A Hero and a Garden Review (Nintendo Switch)

Game: A Hero and a Garden
Genre: Adventure, Simulation, Role-Playing
System: Nintendo Switch (also on PlayStation 4, Android, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Linux)
Developer | Publisher: npckc | Ratalaika Games
Age Rating: US E | EU 3
Price: US $4.99 | UK £4.99 | EU € 4,99
Release Date: August 28th, 2020

Review code used with many thanks to Ratalaika Games!

A Hero and a Garden LadiesGamers
A typical fairytale premise is taken in a very different direction…

We’ve all heard the classic Rapunzel story—the princess, locked away in her tower by a wicked witch, waits for the knight in shining armor to come to her rescue. But what if the princess didn’t need saving? What if the monsters were nothing but citizens? What if the knight was wrong?

The Knight in the Tower

In A Hero and a Garden, you play as a knight locked away in a tower. He has been imprisoned for his crimes against the citizens of the witch’s town of monsters, in which his old friend, the princess, has been living peacefully for some time. In order to earn his freedom, he must tend to the witch’s garden inside the tower, growing and selling berries to the citizens to earn the funds to repair the destruction he brought upon their town.
All of the relationships in this game begin very strained; the knight’s various customers treat him with hostility and fear because of his actions. However, over time, you get to follow along as they learn more about the misunderstanding that led them to where they are.

A Hero and a Knight LadiesGamers
The knight has a hard time accepting that he wasn’t a hero.

The story is extremely sweet and heartwarming. It’s a lovely pick-me-up. The only downside is that there’s no influence from the player; the story between the knight and the other characters of the town is static, without many options for player interaction.

A Pastel Garden

The art style of the game is very cute and simple. Most everything is in pastel colors, making it very easy on the eyes, and the character designs are all very unique and distinct from one another, showing their personalities in different ways. 

A Hero and a Garden LadiesGamers.
Rutaboo understands the principles of good character design.

Clicker Controls

In the storytelling sections of the gameplay, all you really need to do is press “A” to continue (or “Y” to skip, or “R” to fast forward, and so on). The gardening gameplay is where the controls get interesting. On other platforms, this game is a clicker; their way of interpreting this for the Switch was to assign a different button to each bush of berries you grow (B, X, Y, L, and R), leading to very rhythmic gameplay as you try to time it to get the most berries in the least amount of time. The D-pad is also used to access your book of orders, your front door, and other important things.

A Hero and a Garden LadiesGamers.
The magical garden inside your tower.

A Short Story

A Hero and a Garden is a pretty short game; I finished it in about an hour and a half. By the end, I was attached enough to the characters that I wanted more content, but the story did come to a natural (and satisfying) ending, so I’m not upset about it. It’s a very heartwarming story, and it’s a lovely way to pass an afternoon. 

A Hero and a Garden LadiesGamers.
This time, the real treasure really was the friends we made along the way.

Final Thoughts

Overall, A Hero and a Garden is simple, sweet, and a great pick-me-up on a melancholy day. The use of dialogue and other story elements makes for a very effective character-based story with rhythmic controls, a charming cast of characters, and a satisfying ending. 

Verdict: I like it a lot!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *