Gardenscapes “Secret Ingredient”

In the vibrant world of Gardenscapes, players are always on the lookout for new and exciting challenges. The introduction of the Merge Mini-Game, aptly named "Secret Ingredient," has added a delightful twist to the gameplay, offering a unique experience that keeps players engaged and entertained.


Playrix's Strategy with Mini-Games

Before we dive in, let’s take a look at the strategy behind these mini-games.

Playrix, the developer behind Gardenscapes, has strategically utilized mini-games like "Secret Ingredient" across their app portfolio to infuse mechanics from various genres. This innovative approach began with "Austin's Childhood" in Homescapes, where the merge mini-game concept first emerged and has since evolved through multiple iterations.

The reuse of mini-games across different apps has allowed Playrix to harness unusually deep mechanics for each mini-game, encompassing a wide array of boosts, goals, rewards, and purchases. This strategy has led to the creation of engaging experiences like "Secret Ingredient," where players merge ingredients, generate items, complete dishes, and explore an event store.

Furthermore, Playrix has adapted mini-games to introduce makeover mechanics, match-3 levels, and custom design in games like Gardenscapes, Homescapes, and Township. This multifaceted approach has been instrumental in retaining current players by offering a refreshing break from core gameplay and preventing player burnout.

Interestingly, while these mini-games focus on retention, Playrix's advertising strategy emphasizes other mechanics, such as pin-pulling mini-games, targeting user acquisition (UA). This dual approach highlights the complexity and thoughtfulness of Playrix's game design.

The Gameplay

Okay, let’s look at the gameplay.

"Secret Ingredient" is a mini-game where players generate and merge ingredients to complete dishes. The process is both engaging and rewarding, with various elements that make the game more interactive and enjoyable.


Key Features:

  • Energy System: Players earn energy by completing base game levels, buying energy with currency, or claiming free daily energy from an event shop.
  • Merging Ingredients: Players spend energy on generators to spawn items and ingredients on a board. Merging two ingredients creates an upgraded ingredient, unlocking boxes and revealing hidden items.
  • Creating Generators: Merging certain items creates a generator, adding a strategic layer to the game.
  • Completing Dishes: Players create specific ingredients to complete dishes, earning tokens that fill a meter and grant rewards at milestones.
  • Exclusive Rewards: Rewards include currency, energy, boosts for base game levels, and exclusive profile pictures.
  • Event Store: An event store allows players to buy ingredients and energy, with offerings changing daily.

Adaptations in Secret Ingredient:

  • Enhanced Engagement: Changes to the mini-game's economy drive more frequent engagement, such as daily energy collection and slower prize meter filling.
  • Strategic Energy Management: Lowering the cap on free energy and increasing regeneration time incentivizes players to spend energy more wisely and return to the store regularly.

The Impact

Enhanced Engagement:

The Mini-Game presents a unique and exciting way to play the game. This feature allows players to generate and merge ingredients, providing them with a sense of satisfaction and progress as they proceed through the levels.

Strategic Depth:

The game becomes more challenging and engaging due to the introduction of generators and the ability to merge ingredients. This new layer of strategy requires players to think more critically about their decisions and consider new possibilities. They must weigh the benefits and drawbacks of each option and determine the best course of action based on the current state of the game. This added complexity also allows for more creativity and experimentation, as players try out different combinations and approaches to achieve their goals. Overall, the inclusion of these features enhances the gameplay experience and provides a fresh perspective on the game's mechanics.


Rewarding Experience:

The mini-game in Gardenscapes is an excellent way to keep players engaged and excited about the game. With a range of rewards available, including exclusive profile pictures, players are encouraged to continue playing in order to unlock these achievements. This not only adds value to the overall game experience, but also ensures that players feel a sense of accomplishment and progress as they work towards their goals. By offering this added feature, Gardenscapes is able to provide a more comprehensive and fulfilling gaming experience that players are sure to appreciate.

Integration with Base Game:

The energy system in the game is a fascinating feature that makes the gameplay experience even more engaging. By limiting the number of times a player can play the game within a certain period, the energy system creates a sense of urgency and excitement, as players strive to make the most of the limited opportunities they have to play. Moreover, the connection between the base game levels and the mini-game is seamless, creating an immersive experience that encourages players to explore both aspects of the game. This integration is a testament to the game's design, which is clearly focused on providing players with a comprehensive and enjoyable gaming experience.

Revenue Impact

After the release of "Secret Ingredient," Gardenscapes' revenue saw an impressive increase of 13%. This positive impact on revenue can be attributed to several factors, including a downloads push that preceded the event and a pair of battle passes released during the event's run. These strategic moves likely contributed to the revenue boost, showcasing the effectiveness of the mini-game in enhancing the game's financial performance.



"Secret Ingredient" in Gardenscapes is a delightful addition that has successfully spiced up the gameplay. Its unique merging mechanics, strategic depth, and rewarding experience make it a standout feature that resonates with players.

Whether it's the joy of merging ingredients, the thrill of unlocking new dishes, or the satisfaction of earning exclusive rewards, "Secret Ingredient" offers a flavorful blend of fun and challenge. It's a testament to how innovative design and thoughtful integration can create memorable experiences in the ever-evolving world of mobile gaming.


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