A quiet circle in a pond can become a special place filled with love and life in The Rose Garden.
The Leftfield Collection at EGX is always filled with wonderful little curiosities and EGX 2018 was an especially strong year, in my opinion. The Rose Garden, from Charlotte Madelon, was one of the standout titles in the selection: an enigmatic game of growing, breeding and discovering new breeds of roses.
The Rose Garden revolves around a small stone circle. Initially, you have a few seeds and petals at your disposal. Clicking and dragging around the screen can create more places for you to plant flowers, as well as have your new flowers start to grow. Even this, as a standalone piece, is especially calming and enjoyable, however there is also a degree of selective breeding and eugenics running throughout the experience. You can combine the flowers to unlock new varieties, a system which runs extremely deep — the initial couple of flowers ultimately combining to over forty different breeds. Each of these, as a tribute, are named after prolific, historical women.
What is perhaps most compelling about The Rose Garden is that the lifespan of the roses are your only real timer, and there is nothing stopping you from leaving the game running similar to a screensaver to see what happens… or just make for an interesting backdrop.
If you’re interested in giving The Rose Garden a go, you can find an older build of the game over on Itch.io. Hopefully the full EGX build will be released via the game page later in time. Until then, I believe, development continues — you can follow the developer on their Twitter @CharlieMadelon.