In Garden Story, Only a Grape Can Rebuild the World

It’s a tale you’ve heard countless times before. Your home is in peril, threatened by a species known only as the Rot. The rot has overtaken cities and villages, forcing residents to treat. Only you can fight off this threat and restore the world to its former glory. What makes Garden Story different is that it asks you to do all this while playing as produce.

Garden Story casts you in the role of Concord, an adorable and appropriately named grape who has been dubbed “Guardian of the Grove.” As guardian, Concord must gather materials, fulfill requests, cultivate gardens, and work to restore the island to its former glory.

Garden Story

While the world of Garden Story might be in ruin, it’s still relentlessly charming. The characters are cute and colorful, and they have delightful personalities that make them worth talking to. For example, in the Autumn Town demo (which was recently released on Steam), I was asked to take on a quest for two best friends that are too large to leave their house.

When you rebuild the town, you won’t just be doing repairs and reconstructing buildings. You’ll be serving as a role model to your fellow fruits and veggies, building a community where everyone supports each other. Collecting resources also allows you to craft literature, which gives you a glimpse into the world’s past.

Garden Story may look a little saccharine, but these bits of backstory suggest that there’s more to this game than meets the eye. You can have plenty of silly conversations with your fruity friends, but there are also monsters to fight, puzzles to solve, and dungeons to explore. While I don’t want to spoil anything, one of my encounters in the demo dungeon was surprisingly creepy.

Garden Story feels familiar, but there’s also something about it that feels very fresh — no pun intended. I’m excited to see more when the game is released on Nintendo Switch, PC, and Mac sometime in 2021.

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