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The Gardens Between

App review by
Paul Semel, Common Sense Media
The Gardens Between App Poster Image
Clever time manipulation tests patience, puzzle skills.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

Game uses simple touch controls but gets complicated and intellectually challenging.

Violence
Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Gardens Between is a puzzle adventure game for iOS devices. By using touch controls, players have to help some teenagers get around by moving time forward and backwards so they can use balls of light as keys. While the controls are easy to use and learn, the level of challenge when it comes to solving some puzzles can be very frustrating. Other than being annoying at times, there's no inappropriate content included. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared, and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

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What's it about?

In THE GARDENS BETWEEN, you have to help two teenagers who were sucked into a vortex that transported them to a strange land. Playing as God or some kind of overseer, you have to help them along by manipulating time so they can place balls of light in the proper receptacles to unlock bridges, passageways, and the next level. All of which is done with simple touch controls, though things in this game are never that simple.

Is it any good?

Though not for everyone — action junkies need not apply — this puzzle game of time manipulation will delight those looking for an interesting intellectual challenge. In The Gardens Between, you have to help two teenagers who were sucked into a vortex and wound up in some strange land where balls of light work as keys and switches to unlock passageways, turn on bridges, and open the way to the next level. It's not entirely sure who you happen to be when you play the game -- perhaps you're God or an overseer of this strange world -- but you have to manipulate time, shifting it back and forth, so the kids can get the light balls where they need to be. This, of course, gets increasingly challenging, with you often having to shift time repeatedly, and subtlety, to figure out a solution and then make it happen.

Constantly trying to figure out what you need to trigger and shift around in each level is part of the twist with the gameplay, which is why this game is somewhere between a puzzling adventure game and an adventurous puzzle game. It's also why, despite being challenging and clever, it'll be a bit slow for those more interested in testing their reflexes than their minds. The puzzles also don't evolve greatly from one area to the next, though they do over the course of the game, so while you'll eventually see new tests of your skills, you'll still be engaged from start to finish. All of this makes The Gardens Between a compelling game for those who have the time and patience for it.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about thinking things through. Games like this test your ability to solve problems, but does it help to think about the situation you're in before doing anything? How about when you're playing this game?

  • Unlike some mobile games, The Gardens Between wasn't a free title, so does having to pay for a game change how you think of it? Does it make you want to play it more?

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPad
  • Price: 4.99
  • Pricing structure: Paid
  • Release date: May 29, 2019
  • Category: Puzzle Games
  • Topics: Adventures
  • Size: 747.40 MB
  • Publisher: The Voxel Agents
  • Version: 1.0.1
  • Minimum software requirements: Requires iOS 11.0 or later

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love puzzles

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