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Critic Reviews

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Gamers' Temple, The (Feb 08, 2011)
The game won't appeal to everyone, but its interesting visual style, unique setting, and clever but unintimidating puzzles make for an enjoyable and relaxing experience. If you're looking for something a little different and enjoy platform-esque puzzle games, it's well worth your time. The UnderGarden's unique elements come together to make for an enjoyable and relaxing game experience.
Totally Gaming Network (Nov 20, 2010)
Overall, the Undergarden is a breath of fresh air. It’s a fantastic puzzler that achieves what it set out to do. It is completely different than anything else coming out this holiday season. This is a title for both the hardcore and casual alike as both groups of people will get something different out of this title. Casual gamers will get a very mellow game with great looking environments that look even better as you pollinate more flora. Hardcore gamers will get that as well but will also have the competitive aspect of trying to get to the top of a leaderboard in any given level. There are a ton of games that are either coming out or have just been recently released, however, be sure to give this one a try as well. After spending a while shooting zombies, assassinating people or being the ruler of a kingdom, the Undergarden offers a fantastic, tranquil experience that will have you keep coming back for more.
Gamers Daily News (Nov 23, 2010)
Overall, even with some minor flaws the game is brilliant. It’s calming and entertaining. It looks and sounds great and the minor flaws in the game are so few and far between as to hardly be noticeable (as in, if I weren’t playing for review I might not notice them). This is definitely worth checking out.
Atomic Gamer (Nov 19, 2010)
The Undergarden is a highly successful example of the adage, “less is more”. Its elegant simplicity will keep you engaged for hours without shooting, powerups, upgrading, leveling, dialog trees or versus play. The game's artwork delights and its music transports, making for three to four hours of pure gaming bliss. The Undergarden is a steal at the bargain price of 800 Xbox Points ($9.99 on PC). Make sure you don't miss it.
Destructoid (Nov 15, 2010)
More "experience" than "videogame", The UnderGarden is a pure delight that proves you don't have to be a super tough "hardcore" title in order to be fun. It's not action packed, it's not punishing, and it's not what you would normally turn your Xbox 360 on for. It is, however, something you should turn your Xbox 360 on for.
Game Vortex (Nov 28, 2010)
I've never played a game as relaxing and calming as The UnderGarden. You can't get mad while playing it and you can't stay angry even if you start playing angry. Granted, you can get a bit frustrated if you can't figure out what to do, but the music and visuals are so calming that you don't worry about it. You just keep on trying. If you're a fan of puzzle games or simply want to relax, go download The UnderGarden today!
Console Monster (Jan 02, 2011)
The laid back atmosphere will defintiely not be one for those who enjoy shooting terrorists and blowing up zombies exclusively. For those that are willing to give it a shot, The Undergarden is just a joy to be in. It's so peaceful and wonderful that everything else doesn't seem to matter. It doesn't rush you and it's not too challenging and is perfect for a little break from the hectic real life.
Vandal Online (Dec 05, 2010)
The UnderGarden es más que un juego, una experiencia sensorial. Su jugabilidad, aunque sencilla, hará las delicias de los aficionados a los rompecabezas clásicos, donde la habilidad y la experiencia eran recompensadas. Su duración, aunque justa, invita bastante a la rejugabilidad al contar una serie de objetos especiales escondidos por el escenario, lo que hace que el jugador se interese en volver a visitar algunos lugares y niveles para batir sus propias puntuaciones, así como para compararlas con sus amigos y agregados. Pero UnderGarden, va un poco más allá. Éste maravilloso juego de puzles es toda una aventura audiovisual, que sabe usar la curiosidad presente en todo ser humano por lo desconocido, lo hermoso y lo luminiscente, y lo usa para construir y mostrar sus propios objetivos y metas. Jugarlo debería ser algo casi obligatorio, sobre todo si se quiere disfrutar de un juego fresco, original y novedoso. No deberían arrepentirse.
Game Chronicles (Dec 18, 2010)
I was surprised at how much I really enjoyed The Undergarden. After a year-long killing spree with pretty much everything else I play, this was a refreshing and relaxing way to spend a few hours; almost like videogame meditation. Turn out the lights and turn up the sound and immerse yourself in one of the most colorful and delightfully charming non-games of the year.
Made2Game (Dec 08, 2010)
Undergarden is almost an anti-puzzle-game, creating a relaxing world full of gentle mind benders and keeping you calm by way of sight, sound and a very steady pace. If your looking for a different style of platform puzzle game this is well worth your cash.
The Escapist (Nov 19, 2010)
The Undergarden is laid back, gorgeous, and pretty damn weird - the main character is some kind of strange grinning monkey thing and your mission is to grow flowers in underground caverns. It's definitely not for everyone, but anyone who enjoys well-constructed environmental puzzles or who just needs a break from the fast pace of other games should definitely give it a try.
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?"
