Game: Scrap Garden
Genre: Action, Platformer
System: Nintendo Switch (also on Xbox, PS4 and PC)
Developer|Publisher: Flazm | ChiliDog Interactive
Age Rating: EU 7+ | US Everyone
Price: UK £6.29 | EU € 6,99 | USA $6.99
Release Date: August 13th, 2021
Review code provided with many thanks to ChiliDog Interactive
The Robot Apocalypse
Scrap Garden is a 3D platformer where you play a marshmallow looking robot called Canny. The premise of the game is that the robot apocalypse has arrived for the robots themselves. Since you are powered by solar you awaken years later to find almost all robots have been deactivated. So, off you go on a quest across various lands in search of power sources to bring robot civilization back to life. But can things really go back to the way they were? The story for the game is very simple but does have a pretty good heart to it. It won’t wow you with originality but it gets the job done.
Collect and Solve Puzzles
The general flow of the gameplay is that you explore large open areas looking for red gems. Controls are simple pick up and play, you move and jump and pick up objects which you can throw. Once you have collected enough gems, you can unlock a door or power a generator to progress to the next area. Gems are hidden all over the environment, in chests or even in objects which you can pick up and break by throwing them. You don’t need to find all of them to get through the level, making the experience very accessible for casual players.
The regular enemies you encounter are spiders, scorpions, wolves and rats. They can all be defeated by throwing objects at them or jumping on their head with your robotic weight. There are also several platforming segments providing a light challenge. Sometimes the perspective of the game will focus on more indoor environments. In these moments the focus shifts more to a puzzle element where you need to move mirrors to direct a laser to a certain point in the room.
Scrap Garden also surprises you with some interesting sections where you ride a minecart and avoid hazards or slide down a snowy mountain avoiding rocks. The game adds just enough variety to keep you engaged. The game has a boss fight at the end of each area you explore. Some of these require a little challenge like throwing rocks at the right spot on a giant worms head. Or collecting dynamite sticks to blow up a bridge which a octopus is guarding. Some bosses like a giant gorilla are a little too simple, only requiring you to fling rocks at them till their health depletes.
Attention To Detail
Graphically I was quite impressed with Scrap Garden. The game has a wide variety of environments to explore which are nicely detailed like desert wastelands, abandoned cities and haunted swamps. All of them have pretty impressive draw distance even when playing in handheld mode. There were some nice scenes where the lighting is low and you use your robot’s small eye lights to see around the environment. It performs very well on TV and handheld. Whilst playing I never encountered any hitches or slowed downs, even when the action started to pick up a little. The game also has robotic voice acting which was kind of a surprise.
The entire adventure will probably take you no more than four hours on the first run through. There are hidden collectibles to find which you can view in the main menu. For the most part this is a straightforward 3D platform experience offering mild to moderate challenge. This will mostly appeal to the casual audience or those looking for a shorter gaming experience they know they can finish in a few sessions. The game does save regularly so frustrations were kept to a minimum.
Conclusion – Dented But A Heart Made of Gold
Scrap Garden is a decent game but does lack a lot of depth to its design. The formula keeps things quite simple, not really providing anything unique to the experience but what is there works. Graphics are very detailed and the game runs like a well oiled robot. If you’re looking for a cheap casual adventure then this is easily worth the price of entry. One thing is certain: the main character Canny may be made of metal but clearly has a heart of gold.
Final Verdict: I Like It