A downloadable game

Buy Now$10.00 USD or more

The Gardener is dead. So is the Gardener before them, and the one before that. One thing is certain: that the Gardener is going to die. They don’t know that yet, and by time they do, it will be too late.

Game written & designed by Ginger (@inkyginge) aka Laura Armstrong 

Illustrations by Fernando Salvaterra (@fersalvaterra)

The Gardener is Dead is a gmless storytelling game for 1-4 players. It can be played as a group or as a solo journal style game. You tell the story of the Gardener, who has just taken on a new role living in a dwelling with a long-abandoned Garden that needs to be cared for. 

The aim of the game is to create the story of a Gardener’s life in the Garden, and ultimately, to recount how their life ends. 

Using a deck of regular playing cards, you draw to reveal prompts that help shape the Garden. From there, the approach to the game is flexible:  you can keep it at a discussion level, play out scenes, or write in a notebook or on scrap paper . However, one of the most entertaining versions involves creating a map of the Garden, with simple drawings representing the discussed elements.

Community Copies: For any sale I will add a community copy.  For plus any tip of $5 or more, I will add an additional copy to the community pool.

This game comes as a digital download of the game as well as a tagged accessible/ screen reader version.

Skull plant pot by Fernando Salvaterra

CategoryPhysical game
Rated 5.0 out of 5 stars
(36 total ratings)
GenreRole Playing
TagsGardening, GM-Less, Horror, Multiplayer, Narrative, Singleplayer, Spooky, Story Rich, weird


Buy Now$10.00 USD or more

In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $10 USD. You will get access to the following files:

TheGardenerisDead1.pdf 16 MB
thegardenerisdead - accessible document.pdf 238 kB
Turn Order.pdf 58 kB

Exclusive content

Support this game at or above a special price point to receive something exclusive.

Community Copy

This is for people who are experiencing marginalization and/or financial hardships, select this option if you feel this applies to yourself.

You will receive:A digital PDF version of the game including a tagged accessible  document.

Development log


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I made a file for this game for use at http://playingcards.io. Not the prettiest thing, but it should make online play a bit easier! https://drive.google.com/file/d/1PR3levDmCnRgBdxUFdVZjPcI0072WE-K/view?usp=shari...

That is very kind of you, thank you!


Creepy garden goodness. Beautiful art. Defo one to get if you're a fan of ghost stories and The Quiet Year.


This game is absolutely awesome. You can play solo or anti-solo mode and create stories about a gardener or, maybe more about a very strange garden during the life time of its gardener and it's fascinating <3


This was so much fun! I ran a game in voice call with some friends where one person drew the cards and we all pitched ideas together, and ended up with a really fascinating story and character! 10/10 would play again -- there's a lot of replay-ability with the Gardener is Dead -- the only limit is (literally) your imagination.

RIP to poor Kclab, who did not deserve everything we put him through.


This is not simply a game but an inspiring and encouraging tool for the imagination. I play it with my partner in business and it , seriously , has opened up new ideas and aids our interaction

Fun, thought-provoking,  inspired and more


An excellent game about an mysterious garden. 

5 stars!

Thanks so much. Glad you enjoyed!


A haunting and beautifully inspiring game!

Thank you Sebrina :)