The Garden Centre of the Universe



Rob Evans


In the year 2146 scientists discover that a terrible fate is in store for the galaxy: dark matter, that had always kept the universe stable, was fading away as if it was seeping into some other dimension…

Using faster than light telescopes the first signs of impending chaos could be seen at the distant edges of the observable sky…

The force of gravity, finding new strength, was pulling star clusters inwards and crushing entire galaxies as the expansion of the universe itself began to slow and falter…

At CERN new types of matter were created and tested until at last a molecule was formulated, Unlikelium, that when genetically engineered into terrestrial plants enhanced the normal process of photosynthesis to produce bosons of pure dark energy.

Cosmonaut landscape gardeners bravely cultivated specially designed astroturf platforms that were placed in orbit around areas that were found to be low in dark energy.

Slowly but surely the universe found equilibrium and then began to expand as before.

A system of quotas ensured enough dark matter was harvested to prevent disaster and all was well for over a hundred years…

It is now 2251 and a mega-recession is forcing huge cutbacks across the whole of society. In an effort to lower costs a robot gardener is created that will replace all human gardeners if tests find it to be more productive.

The Astro Gardeners Union is outraged and in a direct challenge to the government has put forward their best girl to compete against the robot by fulfilling quotas of increasing difficulty in a head to head battle!

Choose the red(normal) or blue(hard) game mode to begin. You will start on level 1 unless a password for a later level is entered.

You begin with only 2 seeds to meet the quota but when a fully grown plant is left to photosynthesise freely it will slowly produce new plants in adjacent, empty squares.

Picking a fully grown plant counts as one production unit and also puts a seed back in the basket.

It is only safe to carry 5 seeds at a time as they could react with the subatomic particles of dark matter also carried in the basket so this is the limit for all levels.

Planting on squares that contain cosmic daisies gives a growth boost to the new plant and your watering can contains heavy water to increase growth rates when needed.

Occasionally small comets will fall providing some bonus D20!

When the quota is met a special seed will be available that can only be planted on your star square.

This is a spaceship plant that when fully grown provides a one-way trip to the next level!

Climb into your ship first to win. Fail to do so and it’s game over for you when the boss finds out…

Use the joystick or QAOP to move and fire or M to perform actions.

The action available will depend on which mode the player is in: walking/squishing, picking/planting or watering mode.

The space bar is used to toggle between the three modes.

Use the NMI button to return to the main menu at any time.

Nice little game!

That’s very nice, if a little too difficult (well, for me anyway!)

Perhaps it will inspire any programmers left in the SAM scene to get to work on some new stuff of their own? Here’s hoping!

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