Here, among the roses of red and strange mushrooms, we find Alice. Is she visiting the Queen of Hearts? No, it isn't that Alice. Meet Alice Greenfingers. She doesn't have time for chasing rabbits and general nonsense (save the occasional gnome); she has to take some tomatoes to the market while the demand is still high!
In this brand new release from Arcade Lab, you can help Alice sell the fruits of her labor. You can also tell her when to labor, or where to plant the fruits in the first place. Alice Greenfingers is a hybrid cross between a simulation and a strategy game, with a very relaxing atmosphere. Simply by clicking in the appropriate place, Alice will do all the work, sowing, harvesting, and selling, while you choose how to spend the hard-earned cash.
The garden can be as organized or as eclectic as you like. You can pick and sell in a mad frenzy of profit, raking in the dough, or you can slowly shape your dream garden, stopping to smell the roses. In this downloadable game, it is your call: You set the pace. Even if Alice lags behind, your clicks are noted, and Alice will dutifully follow when she can.
Unlike many simulation games, you begin without any money. Instead, you have a shovel, a bag of tomato seeds, and potential. A kindly old maid will give you tips as you begin, suggesting just where to begin. This tutorial cannot be skipped, unfortunately. (You will at least earn a trophy for the effort.) Once you have covered the basics, you can explore at will, even moving fixtures such as the storage house and water pump by clicking the hand icon in the lower right.
A variety of fruits, vegetables, and flowers become available as your garden grows, along with farm animals and decorations, which can add to your unique design. Most items will help you earn more profit, while a few lead to rewards and bonuses, earned over the course of 30 days.
The pleasant folk-like background music and retro graphics lend a very nostalgic feel to the game. After hearing the soft strings and flute, you might find yourself reminiscing about adventure games of yore, and expect an armor-clad adventurer to stop by and purchase a bunch of tulips for his distressed damsel. While Alice likely won't have any medieval adventurers dropping by her market stand, she does have a strong customer base. In the market window, you can watch the flow of shoppers as they purchase the various items you've put up for sale. A statistics window will also show you the market trends, so you'll know just when to hold on to your cabbage and push the grapes.
While Alice Greenfingers is addictive enough to provide many satisfying hours of casual gameplay, it isn't without quirks. For instance, when the 30 days in the season end, you can continue fiddling in your garden. The announcements stop, however. So, you may find yourself with a few hens laying eggs all over the place and no one to buy them. Rewards and trophies are only given during the 30 days, as well. So, if you're trying to hit that magic $5000 mark, be sure to do it by day 29.
Finally, there was one part that puzzled me. You have cows, and you have a shovel. Why do you still have to pay for the fertilizer? Ah, don't mind me; I'm just full of manure. Instead, go play Alice Greenfingers.