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Slice-of-life sim The Garden Path looks like a lovely place to stay a while

Another cute Animal Crossing-like contender

Gather round, farmlife-sim likers. Another swell-looking indie game is planning a move to the village. The Garden Path is a laid-back slice-of-life sim with shades of Animal Crossing in its little painted world. You can spot it's lovely art style and sweet cute villagers down here in its new announcement trailer. We'll be able to dig in later this year when it launches.

"The Garden Path explores the quiet moments of a life well lived, where your garden will grow to reflect both the passing of time and your own design," developers Carrotcake say. "Time here runs in concert with the real world, and the passing of seasons heralds new encounters and a new story to weave."

Up there in the announcement trailer you can spot all sorts of familiar farm life sim bits like chopping trees, gardening, and chatting with all the locals. Although your character appears to be human, all the other folks around are a mixture of plants and animals: things like giant shaggy oxen and monkeys and walking pumpkins.

The Garden Path has been sharing progress on its development log for quite a while already, so you can find even more there if you're keen to dig deeper. There's a lot more there than is revealed in the store page, like the watercolour-y map, errand quests for villagers, and a look at the player's backpack inventory.

After several years of indie Harvest Moon-like farming sims spurred by Stardew Valley's success on PC, it feels like a gaggle of Animal Crossing-like village simulations may be up next. No complaints here, to be clear. I'm well up for seeing a bunch of different takes on AC-inspired games with a slower pace than what games like Stardew can encourage.

The Garden Path hasn't given a specific release date just yet, but is coming this year. You can find it over on Steam and Itch in the meantime.

Here is Augustus the bear. I like Augustus.

The Garden Path - The player stands in a meadow talking to a large backpack-wearing bear named Augustus who says "It's the duty of a ranger to keep peace in the natural world."

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Lauren Morton


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