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Topic: Indies@PAX - The Gardens Between
Posts: 2966
Location: Melbourne, Victoria

With news dropped today that The Gardens Between was getting a PS4 release next year, it made perfect sense. And that's because we got to play this little time-travel puzzle gem from Melbourne-based studio The Voxel Agents at PAX over the weekend.

Okay, confession time. Even though the fantastic and evocative art and animation of The Gardens Between was enough to grab our attention at PAX it was the inclusion of time-travel that made it a must play. Because you see, for me, I'll watch any movie, read any book, or play any game that plays with the concept. Chalk it up to a strong case of the Marty McFlys', but either way the implementation of time-travel as the core way you control the protagonists in The Gardens Between is truly impressive.

Starting off simple, getting them to walk from one side of an island to another is a matter of moving time forward. In The Gardens Between the goal on each island is to get our two protagonists from the shoreline to the eventual end goal. With the setting itself eschewing an almost dreamlike quality, you get the feeling that your in the midst of a dream filled with past memories, aspirations, and perhaps key trauma.

The circular design of the islands and the way in which you can manipulate time in both obvious and not-so obvious ways is the main draw-card here, and on that front even though we got to play through half a dozen or so islands the variety and complexity of each new puzzle and encounters was impressive. As was the almost meditative qualities of the soundtrack, which complement the core mechanic that means you can sit there with time standing still, figuring out whether to go fordward or look into the past for answers.

The Gardens Between has a 2018 release window for PlayStation 4, and a late 2017 window for PC. We're definitely keen to play a lot more of this one, and reall, if only to figure out best friends, Arina and Frendt, have been shrunk down to find themselves in a world filled with giant retro tech.
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