It was an ordinary day for a C4N robot like Canny, enjoying the holiday season in his apartment, and out of the blue Canny received a called from Keeper. He said there was trouble in the city; the water-supply pressure dropped all of sudden. As the Reservoir Engineer was not responding, and, to add onto the problems on hand. The reservoir door is blocked from any access. It was up to Canny to get to the bottom of this, but unbeknownst to Canny this was the prelude to his future.
“Scrap Garden: The Day Before” is a prequel to “Scrap Garden” (which I had the pleasure of reviewing before). Much like its predecessor it is a platformer with some puzzle elements, with two of which being more puzzles as seen in games like the “Professor Layton” series or “Puzzle Agent”. You’ll see just as much as you would in the main adventure such as platform jumping (and double jumping), picking up and tossing items (which still feels like “Sonic Adventure 2” controls), and fighting enemies by hopping on their heads or throwing a barrel at them. There aren’t as many environmental hazards this time around but Canny can still take damage from enemies and drown in water (like any other robot) but fall damage isn’t in this one, so I guess his shock absorbers did rust over the time before the events of “Scrap Garden”. The mechanic of collecting things to get objects to work also comes back, but this time it’s scrap to fix machinery instead of Red Crystals. They still take everything you have collected but this demo would be even shorter if you could stockpile.
As a prelude/demo, the story is straightforward and short. The game leaves some hints to what happened in “Scrap Garden” from what can be seen in the levels after the city area, but it doesn’t get into it enough to leave you wanting to know what happened. Why did all this happened in the city’s water reservoir? Well, if you want to know after playing this game you just have to play “Scrap Garden” to find out.
There aren’t as many biomes as in “Scrap Garden” as it’s a very short game (about half an hour-long). There’s one portion of the city from the main game, the Reservoir, the Catacombs, and a Cavern. They do look like what you would expect: going from the city to the sewers, only to find yourself in an abandoned site leading to a cave full who knows what. The city stage is the third area from “Scrap Garden” (for those who had played it before) with some spots to explore, while having some Christmas spirit going around. The other stages are too narrow for exploration but there are some spots of interest (like Easter eggs), though there are no Christmas references until the boss battle.
For enemies, there are rats and spiders from “Scrap Garden”, plus some centipedes that can be found when you go deeper into the lower levels. Leading this army of pests (mostly rats) is a giant mole rat, and you know he’s a threat because he’s wearing a hat. The robots seen in this little prequel happen to be the same ones from the main game (all of them being classic designs) but active. Granted they’re not as animated as you want them, but it’s good to see some of them online. One nitpick I have though is that they don’t show most of the things that you see in “Scrap Garden”. You don’t see the police bot talking to the drunk robot or the cute robo-couple on the bench (where Josef is stalking them from behind). The most you’ll see from “Scrap Garden” to “The Day Before” is the small bot talking to the other one at the Popcorn Stand (both wearing Santa hats this time around).
Canny is in his lovable, dented C4N form that still shows his emotions and reactions through his animations, as well as his misfortunes (such as a ladder breaking off while descending). And like in “Scrap Garden,” his eyes show off the lighting effects by illuminating dark areas like a pair of headlights (no augmentation required). There aren’t as many tracks in “The Day Before” as there are in “Scrap Garden” but they get the job done. During progression, they go from relaxing and calming to eerie and suspense. As for voice acting, Canny still beeps and bloops like an astro droid but he’s not the only one. You’ll hear some other robots talking as you roam the city, but there aren’t as many to overhear. The only actual voice acting in “The Day Before” are done for the Narrator and Keeper.
The actor returns to his role as Narrator from “Scrap Garden”, still keeping the motif of what’s on Canny’s mind and what’s in stored for the player. Keeper, the elder of the city, gives the exposition of the events going on during certain points. His lines, however, feel a bit rushed at the end. The ending feels too rushed in fact, since this is the point where you would like to see a bit more plot hinted at before “Scrap Garden”.
+ It’s a fun free prelude to introduce newcomers to the indie game “Scrap Garden”
+ Fairly good graphics with classic-looking robots and some Christmas decorations
+ Play through the events on the day before everything happened
– The ending feels too rushed
– Not as many robots to see as in “Scrap Garden”
Replay value: 1/5
Despite the rushed ending, “Scrap Garden: The Day Before” is a good game to introduce you to “Scrap Garden” if you haven’t played it before. Granted there were things I wanted to see like the daily lives of these robots (such as the drunk robot), but it’s a title to get you into the main title and see the events that happen before, while being a good Christmas game to play during the holiday season. Alternatively, you could find the “Space Garden” arcade machine and play for an achievement (it’s not on free play mode so you’ll need to find a coin to play it).
Title: Scrap Garden: The Day Before
Developer: Egidijus Bachur and Alexey Davydov
Resolution: 1680 x 1050
Release date: 2016-10-07
Spent time: 1+ hours
Average grade internationally: N/A as of writing. Gamerankings.com
PEGI/ESRB age rating: PEGI7+/Everyone
Robin Ek – Editor
The Gaming Ground
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