Whether, like me, you’re sticking it out in a statewide lockdown in the middle of winter, or you’re sweating it out through a heatwave, or just trying to live your best life, there’s nothing like a good comfort video game. To that end, if you’re hankering for a new, chill sim in the vein of Animal Crossing, Stardew Valley or Cozy Grove, I might have just the thing for you.
UK developer carrotcake has just launched the Kickstarter campaign for The Garden Path, a self-described ‘hand-illustrated slice-of-life sim game’. It’s billed as a tranquil and contemplative experience, where time runs in concurrence with the real world and you’re free to get lost in the world, meet interesting characters, fish and even drink a whole variety of teas.
We had the chance to get our hands on a brief demo of the game that showcased the basics of exploration, foraging, fishing, trading and more. While far from representative of everything carrotcake aims to have in the finished product, it gave us a good idea of what to expect from its presentation, UI and core gameplay. Right away I can tell this is a game I’ll happily lose hours upon hours to, already slipping into its quiet serenity in the demo and just enjoying the gorgeous art and touches of music. There are some great ideas implemented early on as well, like a trading system that seems to weight item values based on the preferences and needs of the character you’re trading with.
If this looks and sounds like something you’d enjoy, you can head over to the game’s Kickstart page right now to pledge. Tier rewards include things like digital copies of the game and soundtrack, printed postcards, pins, books and even ceramic figurines. The campaign looking to secure a total of around $37,243 AUD in funding, having already reached the $5K AUD mark at time of writing.
A Garden Grown Your Way
Designed to be played as and when you wish, The Garden Path features a wealth of stories, activities and distractions to be experienced at your own pace. Don’t have time to watch your flowers grow? Come back tomorrow: time in the garden passes alongside the real world, and you’ll find plants you nurtured one day may bear fruit the next.
A Family Affair
You won’t be alone in your new home. Charming inhabitants will come and go, from Bunk, the tea-brewing macaque to Larto, a Greenlandic Musk Ox with a penchant for song-fish. You may even find some visitors willing to make their home alongside your own!
A Safe Space
The world of The Garden Path was designed with comfort in mind. Although a quiet and tranquil experience of flowing streams, gentle breezes and interesting characters, it is a safe space where reflection, and the potential melancholy that comes with it, are encouraged.
A Feast for the Eyes
With a hand drawn aesthetic unlike any other, The Garden Path’s stunning visual design embraces you from the start, inviting you into its world of low-fi pleasures. Combined with a soothing original piano soundtrack, it won’t be long before you’re lost in the flow of a simple life.
We’ll be sure to keep our eyes on this one as it develops, so stick around for more and let us know over on our social pages if you decide to chuck in a pledge!