’ve got enough gold to buy lots of them. While they only work on one tile, you can use them anywhere on the board, and that one little shovel might be the difference between completing a level and wasting a life. Sure, it might seem useful to buy the other boosters in the store, but since they mostly start you out when trying to make one of the above power-ups, you’ll want to focus on the shovels.
10. In General, You Should Conserve Your Boosters
As you complete more levels in the game, you will be able to unlock more boosters. As you will only get a limited number of boosters per type, you should also conserve them and save them for times when you really need them. Don’t follow the game when it tells you to use a booster you’ve just unlocked; tap on the booster to uncheck it, so that way you don’t get forced to use something you’d rather save for a more opportune time or a more difficult level.
11. How Can You Get More Lives If You Don’t Want To Wait?
We get it – you don’t like waiting, especially if you’re all out of lives in the game after failing to complete a level repeatedly. The harder levels may be really challenging, and it isn’t uncommon for players to repeat them over and over again until they get it right, thus taking a toll on their lives. If you don’t want to wait for the lives to replenish, you can use your coins to get all of your five lives back immediately. But if you don’t want to spend any coins on replenishing your lives, there’s always the option to wait.
12. Connect Your Game To Facebook
Then again, there is another alternative to waiting and paying coins if you want to get more lives ASAP. You can connect your game to Facebook, and aside from earning a bag of coins as a reward for getting social, you will also be able to request lives from friends. Definitely, you should make sure you send some lives back when they request some!
13. How To Earn And Save Up Enough Coins
We’ve mentioned coins a couple times in the earlier tips, and they are, of course, the game’s main currency. You can earn more coins by completing levels, and spend them, on top of the other ways we suggested above, on décor and furniture. But how do you earn them for free, and how do you make sure you’ve got enough to buy more goodies in Gardenscapes?
By default, you’ll get 50 coins each time you beat a level. But if you complete all of the objectives with several moves still remaining, you will get bonus coins in the process. That happens when your extra moves turn into power-ups, automatically exploding as they appear on the board. Unused power-ups also explode, and that could further add to the number of coins you receive at the end of a level. So with that said, you’ll really want to shoot for three stars per level, and not just one or two.
One good way to save would be not to pay 900 coins to get extra moves. You probably wouldn’t get three stars anyway if you use the extra moves you paid for (and you only get five moves anyway), so it would be best to save your coins and simply replay the level. Besides, that 900 coins could be used to buy five lives, or other good stuff in the in-game store.
14. Don’t Redecorate Your Garden Too Much
When it comes to redecorating your garden, you can simply tap-and-hold on an object as you choose different furniture or décor styles. That’s going to earn you about 15 to 20 coins in most instances, if you want to make some changes. While it’s not uncommon for players to change their minds at some time and want to make frequent updates to the décor and furniture, we suggest that you hold off on this, unless you’ve got more than enough coins. Those things can make your garden look spiffy, but their benefit, at the end of the day, is mostly aesthetic.