Garten of Banban 4

released on Aug 11, 2023

Explore the abandoned levels of Banban’s Kindergarten. Survive the residents of the establishment that was left suspiciously empty. Uncover the truth behind the place, and find the whereabouts of your missing child…

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Behold… a Euphoric Bros. game…. that’s actually kinda okay?

At least in comparison. A lot of the Garten of Banban hallmarks are still present. The game is dead-set on unsuccessfully trying to run over the two-hour refund threshold: in this case, padding the experience through looooong tram rides and sections where the player is forced to backtrack, each point of interest being a lengthy ways away from whatever other point of interest you’re currently at. When it’s not doing that, it’s not really doing anything interesting, either: the game never really takes advantage of its setting to do anything unique, instead just making you do clunky drone puzzles and then whatever fuck-you roadblock will make the game even longer as you figure out what you’re even meant to do. The game is utterly incapable, writing-wise, of a lot of what it’s actively trying to do: its scares don’t scare, its attempts at delivering its Deep Lore come off as both incomprehensible and not particularly interesting. Aesthetic-wise, the game puts its effort in all the wrong places. There’s so much needless detail on what are otherwise very simplistic models (which plays… weirdly with the lighting. everybody is so shiny), yet the way they move is so rigid and basic. There’s a moment where the… antagonist? of the chapter gives what’s ostensibly a Joker Rant on why he is the way he is, from which he… stands entirely still the whole time, just kinda staring at you through the window. Rids the moment of whatever impact it was meant to have. Just a little bit.

But even amongst all that there were moments which… if not necessarily showing promise, were still honestly enjoyable to go through. The game continues the upward trend Garten of Banban 3 did in having somewhat capable gameplay segments. No section stands out as egregiously bad, or anything that seems like it’s built to kill you as many times as possible to help get past the refund threshold. And even if what’s there… doesn’t really enhance the mood, or fit in with the general setting, some segments were honestly pretty fun. They finally have a puzzle utilizing the drone that I actually enjoyed going through, even if it’s still rather annoying to control. There’s this one segment where you have to memorize all the items in the rooms around you before then trying to figure out which of the rooms had something inside change and it was honestly super fun. Like, to the point where I wanted to try and do it again after I was done. There are some rough sections, and as a whole I’d say a lot of this feels… like going through the motions, trudging down the infinitely long hallways. Is it all that great? No, but for this series, it’s certainly an improvement.

Honestly, I also had a fun time watching things unfold, as well. Gone are most of the attempts to try and be funny — having a robot say the same three fandom in-jokes over and over again because apparently repetition is the best form of comedy — in favour of what mostly seems like a sincere attempt at being a serious Deep Lore horror game. And it’s like a soap opera. You never really know what’s going to happen next, be it something wild happening in the plot, some stupid gameplay concept you’re going to have to be stuck with for the next five minutes, some silly thing the game does to try and make its runtime as long as possible… it’s a wild ride, and something deeply, deeply entertaining, whether that’s despite itself or because of that. There’s also some stuff here I do like on its own merits. The new voice actors brought in by and large do a pretty decent job (and contrast rather amusingly with the DIY voice-acting of the older characters). There’s a couple jokes that stick the landing, and make me a bit more confident in the idea that there’s a little gift for… if maybe not anti-humour, being able to catch the player off guard in such a way as to bolster what’s happening. It’s clear, comparing this to its immediate predecessor (and also their other game Introvert: A Teenager Simulator actually) that they need to lean maybe a bit against their natural instincts to make their humour work, but I’m not being backhanded here: when it works, it does work.

So, like, given all that, I’d say I had fun with this in the end. I was thinking about maybe giving a bit more of a positive score, but ultimately the persistent feeling I had going through this was still a bit closer to antipathy than anything else. The game still wants to reach past the two-hour refund threshold without actually having enough content to get there, the core gameplay is kinda clunky and uninspiring, and on all fronts it kinda fails to be as effective as a horror experience as it wants to be. But on the other hand, after the genuinely kind of awful experience that was Garten of Banban 2... I definitely feel this series is on a bit of an upward tick. The gameplay is tolerable, and at points has some genuinely fun moments, and at the very least I think on the writing end the creators are leaning into the most entertaining parts of what they have here. Is it good? No. Passable? Maybe still not there, yet, but either way I had a good time. And I don’t necessarily think that’s the Stockholm Syndrome talking. 4/10.

greasy ugly fuck toad and his twitch streamer posture


Bittergiggle makes this game so much better

I mean, this is the same bullshit as the last game. Long sections made to pad out the gameplay, no real scares, stupid puzzles, a lot of stupid dialogue and bad voice acting. This is like 5% better than 3 though so I kept it at 1 star.

This shouldve just been a full game you worked on for years and maybe after a few years youd have something charming but flawed like Poppy playtime or My friendly neighborhood but instead you spend two weeks putting together a gross short mess of muck and shit and sell it as a "sequel" when it is no more than the next level. This aint even deserving of a full review. Why did we go back to being more serious instead of what I thought the direction was going to go for a more comedic tone..

I dont have any hope this series is getting any better, maybe by Garten 450 we'll have a game that is 3 stars.

5$ was too much for these games in the past.. now these dudes are charging 10$ for each title and you all are falling for this stupid scam. These are no more than levels, and coming up soon this entire collection will be more than a FULL PRICED GAME. These short and shit cheap walking simulator "horror mascot" games are going to be more money than brand new AAA games, think about that.