Garden of the Sea Garden of the Sea PSVR 2

Garden Of The Sea Review (PSVR 2) – Tranquil Farming Adventure Goes At Its Own Pace For Better Or Worse

Garden of the Sea PSVR 2 Review. Ever wanted to play one of those cosy farming games in VR? Well, Garden of the Sea offers just that. A vibrant world of cute critters, crop growing, and building awaits. Is a day on the farm worthwhile? Find out in PlayStation Universe’s Garden of the Sea PSVR 2 review.

Garden of the Sea Review (PSVR 2) – Tranquil Farming Adventure Goes at its Own Pace For Better or Worse

Among a deluge of intense, blood-splattered VR offerings in PSVR 2’s launch slate, there are pockets of peace and tranquillity. From the mesmeric Tetris Effect to the slow rolling awe of Kayak Mirage, VR doesn’t have to be about the carnage to get the most out of it.

So a game in the vein of hits like Harvest Moon, Stardew Valley, and the like was always going to be most welcome. A nice pootling-about sim where you could physically pet your animals, feed them, and water your garden full of fruit and vegetables. Garden of the Sea has all that, and in isolation, these are pleasing things to do. As a game, however, there’s something of a misstep in its structure. At its best, it is serene and cosy, but it’s also capable of being dull and laborious. Cosy is great, but it shouldn’t send you to sleep. That’s just too cosy. Never go full cosy.

I was troubled from the outset when Garden of the Sea just dropped me in with a couple of notice boards to push me along. I thought ‘okay, fair enough, a tutorial makes sense’, and it does! There was a quick lesson on moving (the teleport method) and picking things up (holding the palm trigger whilst reaching for a highlighted object) and a quick run-through of gardening. So, you get the cool bit of picking up a hoe and a bag of seeds physically raking the ground and popping the seeds in. Then you grab a watering can and pour on the water.

Planting Seeds of Doubt

When completed, you get a trinket that opens up the next portion of the world, and a new set of tasks that need doing. Fulfil the tasks in any order and you can head to the next bit. Usually, you’ll need to do something significant like fix a bridge or a boat to actually head further. Other tasks tend to need completing before you get to that though. Why? Not really explained, and that feeds into the rather monotonous nature of Garden of the Sea’s progression.

I will make the caveat that Garden of the Sea is supposed to be played at a casual, relaxed pace. It’s not about meeting the next objective really. Instead, it’s focused on letting you exist in its world. So it may just be me that found it unnecessarily sluggish to make progress. That doesn’t make the game wrong for being that way, but it doesn’t prevent this from being a criticism either.

If I could encapsulate exactly what irked me here, I could then get on with talking about the positives again, so here it is. Garden of the Sea requires a lot of walking about to do the next thing. Then walking back and forth to keep doing the said thing because you have two hands and more than two items needed. If the world could offer a bit more then it wouldn’t be an issue, but it’s a bit slight overall for that much viewing.

Chilled Out Beets

Right, that’s out of the way. To be critical of something so adorable feels like I’m kicking a puppy. It doesn’t matter if it piddled on your shoes, you can’t do that. So, now the good stuff.

While I could remark on a VR game so squarely aimed and young ones (physically and at heart) being a bit of an odd fit for hardware that tells you nobody under 12 should be using it, it is nice to have something so wholesome and cute on PSVR 2.

There are some lovely creatures milling about, including floating cow creatures, tall penguin-type birds clearly on their Summer holidays, and you can pet them, feed them, and just generally have them hang about your little farmland. It’s nice seeing them react positively to you when you give them a little snack. I could just have a whole game of petting and feeding weird yet cute animals. It would be the zenith of self-care.

Getting on with the business of growing crops is quite therapeutic if you’re doing it without additional purposes. Everything has a softness to it that makes actions feel a touch swimmy and dreamlike. For a game like this, that’s actually beneficial. Even cutting down a tree is chill! If nothing else, Garden of the Sea has the vibe down right.

Pet Hate?

Despite my grumbles, I find it very hard to dislike Garden of the Sea. Its ambiguity combined with its rather relaxed nature drove me nuts, but part of that was down to me trying to rush progress for review. I do believe it could be better structured, but as something to dip into and chill out in for a bit, it’s quite the tonic.

Garden of the Sea is now available for PSVR 2.

Review code kindly provided by publisher.



The Final Word

It may be a tad plodding and poorly structured, but Garden of the Sea has its heart in the right place. It delivers on the most crucial component in that it’s a very relaxing time. Anyway, it’s tough to be sour about a game that lets you feed and pet adorable creatures in VR.