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Evergarden – PC Review

Evergarden is a casual puzzle game, designed with a tranquil atmosphere for winding down at the end of the day, delivered exactly as promised by the developer and publisher Flippifly LLC. The overall goal of Evergarden slowly unfolds as the player discovers different combinations of plants to create new life and strive to match the designs offered by our companion, a fox looking creature with antlers.

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The story opens with a desk dimly lit by one flickering candle. No graphical highlights hint that any of the items are clickable, but after some guessing we discover a letter written by Mom. Something mysterious is happening that we need to explore. A device sits on the table that appears to bloom after clicking on it, revealing a world inside a glass jar. The player is absorbed into this world, forcefully if the shaking of the screen is an indication, and the adventure begins.

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No information is provided on how to proceed with the puzzles. A hexagonal area is laid out with smaller hexagons bordering each other, and some of these already contain sprouts of flowers. The buds on these flowers can be transferred over to the next empty space of dirt, or two of the same flowers can be combined to make a brand new one. A clock in the top right corner denotes the amount of turns the player has left and each turn allows new flowers to grow from the freshly planted buds. This combining and growing process repeats until either no moves or no turns remain. The controls proved a bit frustrating. Planting a seed or combining flowers is done by either clicking and dragging to the destination, or clicking on the flower and then clicking again on the destination. Costly mistakes can happen if the player reconsiders their actions at the last second, because they still need to click the flower again to deselect it before choosing a different one. Quite often I combined flowers that I didn’t intend or planted a seed in the wrong empty space.

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In Evergarden the background music is peaceful, filled with twittering birds and a symphony of bugs to immerse the player in the forest scenery. The background is accented by the soft sound effects of seeds being planted in the dirt or the gentle chime of plants being combined. The sun beams through the leaves of the trees, twinkling in and out as the leaves sway in the wind. Any of the moving objects have a polygonal design that is reminiscent of intricate, expert level origami. Certain parts of the game I noticed the graphics became a little jittery. Overall, the ambiance of the entire setting is serene, giving no reason to even be mildly upset at the bunny hopping around the beautiful garden to eat all the flowers grown through diligent work.

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With little guidance, much of the game’s mysterious are left to be unearthed by the player. A few rounds passed before I learned how to make the stone heads appear, which provide three additional turns, or that they act as wild cards in the flower designs that earn extra points. More time passed before I found a use for the triangles dropped by the stone heads, and therein lies the true goal of Evergarden. The fox companion can learn skills to help make the puzzles easier, which do become progressively more difficult. As fun as it was to accidentally uncover these secrets, I would have been happy to know them in the beginning. If the game has an end, which I’m sure it does with the bits of story I picked up, I would certainly start over at the beginning to see if having the experience helps to advance faster on a second play through.

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Evergarden was unexpectedly delightful. Games that fall in the puzzle genre usually offer challenges that lead to frustration before finding the solution to proceed. This casual game will never prevent the player from moving forward. The music, scenery, and warm colors used in the graphics will have players picking up this game first when looking for a casual game, but the puzzles will keep them addicted.

Summary
Evergarden was unexpectedly delightful. Games that fall in the puzzle genre usually offer challenges that lead to frustration before finding the solution to proceed. This casual game will never prevent the player from moving forward. The music, scenery, and warm colors used in the graphics will have players picking up this game first when looking for a casual game, but the puzzles will keep them addicted.
Good
  • Relaxing atmosphere
  • Unlockable secrets
  • Easy to grasp puzzle concepts
Bad
  • No direction, the player learns on their own as they go
  • Select and deselect controls can lead to mistakes
8.8
Great
Gameplay - 9
Graphics - 9
Audio - 9
Replayability - 9
Controls - 8
Written by
Writing is my passion. Gaming is my hobby. Combining the two just makes sense. That's why I'm fortunate to be a part of GamingLyfe. My favorite game series is The Legend of Zelda. I'm partial to a good adventure game with a story that latches on with its villainous claws and refuses to release me.

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