The launch is a major one for Playdom, since the Palo Alto, Calif.-based division is hoping to replicate the success of the social game on mobile platforms, which are expected to be a significant avenue of growth for social games. The game has been successful because it was the first major “hidden object” game on Facebook. In such games, which are popular on casual game web sites, players search for objects in a scene.
The game launched in April on Facebook and became one of the most popular titles on the social network. More than 5 billion hidden object game sessions have been played to date, and the game hit a peak of 17 million monthly active users and 4 million daily active users. The game now has 9.1 million MAUs and 2.1 million DAUs, but it is still Playdom’s most popular game on Facebook by far.
The iPad version of the game is integrated with OpenFeint, Game Center, and Facebook to be as social as possible, so that the title can spread virally.
In Gardens of Time, players join the Time Society, an elite group of time-traveling detectives. They explore vibrant hidden object scenes throughout history to guard the secrets of time travel and preserve history’s flow. As players find objects, they earn coins, the game’s currency, and collect ancient artifacts to personalize a garden they can show off to friends. As your garden grows, so does your reputation, and you can unlock more travel spots.
The game is social because you can interact with other players, challenging them to high scores where you find objects on a time limit. You can send gifts and visit neighbors and compete in a “best garden” contest. John Spinale, senior vice president of social games at the Disney Interactive Media Group, said that Gardens of Time is perfectly suited for the tablet experience and that the company sees a chance to engage with millions of players on the go with the new platform.