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BBC Gardeners' World: 3D Designer (pc game)
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  • Welcome to my farm!

Gardening can be fun!

Now this is an unusual one. As you might expect from the title, it's not exactly a game and is instead aimed at gardening fans who want to plan out their dream garden but in a very nineties computerised fashion. It shares certain similarities with other building sets like 3D Construction Kit, which have a slightly different appeal to standard games but there are a few problems with it that make it less than a must investigate, even for die hard gardeners. The package starts out well, with an extensive range of options that should satisfy even the most ambitious of planners. There's a massive database of flowers and plants, all of which have extensive information and descriptions, including varieties, colours, what kind of conditions they like and even a few handy hints on how best to grow them. The whole thing is kind of like a drawing package which is entirely mouse drive, so once you've brushed up on your plants and made a selection, you can start laying things out. There are some sample gardens to provide some inspiration, which is a nice touch, but unfortunately, when it comes to actually creating your own, the problems start to come out to play. Although everything is controlled with the mouse, the interface is clumsy and confusing, and it will take a few false starts before you get your head around things and actually come up with anything of note. The visuals are pretty basic, but that's to be expected from the period. You can however get a decent visual idea of what you hope to achieve, so this isn't a huge problem. If you're prepared to stick with it, this is a solid design package which lacks the bells and whistles of later such titles, but that frustration can prove off-putting, so be warned.

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