Shu’s garden is a game bursting with colour and energy, which asks nothing of the player than to roll around fertilising the planet and meeting new characters. It is a refreshing game in the sense that there are no goals, no items to collect. The player can explore at a leisurely pace, exploring the lush planets in the galaxy.
A cheerful alien, Shu, a small round space cactus ball with a tail bounces around the planet, inhaling plants and flowers, which are then used to create more plants along the way. The player can hold down the down arrow key and shrink Shu, then release to launch Shu into the atmosphere, and onto new and exciting planets to explore. It’s fun being able to jump between planets at will.
As Shu encounters new creatures, including a docile giraffe, a turtle, a bee, a bird and other creatures that look similar to Shu they become playable, it’s fun to find these characters and then once discovered, the player can then switch between them at will. Each character has a different personality, and were enjoyable to interact with. It’s fun to alternate between characters and to bounce, swim or fly around. Each character is fun to play as and it’s interesting to discover new planets by rolling around or flying. The other characters found within the game can be interacted with, by bumping into them. I was even able to play tag with them, by holding onto a star and passing it between characters. Sometimes random cosmic events occur causing the planet to shake, or a portal type structure will appear which makes characters grow large or be able to travel at great speeds.
The music is cheerful and uplifting, and puts you in good spirits. The game sounds are relaxing and the character noises are cute which would appeal to children and the game colours are captivating and change depending on the time of day, the galaxy’s are full of stars and clouds drift into the skies.
One of the best things about this game is that there are no prompts, no pop ups, and no expectations. The player is free to explore endlessly at will. It’s exciting to plant new flowers or even combine them to create a hybrid, and watch them grow. Plants can also be removed from the garden, in order to plant new ones, it’s incredibly relaxing to create a mini Eco system and watch it grow. The game has no goals, and the player’s imagination is the driving force behind the game play. There is no introduction to the game, so the player can jump in and begin playing right away.
The controls are straightforward and easy to get to grips with as the player uses the arrow keys to roll around, holds the down arrow key to shrink down and jump, and space to plant seeds. It’s a user-friendly game that would appeal to people of any age, but especially children as its simplistic and colourful, the game is also available to download on the apple store. Its game play is simple and its style and the mechanics are very easy to pick up and the game also supports the Xbox 360 controller. Tutorials pop up as the user progresses through the game and are clear and easy to understand such as “hold down to jump”.
In terms of replay ability, this is a game that’s fun to jump into now and then, but it would get repetitive and monotonous to play for long periods of time. I found that after 30 minutes I had seen a lot of the game already and discovered most of the characters and planets, it can become monotonous but it’s enjoyable to pick up and play for 15 minutes here and there.
As this game is available on the apple store, it would be an ideal game to play whilst out and about on iPhones and iPads such as on car or train journeys. This game would be especially appealing to younger children because of the cute character designs and they can learn how plants grow and need nutrition to stay healthy.
To conclude, Shu’s garden is worth the asking price as you can definitely get a few hours out of the game as is priced the same as similar games on the market. It’s a relaxing game with easy controls, a catchy soundtrack and easy to understand tutorials. It’s a casual game to sink a few minutes into every now and again and nice to come back to after a few hours break to discover what new plants have grown on the planets. The only problem that I encountered with the game play was that it was on occasion difficult to launch Shu or other characters into space to travel to a different planet, but with perseverance I could overcome this by gaining enough momentum to roll and then jump into space.
Shu’s garden is comparable to “God Finger” a mobile game where users grow plants and crops on a planet in order to sustain the villagers. It’s a very casual game that allows players to free roam, there is no ending and the player can explore at a leisurely pace.
Shu’s garden is an immersive experience that you can dive into and enjoy, with no tutorials or end game, the player is free to explore at will. It’s a playful and relaxing game, that makes a welcome change from games that ask the player to run round shooting things. It’s great to take a break and to immerse yourself in the lush environment of Shu’s world, and relax.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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