In case you are not aware, I occasionally do video game reviews on my site, and it is rare that I review two games that are similar with their style. The style is that of surrealism, which can bring the player into worlds similar to that of a Salvador Dali painting. This is only one of the best aspects of The Gardens Between and My Brother Rabbit, and they are both great games in their own right.
The Gardens Between Game Review
It will be very difficult to describe the settings of these games, and I’ll try and let the visuals speak for themselves. Both of these games have some kind of real world event taking place, but then it slips into the surreal. In the case of The Gardens Between, it tells the story of a boy and girl who meet after one of them moves into town. If you ever had a best friend in childhood, you tend to do a lot of fun things together, and the surreal aspect celebrates this.
At the beginning of each stage, the boy and girl (Frendt and Ariana) go to some weird island that has oversized objects on it. For example, they go to one where there is a huge couch on it. From there, the two friends attempt to make it to the top of the island, where they put a lantern on top. Arina is the one that holds the lantern, while Frendt has the power to occasionally interact with objects.
The Gardens Between takes place is truly a unique game because the controller literally moves time forward. I am absolutely serious and I will try to describe this as best as I can. If you move the controller forward, the two friends go on their path like any other game. The issue is when you move the controller in the direction opposite of forward, the main characters go backward because time is going backward.
So how does it play out? Well, as I said before, you have to move a lantern to a certain point, but you can place it in places along the path. Also, since you can manipulate objects, imagine if you could go back in time, manipulate something, and then go forward again. This would cause things to change, and this is the puzzle-solving aspect to this game.
As you probably have probably predicted, I don’t have much time to do a game before I need to write a review of it. I can usually only give a game a few hours before I get into a game and can fairly write about it. The Gardens Between is a game that I didn’t want to stop playing, because it was so relaxing. Seriously, most video games really are full of intense action, but this game, with its cool new-agey theme song that really calms me down instead of winding me up. This is a good thing.
The Gardens Between is available now on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 (NA, EU), Steam, and Mac App Store for $19.99. It’s a small price, and I don’t know how long the game is, but it is worth double its price. You can find out more information about the game here.
My Brother Rabbit Game Review
I can’t help but compare My Brother Rabbit to the last game, because it also has a real world situation taking place in conjunction to a surreal one. The real world in this is a real problem based on a sad memory and not a happy one. The game starts with a family who has a daughter who is very sick. The daughter has a brother, who gives her a stuffed rabbit, who is the main character in the surreal world.
This story can’t help but feel sad, and I am reminded of The Velveteen Rabbit and its very bittersweet story. The rabbit main character has to help out his friend, a plant-like being, who is also sick. The world the stuff rabbit lives in is cartoonist’s surreal kingdom, with strange objects all around and everything kind of has a face.
The action of My Brother Rabbit is an old-fashioned point-and-click. The player has to solve puzzles to advance to the next world on the map, and a lot of these require a lot of hidden objects puzzles. The usual pattern is to find the hidden objects in order to open up a new puzzle, which will lead to another puzzle. It then becomes very fun to assemble a vehicle by putting pieces of puzzles together in order to advance.
I was able to play My Brother Rabbit all the way through, and I loved it. Some of the puzzles were pretty difficult and time-consuming, but that is part of the fun.
My Brother Rabbit is available for $14.99 in English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, and Turkish on Nintendo Switch, Steam, Windows Store, Mac App Store, GOG, Humble Store, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One now. More information is available on the website here.