Garden Story Demo

Played on: Mac, via Steam

For a game that contains so many different elements, this demo teases just enough to have me begging for more

The graphics make a lot of use of light, clean colour palettes, and crisp pixel art


A range of game styles is present in Garden Story: combat, rpg, and puzzler were the three introduced by the demo. There’s reference to crafting, which I can only imagine there is a lot more of in the full game. Oh, and there’s even a little something for fishing fans :)


The demo is very ‘hand-holdy’, taking you methodically through the steps in each part of the overall challenge. Although this sometimes feels like it might be too much, it’s almost always welcome since there is quite a lot to take in, considering the controls, different tools, etc.


The game looks fantastic, with cute graphics and animations — I immediately felt at home in its beautiful 16-bit world. It feels like a respectful homage to Link to the Past, and lots of attention has been paid to details of the HUD. The main interactions are engaging, and there’s a cast of many delightful characters, even in just this introduction.


Entering the cave at the end of the demo, I was surprised to come across a series of box-pushing puzzles, but having recently enjoyed Super Box Land Demake, I found this first set straightforward, and an interesting break from the main game. I guess these are further Zelda-esque elements to come, and I’m wondering what remaining puzzles there will be in the release.


Although the demo is on the short side, it strongly hints at the scope of the full game beyond. My only slight concern is that it’s difficult to tell what the balance of all these different game styles will be — I would’ve liked to have seen more crafting, too. Still, this is definitely a game to watch and I’ll be keeping an eye on its progress.

Garden Story is being created by picogram.