The gameplay loop can be repetitive but is able to be consumed in such small morsels that one may enjoy picking up Garden Story every day just to get a small fix. There’s a lot of promise here in terms of a sequel but in the next go round, I think a bit of editing might be beneficial. As much of an embarrassment of riches Garden Story may seem, it can be a lot to take in for such a compact adventure.
Adorable and charming world with fairly engaging game play. The daily quests feel hard at first until you get into the rhythm of things. As soon as you do the story takes you somewhere else and it starts again.
Garden Story is such a wholesome game and the more time you put into it, the more you will get out. Its adorable cast of characters and varied gameplay makes for a great ‘relaxation’ game, if that’s what you’re looking for.
As one of the surprise drops of the Nintendo Indie World showcase, we couldn't wait to get our hands on Garden Story, one of the most hyped "wholesome" games of the past few months. What we were expecting was perhaps not what we received — and it certainly has its flaws — but nevertheless, we couldn't help being won over by Garden Story's charm as well as its systems.
Anyone looking for a particularly chill experience that isn’t very demanding may derive more pleasure out of Concord’s adventure than I did, but it’s hard to overlook how so much of your in-game work just doesn’t really matter. The downward sloping difficulty curve, boring daily tasks, and lackluster enemies make Garden Story a crop that’s not worth rushing to harvest.
Garden Story starts with the most promising of beginnings: the world is endearing and full of tender whimsy, yet alluding to a deeper, more mature epic hiding beneath. As you are introduced to the numerous charming characters full of life and personality (the dialogue writing is really good), you start to learn the basics of gameplay. You see how many different types of weapons there are, each with their different attack types and stats, all the different stat buffs you can obtain through character customization or potions, all of the numerous materials and seeds you can gather. Seeing all of this promising stuff, how many variables and mechanics are present, you can't wait to see what the game truly has to offer, after this simple tutorial is over. And so you wait. And you wait. And you wait. And then the credits roll. And you realize that this "simple tutorial" was really long, and actually was the whole game. Garden Story is so simple and barebones that it feels like the alpha version **** that is still in development.
You fight three types of enemy in the starting area and can't wait to see what other types of enemies await you in the other areas, only to find out that it's the exact same enemies you already faced, only with a different color or... a hat that you need to remove from their head. Not joking. The game takes the same enemy you fought to exhaustion, gives them a minuscule cosmetic change and an extra step to defeat them and thinks it can get away with it.
It doesn't make sense for the game to have so many weapon types with different stats when you have basically just a couple of enemy types, and the starting weapon does the job just fine.
The worst part is that this could be somewhat acceptable if this one enemy type was really fun to fight, but they aren't. They're boring and after you've dealt enough damage they get smaller, so small that their hitbox becomes frustratingly hard to reach. All of this is aggravated by how slow the player character is, both in their movement speed and the time they take to switch weapons. The whole thing feels clunky, the Combat just doesn't cut it.
There are some small good ideas here and there like the Shield, to defend yourself from projectile attacks, but only two enemies in the entire game use projectile attacks and they are so slow a simple roll is sufficient to evade, so why does the shield even exists? Just like all the different potions: why do they exist when the game is so easy that you can get by without ever needing anything other than the starting potion? Why giving the player the possibility to use the fishing rod to fish items out of the ocean, which at first seems so cool, when in actuality you mostly find items you can easily find on land? The game is full of mechanics that showcase how it wanted to be complex and rich when in reality the content it offers is so so scarce.
Even the possibility to customize towns, although really cute, is super limited both in terms of how small the areas you can customize are and the underwhelming amount of utilities you can craft. The Dungeons are also underwhelming.
The Dungeon Bosses are the best part of the entire game but when compared to other games they are just decent. The Dungeon puzzles you'll need to solve to proceed are so easy that they just feel like a waste of time.
It certainly isn't enough to save the whole experience but the game suddenly picks itself up in quality in the last couple of hours, with a Final Dungeon that has actually challenging puzzles and a Final Boss that may not be very hard but requires the player to solve an enigma and fight in a pleasantly unexpected way that ties with the story.
Speaking of the narrative, it's the only thing about Garden Story that luckily doesn't try to appear fancier or bigger than it actually is. It's the simple tale of a small hero saving a dying community from a grim future. A humble story of hope, kindness and perseverance, told with love and warmth. This wholesome atmosphere is greatly strengthened by the soft upbeat musical score of Grahm Nesbitt, which perfectly encapsulates the hopeful but delicate mood of the journey.
Or, in other words: Garden Story is a simple story that warms your heart with endearing characters that try their best to help the community around them even when all hope seems lost. Let's just hope that that will be enough to help you go through this tedious chore **** before the lack of any meaningful content makes you fall asleep to the game's beautiful tunes.
SummaryConcord, the youngest grape in The Grove, is now a Guardian, and it's their job to help restore the island. That's a lot to shoulder for a grape barely off the vine and more than a few inhabitants are skeptical they have what it takes. Fortunately, Concord has friends like Elderberry, Rana, and Fuji on their side! With their help, you ca...