Quickly Create a Beautiful Garden in Cooperative Puzzle Game Gardeners | Casual Game Revolution

Quickly Create a Beautiful Garden in Cooperative Puzzle Game Gardeners


In Gardeners, you will take the role of a gardener to create the most beautiful garden to appease the King, who has strict demands. Gardeners is a challenging puzzle-like game that builds up the tension in unexpected ways. At the same time, you cooperate with your peers to beat the time and meet the King's constraints.

The creator of Gardeners is Kasper Lapp, designer of Magic Maze, a board game you should play if you still haven't yet. Gardeners seems like a spiritual successor to Magic Maze in that you play against the clock, solving puzzles that become harder as the game progresses! Can you feel the pressure?

Gardeners is a game for 1-4 players, ages 10 and up. The game plays within 15 minutes using a sand timer. While the game has been released, this review is based on a pre-release preview copy of Gardeners.


The gameplay of Gardeners takes place over several rounds. Within fifteen minutes, players attempt to create as many gardens as possible composed of thirty-six diverse tiles that follow different "secret" rules (constraints) from one round to the next. Players must deduce the constraints in effect by observing where the tiles are placed and where they are removed.

The game setup is straightforward. Garden tiles should be evenly distributed between players. Stack your tiles face-up in front of you. The constraint cards should be shuffled and stacked face-down beside the play area, and place the sand timer nearby. Finally, randomly decide who will be the starting player.

A round consists of three phases:

  • Draw a constraint card: In each round, a given player draws a constraint card, reads it silently, and places it face-down. Each card contains information about the garden's creation rules. Although the constraint card's back displays the type of constraint, no one knows what it is, and players have to deduce it. When playing a fourth card, move the oldest face-up card aside as scored. At most, three constraint cards are played at a time. There are times when resolving constraints is too difficult or impossible. You can discard the constraint card in front of you whenever you wish. As a result, you lose one point at the end of the game.
  • Arrange the garden: Players must simultaneously choose where to place their tiles to cooperatively create the garden. Remember that players may not know all constraints in play, given that they might be placed face-down in front of other players. Deduction is crucial to building a garden that will make the "Majesty thrilled". Players must respect constraint cards, so tiles can be repositioned by removing them from the garden and handing them to another player, who will hopefully understand your intent. When you receive tiles this way, do not stack them; leave them alongside others. You can immediately place such tiles back in the garden if you wish. Once all garden tiles have been set, and no one wants to remove any, move on to the next phase.
  • Check the garden: Before an announcement, each player with a constraint card checks whether the garden arrangement complies with the ongoing constraints. The garden is invalidated if at least one player has announced, "His Majesty is angry!" based on his constraint cards; return to the "Arrange the garden" phase. The garden is validated if all players with a constraint card say, "His Majesty is thrilled!"; the next round begins.

As soon as the timer runs out, the game ends. Points are earned for each constraint card placed face-up beside the deck. Points are lost for each constraint card placed face-down beside the deck, except the first.

The game includes Training Exercises, a Beginner Mode, a Normal Mode, and a Solo Mode.


The game Gardeners provides a charming challenge puzzle as a solo player and an engaging and thrilling social experience in cooperative mode.

In Gardners, tile placement and deduction mechanics work together to deliver an unparalleled experience of real-time pattern recognition. It is a cooperative game that imposes communication limits between players creating a unique player interaction experience. Gardeners is an exhilarating ride that is both challenging and captivating.

My friends and I had a blast playing Gardeners! The mechanics were easy enough to understand after the training exercises but still challenging enough to keep us on our toes throughout each round. Time pressure makes the experience even more exciting. We like how quickly each match is played. There is no need to wait for other people's turns because the game is played simultaneously; everyone is actively engaged throughout each round. As a result of the many possible moves for each turn, we are constantly strategizing during our turns. It is definitely a fun and challenging experience!

The artwork is also beautiful and detailed, making it easy to become immersed in the gardening setting. And since each game only lasts about 15 minutes, you don't have to commit an entire day or night to play this one game; it's suitable for those looking for something short yet satisfying! It also provides a lot of replayability thanks to its wide range of constraint card combinations and numerous tile types.

Complexity is medium, setup and teardown are low, and downtime is minimal as everyone plays simultaneously when arranging the garden. It would be best if you went through the training exercises, though, to familiarize yourself with the different types of card constraints. I recommend starting in beginner mode until you feel like you've mastered the game, then moving to normal mode for an extra challenge. And beware that luck can suddenly make the game easier or harder because constraint cards are randomly drawn. As you can always discard difficult or impossible cards, I do not think the game-designed uncertainty makes it unbalanced but even more exciting. It is a great filler game with its fifteen minutes matches, but it may not be newbie-friendly because this game can indeed be challenging.

I sincerely enjoy Solo Mode; it keeps me engaged and entertained for hours. Every time I finish a match, I want to start another one.

Final Thoughts

My friends and I have a blast playing Gardeners with its beautiful artwork and thrilling gameplay mechanics! The rules are easy to understand after the training exercises but still challenging enough to keep us on our toes throughout each round. We also like how quickly each match is; there is not too much waiting around for other people's turns because everyone plays simultaneously; instead, everyone is actively engaged throughout each round. Additionally, we find ourselves constantly strategizing during our turns since we can make so many different choices for each move. It is definitely an exciting experience!

Gardeners tricks you into believing that with its simple rules and mechanics, it is an easy and relaxed game. Instead, it is challenging and exhilarating while players try to solve this shared puzzle while deducing the cards in play. The game surprised me with its twist to cooperative tile placement and pattern recognition games by adding the deduction mechanism that makes it stand out along games of the genre.


  • Thrilling and exciting, it makes you want to keep coming back for another match.
  • The mix of tile placement, pattern recognition, and deduction mechanisms works extraordinarily well.
  • It is an excellent filler game with fifteen minutes matches.


  • It may not be newbie-friendly because it can be very challenging.
  • Luck can turn the game against you, but you can always resort to discarding difficult cards.
  • Limited communication between players can make the game frustrating if one player fails to grasp the constraints in place.

Note: This article is provided by Roll & Mind.