Title: The Gardens Between
Developer: The Voxel Agents
Publisher: The Voxel Agents
Genre: Puzzle, Story
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Age Rating: PEGI 3
Release Date: 20/09/18
Price: £17.99 – Rapid Reviews was very kindly provided with a review code for this title.
The Gardens Between is a quirky little puzzle game that’ll have you manipulating time like its nobody’s business. It’s a simple mechanic but something that may have you scratching your head on occasion. Tapping into the memories of those childhood friendships you cherished and adored, you’ll be taken on a trip down memory lane of two friends who share a fascinating but relatable bond.
You play through various stages which are split up into different islands; each one acting as a memory. As you travel, each stage has various pieces of scenery which are going to help you complete it or are just pretty to look at and correspond with whatever memory you’re in. So how do you get past each stage I hear you ask?
That time mechanic I mentioned earlier, well that forms the main bulk of the gameplay. You won’t be directly controlling either character, but manipulating the flow of time on a set path that your characters make. The camera pans around your characters in a circular motion until you reach the top of the stage. There will be a small orb of light which you need to carry to the top in your trusty lantern, and once you’ve figured out how to reach the peak with your orb intact, you will complete the stage.
It’s the environments and scenery props you’ll have to keep a close eye on, mixing natural weather elements at times with the puzzle style gameplay is a great mechanic that works very well. For example, one stage has you redirecting an electrical current to operate a floating TV and to do this, you have to pause the flow of time at just the right point. The puzzle elements I found sat on the right side of being taxing but not frustratingly so!
The Gardens Between looks fantastic, and I loved the art style and the music both equally. You’ll find a very ethereal and very dreamy soundtrack. It’s super relaxing and a great game to chill out too.
Once you’ve completed the main game, it may only take a few hours depending on your abilities, and there aren’t any other modes to play through. That’s my only criticism of the whole experience; I wish there were more islands to explore. But what you have on offer here is more than worth it so I couldn’t recommend The Gardens Between enough. A perfect example of less is more.
Rapid Reviews Rating
You can purchase The Gardens Between from the Nintendo eShop on the following link, https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch-download-software/The-Gardens-Between-1423649.html
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.