Manifold Garden Review (Nintendo Switch)

Game: Manifold Garden
Genre: Adventure, Puzzle
System: Nintendo Switch (also on PS4, Steam)
Developer|Publisher: William Chyr Studio 
Age Rating: EU 3+ | US E (Everyone)
Price: UK £16.19 | EU €17,99 | USD $19.99
Release Date:  August 18th 2020

Review code used, with many thanks to William Chyr Studio


I’m not sure if dystopian is the right word, but this tree definitely looks otherworldly!

Manifold Garden is a thoroughly mind-bending experience. The entire world is made up of eternally looping locations, which must be navigated using gravity. The controls are deceptively simple: left control stick to move, right to look around, A to interact (such as lifting a block or pressing a button), LT to run and RT to alter your gravity. Altering gravity is simply a case of looking at a surface and pressing the trigger button – this will make the chosen surface your new “floor”, which can enable access to new stairwells, doors, or puzzle solutions. 

I loved the concept of Manifold Garden and leapt on the chance to review it. Unfortunately, I found that the constantly shifting perspectives, not to mention the occasional requirement to simply walk off of a ledge and fall for a while, utterly nauseating. Even on a decent-sized TV I became motion-sick after around 10 minutes, which really ruined the intriguing puzzles laid before me. Everything is so unusual, and definitely surreal, that my curiosity was at an all-time high despite me having noticed no hint of a story. Unfortunately, the lack of hints meant I spent more of my limited time wandering around lost than I did actually solving puzzles.

Graphics, Sound and Performance

This shot makes me think of a Greek temple…

Manifold Garden’s aesthetic is hauntingly beautiful. It’s all clean lines and an almost sepia-toned colour palette, with occasional bursts of brightness scattered here and there. Looking upwards or to the side, you can actually see the looping scenery, which while often confusing is oddly pretty. It can quickly turn ominous, though, giving the entire world a surreal and slightly unnerving sense of changeability.

There are small sound effects when interacting with certain objects, or solving a puzzle and the resulting door opening, but for the most part Manifold Garden is backed by a very soft soundtrack. It’s relaxing and unnerving at the same time, and really enhances the feeling of being in a world where not everything is as it appears.

I didn’t notice any performance issues, which is always a plus. However, as previously mentioned, it’s utterly nauseating to play for any real length of time, so I couldn’t even play it in handheld long enough to see if extended play caused any issues.  


Pretty as a flower, yet oddly unsettling.

Manifold Garden is a complete mind-bender. To solve the puzzles, and progress through the world, you’ll have to completely discard any normal logical approaches to allow for the gravity-shifting mechanic. I’d often be stuck on a puzzle, grow frustrated enough to quit, then come back the next day and solve it straight away. It’s also easy to get lost in the looping world, which makes navigation almost as difficult as the puzzles at times. While it’s official age rating is low, I’d definitely give it a very close inspection before handing it to a child!


I love a good photo mode!

I wanted to love Manifold Garden. It has a gorgeous design, thoroughly unique concept, and is wonderfully challenging despite being frustrating at times. Unfortunately, it just makes me too ill to play in the type of bursts I’d like to. If you’re unaffected by motion sickness then there’s a real gem of a puzzler here, but I’d recommend watching some gameplay first to make sure that you’ll be ok – I’ve heard multiple counts of it negatively affecting people who normally have no issues. 

Final Verdict: I Like It

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