Garden Buddies – Casual Crafting, Wholesome Games, and Self-Care Tips!

Garden Buddies - Key Art

“Anytime we can listen to true self and give the care it requires, we do it not only for ourselves, but for the many others whose lives we touch.” – Parker Palmer


Garden Buddies is a wonderfully wholesome game in which players help create a charming little garden while making new friends and helping them out!

Developer: JamPics
Released: 20th October 2023
Price: £12.79 – £13.49

Platforms: Windows, Switch
Available on: Steam, eShop
Engine: Unity

This game is being reviewed as part of the Indie Game Collective (IGC) showcase.

Garden Buddies Screenshot - Mutsy


The game’s story follows Mutsy, a cute little apple that wants some help building a little garden. There are also plenty of friends to meet and help along the way, each with their own brief but charming back story and unique personality. It is told mostly through nicely written dialogue and is very uncomplicated and easy to follow. The overall narrative is very wholesome, with a focus on self-care and well-being, adding to the relaxing and uplifting nature of the experience.

Garden Buddies Screenshot - Building


Garden Buddies offers some very casual gameplay in the form of creating a little garden using flowers as currency. Mutsy, and later his friends, all collect flowers that grow in the garden which can then be spent on specific flowers, rocks, paving slabs, swings, houses, ponds and more! When the player runs out of flowers they can simply sow seeds and wait for the adorable creatures to collect the new blooms.

The game’s main mode (story mode) takes place over 5 days, with Mutsy encountering a new friend each day. They will invariably need help with something, which will involve the player completing a very low-pressure mini-game such as cleaning, dancing, pebble stacking, or curing a frog, there’s even a simplified Guitar Hero style event! At the end of each day, Mutsy will offer the player a relaxation exercise such as the 5-4-3-2-1 grounding technique, or positive affirmations. There is also the opportunity to join in with a box breathing activity.

The game is very laid-back and stress-free, offering little in the way of challenge but providing a lot of fun. Its only small downfall would be the very long loading screens- more than a couple of minutes in some cases, as well as the occasional game crash – luckily the autosaves seem to be fairly frequent.

Once the player has completed story mode, game mode can be accessed from the main menu, this features a build mode and free build mode (no flowers required) as well as all the mini-games from the main game. This adds to the scope of the game which would be quite short otherwise as the main story can be completed in around two hours.

Garden Buddies Screenshot - Mini-Games


Garden Buddies has an adorable 3D art style with rounded shapes and vibrant colours. The characters are small and cute with big eyes and emit delightful little squeaks during dialogue. There are other ambient sound effects to help with immersion but nothing too prominent with the overall sound design being very subtle. In keeping with this, the music mostly consists of gentle and serene piano music that is very calming and sits nicely in the background.

Garden Buddies Screenshot - Box Breathing


Garden Buddies is a truly delightful experience with a charming approach to self-care, relaxation, and wellbeing. It offers casual and creative gameplay, cute characters and a brief but lovely narrative. The sound design is subtle but effective, adding to the calming tone of the experience and the dialogue is uplifting and fun! It is a fairly short family-friendly experience, with some replayability afforded to players by the additional game modes, and is definitely suitable for players of all kinds of ages. The self-care exercises and wholesome dialogue from Mutsy are a highlight of the game and create a really uplifting and rewarding experience overall. I had a very playful and jolly time with this game and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a calming crafting game with a lot of heart!

Looking for more wholesome games? You might like these reviews:
10 Uplifting Games for Self Care and Mental WellbeingShindig: A Wholesome New Point-and-Click AdventureChill Corner – A Free Fun and Relaxing Task Manager!

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