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Following Xbox Game Pass July games announcement, another game is sneaking out

Garden Story is coming to Game Pass for Xbox and PC on July 12 – even though it wasn't announced in the big monthly update.

It looks like Xbox is becoming a fan of slipping bonus games into the Xbox Game Pass line-up. Previously, we've seen the likes of Generation Zero and a triple-threat of Gorogoa, Olija and The Pedestrian arrive on the service without any fanfare.
You can watch a trailer for Garden Story here!

Now, in July 2022, we're seeing Microsoft do it again. This time, the game that's arriving for Xbox and PC players is Garden Story, a very chill game set in a cozy little village that sees you arrive as the newest guardian of the Grove, whose duty it is rebuild the village and uncover the story of its hidden past. It comes to the service on July 12.

The game draws on many genres – you'll find little nods towards farming sims, dungeon crawlers, even hardcore action-RPGs in there – but, ultimately, the title stands on its own to be a pretty unique title. You'll need to explore the Grove throughout the four seasons, each time of year bringing in its own problems and benefits. You'll complete daily requests to defend, restore, and improve the town, and as you progress you'll unlock memories that allow the main character, Concord the grape, to harness the power of their predecessors.

Our pals at Rock, Paper, Shotgun have outlined the game's nature in a review from last year:

Take it slow, says Garden Story. Yes, peril approaches, but fences need fixing just as monsters need slaying. Fighting to save the world is a lofty abstract. Instead, fight to save the soil and the sky, the frogs and the flowers, the wise cacti and the talking pickles. Fight like only a grape in a green bucket hat armed with a parasol can.

From that alone, I'm pretty intrigued. This game addition comes after we learned that Yakuza, PowerWash Simulator and Last Call BBS are being added to the service in July, too. Also, at the end of June, we clocked House Flipper's arrival on Xbox Game Pass and Cloud Gaming.

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About the Author
Dom Peppiatt avatar

Dom Peppiatt


Dom is a veteran video games critic with 11 years' experience in the games industry. A published author and consultant that has written for NME, Red Bull, Samsung, Xsolla, Daily Star, GamesRadar, Tech Radar, and many more. They also have a column about games and music at The Guardian.