Fantasy Garden

 

Learning(i)

Ho-hum sim tempts players to pay, friend strangers.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

There are no compelling messages in the game itself. Players are supposed to be creating a "dream" garden using their imaginations.

Positive role models

Quests encourage players to expand the village, but it's not made clear why this is so important.

Ease of play

Gameplay is easy to pick up, especially if players are familiar with other building sims.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

Certain exclusive items can only be purchased with a premium currency, bought with real money. Premium currency also can be used to speed up the game by bypassing quests and instantly constructing buildings and unlocking new areas. There are regular pop-up advertisements for limited-time offers on exclusive in-game items.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Some privacy concerns. Advancing in the game requires the help of Facebook friends who are also playing, which could tempt kids to friend strangers on Facebook.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Fantasy Garden is a simulation game played on Facebook. It's free to play, but players won't get far unless they have a lot of Facebook friends who are also playing (which might encourage kids to add strangers to their social networks) or are willing to spend real money. Players are constantly tempted to spend money on in-game special offers and exclusive items and prompted to share status updates on their newsfeeds.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • following directions

Hobbies

  • gardening

Skills

Self-Direction

  • work to achieve goals

Collaboration

  • meeting challenges together

What Kids Can Learn

Fantasy Garden wasn't created with educational intent, and we don't recommend it for learning.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • following directions

Hobbies

  • gardening

Skills

Self-Direction

  • work to achieve goals

Collaboration

  • meeting challenges together

Fantasy Garden wasn't created with educational intent, and we don't recommend it for learning.

This Learning Rating review was written by Erin Bell

User reviews

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What's it about?

In FANTASY GARDEN players take care of an ever-expanding village by collecting raw materials (like wood and rocks), constructing buildings that produce coins and goods, harvesting crops, and so on. Players can recruit animal helpers -- including bears, ponies, dragons, and hamsters -- to help with tasks. Help from other Facebook friends is essential for staffing buildings, unlocking new areas, and sending free gifts of important items. Friends also can visit each other's gardens to collect bonuses.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Fantasy Garden is a by-the-numbers building sim that, unfortunately, does nothing to set itself apart from dozens of other look-a-like games on Facebook. The cute theme will appeal to some, but there's a distinct lack of interesting characters, scenarios, or rewards to keep players engaged over the long term. It's spammy, too, constantly prompting players to invite friends, post Facebook updates, and spend money on exclusive "limited time" items. The temptation to "friend" strangers is another big issue. Fantasy Garden seems designed to separate players from their money without offering very much in return.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Internet safety tips and staying safe online. 

  • Discuss Facebook privacy settings and why you should prevent strangers from seeing personal information.

  • Enjoy brainstorming what your real-life "dream garden" would look like. What kinds of buildings, plants, and animals would you include?

Game details

Platforms:Facebook
Price:Free With Microtransactions
Available online?Available online
Developer:6waves
Release date:September 15, 2013
Genre:Simulation

This review of Fantasy Garden was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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