Garden Tale (PC) Review

By Thom Compton 25.10.2017

Review for Garden Tale on PC

Thanks to a world growing busier by the day, adult life is often too hectic to sit down with longer games after you cross the age of 18. Sure, adults want to explore the exploits of Talion, or the newest adventure of Solid Snake, but that can be challenging when factoring in work, school, and other obligations. Thankfully, some games have started coming out that offer rich experiences that can be enjoyed in shorter bursts. Garden Tale seems to want to be one of those games, but it misses an important part of the equation. It's just not very fun.

Garden Tale is a fairly typical grid-based strategy RPG. Playing as members of the Garden Kingdom, you set out to stop the Zoolians of the Zoo Empire from wreaking havoc. The main character, Kurtz, and his band of heroes set out to save the Garden Kingdom from the Zoo Empire, and blah, blah, blah. This story is ripped from "RPG Storytelling 101," as are its incredibly annoying cast.

The cast wouldn't be so bad if not for their dialogue and the fact that cutscenes are technically unskippable. They can be sped up to an absurd limit, but in general, being able to skip them entirely would have been nice. The dialogue, however, is terrible. It grasps the English language just fine, but much of it is one character saying something, and another re-explaining it back to them. This is complimentary to the times where the cast makes explicitly obvious statements. Despite the cast's absolute willingness to launch into diatribe at every chance, they say remarkably little.

This isn't helped by their artwork. On the battlefield, they're merely okay, like little figurines meant to represent the characters. They don't stand out, and they don't fall short. Their 2D counterparts, however, look like cheap stickers. The fact that they have the same look on their faces, regardless of what's going on, makes them feel even more static and unlikable. The worst of the bunch is Meryl, a scantily clad woman (she almost looks like a child, honestly) who is apparently always screaming. None of the characters are the least bit likable, but she manages to be the most irritating.

Screenshot for Garden Tale on PC

Combat is, for lack of a better word, obnoxious. The game's central gimmick is the bonions, explosive onions that you can knock around the playing field. Well, only with certain characters at certain times, as long as they have the right skill equipped, and it's a rainy Saturday morning in the middle of June. Did you finish the blood oath, by chance? The point is, utilizing them requires a lot more luck than setup. Worse yet, the early hours will see you inadvertently killing party members with them, or just regular attacks, thanks to friendly fire.

The enemies are also remarkably plain, predominately being various coloured wolf beasts. They come in "Spear," "Sword" and "Archer" varieties. In order to utilize the bonions, the player must bait these enemies into their range, and then hope for the best. Archers are the worst early on, as they seem to have an absurd range. Even worse, these subtypes are difficult to tell apart, meaning setup is further plagued by guessing what that enemy can do. This means that when all is said and done, it's easier to just move to enemies, wail on them, and go about the rest of the battle.

Couple this with a horrible camera, and combat is a sunken ship. What does that leave left, then? The idea, sadly, is really sound. By moving from fight to fight, setting up your equipment before a battle, and levelling up as the battle goes on, Garden Tale's setup could have been very enjoyable, though not very unique. If it had only stuck to being a quick pick-up-and-go kind of game, it could have been much better. As it stands, however, there's no way in good conscience to recommend this title.

Screenshot for Garden Tale on PC

Cubed3 Rating

3/10
Rated 3 out of 10

Bad

Garden Tale could have been an enjoyable, if not wholly unremarkable, title, but with its poor writing, its terrible combat, and worst of all, its mostly pointless gimmick, this results in a bad game. Perhaps you'll be able to find a reason to soldier to the end, but in all honesty, it's probably easier to find something else to play. In a genre filled with so many lovely titles, Garden Tale just feels like it's trying too hard and falling every couple of feet.

Developer

Bonion Game

Publisher

Playism

Genre

Strategy

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  3/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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