Gardenscapes: New Acres is a combination puzzler/simulation from Playrix. In this game, players will complete challenging match-3 levels in order to build a luscious and thriving garden estate. Gamezebo’s Gardenscapes: New Acres Tips, Cheats and Strategies will help you master both sides of this beautiful game so you have time to stop and smell the roses you planted.

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    • Wait to start a new day until you’re low on energy. Gardenscapes: New Acres splits its garden-building simulation into many small tasks spread across multiple days. As you complete tasks, the percentage bar for the current day will fill up. Once you complete the last task for that day, you’ll reach 100%, receive a reward, and be able to start the next day. Starting a new day completely refills your energy meter (up to the max of five lives), so it’s best to wait until you’re out of lives to move on to the next day.
    • You can save up stars as long as you’d like. In order to complete garden tasks like installing benches, fixing the treehouse, etc., you’ll need to spend stars. Stars are only earned by completing the match-3 levels—one star per completed level. Although you can spend stars as soon as you get them since you’ll always have a task on deck, you can also save them up and complete a lot of tasks all in a row for a faster sense of progress. Technically you don’t have to fix the garden at all—you could just play match-3 levels, earn stars, but then never use those stars to help Austin rebuild the estate, but where’s the fun in that?

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    • The “social media” aspects are just for fun. Austin will often post news or pictures to his social media feed within the main menu. His friends/family/neighbors will respond to and like posts in the in-game newsfeed, add Austin as a friend, post their own updates, etc. All of this is just for fun and to give you more information on the cast of characters—if you don’t care about the NPCs you can ignore the social media part and just check the current garden tasks on the “To Do” portion of Austin’s tablet menu. You don’t need to keep up-to-date on the feed to continue upgrading the garden.If you see an orange dot, it means there is a new message from one of the characters on the social media feed. (However, there is currently a bug where everything will be orange-dotted when you first open the game. If you open the news feed and exit, the orange dots should go away.)

GardenscapesNewAcres_GnomesLocation

    • Gnomes move around the match-3 levels. If you fail a match-3 level that requires you to uncover gnomes hidden in grass, the next time you replay the level, the gnomes will not necessarily be in the same location. There is almost always more grass than there are gnomes, and the gnomes can potentially be found under any section of the grass. So don’t put all your efforts into clearing the same grass as last time—rediscover the gnomes first by clearing strategic sections of the board to figure out where they’ve gone to. In the image above, level 91, you can see a small gnome in the upper-left corner. However, on our next attempt of this level there was no gnome in this spot and there was one instead in the bottom-right corner.
    • And remember, you can see gnomes through thin grass. There are two levels of grass in the game: the lighter green, extra thick tiles and the darker green, thin tiles. The lighter green tiles require two matches to be cleared, but they turn into the darker green after the first match. You can see the white of gnomes through the thin areas of the darker green tiles; when trying to find them (on a replay or otherwise), match lighter green tiles once then peek to see if they’re underneath. It’s sort of like Battleship: you should be able to see a gnome, know what direction it’s facing, and even figure out its size by looking at just a few dark green tiles near each other.

GardenscapesNewAcres_Sale

    • If you want to buy coins, wait for a sale. At this time, New Acres’ only available in-app purchases are for consumable packs of coins. While the game can be played without making any purchases, coins accrue slowly from in-game activities and buying some extra can help out a lot on hard levels. We do not recommend buying directly from the shop, however.While playing, you’ll randomly be offered sales on bundles of coins—we usually get an offer once or twice a week. The offer will pop up in the garden and then be available via a “sale” icon for a limited time (usually about an hour). These sale bundles are always much better deals than the in-app store, but even these vary in quality. Don’t jump at the first sale you receive; wait for a deal that is actually worthwhile to you. The best sale we’ve seen is 12,000 coins plus three rainbow blasts for $0.99. We’ve also been offered 12,000 coins with nothing else for $6.99, so obviously some deals are better than others.

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    • You don’t always need to use the entire board. Many of the match-3 levels have goals that involve very specific items or sections of the board: find gnomes, grow flowers in flowerboxes, clear dirt, etc. If you can focus your efforts on a specific part of the board, do so, and don’t worry about the rest. For instance: don’t try to clear every grass tile, but focus on just the ones with gnomes underneath. Or don’t try to fill every flowerbox: just grow flowers in a few specific ones and leave the others alone. In the image above, we didn’t bother clearing the bottom boxes to reach the last two flowerboxes since we had access to four others already. Clearing paths to every item or corner of the board will often just waste moves and is built in as a distraction. Focus on the level’s goal and the minimum amount of items you need to achieve it.
    • Don’t waste money on speeding up garden tasks. Many of the more involved garden tasks will have a time cost in addition to their star cost. Rebuilding the fountain, for instance, will take 2 hours in addition to 2 stars (twice—for a t total of 4 hours and 4 stars!). You can spend coins to bypass these time limits, but there’s no reason to. Besides being excited to see the fruits of your labor, there’s no benefit in completing a garden task early. You can continue playing match-3 levels and saving up stars for future tasks while the current task finishes. The only time it may be beneficial is if you are on the last task before a new day and want to move forward to refill your lives. Otherwise, save your coins for power-ups and continues.
    • Check the Gardenscapes site for video tips on really difficult levels. Developer Playrix takes note of which levels players are struggling with and often releases videos of those levels being completed on the Gardenscapes Official YouTube channel. Since match-3 boards are inevitably affected by randomness you won’t necessarily see the exact way to beat a stage, but it can be helpful to see if they focus on the bottom half of the board, blowing up obstacles, or some other feat in particular. For instance, we were struggling with level 115 for quite a while, but Playrix’s video showed them matching near the boxes instead of near the chained tiles—following this direction helped us finally pass the stage. New video hints are announced in the News feed in-game accessible via the gear in the upper-right corner.

