Gardenarium is a chill adventure taking place on a cloud in the sky. You land as a stranger and struggle to gain access to the mysterious Depot by picking up trash and making the land grow.
User reviews:
Overall:
Mixed (21 reviews) - 61% of the 21 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jan 11, 2016

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Reviews

“Timothy Leary would've loved Gardenarium”
Polygon

“Trippy, Dreamy Exploration”
Rock, Paper, Shotgun

“THE TIME HAS COME TO RELISH THE VIVID PHANTASMAGORIA OF GARDENARIUM”
Kill Screen

About This Game

Gardenarium is a chill adventure taking place on a cloud in the sky. You land as a stranger and struggle to gain access to the mysterious Depot by picking up trash and making the land grow. It is only until reaching the final Sage that the true breadth of your powers are revealed to you.

Made by Paloma Dawkins and Kyler Kelly with music by Ylang Ylang. Produced with guidance and funding by KO_OP mode.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP SP3
    • Processor: 1.8GHz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 3000
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Storage: 20 MB available space
    • Sound Card: NA
    Minimum:
    • OS: 10.6
    • Processor: 1.8GHz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 3000
    • Storage: 20 MB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, Mint 13 LTS, Fedora 16, fully updated
    • Processor: 1.8GHz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 3000
    • Storage: 20 MB available space
Customer reviews
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Overall:
Mixed (21 reviews)
Recently Posted
lycanthrope: sword for hire.
( 1.6 hrs on record )
Posted: June 20
It's a real nice trip.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
MrNinjaSquirrel
( 0.4 hrs on record )
Posted: May 31
Gardenarium is a pastel love song to perhaps the internet’s most beloved art form: the animated gif.

Though it’s true Gardenarium is a game, one played from the first person perspective and consequently fully explorable in real time, it is in many ways something closer resembling an organic museum, shifting and looping pieces hanging in the sky and growing from the ground around you as you journey toward the peak of Cloud 9. Walking is a necessary burden in Gardenarium, but it is the moments of stillness and quiet appreciation that make it so wondrously enthralling. Why you have found yourself in this floating garden and what you are meant to do there becomes secondary to the act of absorbing the environment around you. Geometric flowers sway and shift colors, abstract patterns hang in the sky, and the adorably unsettling populace recite epigrams and rhymes as if life could be so simple. But perhaps here, in this surreal and hypnotic greenhouse atop a cloud, it can.

There is an immediate urge among many I know to label products of the internet age as ephemeral and thematically shallow. But while many of the art forms particular to the modern era are surfacely uncomplicated, their emotional earnestness in many ways seems not a rejection of intelligent thought, but a dismissal of the notion that art must be in some way inaccessible to be deep. In this way Gardenarium’s penchant for blunt, matter of fact wit and uninhibited social commentary feels refreshingly honest. These thoughts may stem from the odd and inscrutable inhabitants of Gardenarium’s organic pastel world, but they carry enough weight in them to pull you out of the clouds and back to earth. Gardenarium is not an exercise in linguistic fortitude, but of accessibility and honesty, spoken in a style too quickly cast aside as the degeneration of literature by the next generation.

Gardenarium arrives at a time when the concept of what constitutes a game/art/literature is being redefined by the day. At this point it seems pedantic to continually qualify what have always been loose labels bestowed largely for the sake of exclusion. Whether or not Gardenarium’s 30-minute walk through a sky garden is a game is irrelevant to the experience itself, one that is both beautiful and poignant, and more emotionally honest than most games could ever hope for. Like its recursive floral installations, Gardenarium is a game I want to get lost in, watching the flowers bloom and dance as I daze into the hazy distance and enjoy the peace of constancy.

You can read more of my writing on Kritiqal.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
404_Not_Found
( 0.7 hrs on record )
Posted: May 8
Looks like an acid trip, plays like a proof-of-concept, feels like a good 40 minutes of my time.

