The best gardening games comprise a niche breed of simulator games that allow you to indulge your inner green thumb in a digital environment. Whether you are a real-life gardener or a digital one, these games combine the slow yet highly rewarding experience of tending to plants and flowers with highly unique and engaging storylines. Let’s look at some of the best gardening games to help you unwind after a long day.
Why Play Gardening Games?
Gardening games comprise a niche type of simulator games where players can cultivate different kinds of plants within a digital environment. Games in the genre often present elements from other genres and require players to execute all manner of plant-related tasks.
Gardening games are characterized by their laid-back atmosphere, beautiful landscapes, and free-roaming game mechanics. These games tend to focus on the ambient and aesthetic elements of gameplay, and specifically, they focus less on dialogue and text and more on visuals and dynamic music.
To simulate the gardening experience, most gardening games have non-violent, slow-paced, or even passive game mechanics. Most will require you to select a place and the type of plant to cultivate, then have you tend to the plant and watch it grow over time. Certain games will also have you accomplish tasks that are not directly related to gardening.
15 Best Garden Games for You to Play on PC
Garden games are part of the more unusual side of the gaming spectrum, which means they are also relatively rare and hard to find. That being said, the garden games available are all beautiful and mesmerizing in their unique way, and the best ones will easily pull you into the mood for planting. Here are the top picks for gardening games you can play on PC.
1. Strange Horticulture
Strange Horticulture is a beautiful garden game with puzzle-based mechanics and a mysterious occult backstory. In the game, you’ve just inherited a plant shop in the atmospheric little Victorian town of Undermere. As the shop’s new owner, you must familiarize yourself with the plants in the store and identify them based on the descriptions of incoming customers.
Aside from selling plants, you will also be engaged in searching for new species of plants. Aided by clues embedded in letters and conversations with your customers, you must uncover the location of a variety of unknown plants. All the while, you will be pulled into a dark mystery surrounding the town, and some customers will attempt to drag you deeper into the mystery until you learn the truth.
Strange Horticulture is a relatively new game available on Steam for Windows PC. Bad Viking, the game developer, has yet to release versions for Mac, IOS, and Android.
Kynseed is an indie role-playing game (RPG) created by the same developers who worked on the Fable series for Lionhead Studios. The game is notable for its distinctive pixel art style, large, open-world format, and British folklore influences.
Set in a mystical world known as Quill, the game has you play as Robyn, a young boy who lives with his uncle and sibling on Willowdown farm. After meeting a hare-like fairy man named Mr. Fairweather, he offers you the chance at immortality through the titular Kynseed.
The Kynseed is a mystical acorn that grants you the ability to pass consciousness across multiple generations of your children. As your consciousness passes from generation to generation, you must tend to the acorn to preserve your immortality.
As your immortal consciousness passes on from one generation to another, you must keep yourself busy by acquiring various skills. These include running a business, mining, cooking, and tending to your garden.
Kynseed is a new gardening game available on Steam for PC devices.
3. Farmer’s Dynasty
Farmer’s Dynasty s a farming simulator and role-playing game in which you have to manage a run-down farmhouse you inherited. Technically, this game doesn’t take place in a garden, but we included it since some form of planting is involved.
The game has you accomplish a series of farming-related tasks. That includes buying equipment, preparing a field for new crops, and planting and harvesting them. Additionally, you will have access to a greenhouse to plant vegetables and a barn to house farm animals.
The game also includes role-playing aspects, which involve building relationships with your neighbors, getting a wife and a dog, or even getting a baby. Once you meet the threshold for the number of fields you own and social points, you can employ people to help you out.
Farmer’s Dynasty is available on Steam for PC devices. The game also has versions for gaming consoles such as Playstation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.
Staxel is another farming simulator that can be played as a single-player or multiplayer. The game’s storyline is quite similar to Farmer’s Dynasty; you get to play as a farmer who had just inherited run-down farmland in the middle of an island.
Your mission is to turn the farmland into a productive space by working the fields and tending to your crops. You can also adopt farm animals like cows, sheep, cats, and dogs. In addition, you can explore the various locations in the village, interact with other village members, attend events, and take up new hobbies.
You can purchase Staxel from the developer’s website, Steam, GOG.com, and Nintendo Switch. There are two options for the PC version: the original version that is Windows-only and the Staxel CE version that runs on Windows, Linux, and Mac.
Minecraft is a first-person, sandbox-based, open-world game and one of the best-selling games of all time. The game doesn’t have a particular objective except to explore the available playing field and resources to their advantage.
The game has several modes: survival, creative, hardcore, adventure, and spectator modes. At the start of the game, players must choose between survival or creative mode. Either mode will require the player to build a shelter to survive the night. After surviving the first night, the player is free to select a mode and environment. There’s also a multiplayer mode where players can band together to design their own worlds and role-play as any character they wish.
