Here we are today with my Manifold Garden review on the PS5. Manifold Garden was brought to us by William Chyr Studio, who developed and published this game. The game originally came out in 2019 on PC, iOS, and macOS. In 2020 the game had further releases on the PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. The game is now available on Xbox Series S|X and PlayStation 5. Manifold Garden is a puzzle game where you can basically treat everything as a floor and use this to your advantage in your adventure.
Manifold Garden – Everything Is A Floor – Literally!
Unfortunately, this game was not for my taste. But, do not let that stop you here. Please continue to read this review as it is a brilliant creation from William Chyr. Let us know in the comments your thoughts on Manifold Garden if you’ve played. Check out my previous review here where I played Siege Survival: Gloria Victis.
First off, when Manifold Garden starts, you’ll not really have any clue what is going on or what to do. If you persevere with the game, it isn’t too hard to learn the basics yourself. Your main objective in Manifold Garden is to cleanse the world of darkness. This world is also an infinite world that loops, use this to your advantage. You have to solve puzzles as you’re progressing through the world, using the infinite loop to get to other areas that you would not normally be able to reach, it’s very clever how it’s been done.
For example, imagine you have a button that needs something left on it to keep it pressed. This button is high up on a “wall”. No problem, go up to that wall and press R2. This then changes that wall, to a floor. Stay with me here. That new floor can now be walked on and you can find the corresponding box to pop on the button, to open the door on our old floor. Once you’ve done that, you can then move back to the old floor that is now a wall, and press R2 to then turn that back into your floor… Confusing? It is. But not for long. Once you get the hang of this mechanic in Manifold Garden the game soon becomes a lot more friendly to your brain.
Trust me when I say you get used to this mechanic. It is a bit confusing at first but it is very, very clever. I personally feel this game would be pure class on Oculus Quest or other VR platforms. The puzzles tend to get harder as you go along, of course. It wouldn’t be a puzzle game if this was simple all the way through, right? The puzzle above is most definitely a simple puzzle. You can also use the above method to help you boost blocks higher up than they could go, therefore allowing you to align a red block with a red button if that makes sense.
Here’s a good example of the infinitely looping world. As you can see in the first image I needed to up to that ledge. As you can see in the second image, this ledge is also below me. What I did here was I jumped off the ledge whilst holding forward and eventually I landed on the ledge after the world looped a few times, boggling my brain as I was descending down this geometrical hell.
These are just some of the simple ways of getting around. The world opens up massively once you’ve solved a few puzzles. It will leave your jaw dropped into your lap leaving you thinking “What do I do now?”. Well, friends only you can work that one out. You may have seen I’ve not really mentioned anything of a story, well, that’s because there really isn’t one. The only real goal you have is to cleanse the world of the dark sections of the areas of what I can only describe as a weird gooey looking liquid. Then the credits roll.
Graphics & Audio
The graphics are something else in Manifold Garden. Even though the game only uses basic primitive, polygonal shapes and also objects with “impossible geometry”, it’s put together in such a manner that it all just looks truly gorgeous. Honestly, there was a point where I just sat there watching the world unfold after I cleansed an area, and I couldn’t believe how beautiful it looked, screenshot below. Audio wise there’s not really much going on, but, when you hear things, the effects are nice and clean. The musical score in the game is very relaxing also.
Manifold Garden can take anywhere up to 7 hours to finish, as long as you keep on track. Naturally, if you lose yourself in the beauty of the world, or get stuck, then it will take longer. There are trophies to collect in Manifold Garden which will take a couple of playthroughs to get the platinum trophy if you want that.
As aforementioned this game wasn’t for me, and it may not be for you. However, it is an absolutely unique creation that you should definitely look further in to. The weird and wonderful world you play in is a masterpiece and will certainly get your brain into gear! I give Manifold Garden a Thumb Culture Silver Award.
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.