A lot of reviews say this isn't worth getting because you can just get something like Antichamber instead but here's the thing: Antichamber is a $20 game that used to be $25 and is actually only about 4-5 hours long if you know most of the puzzle solutions, this is a $5 game that I got for 50% off at the time of writing this and considering how much more work went into the animation than Antichamber's, I'd say that's a fair price. I think people gravely underestimate how time-consuming animating actually is, especially on the scale this game did it. Some of those simple shapes have 20-30 cells in them and it is actually impressive how smoothly they transition.

My only real complaint with the game is that the section at the end feels like something that was tossed in at the last second and wasn't really very fun, especially since it didn't reward me with fun trippy animations like the rest of the game. It feels like they just threw in something game-y because they didn't feel too confident in the game's normal mode of gameplay and that's actually kind of sad since I liked the game and would probably replay it. It's one of those things that I can see myself loading up if I've had a bad day and need to stare at some eye candy but I can't see myself caring enough about the ship section to play past the sage, I'd probably just restart the game there from now on.

It would be nice if the game got more content or if it were made into something that felt more complete and well-rounded. What they have here is an excellent proof-of-concept that I think deserves more exploration and I would certainly play something designed on the premise of this game, especially if it has comperable eye candy.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
TheUnbornSilent
( 0.3 hrs on record )
Posted: April 10
I wish it was longer. r/woahdude would love this
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Syrrah
( 0.2 hrs on record )
Posted: April 2
This is a pretty nice game actually. You walk around, gather cans with some unamed liquid, see the world coming to life around you, chat with some people, jump around, ... It basically is a mix of a walking simulator and a first-person platformer. The visuals are mindblowing.

One tiny negative point though: look at my playtime. I finished it in 13 minutes. No joke.

If this ever gets updated it becomes a must have. Until then I only recommend buying it on a sale.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
AccidentlyOnPurpose
( 0.6 hrs on record )
Posted: March 27
3.2/10 - A Trippy Explorer That Offers Very Little Substance.

I can't believe this costs $5! You walk around or "explore" for about 20 minutes, talk to some odd characters along the way and that concludes your experience for 5 bucks. Some people claim you better be high to play this one, even a stoner would hate this game. I'd rather lookup trippy desktop wallpapers than play this game. It's definitely more fun!

The graphics are pretty cool; big puffy clouds and random objects right out of an acid trip. This isn't enough to make the game though, it's very short and the controls make it very difficult to enjoy the exploration. Furthermore, you'll never really know where to go or when you are actually done with this game. It comes down to how long you can waste your time on something like this. I wasted 36 minutes; don't repeat my mistake.

Worth $5? Hahaha. Don't make me laugh.

Accidently Reviewed
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Steam Group: AccidentlyReviewed
Helpful? Yes No Funny
axel
( 1.6 hrs on record )
Posted: March 27
Great graphics and a unique and interesting look. However this game is way too easy and quick to complete. Definitely not worth the money. More of a novelty experience than anything else.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Ghost_Train
( 0.4 hrs on record )
Posted: March 24
Very short.
Like 10-15 min unless you really enjoy the art and hang around looking at it.

Very pretty.
Unless you hate art and don't enjoy hanging around looking at it.

Good music.
Unless you hate music or only listen to metal.

No replay value.
Unless you enjoy the art & music and want to enjoy it some more.

Character designs are interesting. Im definitely a fan of the style.

Imagine a character from Adventure Time taking a nap and having a dream.
You play their dream.

Also perfect for teaching the kids how to play FPS type games wihout violence.

Id say its overpriced for how short it is but is worth picking up if you're into this
sort of thing. Preferanly on sale or in a bundle.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
malpiszon7
( 0.3 hrs on record )
Posted: March 12
An exquisite visual experience with nice music and not much content. This game is rather a linear roaming game where a player can observe how environment change.

Possibly the only story in this game is the one that a player creates in his or her head.

I really like the experience that this game provides but before buying have this two things in mind:
- this game is short, it takes about 20-30 minutes to finish
- this is more of an experience than an actual interactive game

Anyway I recommend this one. Graphics provide a stunning experience.

