Wylde Flowers

Tara in the Forest – screen capture from the game Wylde Flowers on iOS.

I got a few months worth of free subscription to Apple Music with my iPod, and it turned out that both my wife and my oldest daughter love their compilations/stations, so I took a Apple One subscription. Apple Arcade was part of the package, but I did not really pay attention to it.I stumbled on a article mentioning that the games in that service are pretty OK, so out of curiosity I checked it out, and found , which was mentioned as a casual game.

The web site describes the game in the following way Wylde Flowers is a cozy life and farming sim with a witchy twist!. The best way to describe it would be that it’s the game many games “free” games pretend to be, but actually turn out to be a variation of match 3 with some card/hero collection mechanism. The game runs on both Mac and iOS, and also Apple TV – I did not try as I don’t have a controller. There is also a Nintendo Switch version and there is a Windows version on Steam.

Tara, the protagonist of Wylde Flowers is a young woman from the city which returns to her grandmother on a mysterious island after some bad stuff happens to her, she has to fix the family farm and unravel the mysteries on said island. The grandmother has some secrets, the maire is sleazy and has a very elegant wife who is the teacher, there is a mysterious hermit in the woods, a guy who set up some kind of sect, a native farmer that distrusts strangers…

To fix the farm, you need resources, and there are various quests that pop-up. As things progress, you discover more areas of the island and more characters come into play. There is also a sentimental dimension as you can date, and later marry various characters, with a wide selection of genders/races at your disposal.

The term casual gaming applies well, I think, as this I typically played during small breaks. The fact that the game state gets synced between my phone and my computer was pretty nice in this respect. Neither the game nor the plot are ground breaking – I correctly guessed the identity of the arch-enemy – but it’s nice and relaxing to play. Most of the gameplay is very classic, very close to the old LucasArt point and click games like Full Throttle, very intuitive – I only had trouble with the bee-keeping mechanism. The game works well with a touch screen interface, mouse, but also keyboard (on the computer). The fact that is a proper game, with no in game purchases was wonderfully relaxing.

The graphics are cute and pretty, nothing ground breaking, after all this runs on pretty low power devices. My main peeve is that even though the game puts a heavy emphasis on seasons, the characters do not change clothing with the time of the year, even my 6 year old daughter found it odd that they wore short skirts and bermudas in a snowy landscape. The only costume change is they marry, which is cute, but not exactly the center of the game. You get all the idiosyncrasies of this kind of games, like the fact the hero’s bag can hold fresh fishes for weeks, or all the wood needed to build a barn, and well, you can’t brew beer with only hops…

I did a good chunk of the game – Tara got married, a full cycle of season passed and the baddy got revealed, and I really enjoyed it. Being able to play on my phone when I have a few minutes, or on my computer when I had more time was really nice and I really recommend this game if you just want to have a relaxing game…

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