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Video Game / Gardens of Time

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Gardens of Time is an online hidden objects game first developed by Playdom and released on April 7, 2011. In 2014, The game was bought from Playdom by RockYou when the former hit some financial issues. Gardens of Time has also won the 2011 Facebook Game of the Year award. It is currently available online and on mobile.

The Player Character take on the role of a nameless agent for the Time Society, a secret society that dedicates itself to fix the problems in history, which include items that are out of place (which incorporates the hidden objects part of this game). Temporal paradoxes that crop up from time to time. And the occasional historical figure that needs to be put back in their proper place in time.

There was also a short-lived spiritual successor called Blackwood And Bell Mysteries. While the gameplay and steampunk themes are the same, the story revolved around solving crimes around the world while traveling by blimp.


Tropes that appear in the game include:

  • All Love Is Unrequited:
    • Quincy was in love with Eleanor for a while, though she did not return his feelings. This (among other things) caused him to become depressed, though he did bounce back and eventually returned Megan's feelings.
    • Lulu develops feelings for Richard, though he says that they are simply friends, leaving her heart broken. Richard does eventually return her feelings, though.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Quincy, while unarguably very intelligent, has stunted social skills, rather excitable on certain subjects, particularly related to technology, and is in general much better with technology than other people. Lulu even lampshades this at one point.
    Lulu: Sometimes, I think he's a little *special* too.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Megan, sort of. Understandable, since she's from Colonial India and judging from her looks and her surname ("Kher"), she surely has mixed ancestry.
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  • Anti Poop-Socking: The player have 60 temporal energy points at most. And each use of your time machines uses 10 points of energy. Also, buildings for your garden can take from a few minutes to a few days to be finished.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Alistair in chapter 23 after he learns about your "reintroduction".
    Alistair: You're saying that I gave your induction orientation all over again? And Ancient Egypt was snowed over??? AND I had a mustache? Why, that's downright impossible!
  • Batman Gambit: Megan has to fake a mix of Love Makes You Evil and Face–Heel Turn to catch Julius Caesar off-guard enough to capture him. This involves her, Alistair and Eleanor lying to pretty much everyone in the Society, the player included, so the plan will work.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Megan specially has the PC in high regards because she gummed up badly as the other Naïve Newcomer and the PC went out of his/her way to help her out, therefore helping her keep her Society post.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory:
    • In order to instantly complete buildings instead of waiting for some time, you have to spend gold, which is only obtained with real cash.
    • An extra sixth level that appear in each chapter, that will usually tell you about a characters' past or deeper motive about a chapter, will cost gold to unlock and after a certain point, each one will need 34 pieces of gold to unlock. But considering that you'll also get an exclusive item, it might be worth it to some.
  • Handsome Lech: Richard Wakefield. He started sleeping with Cleopatra near the end of his relationship with Eleanor. Hit on Megan for a while, and had to ask the player to keep some french noblewomen away from him for a bit, telling you that he will dance with them in the bedroom (though, he was drunk and corrects it as "ballroom". Then again, he could be just trying to make himself look like less of an ass to the player).
  • Heroic Mime: The playable character. Again, understandable, since this is an online game.
  • Hero of Another Story: There are special quests hosted by Chauncey rather than the rest of the Society. i.e, there's one where the PC and Lulu must travel through Paris to him catch a time criminal named Pierre La-Pierre who once was his top pupil.
  • Hidden Object Game: Among the most popular ones.
  • Historical Beauty Update: Caesar more likely than not not did not look like this in real life. To be fair, this is an alternate timeline version of him, so...
    • And the historically plain looking Cleopatra looks like this. note 
  • Historical Domain Character: Some are either antagonists from alternate timelines or very helpful in the quests:
  • Iron Lady: You do NOT want to mess with Eleanor, especially when she's pissed. Caesar learns this the hard way.
  • Just Like Robin Hood: Subverted. Enrique is all but stated to be the one who actually inspired Robin Hood to become the Lovable Rogue he is.
  • Limited Wardrobe: No one seems to change their clothes that much, if at all.
  • New Old Flame: Richard is played as this to Eleanor, but it's dropped later and specially when Sir Geoffrey comes into the picture. Richard himself hooks up with none other than Lulu later.
  • Pink Is Feminine: Megan is very girlish and wears a rather cute pink dress.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: Alistair Wells and Eleanor Lansing Purlieu play this completely straight. Eleanor has a rather tormented love life that doesn't involve him, and Alistair is simply too Married to the Job to consider anything else but Society duties and taking care of the group.
  • Proper Lady: Eleanor is this most of the time, though she does have a Fiery Redhead side.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Richard gives one to Quincy in chapter 11:
    Richard: You poor fool. First, you're flat out in love with Eleanor, and ignoring Megan's obvious advances... and now you're trying to save Megan's life and get Eleanor booted?
    Quincy: W-Well-
    Richard: You want me to *drop the act*? You want to know what I really think? I think you're a deluded self-important ass who only wants the unattainable— who ignores the love and affection of a stunning worthy woman to pursue childish impulses. I think if there's anyone off-base in the Time Society, it's you.
  • Red Herring: Richard, and HOW. Yes, he did betray the Society in the past. Nope, he won't do it again.
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Quincy and Megan, specially after they get hitched.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Richard and Alistair tend to bicker and sometimes out right fight each other mainly due to Richard's frequent rule-breaking.
  • Time-Travel Romance: This trope is not supposed to happen, for obvious reasons... but it does anyway, and sometimes becomes quite of a plot point.
  • Tsundere: Megan is a Type B, rather sweet and friendly unless she's genuinely angry or frustrated.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Richard. Had he not taken pity on Cleopatra when he met her right before her historical demise and been involved with her, she wouldn't have grown into an opponent 'and more than one Time Travel mess wouldn't have happened... like Geoffrey's death and Eleanor's brief but intense Love Makes You Crazy stint.