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iPhone Game Review: Bloomies
      #37184 - 05/25/10 04:36 PM

iPhone Game Review: Bloomies
Reviewed by JadeDragon

For all those simulation fans who love to build their virtual empires, growing flowers and keeping bees might just be the relaxing game they need when they want some downtime. Bloomies is a planting sim that allows you to plant and grow flowers to provide nectar for bees and butterflies. While many simulation games promote non-stop actions, Bloomies steers you toward the opposite direction. It?s a slow moving, real time sim where flowers requires 36 hours (in real time) to mature and pollination takes time as well. Bloomies, made by Phantoom, has cute graphics and sound, it?s a title likely you want to play with your kids to build a beautiful garden together.

Gameplay

Bloomies has a simple simulation gameplay: buy flowers, plant them, water them and buy more bees to collect nectar to earn more gold and repeat the cycle. While you?re adding more blooms and bees, you level up as well and unlock more flowers, bees/butterflies and achievements. Bloomies has 10 flower characters, most of them are locked until you reach certain levels. The higher priced they are the more nectar they produce. All young flowers will go through the mandatory 36-hour period to mature. Once they become adult flowers they grow bigger and produce two pollen orbs instead of one that baby flowers produce every 24 hours.



Bloomies? gameplay is slow since most of the activities are based on real time. But pollen?s a speed booster for bees in the game. Bees will gather nectar a LOT faster if you feed them one of these pollen orbs. So all of sudden, game speed picks up and with gold pot getting large faster you will need to take actions like upgrade the beehive, buy more flowers, more bees or more decorations and so on. While keeping flowers is incredibly easy - just touch the flower and choose watering option, upgrade options take some plotting and planning. Game is best played in a balanced way where you spend about equal amount of money buying flowers, bees and decorations so that you can gain the achievement points and the silver stars.

There are several achievements that keep track of your progress, such as how many flowers you?ve bought, how many times you?ve watered them, how many pollen orbs you?ve collected, etc. When you reached a milestone in each achievement category you gain some serious points in your level meter. Bloomies has a nice sim engine that keeps things balanced for all the related activities and achievements. Two things we wish the game had though: a bigger planting field and a faster timer option. The planting field where all the flowers live is way too small when you reach later levels. As a result your flowers are forced to live in a crowded bunch where it makes hard sometimes to touch a particular one since they are all so close to each other. As you gain levels, the field gets bigger, but it?s still not big enough. Another thing we?d love to see is a speed up option. Though we understand the game is designed to be a real time sim, it might attract more gamers who like to see more action in a game if they can speed up the game clock a bit.

Graphics

Bloomies has a cute cartoon style graphics that look sharp and colorful. The saturated colors fit the game very well. Your kids will like the smiley face (when they are watered) or the sad face (when they need water) of each bloom. Kudos to the designer that can not only make rose look elegant but also mushroom look cute and cactus look playful. The touch controls work well and menus are intuitive and logical.



Sound

Bloomies has a nice light sound track that you?d hear in a kid?s cartoon where fluffy animals running on a green meadow. The background music fits the gameplay well. Sound FX is minimal: the flowers laugh when you water them like they are being tickled, when bees collect nectar from flowers you will hear crisp dings, and when you upgrade with your stars you can hear kids? cheering sound. The entire audio package is wrapped in a cute, kid-friendly style that fits the gameplay well.

Conclusion

For the flower lovers and simulation gamers, Bloomies is a relaxing game to play and beautiful to look at. If you have young children with whom you play games with, this should be a fun title to play together. The gameplay balances strategy, patience and daily check-up, but in the end nothing can beat a colorful garden where all flowers are blooming and busy bees and beautiful butterflies hang out.

Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):

Graphics: - 5 - Excellent character design, both the flowers and bees have faces and their own distinct look.
Sound: - 4 - Simple background music and sound FX but they all fit the game well.
Controls: - 5 - Touch control works well.
Gameplay: - 4.5 - Fun and endless gameplay and replay. The flower field needs to be bigger.

Playing Hints and Tips:

- Make sure you balance the population of flowers and bees.

- Since the more costly flowers produce more nectar, it?s more efficient to keep more White Rosa blooms than Tulips.


App Facts:
Developer: Phantoom Entertainment
Release Date: April 30, 2010
Price: $0.99
Buy App: Bloomies


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