Got a green thumb? Great! You’ll love Flower Quest, a title happy to sew the seeds of puzzle-solving excitement in impressionable young minds.
Suitable for all ages/skill levels, this cheerful and inventive digital diversion – flush with imaginative play mechanics, snappy sound effects and eye-catching imagery – is guaranteed to strike a chord with nature-lovers the whole world over.
Legend tells of a long-lost place known as Flower Land, whose innate splendor is a sight to behold. Cloaked in magical mist, it’s a young elf maiden’s destiny to clear the fog surrounding this enchanted kingdom and finally share its singular beauty with mankind. As said lass, you’ll work alongside your mentor, a wise and capricious fairy, to travel the kingdom, banishing the choking haze and restoring sunshine and light to murky swamps, mysterious mountains and ancient castles.
Wandering across an overhead map, level by level, you’ll visit a series of 50 stages set at unlikely locales including rushing rivers, old huts and magic trees. Each, portrayed in the form of a varying-shaped grid of multicolored tiles mounted atop a hand-painted background, will test your mental prowess, even as it delights and entertains. Tiles contain one of two items: A flower or a vine, which can take the form of an “L,” straight line or triple-pronged “T.” The trick to winning here – learning to connect two flowers by rotating the vines separating them so as to form a fully connected pathway which branches the gap in-between.
To rotate tiles, just click them with your mouse. Make a match, and all tiles utilized within it are instantly removed from the board. (Tiles located above any such gaps fall down to fill in the holes, and are in turn replaced with randomly-generated squares.) Naturally, colored tiles lose their hue when incorporated into a match – remove all from play to win and proceed to the next level.
Of course, things are never as simple as they seem, especially where pixies and plants are involved.
For starters, stages are timed – fail to finish your task before all petals fall off the flowers located at the bottom of the screen, and you’ll lose a life. (Run out of lives and the game ends.) Locks may also appear, randomly freezing vines and flowers in position so they can’t be turned. Brown-colored tiles periodically pop up, which must be used in multiple matches before they’ll disappear. And evil flowers occasionally sprout, which – if not quickly eliminated first – start unpredictably adding more shaded tiles to the playfield.
Thankfully, you’re not without a few tricks of your own. Collect magic wands, which carry over between levels, and you can click on any individual tile to make it vanish. Shatter blue-shaded ice tiles, and the clock temporarily stops. Matches may also be made using bombs (which explode, demolishing all tiles nearby) or special squares that cause your little winged friend to randomly eradicate three colored titles on her own.
If the action sounds deep and involving, that’s because it is – expect to do some serious thinking. The further you progress, the more challenging things become, and the better matches (players can string massive chains of vines across the screen, or spark score-multiplying combos) hopeful victors must make. Consider it a fitting tribute to the concept’s ingenuity; getting ahead here demands skill and forethought, not stubborn-minded persistence or dumb luck.
The presentation couldn’t be better either.
Three modes of play are offered: Timed, Timeless and Challenge (which demands you connect flowers to roots, not other blossoms). Bonus stages – wherein you must frantically click to collect buds, complete patterned inlays or attach multiple flowers in a single chain – also break up the usual pattern every few levels. Menus and backgrounds further burst with life, featuring gorgeous fantasy portraits, buttons shaped like rustic signposts complete with animated birds and even a burrowing worm as a loading bar.
Sound effects and music are spectacular too, evoking a feel of charm and whimsy, perfectly framing the excitement. Level by level, you’ll even unlock hidden content in the form of exclusive desktop wallpaper.
The bottom line: Flower Quest doesn’t just grow on you. It additionally amazes and captivates, bringing the magic of the outdoors home for everyone’s lasting enjoyment.