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Critic Reviews

MobyRanks are listed below. You can read here for more information about MobyRank.
GamingTrend (Nov 09, 2010)
The UnderGarden is available for $9.99, a price point that puts it firmly in the realm of other casual indie titles. There are better choices out there for the price if you're looking for a challenging puzzle title. If you just want a tranquil escape from your work day, however, few titles can match The UnderGarden's beautiful integration of art and sound. The game is also family-friendly, with no violence and no death (at worst, your creature can only lose pollen if he runs into an obstacle). A higher level of difficulty and a lengthier campaign might have elevated The UnderGarden's score, but as it stands it's still a terrific title that straddles the Zen and puzzle genres with style.
Gamernode (Nov 24, 2010)
The UnderGarden has no real story, no discernable goal, and only the softest sense of challenge aside from its substantial length. It's both a return to the compulsion of traditional point-driven gaming and an exercise in non-compulsory experiential gaming, and it delivers both styles in one of the most pleasant indie packages since Flower. Now only one question remains: "What lies above the UnderGarden?"
The Undergarden reminds me of games I used to enjoy, such as Pikmin, World of Goo and Lemmings. Games that recognize that superior gameplay isn’t directly linked to shocking or scaring players, or pushing them to the edge of problem-solving and hand-eye coordination. Games like that do have their place, and I enjoy them, but The Undergarden reminds me that AAA titles don’t have the edge on engaging gaming. I hope it gets some of the recognition that I think it deserves.
Worth Playing (Nov 10, 2010)
Despite its flaws, The Undergarden is both accessible and enjoyable for all types of audiences. Whether you're a hardcore player looking for a break or a causal gamer wanting to try something new, this is one experiment in gameplay that's worth checking out.
PCActu (Nov 15, 2010)
Le moins que l'on puisse dire, c'est que The UnderGarden nous a fait une forte impression. Avec ses airs de jeu indé, le soft édité par Atari a le mérite d'offrir une expérience zen, apaisante et dépaysante aux joueurs de tous les horizons. Avec sa prise en main quasi-instantanée (en jouant avec un pad !), ses animations très travaillées et ses jolies couleurs, TUG (comme on l'appelle affectueusement à la rédac') est un titre pas cher (7,99€ sur le Store d'Atari et Steam), qui procure des sensations de bien être très rares dans la gamme des jeux actuels. Du plus profond du coeur, un grand merci à Atari et à Vitamin-G pour ce bon moment en compagnie de The UnderGarden.
Game Revolution (Nov 23, 2010)
Surely, if it weren't for the awful, unnecessarily nihilistic item management, I could easily recommend The UnderGarden to just about anyone. It's just one of those games that is easy to pick up at any point - incredibly relaxing and light on the challenge. If you're sick of shooting aliens in the face, there's plenty to dig in The UnderGarden.
74 (Nov 20, 2010)
The Undergarden doesn't ever really turn into a bad experience, just one that most people will never go out their way to play. From the ground up, the entire game plays more like someone trying to make a visually cool, art house, game and missing the mark. The problem with this attempt is that it all turned into more of a game instead of focusing on the style. This time next year most people into this type of game probably won't even remember it came out.
3D Juegos (Nov 19, 2010)
Muy bello y relajante pero poco exigente a nivel jugable y con ciertos problemas con las cámaras y el control de nuestro protagonista, The Undergarden es uno de esos juegos tan personales que atraparán a algunos jugadores y dejarán con cierta cara de indiferencia a otros. Sus cinco horas de juego no suponen un desafío demasiado importante, pero sí garantizamos que nuestros sentidos disfrutarán viendo crecer la flora a nuestro alrededor.
While playing I got a distinct cynical feeling from the game, as though it was designed to be mysterious according to a checklist, rather than growing into it from a central idea. If you can ignore this feeling, though, and are happy to play in short bursts so as to avoid the repetition of the simple puzzles and the irritation that the control problems cause, then The UnderGarden certainly an interesting and novel experience. Turn off the lights, turn up the sound, and immerse yourself.
DarkZero (Dec 14, 2010)
Despite its few shortcomings, though, The UnderGarden is an almost entirely pleasant experience, and easy to recommend to anyone who’s fed up with shooting people in the face, or fancies some laid-back, same-sofa multiplayer. It’s not quite as mesmerising as Flower, nor will its puzzles stand up to a game like Braid, but it dares to aim for subtlety and serenity, and we could definitely use more of that.
Hooked Gamers (Dec 17, 2010)
I actually quite liked The UnderGarden but there was something about it that just was not grabbing me. It is obviously not going to appeal to those players who like their high octane, cinematic action and intense gaming moments - I am a bit like this. But The UnderGarden was not made for these players; it was made for the fans and players of other classic indie games such as Flower, Braid, Flow and Limbo. Players who appreciate the beauty and simplicity in these kinds of smaller titles will surely be content with The UnderGarden. But these players may also overlook and forgive the awkward controls and strange difficulty curve. At the end of the day, if you like indie titles and are in search of a game that allows you to unwind and encourages you to take time with it to enjoy the experience, The UnderGarden is the game for you.
