Sky Garden


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Rating: 4.5/5 (291 votes)
| Comments (21) | Views (72)

DoraSky GardenBarnslig knows the perfect cure to midday blahs is a soft, melodic soundtrack, atmospheric sound effects, and simple, engaging puzzling in the Sky Garden. To play just click on each tree to turn it into water, without drowning any trees you haven't clicked on yet. A clicked tree becomes a river that extends in all four directions on the grid around it, and will block any other river from passing through it, allowing you to carefully protect un-changed trees with the very thing that would otherwise kill it. If you've got a shovel, clicking on the ground will dig up a single square of the terrain, which will also prevent water from passing over it. Of course, as time progresses, you'll find yourself faced with more things you'll have to take into consideration in order to properly saturate the landscape.

Is Sky Garden simple? Asbolutely, but almost elegantly so. It's the sort of straight-forward puzzling that engages your brain without burying you in different elements and concepts. The mellow presentation is top-notch, and players who want something to relax them even as it kicks their brain on ever-so-gently will find something almost hypnotically compelling about clicking their way through the stages. The simplistic concept and "hey, just chillax, dude" vibe might make this one too straight-forward for some, but Sky Garden conjures up a pleasant, cleanly designed little puzzle experience perfect for ruminating on the endless march of time and nature with. Or, y'know, just relaxin'. Whatever floats your boat.

Play Sky Garden

21 Comments

The strategy involved is tricky. I was breezing along until level 3-5. Now I'm scratching my head.

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Ha-ha! POP goes the weasel.

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Ruesiken Author Profile Page August 9, 2012 4:33 PM

I love puzzle games. Sadly however, I usually quit halfway through for various reasons (too easy, redundant ideas, stale innovation) but this I felt engaged to complete. While the game is innovative and somewhat congruent for the idea of the "World Wildlife Foundation," I believe it was the music that beckoned me through to the end.

There are times when people will overlook the value of music within their game, which can make all the difference to the final product. As simplistic as it's "melodic nocturne" was, it transformed the overtone of the game entirely; giving off that sense of atmospheric ease.

If we continue to use high quality or well chosen music in a game to enhance how we feel about our experience, that will help our endeavour to convince society that games can be Art. (Even though we already believe that to be so.)

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oreilley Author Profile Page August 9, 2012 4:33 PM

Right up my puzzle gaming alley! You definitely have to think on a few levels but laid back enough that the game doesn't make you feel like an idiot. The evolving nature theme and passing of the day as you play didn't go unappreciated either, very nice.

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bearharry Author Profile Page August 9, 2012 5:38 PM

@ray9na

click 2,2 counted the lowest square as 1,1

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Username Author Profile Page August 9, 2012 5:49 PM

I'm up to level 8-1 now, waiting for the game to get difficult, and wondering how many levels in total there are.

This is yet another request for reviewers to include number of levels in the review.

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jcfclark Author Profile Page August 9, 2012 5:53 PM

Absolutely flummoxed on Level 8-1.

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jcfclark Author Profile Page August 9, 2012 5:56 PM

POP got it. Took awhile.

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bearharry Author Profile Page August 9, 2012 6:23 PM

@Username
Totally 55 stage and the final one is 11-5, called everything melts away
@jcfclark
Would you mind to post the picture of the stage 8-1?

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Username Author Profile Page August 9, 2012 6:28 PM

Okay, game ends after 11-5, but difficulty never really increases. At least, that was my experience.

Here's a tip

you don't have to use the shovel to make all your digs before you start clicking on trees, in at least one level you'll need to use the shovel midway through IIRC.

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I'm with Ruesiken about the music. Something about it kept me wanting to continue till the end. It never got terribly hard; I thought it was just the right difficulty for me to breeze through without frustration, but it could afford to be a little more challenging. It could also be improved with a level select screen, so people wouldn't have to wonder how many levels there are.

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jcfclark Author Profile Page August 9, 2012 6:42 PM

Think it goes up and down some levels are very tough for me and others simple. Guess its a matter of how ones brain works. @bear
can't post screen shotcause I havent finished game yet and unable to go back levels.

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For those stuck on 8-1

Use the shovel on the three spaces between the rows created by the pair of trees and two pairs of seeds. Then it should be a matter of which trees to take out first.

First do the pair of trees and first pair of seeds, which have now turned trees. Should not be hard from there.

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inheritance.fan Author Profile Page August 10, 2012 11:53 AM

I'm stuck on 8-3...and for some reason my posts aren't staying.

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inheritance.fan Author Profile Page August 10, 2012 12:13 PM

Power of posting. 10-4 is tricky.

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inheritance.fan Author Profile Page August 10, 2012 4:16 PM

Beat the game. WOW, that got tricky near the end.

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can somebody help me on 6-1? please.... :-(

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inheritance.fan Author Profile Page August 11, 2012 12:24 PM

Sure, Antonia Brand. I have to restart the game as there isn't a level select.
Ugh, stuck on 4-5.

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inheritance.fan Author Profile Page August 11, 2012 12:28 PM

Or not.
6-1 Solution:

Top left tree grows far left seedling. Far left seedling grows bottom seedling. Bottom tree. Click the two bottom ice patches. New bottom tree grows the last two seedlings. Then click all four remaining trees.

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This is a beautiful concept for a puzzle game, but it's a shame that the implementation was a little rough around the edges, especially as the whole thing is an advert for the World Wildlife Fund, which is a very worthy cause.

Worse, for me, than the lack of the save-game and level menu is the patchy level design itself.

There are at least two levels where it is not necessary to use all the shovels provided. While there may be solutions for some levels that require shovel use midway as mentioned above, I'm pretty sure I didn't find any. I suspect that a number of the levels have multiple solutions - which is fine in itself - but such levels substantially weakens the difficulty level, as trial and error is more likely to get you through in such cases.

It didn't seem to me that the levels got consistently harder at all as the game went along; some were tricky, others trivial, all the way through to the end.

Perhaps the level-solver used by the developer was buggy and was flagging potential levels as having a unique solution when in fact they did not.

It's a shame, because the rule-set is lovely, and other aspects of the implementation, such as the music and the graphics, were spot on.

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thank you inheritance fan! its not so difficult, but my head was thinking in circles ;-)

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