Historically, I’ve always struggled with puzzle games. I start off really entertained and then one of two things happens: I either get bored incredibly quickly or (and this is the most likely option) I get incredibly frustrated at not being able to complete a specific level that I actually rage quit.
Luckily, I’m a sucker for hand-crafted pixel graphics, and that’s exactly what drew me into playing Gardener’s Path – and I’m so glad I did. Let’s find out why.
Gardener’s Path is a top-down turn-based puzzle game which centres around protecting your garden and defeating the bugs that inhabit them. A brief backstory is introduced to you when you first start the game, but truthfully, it’s nothing you’re really going to be focused on. The main thing here is the gameplay, and that on its own is fantastic.
The gameplay itself is super simple. Your main target is to destroy the bugs that are ‘bugging’ (sorry) each garden, and then make your way to the crystal that is present on that garden. But, this being a puzzle game, it’s not going to be that easy.
You can only move in four directions: up, down, left, and right. And upon selecting your desired direction, you will move until something stops you. That means you’re going to have to plan each way you move in order to get to the crystal. Hit into rocks, and you’re fine. Simply move elsewhere. Move into cacti, however, and it’s going to be game over for you. You must restart the level until you get it right.
Combat and movement all go hand-in-hand in Gardener’s Path. As soon as you ‘bump’ into a bug, you will deal damage to it. Some bugs have 1HP, meaning you only need to hit it once. Others will require you to hit into it multiple times, but you will have to move again in order to do that. These are often the key to solving the level and getting to that crystal, so it’s important to be one step ahead.
This is a puzzle game, and so it’s only natural that as you progress through the levels, it will get more and more difficult. Gardener’s Path has 60 levels to pass through, which can be easily played through if you’re sat down in a quiet room.
Luckily, this is a completely laid back and relaxed experience, and so if you do get to the point where you are stuck on a level, you can simply skip to the next one and come back to it at a later point. Which is a blessing in disguise, because when I felt myself getting annoyed because I couldn’t complete a level, I would press that glorious skip button and I was back to being relaxed. Bliss.
As each level is very similar to the last, it’s easy to become a little bored in Gardener’s Path. It’s only due to its calming nature and fast levels that I stayed playing. I did say it was a simple game, and it really is. But those hand-drawn pixel graphics are a beauty to look at. It really does look stunning. Each season is well represented with vibrant colour and details.
The game’s soundtrack is calming and chilled. It makes the game more of a relaxing experience and makes your time with it just that much more pleasant.
Overall, Gardener’s Path is a good little puzzle game that will keep you relaxed and occupied for a few short hours. Sadly, that’s as long as this game will last you. It’s a simple game that you absolutely cannot go wrong with purchasing for such a cheap price. If you’re a fan of puzzle games, this is for you.
Gardener’s Path Switch Review provided by Nintendo Link
Review also found on OpenCritic
Publisher: Ratalaika Games
Developer: Viridino Studios
Release Date: December 22nd, 2021
Price: $4.99, £4.99
Game Size: 81MB
Calming and relaxing gameplay
Stunning hand-drawn pixel art
It’s a short game
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A massive lover of all things nerdy, Chelly has been games writing for over 3 years now and hopes to gain more experience and knowledge doing so. Her favourite games are Monster Hunter, Borderlands and Pokemon.