70 (UK) (Nov 10, 2010)
The UnderGarden is an undeniably lovely place to visit and one that provides more gameplay structure than you might expect. It doesn't always succeed in finding a balance between its chilled-out exploration and OCD completist tendencies, but when the formula clicks, the result is both charming and visually stunning. It doesn't quite deserve to be ranked alongside spiritual forebears such as LocoRoco and fl0w, but it comes close enough to make a few evenings basking in its warm glow an easy recommendation.
Gameplay (Benelux) (Jan 28, 2011)
Hoewel The Undergardens aquatopische relaxtrip mijn zen-dorst niet compleet heeft gelaafd, weet de kleurrijke doch monotone wereld toch te charmeren. Consumeren met mate, die natte ondertuin!
Gaming Age (Nov 17, 2010)
I wish the game was a little more polished, but the art design and complete product are a solid, cozy little game for PC gamers everywhere, and in light of the holidays it would be nice to see The Undergarden see some light shed on it in any upcoming sales. There's a lot to choose from out there, but for a game that's main appeal is helping you wind down, it's a title that couldn't hurt to give a shot at in these days. If you're still not sure what's going on, there's a demo on its official page to look at before making any big decisions.
IGN (Nov 16, 2010)
The Undergarden really is best used as a palette cleanser, a game to break up the monotony of blood and violence gamers seem to revel in. Like so many sweet and wonderful things in life, the experience starts to lose its charm in any prolonged session. The levels are just a little too repetitive, and even the dazzling colors and quirky music failed to hold my attention for longer than a stage or two at any given time. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s just that so much of Undergarden’s appeal lies in the sensory experience, and that affected me less and less as I habituated to it. It certainly won’t be for everyone, but players looking for a change of pace – and who have a controller -- might find brief solace in a few evenings with The Undergarden.
60 (Nov 19, 2010)
It's hard to recommend the game; the aesthetic creativity is remarkable, and the perfectionist in you will be drawn to master every level, but the puzzles themselves are far from challenging and, often enough, easily circumvented. The frustration factor makes it more comparable to Earthworm Jim than Flower. If that sounds like your cup of tea, then there are worse ways to spend a few hours than with The Undergarden. Just don't say we didn't warn you.
PixlBit (Nov 22, 2010)
Putting aside any desire to explore psychology or the essence of Zen, that is truly all there is to this game. I feel almost as if it should have been marketed as more of a children’s game, given its simple concepts and ease of use. Adults are left with a short game that will ultimately leave you questioning why you played it in the first place when there seems to be no stated goal or true ending.
Game Watcher (Nov 19, 2010)
For the majority of gamers above the age of twelve, it will probably fail to engage after the first five minutes or so. Though it’s competently made and packs in a good amount of content overall The UnderGarden makes for a fairly dull experience.
Gaming Nexus (Nov 19, 2010)
The UnderGarden can't quite decide what it wants to be. Is it a simple puzzle game in the vein of Ecco the Dolphin, or is it a Zen experience? Had the developers focused on one or the other this could have been a great alternative to Call of Duty and Halo, but as it turns out this is yet another soothing game that goes nowhere.
Game Shark (Nov 23, 2010)
There is a lot to like about The Undergarden, mainly due to the game's production values. It's lovely to look at, the collectible musicians are relatively enjoyable to listen to, and it generally plays well enough (barring the aforementioned puzzle hiccups). The problem is that the sum of the game is never greater than its parts, and it starts to feel old pretty quickly and never induces the relaxation you expect from such a game. To put it another way: it's no Flower.
Resolution Magazine (Nov 10, 2010)
The Undergarden is not an earth shattering title, it’s not intense or complicated, and it rarely asks for use of more than 4 brain cells at a time – but that’s the point. It’s not supremely polished and it definitely has it’s flaws, but at the heart of it The Undergarden has it’s place. This game is what you play when you need a break from playing games. After a long hard day, you can curl up and just watch a cute little guy float through a world creating beauty. The Undergarden serves as a way to switch your brain off before bed, or a way to get away from it all and just hang out in a cool world for a little while. You can try and 100% the whole level or you can swim about until you find the end portal, it’s not asking you to step outside of your comfort zone and it’s not asking you to do anything. It’s a lobby – a hub – a place to chill. A refuge from the daily grind, a place to put your feet up and relax and an all round nice place to be.
1UP (Nov 11, 2010)
If I can be completely honest, I usually don't even bother with the ginger when I'm eating sushi. I never really see the point, and often forget all about it until it's the only thing left on my plate. And, curiously enough, I have the same problem with UnderGarden -- it just doesn't have enough substance to stand out on it's own, and I'd much rather spend my time with something else.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun (Nov 15, 2010)
Let’s get this out the way, so we can focus on the lovely: Clearly there hasn’t been a more euphemistic-sounding game title since Stick A Sausage In A Bagel 3. But forget all that. There is in fact a far more appropriate thing to muddle it with is CBeebies bedtime favourite, In The Night Garden. It’s a gentle, beautiful, floating puzzle game, existing somewhere in the midpoint between Ecco The Dolphin and Okami, filled with creatures that look as though they’d market extremely well to the under-5s. It’s also a game that exists in the midpoint between ambient casual “experience” and challenging puzzle game, which is where this gorgeous, breath-taking, sedate experience ever-so-slightly falls.