Manifold Garden Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 5 Critic Reviews What's this?

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Mixed or average reviews- based on 5 Ratings

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  • Summary: Manifold Garden is a first-person exploration game. Rediscover gravity and explore an Escher-esque world of impossible architecture. Witness infinity in first person, and master its rules to solve physics-defying puzzles. Cultivate a garden to open new paths forward, where an eternal expanse awaits.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 5
  2. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Sep 8, 2020
    Playing through Manifold Garden is a lot like examining an MC Escher work, admiring its beautifully impossible architecture while parsing the complexity of the world. It’s undoubtedly confusing at first, but look close enough and you’ll get a grasp of the mechanics holding this reality together. I’ve played my fair share of first-person puzzle games, and I can’t remember the last time I played something this unique, intelligent and downright beautiful.
  2. Aug 20, 2020
    Manifold Garden is a stunning puzzle game, one that will leave a lasting impact on you, not just for its thought-provoking puzzles, but by virtue of the fact that you're essentially playing an actual piece of art. It's bloody delightful!
  3. Aug 29, 2020
    Manifold Garden is the best first person puzzle game since Portal 2. Unique spatial mechanics, a world that brings to life M.C. Escher’s work, a winsome art style and masterfully designed puzzles make this one of the easiest recommendations of 2020 so far.
  4. Sep 1, 2020
    It could well be overwhelming for some, but on the whole, if you give it time, the visuals, the soundtrack, the concept and the gameplay of Manifold Garden will more than deliver.
  5. Aug 25, 2020
    Moreso than a lot of games, this is an art piece, an achievement to be admired. Completing puzzles and unlocking the various ways the game plays with its central mechanic all provide the catharsis of truly understanding each new environment and admiring the clever ways the developer wrapped everything together. From a pure gameplay perspective, it's a bit clunky, but you could say that about the work of many of the great artists and composers. Manifold Garden may not be much of a game, but it's surely an adventure that's worthy of some attention.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Sep 14, 2020
    Mantifold Garden after 7 years of creation there’s an uneasiness in Manifold Garden, developer William Chyr’s architectural oasis that shiftsMantifold Garden after 7 years of creation there’s an uneasiness in Manifold Garden, developer William Chyr’s architectural oasis that shifts and repeats itself into seemingly infinity. It’s a game I’m drawn to and terrified by, an unsettling yet stunning experience set in an MCE inspired world, where each structure is a puzzle and brings with it a sense of “impossibility” shapes that shouldn’t work, but do. Somehow. There is no one guiding me through the garden; instruction is built into its design. The first puzzle is a lesson in gravity. A button is dangling from the ceiling, and I have to walk on walls to reach it. To get there, I essentially switch into different dimensional planes, each of which is associated with color. It will make more sense as you play hands on, but trying to explain what’s going on verbally, or even written out, is a significant challenge. My assumption of how things are supposed to work are broken down by the game’s mechanics. I have to shift perspective by activating a different plane, which changes my view. I mean this in a literal sense: With a click, the wall becomes the floor and a new world opens up to explore. From there, I continue to play with gravity to solve the game’s puzzles. Doing so rids the world of an implied corruption that’s taking over, represented by dark clouds that obscure parts of Manifold Garden’s geometry. I learn more about the world and its story with each new garden I reach, although the specifics are often more implied than explained. The game can be finished in up to six hours, although time starts to have less meaning the more you dig in. Manifold Garden isn’t a garden in the traditional sense. Blocks grow like apples from geometric trees dotted across the world, and it’s these blocks that are the keys to the world. The blocks are each associated with a color, depending on what tree they’re pulled from. The objective is often immediately clear when entering an area: I see the trees, growing their blocks. Elsewhere, there’s a door to unlock, powered by a receptacle where I’m to plug in the correctly colored block. But it’s not as simple as picking up the block and moving it to its gate; blocks are locked to their respective color planes, and I must manipulate gravity to get it where it needs to go. Anyone who enjoyed Portal or Portal 2 may have some understanding of the sort of thinking required to solve Manifold Garden’s puzzles easier. Early puzzles are meant to teach me the way the garden works more than challenge me, but puzzles become more complex as Manifold Garden opens up. Just when I think I’ve grasped the logic of the world, something changes, my perspective shifts, and the uneasiness of infinity settles in again. Manifold Garden invokes a sense of anxiety, like a dream I’ve always had and never understood. I’m chasing something through a looping forest, but whatever I’m following; I never know what it is; remains just out of reach. The truth of that these environments don’t go on forever. The loops, like the blocks, are tools to help me escape, to interact with the environment and solve puzzles. And the place where my anxiety and the game’s design collide the hardest takes place on the edge of a platform, over which I must throw myself. I encountered this lesson early on in an area with Manifold Garden’s never-ending stairs. The stairs loop around a vertical structure that extends forever in both directions; I move up and down the structure in both directions, but I always return to where I started. Then I realize I need to go across the short gap. And I must fall into the void to do so, I jump, or, rather, fall. There is no jump, I can only walk until there is no longer floor. So I fall. I fall past the stairs. I fall, and fall, and fall, until I land right back on the very same platform. Except I’ve shifted to another plane on that structure, which means the stairs are now horizontal, not vertical. I can finally reach a different area, falling past different variations of the world, controlled by which plane I was on when I pitched myself into nothingness. This isn’t infinity, it’s a tool. When I look into the void, the void doesn’t look back. In this world, the void offers solutions. The blocks I found and their uses change as I enter more complex areas, and later I stumble upon waterfalls, another Escher reference. Manifold Garden is not frustrating or confusing, even if my explanations of what I do in it may be. Chyr has been working on the game for seven years, and he’s used that time to design a world that challenges its inhabitants without being cruel. I often feel like I have no idea what I’m doing, but I never feel despondent or troubled by that confusion. A breakthrough will come, and the game’s environment itself feels like it wants to be played with and experimented upon. I’ve just must be willing to submit myself to Manifold Garden's experience. Expand