Manifold Garden is a first-person Puzzle Game developed by William Chyr, and released on October 18th, 2019 for iOS and PC through Epic Games Store, with a PS4 version, Xbox One version, and Nintendo Switch version released on August 18, 2020.
The key feature of the game is that the player can change gravity in six different directions. As such, Alien Geometries abound.
Manifold Garden contains examples of:
- Alien Geometries: In addition to the architecture built to support six different gravities, world-wrapping and portals make up fundamental parts of the game's world and puzzle mechanics. The game takes place in a world where not only can the player can switch gravity in six directions, but levels wrap around on themselves, meaning you can fall off the side of a building and land on the opposite side, above where you were, by falling forward. The portals used to travel between levels add another layer of trippiness, resulting in many Bigger on the Inside features and other oddities.
- Artifact of Doom: The dark cubes evoke this, though they actually help to remove darkness from the world.
- Art Shift: The ending cutscene, which is a morphing series of colorful and highly organic and detailed fractals, contrasting with the game proper's entirely orthogonal architecture.
- Beautiful Void: Oh YES. The game's environments are not only massive, but loop upon themselves, and you can see each individual loop echo into the distance to the maximum of your draw distance and beyond. There's no NPCS, no enemies, just you and this limitless expanse.
- Bizarrchitecture: To be expected in buildings built to accommodate six directions of gravity and world-wrapping. Especially so when portals are involved within the same world.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Each of the six gravity directions are associated with a color, shared by all objects that interact with that particular direction.
- Door to Before: Throughout the game, with a few prominent rooms being revisited several times in this way.
- Empty Room Psych: As of the game's initial release, one of the secret puzzles ends with a door that doesn't lead anywhere.
- Gainax Ending: The game ends with you jumping off a platform, then the world gradually goes black and devolves into a series of fractals, eventually ending with a series of hypercubes folding themselves into lower dimensions, in a sequence reminiscent of Fez.
- Hub Level: The eponymous garden, where you "grow" each new level sequence by planting a tree with a God cube.
- Leap of Faith: How the player initially discovers world-wrapping.
- Minimalism: Has no narrative, uses a handful of elements and mechanics, and sports a sparse, muted color palette for the architecture, which is composed entirely of rectangular shapes.
- No Antagonist: The dark slime and anti-cubes are the closest thing to an opposing force, and they aren't hostile in any way.
- Ominous Cube: The climax of each level involves placing one of these on a dark, glitching tree to help restore life to the garden.
- Ominous Visual Glitch: Anything surrounding a dark cube gets a slight distortion effect.
- Permanently Missable Content: The first secret area you encounter is impossible to access once you complete the blue level.
- Selective Gravity: A key part of solving some puzzles: the cube "fruit" of the trees are immobile unless you match the direction of their gravity, and this can be used to support different-colored fruit.
- The Tower: Many areas are structured around one (or multiple) of these, or variants thereof.
- Unnaturally Looping Location:
- A core part of the game's design, with all environments exhibiting this on various scales.
- The game's website loops back to the top if you scroll down far enough.