iPhone Game Review: Green Fingers
Are your gardening skills so advanced you can kill a plant just by looking at it? Well, lucky for you, No Monkeys (the same folk behind the cult hit, Alphabetic) have taken all of the slow tedium and mess of real gardening and converted into a fast paced edge of your seat shell game!
As any real gardener can tell you, gardening all comes down to a careful balance of many elements and maybe a little luck. In Green Fingers all of these real world elements are cutely abstracted into symbols raining down one of the game's five lanes and you, the green fingered gardener, quickly swapping your flower pots about on the windowsill to ensure each flower catches exactly what it needs. Thankfully, unlike real flowers, these digital flowers will always tell you exactly what they need next to bloom right there on their pot. Don't feel like waiting? If you have the right pot lined up under the currently dropping element, you can tap the element to have it instantly drop in the pot for a few bonus points (depending on how far you made it drop down).
The flow in this game is as simple as, catch a bag of soil in your pot, move the pot over one of the seed bags situated underneath the windowsill, and then just follow that specific flower?s requests until a beautiful flower blooms. After the flower blooms it?s back to square one with that pot to startup a new flower. Bloom multiple flowers at once and you?re entitled to a nice bonus up to the much coveted Rainbow Bonus if you manage to have all five flower pots blooming simultaneously (even if only for a few seconds). These flowers? demands will get more complex as the game goes on (the early flowers were often happy with just a bit of water but later you?ll meet finicky plants demanding combinations of water, sunlight, and maybe some clipping before they bloom) but you will at least be slightly compensated with increased points for the tougher constituents. There is a dark flipside to all of this hectic fun, sadly, which is the second you foolishly dump in that extra unneeded bag of soil or water a plant requesting sunlight, it?s all over. MISTAKES WILL NOT BE TOLERATED IN THIS LITTLE WINDOWSILL GARDEN OF EDEN!
The game features cute stylistic cartoony 2D graphics.
The sounds are fairly minimal but effective. A pleasant classical guitar soundtrack plays behind the game?s pot switching whooshes and echoing plinks when a correct element is added to the pot.
-A completely original game concept of swapping pots to match the falling symbols.
-Takes this seemingly simple concept and gradually ramps up the difficulty by adding more elements and increasing the speed and density of dropping objects.
-15 Achievements to unlock.
-Detailed game statistics tracked beyond simply your high score.
-Open Feint integration so you can see how you rank against your friends and globally online.
-It actually reaches a pretty frantic pace within just a minute or so of playing.
-One mistake and it?s all over (the developers have hinted they might add at least add an option for multiple lives in the update).
I say the guys behind Alphabetic, No Monkeys, have delivered another great addictive puzzler. I will concede, however, that even with its very benign sounding title, Green Fingers, it is not a meditative game about landscaping but a brutally frantic edge of your seat puzzler! Don?t enter into this expecting to be able to take your own sweet time designing your dream garden.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: -4.5- Bright stylistic 2D cartoon graphics.
Sound: -4- A nice classical guitar soundtrack with some basic sound effects (although I do like the pot swooshing).
Controls: -4.5- As frantic as the game got, I rarely found the game missing my directives.
Gameplay: -4- I love the game and am finding it incredibly addictive but feel I have to warn folk expecting some meditative garden designing game, this may not be your cup of tea. It ramps up to a pretty dizzying pace within only a few minutes.
Playing Hints and Tips:
-Don?t forget to plant those seeds! You may have dropped the soil in the pot but until you move the pot on top of a seed bag (if not already over one), nothing more will happen.
-It only supplies you with what you need. As far as I can tell the game will only drop items you currently need so, for example, if you see water dropping down you can be pretty darned assured one of your flowers is requesting that element.
-Bonus points for speed. If you drop two correct items in rapid succession in the same pot you?re entitled to a speed bonus.
-More flowers blooming at once is always better. You can rack up some big bonuses if you manage to have 2-5 flowers in bloom at the same time.
Developer: No Monkeys
Release Date: August 20th 2009
Version: 1.0 (OS 3.0 Tested)
Genre: Catch/Sorting Puzzle
File Size: 6.5 MB
Buy Game: iTunes App Store
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