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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Ribarro

Garten of Banban


At A Glance

  • Released: 1/6/23

  • Reviews: 8781, net mixed, as of 12/2023

  • English Reviews: 5755

  •  Localized in: English

  • Had Publisher: No

  • Majority of reviews:

  • English ~65% 

  • Portuguese Brazil ~8%

  • Spanish Spain ~6%

  • Price: Free

  • Review report

  • Negatives:  people drew comparisons between this game and Poppy Playtime and grew ‘tired’ of what indie horror has become including mascot horror, more complaints about the game in comparison to indie horror as a whole, not scary, boring

  • Positives:   Very few actual reviews most are jokes, haven’t found any insightful reviews after reading a few dozen, bird was scary, ‘fun and short’



Gameplay

  • Trash can is a physics object, could possibly make glitches and bugs even though the objects might not serve much purpose

  • 2 batteries need to be collected to use a drone remote

  • Seems like this may be one of the ways to interact with things in the game and solve puzzles

  • Gathering the batteries was quick though, could’ve been an opportunity to do something with the player but they just had to explore the ‘cafeteria’ a bit

  • Drone has a reset button that will orient it appropriately in a certain room

  • Its somewhat difficult to tell what buttons have an effect on the environment, there are no wires or connectors so you have to be paying attention

  • Bird comes across the ball pit on a chair, I heard rumors that the AI was sophisticated and would ‘study’ you if you didn’t run away, and it did until it decided to kill me

  • Dropped the bird into the ball pit

  • Floor drops out in the orange room and an industrial elevator rises up

Music

  •  Sort of light, not-so-heavy music in the main menu, reminds me of Minecraft

  • In the main reception area there is an atmospheric noise 

Sounds

  • Open door sfx cuts off a bit too soon

  • Drone makes pleasant beeping noises when button is pressed

  • Can hear the droning of lights overhead

  • Big dubstep effect that plays when feeding the bird Opila eggs

Art

  • Art looks clean, it gets the job done and reminds me of Roblox

  • Large playground-esque area for kids, ballpit closed

UI

  • New game and load game seem to do the same thing when starting anew except for a small narrative segment when choosing new game

Writing


Scare Factor

  • The bird was peaking around a corner in the beginning upon opening the main door

  • Same bird was stationary and had to feed it eggs in order to progress, a key also came out of the mouth which might prompt players to think there’ll be a jumpscare

Extra

  • Made with Unreal

  • Links to all socials and a merch button are on the main menu, as well as a button to the sequel which is paid

Overall

  • A very good example of marketing and working with what you have in a very small play environment

  • Counting the ‘areas’ of the game there are really 1 main entrance, a hallway, a small classroom, a lunch room, a playground, a bottomless pit, a smaller classroom, and an industrial elevator

  • Using all of these to maximum effect seemed to be key in the game content itself, but it doesn’t really explain why the game went viral

  • In my personal opinion, I think all the influencer attention, press, and videos hating on the game brought it to the audience it was actually meant for - youngins

  • Anyone who has played multiple horror games may be somewhat jaded and looking for something polished, unique, and terrifying.  Think about someone who has very little exposure to horror and Garten of Banban was their first experience

  • Consider also the Roblox market, many of those games may be ‘unpolished’ in a sense but are completely playable for the platform and thus enjoyable


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