Gardening Mama (Nintendo DS)

Household sims are the next big thing in gaming, and Gardening Mama (the latest in the Mama line) attempts to provide players with a fully immersing experience. The graphics are still the same iconic, cartoony style that are easy to recognize, while Majesco has ensured that players will be able to easily pick up the title without much in the way of attenuation to the control scheme. Despite the break that the graphics have reality, the game play itself is really close to the gardening enterprise.

That means that the number of different plants that are present in Gardening Mama need different types of love (whether it is watering, depesting, or pruning) to ensure that they can grow to their potential. Of course, the game itself is not limited to gardening, allowing players to dress up Mama and go against their friends to showcase who exactly has the greenest thumb of them all. Other things to do when one plays Gardening Mama include properly showcasing one’s garden through the inclusion of fences, decorative flowers, and the like, along with hoarding the best types of vegetables and flowers that one can.

The game itself has high replay potential due to the open-ended style of the title; there is no limit to the imaginative layouts that a player can create. With a price point of under $30, any player no matter how young or broke will be able to pick up a copy and grow their very own garden. While there is no substitute for experience, Gardening Mama is a great introduction for players that may not have had the chance to go out into a garden in real life to actually getting one’s fingers dirty. If you like Cooking Mama or Harvest Moon, there will be enough in the way of common mini-games and activities to keep you interested for days, if not months, after the purchase. I’m not sure where Majesco will take Mama next, but one should realize that the resulting game will be memorable.

Rating: 8.8/10

Gardening Mama (Nintendo DS) / 2009 Majesco / http://www.gardeningmama.com

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