A Hero and a Garden is a visual novel/clicker hybrid game by npckc. You play as a hero, locked in a garden by a witch, in the aftermath of destroying a town while trying (and failing) failing to rescue your princess. You’re tasked by the town doctor to start planting berries to sell to the townspeople.
A lesson in empathy and forgiveness.
As with anyone, you’re not exactly happy to be locked up in this unfamiliar town. This new gardening you’re forced to do, to pay back in reparations for your damage to the town, is difficult. It’s not fun. You’re grumpy.
So you’re irritable, unlikeable, and you just trampled the town—you’re not exactly well-liked. To top it off, you’re human, which makes you the different one in this town of monsters.
And it’s just that. Everyone is different. Your attempts to get to know the townspeople don’t precisely align with the social norms. You’re earnestly trying to get to know people. But sometimes, despite good intentions, you unintentionally ask rude questions. This only makes things worse for yourself.
The Gardening Savant
Alas, you figure out how to do this berry thing. You get to know people. You learn their names and their backstories, and what their needs for the berries are. And you make things better. Providing berries to townspeople and paying for things you broke gives you new opportunities, like meeting new people. You’re reintroduced to your princess, and understand what brought her here in the first place, and why she wants to stay.
And the townspeople grow to love your berries.
If the clicking mechanic grows to be too much for you, be sure to reassign your helper, Sooty, to another plant using the notebook menu on the bottom right. Also, you don’t need to keep harvesting berries if you don’t have any orders for them.
My playtime of A Hero and a Garden clocked in at just under two hours. The story was delightful and worth it, but I’ll admit, the clicking mechanic became monotonous by the end—particularly with the scorchberries. If you find yourself waiting some time to collect some berries, this might be a good time to pop on a podcast and let Sooty do its thing. (While the clicker mechanic mostly works, I’d hope for the dev to add an additional method to harvest berries, perhaps by keyboard shortcuts.)
If you’re a fan of visual novels, A Hero and a Garden’s story is cute, and the characters feel kind and friendly. It may not have complex branching storylines familiar with the genre, but by the end, it feels like you’ve made a positive impact in helping this small community heal.
A Hero and a Garden is available on itch.io for Windows, macOS, and Linux. It’s also available for Android on the Google Play store.
We've also covered npckc's next game, A Tavern for Tea, featuring characters from this game.