iPad Game Review: Fiona's Flowers HD
Reviewed by Shaun Price
Fiona's Flowers is a time management game that takes elements from quite a few games currently available on the market. Being a big Harvest Moon fan, I wanted to take a closer look at Fiona's Flowers, hoping for something that might fulfill my farming needs that WASN'T in FarmVille.
Fiona's Flower HD starts off with a long-winded story that only becomes more clich?d as it goes along. Fiona returns home to the farm after years of travelling with plans to enter the Finest Flowers gardening competition. We find out that she?s won within the first five minutes of the game, and then it?s a flashback to six months earlier as she goes through each stage of the competition. There?s a long-lost archaeologist father, a sweet old Granny, a love interest, a villain sabotaging other competitors? gardens, the threat of ?big business? interference.
For the true Time Management gamers, Fiona?s Flower HD has a handicap: levels are not timed. You can take as long as you want to meet the level goals, so you?re free to putter around at whatever pace is most comfortable to you, which is great for casual gamers who want to pick up and play the game for a few minutes at a time. Players who crave a timed challenge can opt to accept randomly appearing ? and very lucrative ? customer orders that must be filled before a timer counts down. Levels can take an hour or more to complete, and if you have to quit mid-level, your progress is saved so that you can resume right from where you left off. Nice! You can restart a level or go back to previous gardens and replay them from the map if you want to try to earn more trophies, get a faster time, find all the flower species, and so on. There?s a Free Gardening mode too, which is accessible even before you?ve completed story mode. Certain trophies can only be unlocked in free mode; in other words, there are plenty of reasons to keep playing even after you?ve finished the story.
The developers integrated Chillingo?s Crystal gaming platform into the game to introduce Leaderboards, achievements, and the ability to challenge other players. There are currently 25 achievements that you can obtain in the game. One of them being ?Beginner Biologist? which you get by cross-breading a new flower in ?Fiona?s Story?. ?Speedy Worker? is awarded if you achieve Fiona?s highest speed. You do that by doing multiple tasks at once, which then gives you a power up that allows the flowers to grow faster so that you can achieve your money goal for that day. But also completing orders is another way you can get a speed boost so that you can move faster but also so that the flowers grow faster. You can also get ?Professional Dealer? which you get by selling 500 goods.
Each garden has a certain amount of flowers that you can discover through crossbreeding. The flowers do take time to grow which allows you to prune them so that they are just a single large flower rather than several small ones. The larger ones are worth more money than their smaller counter parts. Which is important because you have to have a certain number of flowers growing at the same time. You also have to have a certain number of breeds growing at the same time as well. There are a total of seven levels that you must complete in the story mode. Each level increases in difficulty as far as what you have to manage in each garden as it is introduced at the beginning of each level and is present in future level such as pulling weeds so that they don?t take over your garden.
There are other ways to make money in each garden as well such as buying a beehive to create honey, then ovens to bake cookies and cake based on what you put into the oven, for example, you can create gingerbread when you put honey into it.
I did find something different from my farming needs and wants. This is a perfect substitute for Farmville however it will not replace it entirely. If you are an avid FarmVille player but need a break from that gameplay, Fiona?s Flowers is certainly a good game to keep you occupied.
Fiona?s Flowers is a well designed and graphically appealing game. Picture this game before the diner dash craze, and there is a lot to love. Completing a task, upgrading equipment, fulfilling orders, taking on bigger and better tasks ? Fiona?s doing it all. The interface is easy to navigate, and the control scheme is extremely flexible.
The background music and sound FX are unique however it does become repetitive after sometime. There is no iPod support for the game.
Fiona?s Flower HD introduces several thoughtful new twists and solid time management game play. The lack of some features such as time bonus and such makes the game less challenging for veteran players. But for casual gamers who are into TM games like Diner Dash: Green Grill, then this game is definitely worth a look! And Chillingo is running a special right now to get the game for $1.99, and that?s absolutely a bargain for this game!
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: -5- Very detailed and stunning graphics
Sound: -4- Unique background music, can be repetitive
Controls: -5- Very accurate touch controls
Gameplay: -4.5- Unique elements like the plant cross-breeding lab, however can be monotonous.
Playing Hints and Tips:
-You can only cross-breed plants if they have an atom sign on them.
-You can only hold 3 flowers at one time.
-dJust have fun.
Release Date: September 16, 2010
Price: $4.99 ($1.99 On-sale right now)
Buy App: Fiona?s Flowers HD
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