Last month I reviewed a newly released indie adventure/platformer entitled Scrap Garden, by Flazm Interactive’s Egidijus Bachur and Alexey Davydov. I enjoyed it, but felt it to be more appropriate for a younger audience due to its simple mechanics and story. Regardless of any of its flaws, the heart of Scrap Garden seemed to shine through and helped players overlook any imperfections found in graphics, gameplay, sound, or overall design. But what about The Day Before, the free prequel to Scrap Garden?
Does it hold the same heart-winning charm as its precursor?
Yes, but not quite as much. While The Day Before shares much in common with Scrap Garden, there are some distinct differences between the two titles that can be tied to one main culprit: length. The Day Before is a mere 15-30 minute jaunt into the life of Canny from start to finish, rapidly telling the story of what lead up to Scrap Garden’s beginning. Just about everything from the main game is included, but in smaller doses, so The Day Before really plays out as a quick demo of Scrap Garden, briefly showing off the general gameplay ideas in a tiny package.
As a miniature recreation of what Scrap Garden represents, The Day Before feels fine.
Much of the same lighthearted fun is still present via simple puzzle mechanics and an open area to explore. While the difficulty of puzzles hasn’t changed, the types of puzzles has, with a more mini-game focus, as opposed to purely environmental interactions. There’s even a small sidequest thrown in to help bring back a robot’s pet robot, which didn’t exist in the main title. Controls are exactly the same as before, which is to be expected, with the exception of one specific puzzle becoming much more manageable with a cursor versus a gamepad.
One thing of note is the developers of both titles are very much invested in their games. They seem to respond positively to comments and criticism and, more importantly, are quick to deploy patches for any bugs found. I’ve yet to encounter a single bug in my playthroughs as of yet, but that doesn’t mean you won’t, as I don’t like to share my computer with strangers.
Overall, I enjoyed my brief time with The Day Before, and if you do too, consider buying Scrap Garden, as there’s much more to enjoy with extra variation and substance to bite into. If Scrap Garden is a meal, consider The Day Before to be the complementary chips and salsa. They’re free, they’re great, but it’s not gonna fill you up unless you really try.