----------
For anyone interested in joining in on completing your own backlog; check it out here - http://steamcommunity.com/groups/completingthebacklog/discussions/5/530645446320364338/
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
10 of 11 people (91%) found this review helpful
Recommended
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: May 31
Gardenarium is a pastel love song to perhaps the internet’s most beloved art form: the animated gif.

Though it’s true Gardenarium is a game, one played from the first person perspective and consequently fully explorable in real time, it is in many ways something closer resembling an organic museum, shifting and looping pieces hanging in the sky and growing from the ground around you as you journey toward the peak of Cloud 9. Walking is a necessary burden in Gardenarium, but it is the moments of stillness and quiet appreciation that make it so wondrously enthralling. Why you have found yourself in this floating garden and what you are meant to do there becomes secondary to the act of absorbing the environment around you. Geometric flowers sway and shift colors, abstract patterns hang in the sky, and the adorably unsettling populace recite epigrams and rhymes as if life could be so simple. But perhaps here, in this surreal and hypnotic greenhouse atop a cloud, it can.

There is an immediate urge among many I know to label products of the internet age as ephemeral and thematically shallow. But while many of the art forms particular to the modern era are surfacely uncomplicated, their emotional earnestness in many ways seems not a rejection of intelligent thought, but a dismissal of the notion that art must be in some way inaccessible to be deep. In this way Gardenarium’s penchant for blunt, matter of fact wit and uninhibited social commentary feels refreshingly honest. These thoughts may stem from the odd and inscrutable inhabitants of Gardenarium’s organic pastel world, but they carry enough weight in them to pull you out of the clouds and back to earth. Gardenarium is not an exercise in linguistic fortitude, but of accessibility and honesty, spoken in a style too quickly cast aside as the degeneration of literature by the next generation.

Gardenarium arrives at a time when the concept of what constitutes a game/art/literature is being redefined by the day. At this point it seems pedantic to continually qualify what have always been loose labels bestowed largely for the sake of exclusion. Whether or not Gardenarium’s 30-minute walk through a sky garden is a game is irrelevant to the experience itself, one that is both beautiful and poignant, and more emotionally honest than most games could ever hope for. Like its recursive floral installations, Gardenarium is a game I want to get lost in, watching the flowers bloom and dance as I daze into the hazy distance and enjoy the peace of constancy.

You can read more of my writing on Kritiqal.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
80 of 101 people (79%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: February 25
i didnt expect the next AAA super long game when i bought this title ... but come on this is a scam

takes about 10-15 min to complete the game -.- ...(the trailer already shows the whole content)

all i wanted was a 2-3h trippy ride over various crazy themes ... all i have got is some kind of "proof of concept" ♥♥♥♥
definitely not worth the money

checkout "antichamber" / "jazzpunk" / "proteus" / or "eidolon" instead
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
14 of 16 people (88%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: February 28
I don't recommend this "game" unless it's on sale, and you're high. It's basically a walking simulator heavily inspired by Proteus, except with uncomfortable controls. The art is nice -- minimalist and colorful. But to say there's not much substance is an understatement. I'm not even sure that I actually 100%'d this game.

Overall, it's a nice art project that's worth looking at if you're seriously in the mindstate for it. But most people might be better off to save their money. I'd have probably given it a thumbs up if it cost $1. But it's overpriced at $3-whatever.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
21 of 29 people (72%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: February 25
Short (~30 mins if you dont get too distracted) explorer with nice visuals and music. Light on gameplay, big on surreal ambiance and charm. The animation is especially fun.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
11 of 13 people (85%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
0.8 hrs on record
Posted: March 1
[Edited for grammar]

As others have pointed out, this game is short. If you don't want to play a game you could ostensibly finish in 20 minutes your first try, look elsewhere. Now, a game's length is not an indicator of its quality; games as disparate as Pacman and Dys4ia accomplish a great deal with a brief playtime. The issue with Gardenarium is that it does not do enough meaningful things with the duration that the player spends with it.

Gardenarium has you climb Seussian hillside, collecting trash that causes the landscape to populate with vegetation. Along the way you meet a few nonsequitor characters who tell abridged tales of their life. The game has an abrupt ending where the gameplay perspective changes and asks the player to wander around.

