The game that started Playdom's hidden-object love affair turns one

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Gardens of Time Garden PartyGardens of Time, the Facebook game that arguably sparked a trend in social gaming, is officially one year old. Disney-owned creator Playdom announced the milestone today on Twitter, and offered players a nifty in-game item to celebrate. Players who click on a link provided on either Facebook or Twitter will score a free Garden Party decoration.

The item takes up a mere 1 by 2-tile space in players' gardens and boosts their Reputation by 500--a likely boon for players looking to unlock more hidden-object scenes. But back to Gardens of Time turning one year old: Within that year, the game earned numerous awards, including a nod from us in the mobile social games category for its iPad and iPhone version.

What's even more important than the game's several accolades is that it arguably inspired not just other social game makers to hop on the bandwagon but Playdom itself to revisit the genre not once, but twice. (Of course, some will argue that Playdom was inspired by existing hidden-object games either on Facebook or elsewhere.)

The one-year mark is as strong a gauge for a social game's "stickiness" as is its daily players, but in this special case it's also indicative of the livelihood of the genre. Zynga's Hidden Chronicles is still one of the developer's top games, and both of Playdom's hidden-object games are in its top five, according to AppData. With another on the way, it looks like hidden-object is here to stay on Facebook.

Still digging on Gardens of Time after one year? What about hidden-object's livelihood as a social game genre? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.
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