THE GARDENS BETWEEN
Friendship grows like a flower
On a dark and stormy night, two friends, Arina and Frendt, are sheltering from the rain in their shared treehouse between their two houses. Mysteriously, they end up transported to a surreal world of islands akin to something out of a pop-up book, populated by giant recreations of their shared memories. It’s an imaginative journey told wordlessly, as the two friends ferry from one diorama-like island to the next in their treehouse.
You don’t control either of the pals directly – instead you’ve got a handle on time. The camera follows the girls around as they make their way from their makeshift boat to a gate at the end of an island’s path, and you either fast-forward or rewind them on their route using the analog stick, D-pad, or p and i. 1 Beyond that, you’ll only be using q to get them to interact with objects. The ultimate goal is for one of them to carry a light in a lantern to the gate at the end, while the other can activate things like switches.
The islands move as time progresses, 2 and often you’ll be switching between multiple states, or controlling lines of time slightly differently, to make everything come together. Some puzzles use this ingeniously, getting you to mess with the order of inputs, or align objects in certain ways. For the most part they’re intuitive and just the right level of taxing, with only a couple of particularly tricky leaps of logic. While a simple concept, the game itself is just the right length to stop the idea spreading too thin. With a beautiful ambient soundtrack, and a warm story wonderfully told, it’s one that will stick with you for a while. Oscar Taylor-Kent Sometimesyou’llfindyourselfscrubbingbackwards and forwards too often, and wishing you could change the speed. Every island is beautiful, filled with the pair’s shared experiences.