I, like most of the internet, heard of Lily’s Garden because of its bizarre advertisements. You’ve got your usual “dude dumps his girl after finding out she’s pregnant,” but then you’ve got the follow-up in which it’s revealed that the girl was lying about being pregnant, and whatever is going on here:
What — and I CANNOT stress this enough — THE HELL??? pic.twitter.com/jsjhhQFwrY
— Henry David Thorragnarok (@GoFrankGo) July 6, 2019
I’m a sucker for bizarre games. I downloaded Lily’s Garden because, despite hating collapse games, I had to know if it was as weird and potentially irreverent as its advertisements suggest.
And folks, I am not ashamed to announce that I am hooked.
Unfortunately, I can’t say that it’s because the game is in fact as bizarre as promised. In fact, the story is fairly straightforward. Lily, your pregnancy-test-faking protagonist, inherits a dilapidated mansion from her aunt Mary. According to an odd stipulation of Mary’s will, Lily has 30 days to return the mansion to its former glory if she wants to keep it. That means grinding through over a thousand collapsing levels, matching colored cubes to make sunflowers bloom or blasting open picnic baskets with rockets, because why not. For completing this obnoxious task, you’re rewarded with stars that can be spent on planting flowers, repairing busted benches, or, you know, secretly DNA testing your skeevy cousin to find out if his claim to the inheritance is legit.
That’s the thing—I put up with the tedium of tapping on colored blocks because I am so fucking invested in this story. It has all the hits: a plucky underdog protagonist, a good-natured and charming but deeply sad neighbor who plays the banjo late at night, a shitty ex-boyfriend, family drama. Romance, scheming, a beautifully decorated garden. This is the game for me, other than that Regina, the contractor who fixes up your balcony and talks at length about how she hates men, is married and not romanceable by the titular Lily.
Listen. I’m not saying it’s the best story ever told in games and that it’s worth slogging through a literal thousand collapsing levels for. I’ve been playing for what feels like a century and I’m only on day eight of thirty. I’m bad at collapse games and I refuse to spend money to make it easier on myself. I may never find out if Lily can repair the garden in time. Will she and Luke kiss one another? What’s up with Luke’s custody battle? When will I learn more about Uncle Arthur? Did Lily really fake being pregnant to get rid of Blaine???
These questions are all extremely important to me. Yes, this is a pretty silly collapse game I played purely because of its strange advertising strategy, but it has a legitimately engaging story, a great sense of humor, and a genuinely intriguing cast of characters. The format frankly sucks (I suspect I won’t ever get the answers to my questions as the levels continually ramp up in difficulty, a tactic usually used to prompt players to spend money), but I’m having a genuinely wonderful time with it. It’s well-designed and, more importantly, well-written. There’s a thousand and one collapse games out there, but this one has a beating heart, a sense of humor, and just enough melodrama to make things interesting.
Is it any wonder I’ve fallen in love with it? I can pretend I’m a person with enough free time to spend literally all day repairing my mansion, gardening, and flirting with the neighbor. Lily’s Garden is the millennial dream, locked, as always, behind tedious and insurmountable tasks.
Melissa Brinks is Sidequest’s editor in chief, co-creator of the Fake Geek Girls podcast, author of The Compendium of Magical Beasts, and an aspiring beekeeper. She once won an argument on the internet, and tweets at @MelissaBrinks.
I’m hooked too. Did you make it to the end? Wish I could watch the story without playing the game. It gets tedious and I hate spending money on them. Thanks for letting me know I’m not alone!
Unfortunately no, I didn’t make it to the end! I have some friends who have made it much further than me but I don’t think I’ve made it any further than when I wrote this article. You’re definitely not alone!
It NEVER ends. I’m at the top level waiting for the weekly release of new levels. Just don’t bother with the levels they offer between updates, they are nothing but repeats of the hardest boards. I check in a number of times a day and give helps but am not playing till new boards come out. Can’t stop playing though!
You can watch it on ytube.
I refuse to spend money on this outrageously expensive game. But, if you don’t, there is no way to advance the story, it takes around 200 plays to get one star. Ridiculous!
I’ve been playing since August. I’m on level 2578, day 62. Haven’t spent a dime, just hours. Addicted.
I’m at a point in the game where Luke hasn’t showed up in days! Where’s Lily’s man!! And why is dumb Blain getting in the way!
Wow. I no longer feel alone. I’ve gotten what seems farther than most of you but I need more! Seven days away from finding out if Lily gets the mansion. Anyone wanna be my buddy?
Just like you, i got HOOKED by this story line and can vouch that the ads are completely false and nothing in the ads are true. Lily is quirky, but not conniving in any way. And her ex is truly the worst. I finally got past the 30 days and of course Lily makes it and then finds out about a haunted mansion on the grounds and now im working at restoring that and finding out the secrets of the family. Theres also new characters that im super suspicious of. Sometimes the levels drive me crazy at how hard they are, but the game is so addicting!
I cannot BELIEVE they’ve added a haunted mansion. I’m never going to beat this game because I’m absolutely terrible at it, but I MUST know about this haunted mansion!
You can watch it all on YouTube! I got so invested I couldn’t wait to know what happened next, so I had to watch the story. (Although, I am all caught up on the levels now. Woo hoo!) https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLHhNX4GFbA_J92hy8p5_trZZhcMIC_ycO
You honestly don’t have to spend any money on the game. I’m on level 2735 and have never put the first cent into it. The levels do get more difficult and challenging as you go along, but it just takes persistence and patience.
I’ve only been playing for a few months, but I’m also good at the collapse games and have advanced through the levels much quicker than most probably would. I’ve renovated the original property, the estate, broke up with Luke (and got back together with him), found the temple on the estate, fought the legal battle to keep the estate, built Regina and Whitney’s home, and am now renovating the house on the original property. I certainly can’t stop now…I have to see if Dirk Sides is going to help or hurt me. Sigh.
:::end of spoilers:::
Be patient with it and you’ll never spend a penny. Promise!
@Tabitha We are around the same point in the game. (I’m level 3483) I hate the levels but LOVE the story, and can’t seem to put this game away! I won’t ruin it for others who want to legit get through the story on their own but it’s WORTH IT! And I have not put a cent in, either. A few levels took me days and days to complete (one level I was stuck on for around a month!) But it is absolutely possible to get through this game without spending anything!