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    • Don’t forget you can change the dĂ©cor in your garden anytime. When you first place a new item, if you have to choose the type or design, then that item can be changed at any time later on. Just hold your finger on the item you’d like to change until the yellow arrow fills up and the options appear at the bottom of the screen. Objects that you do not choose initially cannot be changed (and holding your finger on these items will inform you of such). It costs a few coins to buy new dĂ©cor but the cost is minimal—usually around 15 coins. So don’t worry about your design choices initially; if you get sick of those benches, you can always change them.
    • Check in daily for the free spin, even if you don’t have time to play. The free spin is available every day at midnight (and will remain available until you spin for that day) and guarantees either a small amount of coins or a free power-up booster in your booster bank. If you don’t have time to play but can spare a minute to spin the wheel, it’s an easy way to store up power-ups for later, difficult levels.

GardenscapesNewAcres_Continue

    • Only pay for a continue if you know you can win in five more moves. If you fail a level, you’ll be given the option to continue playing for 900 coins. This continue will add five moves to your move count and return you to the board as you just left it. We only recommend buying a continue if you know for certain you can beat the level in five moves; if you’re counting on a lucky drop, do not buy it. There have been tons of times we’ve bought a continue, thinking we’d get the last piece we needed to win, and that piece did not show up. Also, you cannot see the board once the continue box pops up, so pay attention to where you’re at as you get low on moves and plot out if you can actually win with a continue.
    • There’s no way to play past levels. Like many map-based match-3 games, Gardenscapes: New Acres progresses level-by-level. However, unlike other match-3s, you will only ever have access to the current stage. You can only play the level you are currently on and cannot revisit previous stages. This means there’s no way to grind for coins; you will only get coins from a stage once you have completed it and moved on to the next one.

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    • But you won’t get many coins from beating levels, anyway. Even with a really strong finish, where you have lots of moves left that award bonus coins, you’ll rarely get more than 75 coins from a stage (50 is the base amount you get just for finishing). Your coin income will primarily come from the daily spin and bonuses earned by completing garden-renovating tasks (finishing days, story-based rewards from neighbors, etc.). You will also sometimes be given the option to watch a trailer for Playrix games from the task list–these generally award around 100 coins for watching a 30-second video, so they’re a decent trade-off when available.
    • Explosive chains charge the rainbow blast much faster. If you blow up a firecracker solo, it will not add much to the rainbow blast meter. However, blowing up a firecracker with another firecracker, bomb, etc. will add much more to the meter than blowing up the two explosives individually would. It also saves moves since you aren’t using a separate move for each explosive. Whenever possible, it’s usually beneficial to blow up explosives in groups. The rainbow blast meter carries over once filled, so if it’s almost full and you put out a large blast, you’ll fill the meter and the next blast will begin filling as well (it’s possible to get multiple rainbow blasts off one large explosive chain this way).
    • Swapping a rainbow blast with an explosive does not set off the rainbow blast. If you need to move a rainbow blast over or you want to set off an explosive first, you can swap the two without losing the rainbow blast. This is helpful if your rainbow blast gets stuck in an odd location without any helpful tiles nearby.
    • Explosives appear on the tile you just moved. When making large chains that will create explosives, keep in mind that the explosive power-up will appear in place of the tile you just swapped—the other tiles in the chain collect inside it to create the power-up. If you have multiple directions you could swap, try to swap the tile closest to where you want the explosive to appear.

GardenscapesNewAcres_Acorns

  • You can collect all acorns on the board with a rainbow blast. Many of the early-to-mid stages require you to collect a certain number of acorns. Since acorns usually already exist on the board and don’t need to fall down like lemonade, one of the easiest ways to accomplish these goals is by swapping an acorn and rainbow blast to collect every acorn on-screen.
  • You can (usually) make matches while tiles are falling, but you probably don’t want to. Tiles fall fairly quickly in New Acres, but if you’re fast enough, it is possible to swap tiles while others are falling. This is helpful if you have a large chain available but it will fall into smaller groups during the cascade. Usually, however, you will want to just wait and see how the tiles fall, as sometimes you’ll end up with automatic chains without having to make another move.
  • Our standard match-3 advice: This is advice that rings true for most match-3 games, and it’s still true for New Acres as well: when all else fails, focus on making matches near the bottom of the board so you get more chains and new tiles to work with. Aim for large chains and explosions whenever possible. If you start with a small board with lots of obstacles, focus on opening the board up so you have more tiles and thus, more opportunities for chains. And finally, luck of the tiles will play a role in your success, so don’t get too frustrated by a poor draw. The next time you try the level, you may start with a TNT chain just waiting for you—there will always be bad days and good. Take a break and talk to Austin if the match-3 portion isn’t going well; enjoy the garden you’ve built.