Earlier this week, the gorgeous slice-of-life simulator The Garden Path successfully concluded its month-long Kickstarter. Not only did it reach over 150% funding from over a thousand backers, but it also met its stretch goals to make its way to the Nintendo Switch and feature local multiplayer.
Made by studio carrotcake, which consists of solo developer Louis Durrant, The Garden Path is about the joy of gardening and the small pleasures that follow. It met its initial funding goal of $27,242 after 24 days, unlocking stretch goals for a Nintendo Switch port and local multiplayer, which allows you to garden with friends. Those stretch goals were met in the remaining days, amassing a total of $41,483 raised to fund the game.
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Far from the pressures of the real world, you find yourself in the middle of a new wilderness. Here, you’ll get to create your own garden that will reflect both the passage of time and your own desires for a simple life. Although it makes one think of games like Animal Crossing, Stardew Valley, and Cozy Grove, The Garden Path is dedicated to celebrating the tranquil, the melancholic, and the pensive.
It may have a plethora of activities to do — cultivating your peaceful garden, talking to the endearing inhabitants that come and go, decorating your living space, and more — but The Garden Path is specifically designed to let you go at your own pace. Rather than bright, lighthearted, and cheerful, it seems to go for the kind of wistful mood that allows you to feel comfortable to reflect on life’s highs and lows. However the garden you cultivate looks, it will help you to meet new people, weave new stories, and find new distractions every time you play.
I’m overjoyed to see The Garden Path get fully funded. I’m not surprised; there’s been plenty of buzz around this game thanks to its immediately stunning visuals. It has a hand-drawn aesthetic that incorporates warm shadows and soft brushstrokes, giving it the dimension and texture of a watercolor painting. Each frame is just exquisite. I couldn’t stop taking screenshots while playing its publicly available demo, which you can download over at itch.io.
Among The Garden Path‘s features are:
- A humble gardening life-sim with real-time progress even when you’re away.
- Rich illustrated visuals and original soundtracks that draw you in.
- A charming cast of characters, all with their own stories to tell.
- A far away corner to call your own – somewhere to pause and stay awhile.
The Garden Path is coming to PC, Linux, and Nintendo Switch. It’s slated for a 2021 release. You can wishlist it here. According to the Kickstarter project FAQ, backers for tiers with a copy of the game will be able to play it around October. They will receive the game first so that the developer can obtain and implement feedback before it goes out to the general public.
Disclaimer: I was an intern at Player Two PR, which is handling the marketing for The Garden Path, from January to March 2021. I did not do any work on the title, as the project was signed at the end of my internship. The only thing I did before I left was cry as I watched its beautiful pre-alpha trailer. I still get emotional watching that trailer, by the way.