A HERO AND A GARDEN Review

A knight goes to save a princess trapped in a tower… and then ends up stuck as a gardener? A HERO AND A GARDEN is a story focused game exploring one knight’s journey of overcoming bias, making friends, and learning to garden. Follow Cyrus’ adventure in this completely free mobile game!

Format: Android via Google Play
Cost: Free-to-Play
Pressure to Pay: None, read below for details

HERO saying how did things turn out like this?

Released by npckc

Quick Overview

Major Pros:

  • Wholesome story about overcoming bias
  • Multiple endings
Major Cons:

  • Repetitive gardening gameplay
Minor Pros:

  • Fun characters
  • Attractive artwork
Minor Cons:

  • Predictable story
Buy the dev a coffee page

There are no ads or paid content, the game is entirely supported by donations

In-depth Review

A HERO AND A GARDEN is a story-based game, featuring a knight seeking to become a hero by rescuing a princess from a witch and a group of monsters. When things quickly go awry, he ends up tasked with caring for a garden and getting to know the monsters in a new light. I found the story to be very wholesome. It featured a lot of themes, such as overcoming bias, getting to know people that are different than you, and making friends.

Rutaboo saying that's worth one bad harvest in the past - it's all just mulch for Rutaboo's next harvest.

Talking forgiveness

Intersperse between the dialogue scenes are sections of gardening. This usually features harvesting berries from different plants until enough are gathered such they can be traded in. Then another dialogue scene can be had with the individual coming to pick them up. The gardening itself I found to be pretty repetitive. It works on a timer system and players simply tap to collect the different berries. Since most of the focus was on the story I didn’t mind the repetitive gameplay as much, but I really wish a little bit more had been put into what the player does in those sections.

Berry garden with two bushes

Players tap berries or baskets to harvest

To reach the ending of the story, the player must complete the dialogue arcs for each of the five characters. There are multiple endings, one for each of the five characters. After choosing one, the player can go back and choose any of the others. I liked all of the endings and I think they really showed off the different relationships with the various characters. I found all of the characters to be pretty fun. They all had their own quirks. Some were clearly meant to be more comedic while others were meant to be a little deeper and inspire more personal growth in the main character. All of them were pretty effective in the roles that they played.

Cyrus saying yup, just like that. now we do the handshake

Teaching a cultural custom of handshaking

The story wasn’t very long and it took about two hours to get through the entire game. Given the length plus the number of different characters and basic theming of the story, the story was fairly predictable. I still felt it was a good story that people should read and learn from. It emphasizes the importance of overcoming bias, getting to know others, and not making assumptions in a simple and easy to understand way.

Cyrus saying we'd always sneak into the kitchen on the way back to steal some dessert too

Sharing a sweet memory

I really enjoyed the artwork of the series. It carried throughout the story, the original concept of a fairytale vibe starting with knight goes to rescue the princess. There’s a lot of soft colors and clean lines making it enjoyable to look at. I enjoyed the expressiveness of several of the characters and I feel it presented a very friendly atmosphere.

One upon a time... there was a princess in a tower

A pleasing take on a fairytale trope

Recommendation

Overall, I enjoyed A HERO AND A GARDEN. I felt that it had a very wholesome story, addressed some good topics, had fun characters, and attractive art. Though I had some issues with the repetitive gardening and predictable story. I recommend A HERO AND A GARDEN for players looking for a lighthearted story that’s still capable of dealing with some important topics, plus some fun and interesting characters.

What games have you played that tackle biases and assumptions?
Let me know in the comments below!

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