While mining is at the core of this game, it also contains some farming elements, for which you need to have certain materials. Items like water and soil are readily available, but you need to craft a few tools, such as your shovel. You can turn entire fields into farmland, but you must do everything from preparing the land to harvesting crops. You will need to harvest the crops at just the right time, lest they die out.
Minecraft is available to play on PC (Windows, macOS, Linux), mobile (Android and IOS), and consoles (Xbox, Nintendo Switch, Playstation, Wii U, Nintendo). It’s also available to play on special devices like Amazon Fire and Oculus.
If Minecraft is your personal jam, we have a variety of articles to help you out. Check out the best Minecraft survival servers, best Minecraft shaders, best Minecraft mods, and best Minecraft cheats.
6. Verdant Skies
Verdant Skies is a farming simulator and gardening game set in space. The game has a hand-painted art style and the traditional mechanics of farming sims. However, what makes it unique is the application of scientific knowledge such as gene splicing.
The game puts you into the character of Rosie, a new colonist whose ship accidentally crash-lands on the surface of the planet Viris Primus. You soon discover that you are liable for the damage caused by the ship, and the only way you can pay off the debt is to work for the colony.
To pay off your debt, you must help the colony generate food by planting crops and caring for extra-terrestrial livestock. After a while, you will get the chance to improve the quality of your crops and livestock with gene-splicing technology.
Aside from helping the colony succeed, you must also interact with other colonists in the hope of establishing friendships and romantic relationships.
Verdant Skies is available to play on PC (Windows, Mac, and Linux).
Viridi is one of the best gardening games to play, especially if you love succulent plants. This game does away with everything you don’t need in gardening, and that includes a storyline, a location to explore, and even characters to interact with. If you enjoy planting digitally and nothing else, you cannot find a more straightforward game to play.
The game mechanics cannot be any simpler. In the beginning, you will receive a potful of soil and a handful of seeds. You must plant the seeds into the pot and water them daily to have them evolve into beautiful succulents. While you may not interact with anyone, you do have a small snail circling the pot as your companion.
To see your succulents grow, you must water them from time to time, sing to them to increase their growth rate, and remove weeds that grow in the pot.
The game offers extra succulents, pots, and backdrops for purchase through microtransactions. In other words, you have to pay a few real dollars to get the extra tools and seeds you might need. Nonetheless, the game will award you with a free seedling each week for you to plant.
Viridi is available for download on Steam and can be played with a PC (Windows and macOS) or mobile phone (Android and IOS).
8. Harvest Moon: Light of Hope
Harvest Moon: Light of Hope is a gardening game and the fourth installment to the Harvest Moon series created by Natsume. The game has all of the strategic elements of a community-based game, and that includes an island-based environment, self-sustaining activities, and a community to interact with.
The game has you play as a newcomer to the small island town of Beacon Town. To provide for yourself and other villagers, you must learn to fish, forage, mine, and farm resources. The game’s farming consists of caring for barn animals and planting crops.
Aside from finding ways to survive, you must interact with the remaining villagers. You can attend town events and help repair the broken lighthouse to replenish the lost light. As you engage with the villagers, you will have the chance to search for a wife or even a pet.
Harvest Moon: Light of Hope is available to play on PC (Microsoft Windows) with special versions for consoles (PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch).
9. Doraemon: Story of Seasons
Doraemon: Story of Seasons is a gardening and role-playing video game based on the popular 1990s manga, Doraemon. The game takes farming elements from the Story of Seasons series and combines them with the main characters of the Doraemon franchise.
In the game, you will start by discovering a strange seed that immediately turns into a large tree the moment you plant it. The tree seems to have time-warping abilities as you and Doraemon suddenly find yourselves in an alternate dimension.
In your search for answers, you come across a small village with a destroyed farm. Soon, you decide to help the villagers restore the farm by growing crops, raising farm animals, and crafting objects. Additionally, you can enlist Doraemon’s help with gadgets to improve your farming experience.
Doraemon: Story of Seasons is available to play on PC (Microsoft Windows) with special versions for consoles (PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch).
Ooblets is an adorable simulation game combining elements of community-based games with creature collection and battling.
In the game, you start off as a newcomer to a small island town, where you are given a basic plot of land to farm. As part of your main objective, you have to plant, water, and harvest crops to sell and share with the townspeople. Aside from tending to your garden, you will have to make friends with the villagers as well as take care of adorable, magical creatures called ooblets.
