Gardens of Time

Game review by
Erin Bell, Common Sense Media
Gardens of Time Game Poster Image
Social game combines a building sim with hidden objects.

Parents say

age 18+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Players belong to an agency that travels through time and corrects discrepancies in history.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Players start out as a rookie detective and earn credibility by completing quests and upgrading their garden. Players are mentored by positive role models in the Time Society but there is also intrigue between certain characters and it's not immediately clear who is telling the truth.

Ease of Play

Gameplay is an easy-to-learn mixture of building simulation and hidden object searches. Hidden object searches grant unlimited hints, and players can switch to full-screen mode to make objects larger and easier to see.


The game sells a premium currency that is used to speed up the game and purchase exclusive items. Players are asked if they want to spend premium currency, or purchase more using real-world cash if they don't have enough.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Gardens of Time is a hidden object game that is played on the Facebook social network. The game is free to play, but players can purchase premium currency using real-world cash to speed up the game and buy exclusive items. Players benefit from having friends who also play the game, but are never encouraged to friend strangers. There is no objectionable content but the game can be addictive. While this game can appeal to kids as young as age 9, they will not be able to play it since it is found on Facebook, which has an age gate of 13.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byAhavatlm February 15, 2012

Keep Away, Keep Away!

Let's look at the facts: Playdom has a history of complaints from parents about violation of kids' privacy. Playdom has one of the worst customer s... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byshaunte April 15, 2011

a teen book

i think the game or movie is good for teens

What's it about?

In Playdom's TIME GARDEN players join a group of time-travelling detectives called the Time Society to go back in history and correct discrepancies. Hidden object scenes depict different historical eras, such as ancient Egypt and Renaissance Italy, that players must "clean up" by finding all the items on the list. Players unlock new scenes as they progress further into the story and complete quests, and also earn cash to spend on decorating a Victorian garden fair with buildings and artifacts.

Is it any good?

Garden of Time deftly combines two extremely popular casual game genres in an attempt to appeal fans of both CityVille-type social sims and seek-and-find games like Mystery Case Files. Fans of hidden object games will be in heaven, with more than 40 seek-and-find scenes that can be replayed an infinite number of times with randomized item lists. The building sim portion of the game is enjoyable too, with an elegant Victorian esthetic and the ability for friends to visit each other' gardens and play a special Blitz mode that involves finding as many hidden objects as possible in 60 seconds.

Gardens of Time weaves its gameplay elements together with a progressive storyline advanced through the completion of quests, so players have an impetus to keep playing that goes beyond amassing points and decorations. There's some of the usual pressure to invite friends, post game-related status updates, and spend real-world cash on exclusive items, but Gardens of Time isn't as aggressive in these areas as some other titles.

Online interaction: Players progress faster in the game by having friends who also play the game. They can exchange gifts with these people, visit each other's gardens, and help complete their buildings. The game does not prompt players to add strangers as friends. Players can compare high scores on a leaderboard and post game-related status updates to their Facebook walls.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about some of the historical places that the game lets you visit. If you could actually travel back in time, where would you go?

  • Families can also talk about the game's detective main character. What are some other popular literary detectives?

  • Families can discuss the game's Victorian aesthetic. What were some characteristics of the Victorian time period?

Game details

  • Platforms: Facebook
  • Price: Free
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Available online? Available online
  • Release date: April 8, 2011
  • Genre: Simulation
  • ESRB rating: NR
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

Our editors recommend

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

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate