There was once a robot with the designation “C4NNY”, or Canny as his friends called him. One day, he was recalled to have his battery replace, since a nuclear-power source is too dangerous to have as the new Red Crystal was deemed safer. In the middle of the process all the robots stopped, leaving Canny stand in his place as the years passed. It all seemed like he was dreaming as time went by but suddenly his emergency solar battery was charged with enough power to move again, allowing him to reacquaint himself with his old nuclear battery. “What had happened to the robots all those years ago?” pondered Canny, and he knew he had to get to the bottom of this. And so he sets out further into the City, not knowing the journey in stored for the little robot.
“Scrap Garden” is a platform game inspired by the golden platformer classics from the past, with a few puzzles and different stage segments put into the mix. The puzzles are simple enough to solve but still require some work to get the job done. Throughout the game, you’ll be collecting Red Crystals to power doors and other devices to enter the next stage of the level. They have a fixed amount that is needed to power them, but they will take all your crystals. Sure it may seem like a rip off but this is a sort of balancing in the game so you won’t stockpile on Red Crystals and skip over exploring the stages.
Aside from collecting crystals you can also pick up objects (mostly rocks and puzzle items) for carrying and throwing. You can’t put them down unless it was scripted, making one puzzle late in the game kind of difficult. Throwing rocks, boxes and other items will take some practice and patience, and you’ll need to get this down since most of the bosses (as well as enemies, but you can jump on them) are damaged by throwing rocks at them. However, this mechanic feels like carrying and tossing objects in “Sonic Adventure 2” so practice is really necessary. You can, however, practice in the City level in peace by shooting hoops (there is an achievement in it for you).
As I said before most boss battles require throwing a rock at them but there are others that you need to do a little something special, such as setting dynamite up to blow the foundation that one is placed on. The ones where you don’t have to throw a rock at are a bit more enjoyable because you get to do something slightly more engaging than just getting them stoned. One of these bosses did have a glitch in the script. However, where you had to land in a specific spot to get the event rolling (I did the entire boss battle only to find out it wasn’t enabled).
If you lose all your health by getting hit too many times by enemy and spikes or taking fall damage (his shock absorbers must have rusted) you can pick up from the last checkpoint. You can continue as long as you want, but the fade to black takes a bit too long when you’re ready to give it another try. Well, at least it gives you time to read a motivating message not to give up though. There are wrenches to restore Canny to full health. However, they are far in between so guide him carefully.
Out of everything in this game, the story is the best part. So it’s a simple story to follow, but it has a fun storybook tale with interesting characters and a narration that could bring a smile to your face. The plot even gives you some of most unexpected turns of events. Furthermore, it carries the underlying theme that while there’s a chance you’ll find someone you’re really adventuring alone.
The level stages are large and come in different flavors like a desert, spooky swamp, and volcanic mountain. Since this is a platforming game, there are plenty of ledges and gaps to jump around while accessing some areas for puzzles. Most of the areas are wide and encourage exploration since there are also hidden items to collect, which you can view later on the menu screen. The indoor stages show signs of be being abandoned, having structures and furniture looking worse for wear. There are of course puzzles during these segments as well but double jump is disabled while indoors (for the sake of puzzle solving). And to keep you on your toes, there are sections that drop you into some action like sliding down a slope and riding a mine cart (classic).
Enemy designs are fairly common looking with their red glowing eyes as the only threatening thing going for them, aside from the dread that there’s a chance of them jumping out of a box (later in the game). Bosses, more giant and intimidating, are huge mutant animals with red glowing eyes and red gears on top of their heads (red is a popular color here).
The robot designs are simple and classic, none of that NS5 human looking shenanigans. Canny himself looks like a can, of course, with some dents and aging in his metal exterior. Furthermore, he is one of those robots with light eyes, which are also used to illuminate dark areas, a nice touch in the lighting effects. While not having a face per se (since he’s built more like Shinichi Mechazawa) his character does show through his animations.
Anyone left moving on in the world has a voice actor, aside from Canny who is voiced by beeps and bloops (much like Aligned Continuity Bumble Bee). The actual voice acting is fairly good, fitting for storybook dialogue. The Narrator gives us some insight of Canny’s mind between levels, letting us know that Canny feels things that he shouldn’t because he’s a robot. He also gives us some exposition behind Canny’s desire of flying and other facts about him while Canny is going about in some humorous cut scenes, such as the one where he glides to the next level with a metal sheet over his head.
The music ties in with the game’s story perfectly. Many of the tracks give the impression that Canny is alone on his adventure in an awe-inspiring sense. There are also some tracks that are supposed to intimidate you like it was a survival horror game, though I think, these are done well. They don’t throw any zombie robots at you; you’re just in a place that feels uneasy to navigate with some common enemies from the level, unsure of what is scripted to happen. However, during most of the game. The soundtrack gives you a sense that Canny is one of the very few robots left working in the entire world, passing by other robots motionless as if time had stopped around you.
+ Great storybook tale about a robot on an (mis)adventure.
+ Fun platforming game with different level designs and puzzles.
+ Fantastic Music that drives the impression you’re alone to journey the world.
+ Simple and classic robot designs.
– Object throwing, a necessary mechanic for a few boss battles, is a bit awkward.
– There is an event script glitch for a boss late in the game.
– Load time after dying takes a while when ready to try again.
Replay value: 3.5/5
Egidijus Bachur and Alexey Davydov´s “Scrap Garden” is a fun platformer with its best features in story and presentation (more so with the music). You can enjoy this adventure with Canny though you need to practice tossing, which you can do by shooting hoops. On the other hand, you can just waste time playing the “Scrap Garden” arcade game in the City level. However, there is one question that remains: what happened on the day before?
Title: Scrap Garden
Developer: Egidijus Bachur, Alexey Davydov
Genre: Platformer Adventure
Resolution: 1680 x 1050
Release date: 2016-05-06
Spent time: 2+ hours
Average grade internationally: 70.00% Gamerankings.com
PEGI/ESRB age rating: PEGI7+/Everyone
Robin Ek – Editor
The Gaming Ground
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