Anti Stress Gaming

Posted: September 12, 2013 in Visual Novels

I know I am starting this blog in a time of crisis in our city, but it’s better to get some work going rather than be stagnant. We support the soldiers in the field defending our fair city from harm.

My first review however is something unexpected. I’d rather do my first review not on a FPS game like CoD or Counter-Strike but on a hidden gem in my PC. This is my first review.

1st review

The Flower Shop is a visual novel, For those of you who have never played one then its gameplay features more reading and certain points of decision making, usually these decisions involve in going to certain places or interacting with certain characters thus changing the plots. I do not know of anyone else here in Zamboanga that plays this game. But it’s a good start.

Released in February 1, 2010 and with a sequel (we might cover later) this game is interesting in that it features gameplay that is different from other visual novels. I spent some time tinkering that feature which is covered below.

ugh work

To get things started however,You play as Steve, a typical city-slicker adolescent who spends his time  doing what the other teens do. He is immature, irritable and lazy. As the main protagonist of the story his role is to basically improve his life as the events of the game unfold. Throughout the game his character develops from being a lazy teenager to a more responsible man. I enjoy his tale as I can relate and am on the journey myself.

The game features 4 girls whom Steve’s has relations with is up to you as this is the one of the main components of the game. Meet Jill, Steve’s girlfriend, she’s pretty on the eyes and is the first girl you meet in the game.

Jill is a responsible student who is more mature than our protagonist. She is caring and looks to the future on her promising career in politics.

jill

Due to a certain incident however the two lovers break up, Steve’s fault for oogling on other girls in the park. Because of this Steve sinks to depression for some time.

steves dad

Steve’s father, concerned at Steve’s flunking grades becomes irritated and they go on a trip to Uncle Sam’s place. Tough love bro.

choices

The first choices in the game look easy enough and with this screenshot, the questions might give you an idea on the destination. This brings to mind an imaginary road trip with my dad and asking him the same thing.

uncle sam

Ah here we are, Uncle Sam’s Place, that’s his cat Orpheus, An old man alone in a farm must be tough, and with a rebellious teenager around it might not help that much. But when you are given the work, expect some memories from a certain facebook game.

farmville

farming

Yep that’s right, Farming, This is the bulk of the game which gives you Money which in turn buys more seeds. I was expecting to buy gifts for the women in the game but turns out money is not a main thing here in Flower Shop, Farming does matter as it adds to stats but be warned as certain stats get subtracted.

Untitled

As you meet the women in the game and as you go on through this novel you will be brought up to a menu planner. This is triggered every week. Steve’s stats are important for relationship progression but certain factors matter. Work too hard and your health decreases which is a bad thing, Off from work might not get you brownie points with a certain girl.You have 10 weeks to get the most out of this game so one tip if you want 100% completion is to SAVE GAME SAVE GAME SAVE GAME, having played lots of visual novels, saving at every conversation before a choice comes up is essential.

So lets meet the rest of the girls. First up is Susanna, she owns a flower shop in town which you procure the seeds from which you also sell to her. She is a kind girl who believes in everything organic. When Steve first met her they debated over the use of synthetic medicine, she has good points though.

susana

Next is Clara, like Steve she’s a city slicker too and like him she is bored of the farm and wants to go back to the urban jungle. Clara likes sports and fitness. Steve first meets her as she is jogging and depending on your choices makes her instantly like Steve.

Clara

Marian the Librarian, She’s a woman whom instantly recognizes Steve for being Sam’s Nephew since she is good friends with Sam, she is an aspiring poet and loves books.From one of the choices I learned more about the books that Steve reads.

Marian

Finally Jill again, Her and Steve are exes now but treats Steve as a friend. She is the only girl not present in town and is only reachable by the phone in Sam’s house. Hopefully things will end well for them both.

jill 2

Hopefully I did not spoil the story much. Since this is my first review we are going to set criteria by Graphics, Sound, Gameplay and Overall

town

Graphics:

The animated character designs are well drawn and colored, each complimenting their personalities. The environment themselves are pleasing to the eyes varying from bright summer colors. Backgrounds look like a mix of real locations and watercolor paintings.

Sound:

The Music from this game is pleasant to the ears and compliments the rural countryside life. the music also changes according to the mood of the scenes from happy, sad, romantic and pleasant.

Gameplay:

As a visual novel it delivers simplicity. The farming mini-game is a delight along with the several choices make replay value high. Overall difficulty is easy. Gameplay amounts to a few hours for a simple game scenario, 5 or more for 100% completion. The skip message feature is a welcome addition after the first playthrough.

Overall:

The Flower Shop: Summer in Fairbrook is a charming game for those who want to get away from the usual run and guns or tower defenses. It is a simple game with a story that warms the heart. This might possibly be a game for most girls or lonely guys. A demo is available at google. Overall it gets a 8 out of 10

Finally here at Zambogamer we want to give a different kind of content from all the other video game reviews and that is the moral of the game. We believe that every game can teach us something.

For Flower Shop the lesson involving Steve is maturity at the right time. We don’t need to go to a farm just to learn life changing values, this game can offer that while you play through it. This game is a rare gem indeed.

Tell me what you guys think. I welcome more recommendations for more game reviews. I already got a request to do Dota 2, but I might save that for later. Till the next Zambogamer 😀

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