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Garlic Review

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Fast Facts


Developer: Sylph
Publisher: Ratalaika Games
Genre(s): Platformer, Adventure, Arcade
Platform: Nintendo Switch (also available on PlayStation and Xbox)
Age Rating: PEGI 12
Release Date: 06/07/2023
Price: £14.99

A code was provided for review purposes

Check out my Devious (Gar) Lick

Garlic is a highly stylized action-platformer featuring a humanoid garlic character attempting to ascend a tower and woo a goddess at the top. The concept is silly, for sure, but having watched some trailers, I had high hopes that I would enjoy the gameplay. Did it meet my standards? Find out in this Rapid Review.

When I first launched Garlic, I was treated to a brief cinematic trailer of my Garlic character discussing the tower and choosing to enter. This premise was largely the only story content throughout the game, but there were plenty of cute cutscenes showcasing my character doing miscellaneous acts. These made Garlic incredibly cute and memorable, differentiating it from other titles. Though the story did not feature much meaningful content, the cutscenes were adorable and left me entirely satisfied.

After 50 reps of can-kicking, you, too, can look this good.

Though the story content was enjoyable, the crux of the game came from the gameplay. Garlic is a traditional action platformer. My main character can move from side to side, jump, and has an air dash. There are some other more intricate moves too, giving me almost ninja-like mobility skills. I could backflip off walls or somersault into the air. These were fun to mess around with, though they never felt complex to pull off. It was easy to get my character exactly where he needed to be without much strain on my hands either. The control scheme made it very easy for me to navigate wherever I needed to go but provided depth and agility options for when I wanted to go quickly through levels. I thought my main character felt excellent to control.

A Treacherous Tower

The movement also felt good to leverage because the level designs were intuitive to navigate yet spacious enough for me to capitalize on a variety of movement options. Though most of the levels had me traversing linearly from one area to another, there were often branching paths to select from. This was fun, as sometimes the different areas would focus on using different techniques. Garlic did a great job at creating rooms where there was more than one way to get to the exit. The game encouraged me to get creative, especially since the game can be tricky.

He’s just standing there… menacingly!

The more Garlic I played, the more I found myself experimenting. This is contrary to how I typically play games, as I usually find myself sticking to the same strategies if things work. However, since this game is quite challenging, I often find myself considering multiple routes simultaneously. When I struggled with one for too long, I would occasionally try a different way of going about it. I enjoyed how the game allowed for multiple viable routes.

Don’t You Want Somebody to Clove?

My urge to experiment in the game is a bit confusing to me, though. The game is incredibly linear, and I was shocked by how little each repeated attempt felt mundane. I think this was because of how enemies are designed. Many foes I faced could either be jumped on or dashed into. However, often, these enemies would require more than one attack to take out. This meant I had to actively consider whether defeating the enemies was worth my time or not. Additionally, many of the enemies could be used as platforms. Some would replenish my dash when I dashed into them midair, even if I did not kill them. This led to some interesting events, such as when I continually dashed into an enemy, moving both of us along the level.

Additionally, the enemies and traps themselves are novel. There are intricate layers of wire, ready to electrocute at a moment’s notice, winged angels wielding bows and arrows, and a surprisingly large variety of fish. Each not only telegraphs their attacks well but serves unique purposes. The enemies come together nicely to create a decent variety.

What even is that thing?

In addition to the traditional platforming segments, Garlic features microgames that lead to a potentially more successful chance at impressing the goddess. From simple chores to literal boxing matches, these brief segments did a great job of varying the gameplay. Not only was this fun, but they helped add character to the game, further helping it stand out from other games in the market.

Garlic? Eye Candy?

To further solidify the charm it built with the story, Garlic features both a lovely soundtrack and stunning visuals. The music is upbeat, so no matter how many times I died, I was constantly ready to get back in there for more. It was catchy, and I thought it fit the theme of the game well.

Similarly, the visuals were stunning, too. The pixel art was great within levels. Every enemy and attack pattern was clear, the world maps were engaging, and my character was expressive, even while doing simple things like moving or getting damaged. However, the game visuals truly shine in the cutscenes. The ridiculous moments I experience in the gameplay are heightened, especially immediately before or after the minigames. All in all, the game has a lot of charm.

Since when could squids fly?

Unfortunately, while so much of the game is excellent, there were two issues that left a bitter, burning taste in my throat. One area had a bug that almost made it impossible for me to progress. One of the assets was not working as intended. It was a simple thing, but had I not found a workaround, I would have been soft-locked there. Additionally, the final boss fight had a surprising amount of lag. It was shocking, as the whole game up until that point had run smoothly. While these two issues are minor, they were certainly disappointing.

 Overall, Garlic is a phenomenal game. I enjoy action-platformers, and I think this one was one of the best I have played in a very long time. Apart from the issues with the performance in those two areas, I enjoyed every minute of this game. The combination of the wacky story, the tight controls, and the charming style made it an experience I can easily recommend.

Rapid Reviews Rating

gold score

You can purchase Garlic on the Nintendo eShop here

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