Game Review: The Gardens Between (Xbox One X)

The Gardens Between is a puzzle video game developed by Australian studio The Voxel Agents, it released in 2018. The game centres on teenagers Arina and Frendt, a girl and boy that live next to each other who have become close friends. You play through abstract levels that are influenced by specific memories based on their time together.

The player does not directly move the characters. You initiate the process by pressing one trigger to go forward in time and the other to go backward. This will have the pair move forward or backward along the path. Both characters have different abilities that must be utilized correctly in order to progress. Arina gains control of a magic lantern that is able to carry a sphere of light, which is needed to activate a portal to the next level. Along each pathway are obstacles to overcome so you can unlock the next memory.

Lead designer and animator Josh Alan Bradbury stated that the game was meant to be an allegory for how one looks back at childhood friends when they become older.

The Gardens Between manages to say a lot without actually verbally saying anything it all. It’s abundantly clear that everything you witness is metaphorical in some way. The whole game has a stress free, soothing feel to it. Also, it has a wonderful art style that is very pleasing to the eye.


The gameplay is simplistic but enjoyable.  The Gardens Between has smartly designed puzzles that see you manipulating time in order to progress. Most will make you think but you’ll rarely feel stumped you for long. The game is very short, easily complete-able in under 2 hours.


Another thing, The Gardens Between has a lovely soundtrack. It really adds to the dreamlike feel of the game. The final credits song in particular is fantastic. On the whole, I found the game to be a thought provoking experience, one that I’m sure many people can relate to.


Considering its length and the fact that it’s an extremely easy completion for those that care about GS, if you have Game Pass then it’s a must play. Be warned, it’s a slow experience, not one for those looking for something action packed. However, it doesn’t overstay its welcome. In terms of short, simplistic puzzle games they really don’t come much better than The Gardens Between.


  • Liam Fisher

    Owner/Editor/Writer/YouTuber - Typical 90s-00s kid; raised on Pokémon, Final Fantasy & the Attitude Era. In fact, that makes up about 99% of my personality. The remaining 1% is dedicated to my inner rage for people who still don’t understand the ending of Lost or those that enjoyed the Game of Thrones final season. Find me on GBHBL where I’ll most likely be reviewing horror movies or games. Also, see me on our YouTube channel!

The Gardens Between
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