GameSpot (Nov 15, 2010)
It shouldn't take much longer than five hours to play through the 15 levels in The UnderGarden, but it's worth going back for more. There are hidden gems and special flowers in each world, and you get a bonus for collecting every musician and causing every flower to bloom. But the real reason to replay levels is the engrossing atmosphere. The gorgeous visual design and enthralling score create a peaceful feeling that's difficult to pull away from even after you've seen everything this game has to offer. You can also play through the whole adventure cooperatively, and though it doesn't change the gameplay, it's fun to experience these worlds with someone else. It's a shame the controls can't match the joy exuded by the other elements, and the camera too often has a mind of its own, but these are small problems in a game overflowing with simple pleasures.
Original Gamer (Nov 28, 2010)
This game is a great idea in great packaging that seems, at times, limited. It feels as if the game designers could have done so much more with certain aspects, particularly with the puzzles. While it’s understood that this game is marketed towards much younger gamers it feels like more could have been done with it. Hopefully, any future incarnations will be a little more ripe. The UnderGarden gave a fun few hours of gameplay and is one that I recommend purchasing. This is for anyone looking for a good game that really helps you unwind as it’s almost therapeutic in the way it’s played and presented. With any luck, we’ll be able to go for another float around the UnderGarden before too long.
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.
Extreme Gamer (Nov 17, 2010)
There is nothing to impede you from getting to the end of The Undergarden, and that really becomes the game’s biggest flaw. It’s a relaxing beautiful stroll through the under ground caves of this bizarre world, but it’s simply too relaxing. The game just comes off as boring because there is no real danger in place to reward your efforts. The Undergarden can certainly be described as an experience, and a beautiful interesting one at that, but as a game, it falls a bit short. It almost feels like a sandbox of pretty sounds and visuals that players can play around in, more than an actual game. In the end it is all just too simplistic, even if it is somewhat novel.
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.
The UnderGarden is a charming and immersive puzzle adventure that scores points for its visual and aural style. Apart from the fact that that the game moves back and forth between a ‘relaxing aural journey’ and ‘a serious head scratcher’ can be a bit off putting at times, and some of the physics and mechanics don’t work as well as you’d want them to. That said, for its generous price, The UnderGarden provides a unique puzzle experience that will surely win you over with its charming visuals and beautiful music.
3D Juegos (Nov 16, 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.
We're actually more fond of how The UnderGarden looks and sounds than how it plays. It's by no means worth sprinting home as fast as you can to click the download button, but if you like nothing better than to settle in for a few hours of soothing, fish tank gaming every so often to unwind from the Call of Duty shakes, you could do far worse than this.
MS Xbox World (Nov 24, 2010)
UnderGarden feels like an artsy game made by a bunch of businessmen, rather than an artist. It takes generic, although solid, mechanics and layers them over a cryptic and appealing aesthetic design. Independently, both are acceptable but underwhelming. The result of meshing the two is less than the sum of its parts. Many parts of the game feel either unfinished or superfluous. The game doesn't feel poorly made, so much as poorly designed. As though the creators weren't sure which game they were really making. Indie gamers will be unimpressed, and more mainstream players will almost certainly be more annoyed than relaxed by the "zen" look and sound. Guys, if you're going to make an art house indie game? You should actually have something to say. If you're going to make a solid puzzle-platformer, you can't give your characters immortality and the ability to fly. Make up your minds, and then you can make a video game. Otherwise you get a confused, yet intriguing mess like The UnderGarden.
70 (Nov 24, 2010)
You're not dealing with the same sort of design-school conceptual innovation that you see in the types of games that this finds itself compared to. It's an ambient experience stuffed with a very simple puzzle game, not a complex chicken cordon bleu as much as a comforting pig-in-a-blanket. Possibly the best looking pig-in-a-blanket you'll come across.
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.
IGN (Nov 11, 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 – a chance to grow, rather than destroy -- might find brief solace in a few evenings with The Undergarden.
65 (Dec 02, 2010)
En definitiva, The UnderGarden, más que un juego, es una experiencia. Aprovechando el frenetismo de la actual generación, el equipo de Vitamin G crea un título que no pretende rivalizar por su jugabilidad, sino por su apariencia. Si la estética estuviera un poco más trabajada, sí que podría suplir sus otras carencias. Sin embargo, lo monótono de los paisajes se une a la facilidad con la que se avanza a través del os niveles.
Cheat Code Central (Nov 17, 2010)
The UnderGarden isn't a bad game. In fact it's a pretty relaxing experience. However, I feel that there was real potential to make this passable game into a really good game. Just wandering a nice-looking area doesn't provide a challenge, and even going back and trying to complete all the various stages to 100% seems tedious and doesn't make for exhilarating gameplay. Though this game is fun in small chunks, I wouldn't recommend it for anyone looking for a lengthy gameplay experience. The best visit to the UnderGarden is a brief one, and it probably won't be one of your most memorable experiences.
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.
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.
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 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.
ZTGameDomain (Jan 20, 2011)
The game is trying so hard to be something more than just a game. Even the developer’s name has ‘Art’ in it. But by making a game with no real direction and with a slow and monotonous pace, all that they have managed to do is send me to sleep.
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.