The length of this visual novel is pretty satisfying. I made it from the beginning to one of the endings within an evening. While that’s pretty short, the many endings give the game plenty of replay potential. In a visual novel with sparse mechanics, the story element of the game is key. However, the confusing world-building, unexpectedly dark tone and timeline jumping will keep me from picking the game up again.
This game has seventy levels, but by the time I’d finished fifteen, I was worn out. The gameplay is overly simple and repetitive. If there were other types of gameplay to break up the incessant platforming, I could imagine getting further into it. However, I didn’t feel any compelling urge to platform using the same two basic controls for fifteen more consecutive levels, much less fifty-five more. The StoryTale is family-friendly and accessible to children, so if you’re looking for a game that will entertain a child without overwhelming them, this may be a good fit! However, unless you yourself have a passion for platforming, I wouldn’t suggest picking this one up. The story seems to run alongside the game rather than pushing it forward, and the gameplay itself is repetitive and monotonous.
Even with added mechanics, the gameplay gets stale before long. The repetitive task of moving characters from point A to point B could only sustain my interest for so long. However, I feel that this game is just the right amount of complicated for a little kid. The puzzles change bit by bit as you move along, and the bright, cheery colors and animal companions could suit a younger audience. That said, I feel I could only recommend Cubicity if it was for a child, as the gameplay is repetitive and lacks the depth of a story.
The flat introduction and the anticlimactic ending have definitely dampened my spirits about the game a bit, but overall, I definitely enjoyed it. I’m already thinking about revisiting the Infected Territory to find the easter eggs I missed and tie up the loose ends I left dangling in my first playthrough. While the setup and conclusion could have been more effective, the gameplay is what matters, and the gameplay was immersive, interesting, and dynamic. I’d definitely recommend Mask of Mists to anyone looking for an atmospheric puzzle game that keeps them on their toes.
Overall, A Hero and a Garden is simple, sweet, and a great pick-me-up on a melancholy day. The use of dialogue and other story elements makes for a very effective character-based story with rhythmic controls, a charming cast of characters, and a satisfying ending.