10 Best Gardens in Video Games
Video games can offer more captivating and imaginative versions of outdoor spaces than reality, allowing you to explore unique and unconventional gar...
Video games can offer more captivating and imaginative versions of outdoor spaces than reality, allowing you to explore unique and unconventional gardens.
Gardens in video games can serve various purposes, such as defending against undead creatures in Plants vs. Zombies or serving as significant locations for rescuing team members and battling hunger in Pikmin 3.
Different games present gardens with different atmospheres, ranging from contemplative and fascinating Zen gardens in The Gardens Between to regal and elegant retreats in Hollow Knight.
A commonly expressed viewpoint towards gamers who spend hours in front of their console is that they should urgently go outside. They are told to touch grass, wander through a forest, and breathe fresh air. While this may certainly apply to some gamers, what if video games offer more captivating versions of outdoor spaces than reality?
Many games offer vibrant and creative simulations of even the simplest and coziest outdoor spaces. Take the garden, for example. A small cabbage patch where your mother works with a sun hat can suddenly become a battlefield, an alien landscape, or an underground labyrinth in the world of video games. Here, we take a look at the best gardens in video games if you want to spend some time outdoors indoors.
10 Backyard Battleground - Plants Vs. Zombies
This garden, famous among mobile gamers, serves as the setting for one of the most well-known tower defense games in history. The backyard battlefield of Plants vs. Zombies is home to over 40 different plant species, all dedicated to protecting their gardener from a horde of undead.
In contrast to many other gardens, this game transforms the plants grown there into characters, ranging from the energy-producing Sunflower to the standard attacking Peashooter and the resilient Tall Nut. While strolling through this backyard bombardment may not be the most relaxing pastime, this violent and unconventional garden is certainly unforgettable.
9 Garden of Hope - Pikmin 3
A series that has always focused on the interaction between nature and humanity is Pikmin 3, with its main area being a vast and significant garden. As the sole main area with two major bosses and the setting for multiple rescue missions, you will spend a good amount of time exploring the strange flora and fauna in the Garden of Hope.
Since Pikmin 3 primarily focuses on rescuing team members from strange alien creatures and exploring fruit seeds to combat a famine back home, it makes perfect sense that an alien garden is the ideal place for our miniature heroes to explore. Anyone who enjoys the real-time strategy of Pikmin will undoubtedly have a lot of fun in this iconic garden.
8 Special Garden - Gardening Mama
The ultimate chef returns with a green thumb to become the ultimate gardener. A spin-off of the acclaimed DS game Cooking Mama, where our titular mother ventures into growing her own produce and flowers. You will use the stylus to water plants, trade produce with others, and fend off rodents and insects trying to devour Mama's harvest.
The Special Garden is a unique place that only Mama is allowed to tend to. It is filled with otherworldly produce such as the Golden Apple, the Metallic Silver Rose, and the Star Potato. The harvests in the Special Garden can only occur when a special item is used during the growth mini-games. With her effortless charm and quirky produce, Mama's Special Garden is irreplaceable.
7 Memory Gardens - The Gardens Between
Developed by The Voxel Agents, The Gardens Between is a small game that follows two heroes on their exploration through a dreamlike world of tower-like gardens. Arina and Frendt, two childhood friends, explore these gardens filled with human objects that prove significant to their memories.
Inspired by Japanese dry gardens (or Zen gardens), these levels are designed to be contemplative and fascinating as you have control over time to solve puzzles and uncover the secrets of this ethereal island group. While it is not a unified garden like in other games, this series of small garden puzzles presents a profound message about memory and cherishing significant relationships while still moving forward.
6 Black Garden - Destiny
One of the darkest gardens in the history of video games, the Black Garden in Destiny serves as an incredibly significant location for those invested in the game's story of light and darkness. As the home of a Vex collective known as the Sol Divisive, the Black Garden exists outside of space and time, guarding the Black Heart, a significant relic connected to the nature of darkness itself.
Light and darkness, although perplexing and mysterious elements within the world of Destiny, are primordial forces that defy the laws of physics. They are believed to be connected to the duality from which the universe originated, and these forces support the paracausal Titans in Destiny's vision of the future: the Traveler and the Guardians. Even though you may be tempted to enjoy the scent of roses in the Black Garden, be warned that it harbors dark secrets.
5 Queen's Gardens - Hollow Knight
A lush area within the rich underworld of Hallownest, the Royal Gardens of Hollow Knight serve as an overgrown and abandoned sanctuary for the Queen of Hallownest, the White Lady. Though she still resides there, intentionally bound to halt the creation of vessels, the place is now overrun by Traitorous Mantis and other insects that roam the structure.
Although it houses two bosses and countless other dangers, the Royal Gardens are elegant and regal in their design, featuring lush flora and impressive metallic structures such as the Bank Pavilion and the Stag Station. Just like the rest of the locations in Hollow Knight, the peril of this garden doesn't compare to the echoes of sorrow that permeate this forgotten estate.
4 Gusty Garden Galaxy - Super Mario Galaxy
One of the countless galaxies in the expansive world of Super Mario Galaxy, the Gusty Garden Galaxy captures the lightness and joyful nature of gardens with its gameplay and ambiance. Located in the Bedroom Dome of the Comet Observatory, this galaxy is primarily defined by the Floaty Fluff dandelion and wind current gimmick, as Mario whirls around its sparse planets to create updrafts.
While the Gusty Garden Galaxy is being terrorized by the evil mole Major Burrows and his minions, the entire galaxy conveys an exciting and energetic feeling. From its cubic garden labyrinth planet to its apple planets infested with caterpillars, the Gusty Garden Galaxy captures the excitement and strangeness of a garden perfectly. It also doesn't hurt that its theme song is legendary.
3 Tuley's Wellspring Garden - Ori and the Will of the Wisps
This garden is maintained by gardener Tuley in the game Ori and the Will of the Wisps, the sequel to Ori and the Blind Forest. The central hub world of this game is the Wellspring Glades, where various creatures seek refuge from the spreading decay. One of the creatures residing here is the beaver gardener Tuley.
Recently relocated from Baur's Reach and determined to promote plant life in the Glades, this enthusiastic beaver, Tuley, asks Ori for help in collecting seeds and creating a garden that can rival his former property. By gathering various seeds during your explorations (such as the Blue Moon, Firefly, and Wellspring Wildflowers), you can revive the vegetation in the Glades and bring Tuley some newfound tranquility.
2 Alien Gardens - Mendel
Perhaps Mendel is the game that embodies both creativity and science in a garden. Mendel is a sandbox game about alien plant genetics. It is the first game to win the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Public Understanding Award. In Mendel, you harvest floral genetics from an alien world to create colorful mutations and crosses.
This game captures the spirit of gardening precisely because in Mendel, there is no concrete goal except for experimenting and the emergence of new life forms. There is no enemy to defeat and no kingdom to save, creating a relaxing and meditative atmosphere that perfectly harmonizes with real gardening.
1 Austin's Garden - Gardenscapes
One of the most magnificent gardens in the world of video games is Austin's Garden from the mobile game Gardenscapes, and it is simply unparalleled. While the gameplay of this 2016 Playrix title primarily revolves around relatively simple match-3 mechanics, similar to Candy Crush, the rewards for successfully completing levels involve gradually restoring the protagonist's neglected garden.
This garden, although initially outdated and abandoned, becomes spacious and luxurious as Austin effortlessly combines natural and artificial elements (with customizable aesthetic input). Austin also befriends members of his community while reviving this garden, meaning you can share the natural splendor with others. In terms of garden games, Austin's expansive estate is the brightest bloom of all.