The Mundane becomes Surreal in the Gardens Between

Sometimes after a hard day at work you just want to unwind with a casual, low key video game. Not something fast paced and loud, with lots of explosions and enemies popping out at you every second.

Something chill.


At PAX West, I got to check out The Gardens Between, which fits this description perfectly. You take the game at your own pace, not controlling the characters directly, but instead controlling the flow of time around them. Two best friends, Arina and Frendt, find themselves in a surreal world of garden islands. These islands are like memories brought to life, everyday mundane objects from day to day enlarged and strewn about the landscape in a manner reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland.

As you move the characters through time in each island, you will notice each of the friends has their own role to play. One is more inquisitive, taking side paths and triggering switches that change the environment, while the other friend picks up glowing light throughout each level that allows progression, and ultimately allows constellations of memories to be unlocked.

“The Gardens Between will embark on a thought provoking and emotional journey,” said Simon Joslin, co-founder, The Voxel Agents. “Each puzzle in this dream-like world unfolds towards the real story of Arina, Frendt and the world around them. We wanted to tell a story that is true in its depiction of friendship and growing up.”

I hope you’ll check out the trailer above to see the game’s charming visual style, and I for one am looking forward to relaxing in The Gardens Between when it launches early next year on PC and Mac.


Tim Bledsoe

Podcasts & Single-player games are his thing except on "Adventure Time Tuesdays"