The Melbourne-based studio certainly has a penchant for puzzle games, but so far, nothing in its repertoire has really embraced surrealism in the way The Gardens Between does. Unlike its Train Conductor and Puzzle Retreat games of old, it weaves time-manipulation into a story of two friends -- Arina and Frendt -- who are tasked with unraveling puzzles across a series of enigmatic islands.
Although there's a deeper message about the lasting power of friendship hidden beneath its milky hues, what's most peculiar about The Gardens Between is its design. Rather than directly control the two characters, players conduct time itself, pulling it to and fro like a marionette to solve puzzles and unlock precious memories.
Voxel Agents co-founder Simon Joslin says The Gardens Between borrows its nostalgic nature from a period of time that's relatable to everyone: childhood. "The magic of being a kid is fleeting, but the story of Arina and Friendt captures that enchantment in a beautiful package." Indeed, The Gardens Between is among several indie adventures with more old-school pursuits -- Foam Sword's Knights and Bikes and Crossing Souls by Fourratic aren't afraid to tap into the sentimental, either.