The Miller's Garden

by Damon L. Wakes profile


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
A short and simple game with surprisingly little feedback, October 24, 2021
by MathBrush
Related reviews: less than 15 minutes

I took a lot of ballroom dance classes in college, and I remember one of the biggest problems a pair could have is noodle arms. If the arms are rigid, the two dancers can communicate effectively, but if they're lose, dancers tend to step on and run into each other.

This game has some good ideas but has so little feedback. I had no idea what was going on until I peaked at the code.

Gameplay-wise, you wake up and have 3-4 areas you can take care of by watering, removing trash, etc. (Spoilers for ending and mechanic)(Spoiler - click to show)This lasts for 7 days, and, each day, the river grows bigger, removing gameplay areas unless you shore it up enough the day before.

For me, it was difficult to see any effect of my actions, besides the immediate ones of watering and such. (Spoiler - click to show)The effect of the river was indicated by the absence of old text, not the presence of new, and as I was shoring up a lot from the beginning, I saw few changes. This, for me, made the game more or less a tedium simulator. Even once I knew what was going on, I had no real reason to care for either out come, because I was nobody in a nobody land. I can see the thought experiment, but it just didn't pan out for me.

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Andrew Schultz, October 24, 2021 - Reply
It actually worked for me, but because of the way it worked, I can see how it wouldn't for other people.

I put it aside to go to another entry and came back to it later. When I did, I (Spoiler - click to show)got the full ending, and I asked myself the game's ending questions about a few things. Having that game in 2 seemingly final states helped the experiment work for me, though I may have been lucky.

Of course this brings up the question of what's the shortest tedium simulator around (or the one with the most replay value months or years later) that can spur you to do the stuff you *really* want.
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