You can grow your own ooblets using ooblet seeds that will blossom into baby ooblets, and your ooblets can engage in dance battles with other ooblets using a turn-based RPG battle system. You can unlock new locations in town by engaging in quests, developing friendships with other villagers, and joining various clubs.
Ooblets is currently available in early access format for Windows and Xbox One. The official version of the game will be released in mid-2020 for Windows, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.
11. Mr. Tulip Head
Mr. Tulip Head is a puzzle-based/design-themed game and one of the best gardening games you can play at a leisurely pace. The game tests your ability to rearrange objects to form patterns that fit specific criteria.
The titular Mr. Tulip Head is an anthropomorphic tulip. You will assist him in organizing and designing a plot of land containing tulips. The game will present you with a series of blocks, each divided into plots with flowers, path stones, water, and statues.
You need to move the blocks around to satisfy the criteria set by Mr. Tulip Head. For example, he might present you with general criteria that will require you to build a path that maximizes the number of flowers the visitors can walk by. You can move the blocks around as much as you want, and the checklist will cross criteria as you go. Each plot also comes with a different pattern. The patterns get increasingly more complex as you move through the different levels.
Mr. Tulip Head is only available to play on PC (Windows and macOS).
The Botanist is a slow-paced, relaxing gardening game that mimics the reality of planting crops in your home. In the game, you are an office worker who has just been fired from his job. With this in mind, you have decided to pursue your passion of selling potted plants over the internet.
Unlike most games set in the great outdoors, this game allows you to manage your gardening business from within the comforts of your home. In this world, seeds are named after everyday words and each seed blossoms into a unique and beautiful plant.
Orders come through online, and you need to check if what they ask for is something you have on hand or something you still need to plant. With this in mind, plants that you do have can be mailed to the customer, which earns you money. Over time, you will be able to anticipate the requests based on their patterns.
The Botanist is available on Steam and can be played on PC, specifically Windows devices. Unfortunately, the game doesn’t appear to have a version for consoles and mobile.
13. Voodoo Garden
Voodoo Garden is a colorful and adorable gardening game. It has a unique storyline combining elements of digital gardening with ideas such as voodoo and the supernatural.
In the game, you are a voodoo practitioner who owns a small house in the middle of a swamp. As a voodoo practitioner, part of your game is selling voodoo potions and accessories, for which you’ll need raw materials. This is why you plant trees, shrubs, and herbs in the front of your house. In consequence, selling your potions earns you gold coins, which you can use to upgrade your gardens, totems, and animals.
In addition to growing plants, you can also feed and raise pets that you will eventually sacrifice. To explain, sacrificing your pets converts them into helper spirits that can help your garden in different ways.
Voodoo Garden is available on Steam and can be played with PC, specifically Windows OS devices.
14. That Blooming Feeling
That Blooming Feeling is a free-range abstract gardening game with symbolic characters and mechanics. The game’s mechanics is symbolism for welcoming youthful and joyful feelings back into a weary heart. The positive effects that doing so will have on your internal “garden,” which symbolizes your psychology.
In this game, you are a four-legged water creature running around a desert after having emerged from a pond. Running causes small droplets of water to fall from your body into the ground, generating beautiful flowers.
As your movements transform the barren space into a beautiful garden, curious creatures will emerge to join you. However, stepping on a hungry plant can cause you to explode, though you will respawn in the same pond where you started.
The Blooming Feeling was designed specifically for desktop devices, and there are versions of the game for Windows and macOS.
15. A Good Gardener
A Good Gardener is a slow-paced and thought-provoking gardening game that has you growing crops for the sake of your country during wartime. The creators of the sleepover game Little Party are also responsible for this game.
The game puts you into the shoes of a captured deserter, and the military requests you to plant crops within a walled compound. The experience in the game is very focused on planting. Every day, you have to plant a box of seeds, water them, and watch them grow into maturity.
Once in a while, a mustachioed official will come over to collect the already-matured crops and talk to you. You will begin to uncover the truth about the ongoing war and your own past through your conversations with the officer.
A Good Gardener is exclusively available for desktop computers and laptops, specifically those running on Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems.
Final Thoughts on the Best Gardening Games on PC
So there you have it- our compilation of the greenest, most relaxing gardening games to indulge your inner green thumb. As you might have noticed, most of these games offer a traditional portrayal of gardening, and this portrayal is that of a slow-paced, relaxing, and solitary activity. Nevertheless, most of the games on this list have added additional elements such as exploration, puzzle-solving, and social interaction to supplement the often-repetitive tasks involved in gardening. Whether you are a green thumb in real life or want to try out unusual games, these games are sure to have you potting and planting to your heart’s content.
If you enjoy playing unusual or niche-type games, then you might enjoy this list of the best rhythm games on PC to play today or the best full-sized parade games you can find on Amazon.