The Gardens Between is a straight forward and fairly easy puzzle game. You control time moving two characters and the environment forward or backwards. The characters can interact with items in the environment which can affect how items move when you mess with the time. They can even move some minor things as well on their own through time. The point of the game is to get them from the start of the level to the end with a light to activate a light tower to get to the next level.
The two characters are Arina and her male friend who is never named. They start out in a tree house during a storm and get transported to this land. This weird time controlling land is made up of all their shared memories from their first meeting when Arina moved next door, to their various adventures and times of just hanging out. I’m not going to tell you the ending but it’s bittersweet and explains why this magical land they’re exploring exists.
There’s no real story to speak of, they’re just memories you’re looking at that’s all until the very end which explains everything. Every level has its own little mini theme and every couple of levels are themed together to come up with a full memory that the player gets to watch. The game requires you to get a lantern to the end of the level with a light in it. The characters can interact with items that control the flow of time to certain items and also interact with pulling switches, like you’d find on your ceiling fan. These pulling switches open and close different flowers some of which have lights for the lanterns others which have a black hole that sucks the light out. They also sometimes interact with little robotic cubes that can carry the lanterns, these robots jump around the screen for the duo to get the light past obstacles like the black hole flowers. The puzzles are overall really easy but sometimes they require you to step back and think outside the box a little, but even then it’s not too hard. The hard part is just realizing you have to think outside the box in the first place.
My only real issues with the game are that first off it’s really short you can beat the game in an hour or two and I really just I want more so bad it was so good. The second and third issue are both personal ones that don’t matter to next to anyone but one is that the male character is never named and that just annoys me. The last one is that one of the final missions you use lightening to get through the level as such it flashes a lot; I’m highly photosensitive and photo-phobic so that was really hard to finish and took a long period of time to actual get through because I simply couldn’t play it straight. The lightening mechanic was really cool though.
The Gardens Between was developed by: The Voxel Agents
$15.00 on mac, $20.00 everywhere else: Relive your memories, or I guess quit the game.
A review copy was provided by the developer The Voxel Agents.
darkmikasonfire has awarded The Gardens Between The Indie Gamer Team Seal of Approval and if she could she’d do it a few times over.