If you’re a fan of puzzle games, chances are you’ve played Manifold Garden by now. If not, what are you waiting for? Do it.
Available for some time now on PS4, Xbox One, Switch and PC, this first-person puzzler, which takes place in an Escher-esque world, is now also available on PS5. And unless you own a fancy PC, it’s never looked better. But be warned, as beautiful as Manifold Garden is to look at, its puzzles can be fiendish.
Placing you in a world full of architecture that will make your mind scream, Manifold Garden is a game that doesn’t hold your hand. Its story is something you’ll have to piece together for yourself, and while you’re eased in with a sequence of puzzles that you can’t miss, when you reach your first wide-open space it’s easy to lose sight of your goal.
Manifold Garden is essentially a game of pressure plates and switches, but your ability to manipulate gravity is what complicates matters. A switch that opens a door you need to get through might be in plain sight, for example, but if it’s on a platform connected to a twisted staircase in the middle of a room, just how do you get to it? You can’t manipulate gravity willy-nilly, either; you need to be stood in front of a platform you can walk upon to instigate the shift.
It’s the pressure plate puzzles that will really test your puzzle abilities, however. The cubes you need to place on them are colour coded, and adhere to their own gravitational pull. The answer to your problems, then, often lies in changing your perspective of gravity, then placing blocks of a different colour in order to provide ledges for other blocks when you change gravity again. It’s mind-warping stuff.
Master Manifold Garden‘s gravity-changing antics and you’ll find that it’s not the biggest game in the world, but there’s plenty of opportunity for lesser beings to get stuck. Still, at least when that happens you get to enjoy the spectacular scenery. Manifold Garden is a game comprised of clean lines and bold colours. Along with scant use of music, it makes for a somewhat haunting experience, especially considering that if you manage to fall off a platform into an abyss, you’ll find that it simply loops. Death is not an option in this purgatory – you either succeed at your task or stay trapped forever.
Manifold Garden runs at native 4K at 60fps on PS5. It also has an increased draw distance and loads much faster. Other PS5 features are supported too, such as haptic feedback, Activity Cards and Game Help. Needless to say, work has truly been put in to make this the best version of Manifold Garden available. The icing on the cake is that those who already own the PS4 version, Deluxe or Standard, can upgrade to the PS5 version for free.
For those who don’t yet own Manifold Garden, it’s available now for just £14.99 and purchasing it grants access to both the PS4 and PS5 versions of the game. A Deluxe Edition is also available, which includes the game’s soundtrack and a dynamic PS4 theme.