The Garden Game in Second Life

The Garden (general)

I admit I was apprehensive. I received an invitation to visit and experience a new game inworld – I rarely attempt games because I’m really bad at them. Or, at least, I’m very unsuccessful at the type of game I usually encounter on the grid.

Two things convinced me to try. First, this involved a garden and we all know I love the opportunity to find great landscapes (at least as long as the probability I’ll get shot is negligible). The second reason is that Grace McDunnough↑ is one of the trio bringing us this new venture. It’s very, very difficult to say no to Grace.

The Garden (general)

I’m very glad I overcame my reluctance and went to The Garden↑. Grace, along with Trav Rexen↑ and Salome Strangelove↑, has brought us an elegant logic puzzle↑ in a lush but mysterious setting.

The premise is relatively simple; there are seven Guardians who all have committed a sin and are suffering a penance as a result. Our task is to determine which sin and which penance are linked to each.

You travel through the forest and buildings and find artifacts which give you clues – some of which are straight forward and tell you something about one of the Guardians, others provide information allowing you to eliminate options.

The Garden (general)

One of the aspects of this game I really liked (apart from the fact that no weapons are involved) is that you have choices. There is a HUD you can buy for L$299 which is very useful for collating the information you collect and allows you to play with friends. It also facilitates achievement ratings for those who like that sort of thing. :P

If you don’t want to start off by buying something, you can use the demo HUD instead to try it out. You can also just ignore the game and enjoy the gardens.

I, of course, felt really stupid initially as I tried to figure out what I was doing. I attemped to get information from various inhabitants with little luck and finally persuaded the “son I’ll never have” to come and help. He was actually useful! In fact, he’s coming back soon so we can finish the full round. It is both an intriguing and satisfying puzzle to solve.

The Garden (general)

Allow me to give you two tips which will help you with your experience in The Garden↑. The first is to watch this video↑ – you’ll be better prepared for what awaits you.

My second tip, based on personal misfortune, is this: if you see an artifact off in the distance, don’t click on it until it’s within local chat range. They disappear once clicked and, if you aren’t close enough to receive the clue, you’re out of luck until it eventually returns.

At the end of each round you can pick one of the Guardians to forgive. I haven’t yet decided which will receive my blessing, they’re remarkably uninterested in lobbying on their own behalf.

Go visit this new game. If you like logic puzzles you’ll enjoy it – I did. :)

The Garden (general)
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15 Comments

  1. Inara Pey

     /  November 10, 2012

    I caught word of The Garden via one of Grace and Salome’s podcasts and was fortunate enough to get a look at the installation between the beta testers wrapping up and the doors being opened to the SL blogsphere. It’s an enchanting place, even without the puzzle itself – which is quite brilliantly conceived and executed. And there is still more to come, as Salome explained to me as we explored / toured chatted (I’m not going to be crass and cross-link here).

    This really is a worthwhile SL visit, as it demonstrates all of the inherent strengths of the platform in the most subtle of ways: creativity, music, story-telling (of which there is more to come), immerseive game-play – and more, all wrapped in a highly photogenic build which also demonstrates the technical capabilities within SL without them being “in yer face” in any way whatsoever.

    Simply brilliant – and I love your photos; you’ve highlighted a couple of details I missed – so I’m off back for another look … and puzzle round!

    Reply
  2. Honour, these images are lovely. Thank you for such kind feedback. If you ever upload these images to Flickr, please let me know so I can invite them into our group. I especially like the shot of the tents at the Beggar’s area.

    Reply
    • It’s my pleasure. I’m one of those odd ducks who uses Koinup and never got into flickr – but they are on the former. If you’d like to grab them from here and post them somewhere feel free. :)

      Reply
  3. “It’s very, very difficult to say no to Grace.”
    Could you please gently remind the universe of this?

    Thanks for dropping by!

    Reply
  4. Wonderful pics you took, you inspired me to blog about it too! (heh, but I see the pingback arrived already).

    Reply
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