Ratalaika Games are back once more with another visual novel with A HERO AND A GARDEN, not sure why the title is capitalised, but it is. Generally, visual novels follow a very similar structure, you read a lot of text, and make some choices which will take you through a specific route within the story, there isn’t much interactivity beyond that, visual novels are story led. So when A HERO AND A GARDEN offers something a little more different to the normal visual novel game, it perked my interest.
A HERO AND A GARDEN starts off about a princess in that well-trodden path of being trapped in a tower by a witch. A brave hero attempts to save the princess, but is knocked unconscious. Unfortunately for you that’s not where the story ends. All the damage you caused in trying to save the princess must be paid for and you must repay for all the damage you caused to the local village, which is inhabited by some not so scary monsters. How do you do that you may ask? Obviously you need to grow a garden, harvest the berries, fulfil requests and repair the local village. A HERO AND A GARDEN is a mixture of a visual novel and what would widely be described as a clicker game.
Most of the time in A HERO AND A GARDEN you will be spending it harvesting the berries from the plants you have planted. This is a pretty laborious process that becomes repetitive quite quickly. The idea is that you have to collect a certain number of different kinds of berries to fulfil requests, fulfilling requests will lead to payment, once you’ve earned enough you will be able to rebuild part of the village. When you have rebuilt the village the game ends, you get a choice of five different endings depending on who you want to take to a festival. Unfortunately to collect the berries you have to manually click the corresponding button which can get quite annoying and just quite boring. The amount of berries a plant can produce is limited, you cannot simply disappear and come back and find 20 berries to pick, once a plant has reached its limit, for example 5 berries you need to pick them so that the plant can start reproducing them again. A basket appears every now and again, which will pick up all the berries that are on screen, but you won’t use it because you would have already been picking them. There’s a little monster that comes along ever more sporadically to help pick them as well, but there’s no point.
The visual novel aspect of A HERO AND A GARDEN is pretty limited, you only see some dialogue when you complete a request, the only occasion you get to make a choice is at the end. You simply just pick who to go to a festival with, so there are 5 endings, but you won’t want to go back and replay the entire game to see each ending because A HERO AND A GARDEN just isn’t worth it. A HERO AND A GARDEN can be completed in roughly 45 minutes, it’s just a big shame that you will spend most of it repeating the picking of 5 different kinds of berries which isn’t entertaining nor engaging. Graphically A HERO AND A GARDEN visual novel elements is quite cute, but the collecting part of A HERO AND A GARDEN is really bland to look at.
A HERO AND A GARDEN tries to offer something a little different in the visual novel market, unfortunately the harvesting of berries is one of the least interesting things you may have come across. If you’re a visual novel fan, it’s hard to recommend A HERO AND A GARDEN because there isn’t that much choice to choose where the narrative will go whilst the collecting of berries will just frustrate you. If you’re looking for an easy Platinum Trophy, then A HERO AND A GARDEN is something you will play but you won’t enjoy much of it.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Playstation 4 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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A HERO AND A GARDEN Review
Gameplay - 5/10
Graphics - 6/10
Sound - 6/10
Replay Value - 5/10
User Review( votes)
You try to save a princess, but instead end up having to tend to a garden in A HERO AND A GARDEN.