Garden Story LadiesGamers

Garden Story Review

Game: Garden Story
Genre: Indie, Action, Adventure, Role-Playing, Simulation
System: Nintendo Switch (also on Steam, Epic Games Store & Mac)
Developers | Publishers: Picogram | Rose City Games
Age Rating: US E 10+ | EU 7+
Price: UK £17.99 | US $19.99 | EU € 19,99
Release Date: August 11th, 2021

Review code used, with many thanks to StridePR

Picogram first began developing Garden Story in March 2018. The game was recently featured in the latest Nintendo Indie World Showcase. The surprise release of the Garden Story was announced at the same time.

Garden Story LadiesGamers
Finding Concords rucksack

A Purple Grape

Our hero of this tale, who happens to be an adorable purple grape, with arms and legs named Concord. He is in his garden where he has spent his entire life maintaining a single vine. But things are about to change: the Guardian of the Grove turns up and interrupts Concord at his work.

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Complete Quests

Beware The Rot

The Guardian informs Concord he is to be trained as the Guardian of Spring Hamlet as he has an important role to fulfil. Concord is taught to be helpful by doing odd jobs for the people of the island. But what is The Rot that everyone around him keeps talking about?

In due course, Concord finds out that The Rot, purple gloopy monsters, are intent on destroying the island and several other neighbouring islands as well. So, Concord sets out on a mission to regenerate and save the island from the Rot. Let’s hope he doesn’t get squished into juice on his adventure!

Garden Story LadiesGamers
Concord’s stats

Islands to Regenerate

There are four islands in all, Spring Hamlet, Autumn Town, Winter Glade, and Summer Bar. Every day Concord receives three quests from the notice board. He sets out to complete the quests, quests such as doing odd jobs for the people of the island like raising a bridge or repairing wells.

At least the quests that Concord does every day will help him earn money and raise the stats of each island. When Concord finishes a task it’ll raise one of three stats for the island and develop the community. The money Concord earns allows him to do more things like purchase better weapons from the stores.

The quests usually take most of the in-game day to complete. So you spend the morning doing one quest, one in the afternoon and one in the evening. Then it’s time for Concord to return home for the night and you get to watch the sweet animation of Concord going to sleep on his leaf-shaped bed.

Garden Story LadiesGamers
Night little grape!

Seek out the Rot in Dungeons

In between completing quests, solving puzzles and repairing the island, Concord goes Rot hunting in the dungeons and faces the dungeon boss. I found the combat took a while to get used to. At first, Concord is armed with a sword and has a small attack, dictated by a two-bar stamina bar. So Concord swings his sword twice and the bar has to recharge, meanwhile the enemy still attacks, that got annoying pretty quickly for me. Eventually, you get more weapons and more stamina and the combat feels a little more fluid.

Dungeons are linear, with puzzles and a fairly challenging boss to fight at the end. If you don’t kill the boss on the first go, you have to trek back through the dungeon the next day and repeat the process again. I didn’t enjoy the dungeons as much as the rest of the game, probably because I didn’t click with the combat.

Garden Story LadiesGamers
That’s that bridge fixed.

Rush or Take your Time

You can rush through the story and the game, but you can also settle in and take your time. There is a regular need to backtrack in the game. I found that slows down the pacing a little at times. However, having clear objectives such as the quests made me feel like I was making progress at least.

garden story LadiesGamers
Off on a quest

What stood out to me in Garden Story was the storyline and the feel-good vibes you get from playing the game. While we have seen the “hero sets out to save the world” storyline millions of times before, who would expect a little round wobbly grape to be the hero that brings the community back together again?

Characters in the game are very cute and come in the shape of fruit, fungi, and vegetables. The feeling also comes across as you play the game that all the characters have a genuine concern and interest in what is happening in their world. Garden Story could be compared to Stardew Valley, Animal Crossing in a way, but to me, it is more reminiscent of the older top-down view Legend of Zelda games.

Garden Story LadiesGamers
Different environments

Visuals and Music

I like the retro visuals, with pretty 2D pixel graphics and the pastel colours used throughout the games’ different environments. The music is what stands out to me the most. The music, composed by Grahm Nesbitt, is wonderful, it’s perfectly suited to the style and theme of Garden Story and gives off good-feeling vibes as you listen to it.

Garden Story LadiesGamers
I need to buy a hat to keep Concord warm.


Garden Story is a charming game. While it doesn’t do any one thing perfectly, it does all of it well enough to allow you to enjoy the chilled setting and charming character interactions. It is a delightful RPG, simulation full of fruity goodness, and a very sweet grape named Concord to spend a few cosy hours with!

Final Verdict: I Like It a Lot  I like it a lot

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