Video games don’t must be excessive octane thrill fests on a regular basis. You’ll be able to have one thing good, quiet and chill and nonetheless have a great time. Animal Crossing (review) was the suitable sport on the proper time. Giving individuals an opportunity to calm down at a really anxious time. Wylde Flowers on Apple Arcade takes the identical method of providing gamers a soothing, care-free expertise. Upon first look, Wylde Flowers appears to take lots of inspiration from video games like Animal Crossing, in addition to farming sims like Stardew Valley and Harvest Moon. However as a cellular sport, can it compete?
Story and audio
The story of Wylde Flowers is fairly easy. You play as Tara Wyle, who simply got here to the island city of Fairhaven to maintain her ageing grandmother, Hazel Wylde. As a part of your duties, you’ll be tasked with serving to her along with her farm and whatnot. Nonetheless, the twist right here is that Hazel is a witch who’s a part of a secret coven of witches on the island and Tara is a witch as nicely. Gamers are anticipated to assist out with a number of farming actions, whereas additionally constructing relationships with the townsfolk. Over time, gamers be taught extra about Tara, her grandmother in addition to different townsfolk. The sport options sturdy themes of inclusivity and openness. There additionally appears to be lots of work put into making a deep backstory of all characters which might solely be revealed by way of dialogue. Which is admirable.
So far as audio goes, the developer, Studio Dry Dock, has executed an admirable job. All characters within the sport are absolutely voiced, which provides an excessive amount of allure to the sport. Not solely that, however the sound results are fairly nicely executed too. From the music to the diner, to the sounds of grass crunching beneath your toes. All of it sounds fairly good.
Cell video games normally have restricted management choices as a result of their very nature and Wyle Flowers isn’t any completely different. On the left, you get the joystick to regulate Tara Wylde. For the reason that digicam is mounted, there is no such thing as a want for a proper stick. As a substitute, you get a single button that modifications use primarily based on context. So this consists of speaking, planting, fishing and so forth. On prime, you get three buttons. One to entry the stock, one to take a look at lively quests and one other to take a look at the map.
Like Animal Crossing or Stardew Valley, the principle gameplay loop in Wylde Flowers consists of speaking to townsfolk and serving to them with their every day lives. As you progress, you unlock new additions and choices. There’s additionally a relationship mechanic the place in speaking to individuals will increase your relationship with them, resulting in extra choices. When you begin by farming fundamental crops, you’ll finally unlock the flexibility to rear livestock, and so forth. Every a part of farmwork has devoted areas. For instance, when farming, you get a small space that permits you to plant crop beds, compost heaps and so forth. You’ll be able to’t plant something past that space. It ought to be famous that every little thing you do in Wylde Flowers makes use of stamina. You’ll be able to replenish that by consuming meals. You can too merely fall asleep and you’ll get up replenished.
After some time, you lastly are launched to the magical side of the sport. As a witch, you get entry to spells, potions and incantations. These allow you to create incantations, create potions and so forth. These can allow you to do something from altering the climate to enhancing your harvest. They require a separate magic bar, which is replenished by making choices.
Talking of which, the sport has a day/night time cycle, full with a 7-day week. Sure outlets can be open at sure hours throughout the day. On sure days, they are going to stay closed. Gamers are additionally inspired to sleep after a sure time. In the event that they don’t, Tara will move out and get up within the physician’s workplace and her stamina won’t be replenished. Funnily sufficient, this bit jogged my memory of Rockstar’s The Bully, a sport that’s most likely the polar reverse of Wylde Flowers.
It ought to be famous that whereas all that is high quality, I felt fairly disconnected from the entire course of. Initially, I believed that the quests in Wylde Flowers have been simply busywork. However that isn’t the case. These quests supply a great way to discover the island of Fairhaven and work together with all of its residents. I believe it’s the lacking personalisation and urgency that causes the disconnect. For instance, in contrast to Animal Crossing: New Horizon, the townsfolk of Fairhaven appear to be doing simply high quality with out me. I’m not in control of putting any buildings, lamps or any pathway. Apart from this, the gameplay loop appears fairly easy and easy sufficient for anybody to play, no matter age.
One other situation I had was with the map and paths. The map in Wylde Flowers is kind of detailed and simple, however it doesn’t mark any of the places. The sport expects the participant to memorise places and houses. That could be a little bit of an issue as the varied buildings are indistinguishable from each other. Ideally, the map ought to mark places with icons and supply a legend, or permit gamers to no less than faucet on any constructing to see what it’s or who it belongs to.
So far as paths go, it’s typically unclear the place Tara can go or the place she can not. For instance, when going off the trail, there can be some locations the place tara can go to. However there can be different locations which might be cordoned off with an invisible wall, though it appears massive sufficient for her to suit by way of. The identical holds true with fences. Tara can soar over some fences, not all.
Graphics and animation
The graphics of the sport appear fairly easy, with cartoon-like characters that appear inviting sufficient for people of all ages. I personally discovered them to dip into that uncanny valley with their massive heads, large eyes and tiny our bodies, however that’s simply me. I perceive that appears will be subjective and as an entire, I would not name it ugly.
So far as animations go, issues are just about okay. The strolling and operating cycles appear completely high quality. The identical holds true for actions equivalent to watering crops, fishing and so forth. However there have been two actions that appeared off. The primary is the leaping animation. When Tara jumps over a fence, she does an over-the-top hop like Mario which appears off when most different motion animations intention to be grounded in actuality. One other factor is the wooden chopping animation. Tara manages to cut bushes and logs with only one hand. With arm energy like that, I don’t suppose she wants the assistance of any magic.
Wylde Flowers is a good sufficient sport that appears apt for informal players or these trying to calm down a bit. The truth that the sport is free for Apple Arcade subscribers implies that gamers can play the sport with out dealing with adverts. The graphics are additionally okay, even with the entire ‘uncanny valley’ really feel.
The dearth of any actual problem could postpone the hardcore viewers, however that’s high quality. Nonetheless, this could drag on extra time as there may be little or no to do in any other case and makes the core gameplay really feel just a little shallow. Nonetheless, the principle pull of the sport appears to be the backstories all characters have.
Total, I believe a quality-of-life replace can positively enhance the sport. Possibly one thing that lets gamers have extra choices to customise Tara, in addition to the city on the whole. It might additionally enhance the map, enhance the animation or simply give the participant curler skates to journey a bit sooner.
As a farming/way of life sim, Wylde Flowers is completely high quality. Nonetheless, if you need one thing deeper gameplay-wise, then chances are you’ll need to contemplate Stardew Valley. However do word that you just’ll should pay for that sport.
Developer: Studio Drydock
Writer: Studio Drydock
Evaluation platform: iOS
Worth: Free for Apple Arcade subscribers