This isn’t quite the game I was expecting. I thought it was a Stardew Valley sort of game, only with a bit more story and all the characters are fruit and veg, but it wasn’t exactly that. Graphically, it’s similar, and yes – you can plant crops – but actually, it’s the story which is the thing.
Some bad goop stuff has been taking over the water supply of the world all the flora (and some frogs and fish things) live in, and it’s your job to put it right. Until you do, no more fruit babies can be born (or something) and the various regions are, not exactly “at war”, but certainly not best mates, with each other as the bad goop stuff is making things difficult.
So off you go, helping people by smacking baddies and moving boxes from one place to another and smashing rocks and a seemingly endless supply of massive jam jars that wash up, so you can get resources to improve your tools and provide for each of the villages. You see, each day you’re given a number of (optional) tasks to complete in the village you currently reside, and when you do it ranks up the village unlocking a few more tool improvements and you earn some money.
On top of these daily tasks, there’s the story to follow, which mostly involves similar sorts of tasks but with a dungeon and a boss to beat in each village. None of these dungeons, or the bosses themselves, are very difficult. I actually found some of the enemies on the “overworld” trickier to deal with, especially when they’re in numbers.
Fix all the problems in each village, upgrade your weapon enough, chat to the right people, and you can go and beat the final boss. Which is what I did.
Garden Story is very twee, has a few frustrating control issues (more shortcuts to tools would be nice), is a bit grindy and repetitive (the same tasks come up all the time) and collision detection is on the janky side of not-quite-right, but it’s a cute little thing and on the whole I enjoyed it.