Well that was over quickly. So much so I’m a little annoyed I paid £11.99 for it, and that was an offer price! That much money for a game that offered no challenge, lasted less than an hour, and has zero replayability? At least Pan-Pan was a tenth of that.
Money aside, The Gardens Between is a beautiful and clever puzzle game. Each level is a small island, and your only controls are to move forwards and backwards in time, and sometimes press a button to ring a bell or trigger something. As you control time, your two characters – one who can hold and put down a lantern, and the other who can interact with bells – move through the level, sometimes together, sometimes independently. The aim is usually to “catch” a light in the lantern then take it to the pedestal at the top of the island, but as time moves forward things happen to prevent this.
It’s hard to describe but considering how little control you have and how linear (albeit backwards as well as forwards) it is, it’s incredible how many ways they’ve managed to use the gimmick.
Sadly, this works against it too – with so little to interact with, levels are very easy to solve, and even though there are a lot of ways they’ve used the formula, they ran out all too soon.
A clever experience, and one I definitely enjoyed, but over far, far too quickly for the price.