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
(44 total ratings)
GenreRole Playing
TagsGardening, GM-Less, Horror, Multiplayer, Narrative, Singleplayer, Spooky, Story Rich, weird
Average sessionA few hours


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:

thegardenerisdead - accessible document.pdf 238 kB
TGID2023update.pdf 19 MB

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 played this game in a small group (3 people) and we all really enjoyed it. As recommended in the text, we drew a map of the garden as our record of events. The interleaving of imagination and drawing was really nice, slowly building up the details of the garden. The repetition of prompts during different seasons of the year helped to create a sense of internal story and continuity rather than a series of isolated events.

We managed to create a story that was cosy and quiet and a little bit healing, just by throwing strange things into the pot. Highly recommended.

(Reposting this 5* review as a comment for public visibility.)


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 :)