Garden Story (2021) Review

 Garden Story (2021) Review

I have found another newly released calming game, yay! I’m a massive fan of games such as Littlewood and Cozy Grove. Basically, anything cute that is relaxing to play. So when Rose City Games released Garden Story earlier this month, I was absolutely thrilled.

Available on PC and Nintendo Switch, for less than 20 quid, the game was well talked about in the Instagram gaming community. I just knew I had to have it and see for myself what it was like.

What Do You Do?

The aim of the game is to rebuild a broken community. You do this while playing as Concord – a cute little sword-wielding grape. You are the new Guardian of the Grove! You play by combating invasive rot enemies, making fruity friends and rebuilding your new home. 

The days in the game revolve around your main tasks – helping friends such as Plum. These tasks help to move the story along, eventually unlocking four new towns to explore.

Garden Story (2021)

You then also have optional tasks such as favours. These are quests set by side characters which can be completed as and when you please and don’t add to the story. 

Also, each morning there is a notice board with new requests on. These help to level up your towns, which is sometimes needed to progress the main story. There are three categories of town skills – foraging, maintenance and combat. Each skill unlocks more in each town such as more resources, items or buildings. 

As you play you can also unlock memories. These can be unlocked in various ways such as talking to certain characters or doing actions a set amount of times. I like to think of them as mini challenges. You can then equip these memories and unlock skills such as improved health and stamina. 


The cute pixel graphics made me think it might have a Stardew Valley-type gameplay, but it’s nothing like Stardew. While you do collect resources I am yet to do any farming or mining in the game, it seems to be more of a combat-based RPG. It is not a sim life type game as I originally expected. But, I am pleasantly surprised with it and although it does have a fair amount of combat it’s still a chilled game to play. 

Garden Story (2021)

Each town has its own dungeon. In the dungeons you have to solve puzzles or fight rot in order to go up a floor. There is then a big ugly rot boss awaiting you on the final floor. I feel like the dungeons are definitely the most challenging parts of the game. Especially in the earlier towns as you have very little health and stamina. You can heal yourself with dew, though, but once this runs out and you die, the day ends and you have to restart the dungeon again. 

I feel like although it is more combat-based there are not a lot of items in your arsenal. You add to your equipment as you go from town to town, but they are all very basic and not all that exciting. 

Cute, but Doesn’t Quite Make the Cut…

Overall, I love the graphics, the cute characters and the sweet calming music. But, I do feel the game is a bit slow and soon becomes very repetitive. There’s little customisation to keep it unique and even the side quests become too familiar. I feel like Garden Story would be up there in my best list of games if it just had a little more to do. It doesn’t quite have the addictive, must-keep-playing vibe that other cosy games do. 

If you enjoyed this review, make sure you read more of my GameMuse articles, including my ‘Caming Games’ series.

Gemma Jones

Management Coordinator by day; writer, avid gamer, reader, theatre-goer and movie-watcher by night. Gemma lives in Merseyside but considers Manchester to be her sister city! She previously studied Journalism at LJMU and is currently doing a Master's in Digital Marketing.

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