Despite my dry description, there's some actual intrigue here. The aesthetic to Gardenarium is utterly psychedelic, as alien plants pulse and throb with gorgeously animated high-resolution sprites. The flora also grows in amazing patterns that track your movement, similar to the flowers that grow around Ameratsu in Okami. The few charcters you meet also have quite a bit of personality, and some of their lines allude to tragic and humorous anecdotes. The switch of perspective is also an amazing concept for a game mechanic, not unlike what was accomplished by Super Paper Mario, but the promise of toggling between two and three dimensional planes was not used for any kind of clever transdimensional level design. A pity, really.

It's entirely possible that there's some sort of obtuse hidden content that extends the experience past the apparent ending, but I wasn't able to unearth it. On the contrary, there's a lot suggest that this game was intended as more of a playable pitch for a more complete game, or maybe even a portfolio piece. The animation included is obviously very time-intensive to produce, yet the world has little to explore or do in it. The endgame is an interesting concept, but doesn't seem to expand the the game in any meaningful or mechanically satisfying way. Even the vauge theme of corporate disillusionment murmered by the cast doesn't seem very well fleshed out. The game very much feels like it's less than the sum of its parts, as the each individual component seems too compromised.

I ultimately enjoyed the time I spent with this game just because I'm an animation nut, and I'll let the developer keep my money out of appreciation for their craft. That said, I would not recommend the game unless you can't get enough of its visual style. To the developers, I hope you continue animating and eagerly await your future output!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
11 of 14 people (79%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: March 27
3.2/10 - A Trippy Explorer That Offers Very Little Substance.

I can't believe this costs $5! You walk around or "explore" for about 20 minutes, talk to some odd characters along the way and that concludes your experience for 5 bucks. Some people claim you better be high to play this one, even a stoner would hate this game. I'd rather lookup trippy desktop wallpapers than play this game. It's definitely more fun!

The graphics are pretty cool; big puffy clouds and random objects right out of an acid trip. This isn't enough to make the game though, it's very short and the controls make it very difficult to enjoy the exploration. Furthermore, you'll never really know where to go or when you are actually done with this game. It comes down to how long you can waste your time on something like this. I wasted 36 minutes; don't repeat my mistake.

Worth $5? Hahaha. Don't make me laugh.

Accidently Reviewed
Was this review helpful or maybe even not helpful? Either way join this group for more. Free Keys and Reviews weekly!
Steam Group: AccidentlyReviewed
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
Recommended
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: March 12
An exquisite visual experience with nice music and not much content. This game is rather a linear roaming game where a player can observe how environment change.

Possibly the only story in this game is the one that a player creates in his or her head.

I really like the experience that this game provides but before buying have this two things in mind:
- this game is short, it takes about 20-30 minutes to finish
- this is more of an experience than an actual interactive game

Anyway I recommend this one. Graphics provide a stunning experience.

----------
For anyone interested in joining in on completing your own backlog; check it out here - http://steamcommunity.com/groups/completingthebacklog/discussions/5/530645446320364338/
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
Recommended
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: March 24
Very short.
Like 10-15 min unless you really enjoy the art and hang around looking at it.

Very pretty.
Unless you hate art and don't enjoy hanging around looking at it.

Good music.
Unless you hate music or only listen to metal.

No replay value.
Unless you enjoy the art & music and want to enjoy it some more.

Character designs are interesting. Im definitely a fan of the style.

Imagine a character from Adventure Time taking a nap and having a dream.
You play their dream.

Also perfect for teaching the kids how to play FPS type games wihout violence.

Id say its overpriced for how short it is but is worth picking up if you're into this
sort of thing. Preferanly on sale or in a bundle.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
18 of 31 people (58%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: February 25
Short but sweet Yellow-Submarine-ish romp through the clouds. The characters were really funny and interesting, and the world was a pleasure to explore
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
1.6 hrs on record
Posted: March 27
Great graphics and a unique and interesting look. However this game is way too easy and quick to complete. Definitely not worth the money. More of a novelty experience than anything else.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny