The Gardens Between Reviews

  • AlertCat WeaselAlertCat Weasel337,703
    03 Nov 2019 04 Nov 2019
    23 1 0
    The Gardens Between is a single player puzzle game developed by Australian studio The Voxel Agents. A surreal game where you must stop time in order to proceed to the goal.

    The story centers around two close friends Arina & Frendt, a boy and a girl who live next door to each other. The tale starts on a rainy night where the pair sneak out to their tree house, as they are sat there a light sphere forms in front of them & their hideaway falls into a vast dream ocean.
    External image
    The game world is then formed of small islands, as you progress memories of their shared experiences play out in front of you.

    *** Spoiler - click to reveal ***

    The game consists of approximately 20 abstract stages. Each group of islands is influenced by the memories of the protagonists. Both characters have a unique ability that is required to complete the level. Arina possesses a magic lantern which carries an orb of light. This orb must be used to light the final beacon which in turn completes the level. Frendt sounds wind chimes, these will open & close the flowers that provide the light for the lantern.

    The characters do not move in the conventional sense, time is moved & the scene played out in front of you. Items interacted with using the special abilities remain affected with the passage of time. Light must be manipulated & puzzles solved to navigate simple paths to the end lantern. Each ability is intertwined with the other, a use of the wind chime to open a flower which will provide the orb of light to clear the path ahead.
    External image

    The puzzles are relatively straight forward, & the game doesn't require too much time to complete.

    Graphically the game is simple & colourful, but nothing spectacular. Camera work is fixed to the movement of time, & this caused frustrations as you were unable to freely move the view to identify elements of the puzzles.

    The abstract dreamlike story unfolds through short cinematic which were light on detail & graphically rough around the edges.
    External image
    The music & sound effects are simple and non obtrusive, allowing the tale to continue its dreamy state.

    A must for the achievement hunter, you will find it easy to complete & 1000 gamerscore is yours for the taking, approximately 5 hours of game play was all that was required.

    An attractive surreal puzzle game that successfully breaks down the convention of movement. A game that entices the player to be one with the characters memories. By its final scene you feel an attachment to the story & its principal characters.

    I would recommend picking this game up to fill a void between titles. An enjoyable and simple puzzle game where its only shortcomings are the fixed camera view & the lack of replayability.