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Zen Gardening

  • Liberty
  • 05/02/2018 12:15 AM
  • 1050 views
Flowers of the Valley is a game created by Lutra in RPG Maker MV. It is a farming simulation that follows the story of Rose, an amnesic young woman who washed up on the shore of a river in an enchanted valley where fairies, spirits and witches live.

Rose, in searching for her origins, helps tend to the flowers of the valley in which she finds herself trapped, meeting various people and collecting natural energy in order to help the Spring Goddess return to bless the land.
The story and setting of the game is very interesting and the characters really help with that, all of them being rather charming and cute. The overall story is touching in parts and the end game is very well written, tying up the story well. The writing is technically sound and while there was a lot of repetition with the dialogue, what was written was enjoyable enough that it is easily forgiven.
The graphics were RTP mixed with many edits and tiles from other people. The mapping itself had some design issues, such as lack of grass in areas where it would have fit well and weird cliff joints. There were a few passability issues here and there as well, but overall the visual aspect of the game was charming and quaint.

The sound aspects were well done - care was obviously taken when it came to picking the music that was used in the game, aiming for calm atmosphere and gentle songs reminiscent of peaceful farming life. Sound effects fit well where used, too.
The gameplay consists of getting seeds, planting flowers and harvesting them when they're grown in order to sell them for cash to buy more seeds. Eventually you work your way up to more and more expensive flowers.

That's not all, however - having flowers in bloom and planted leads to more areas (and thus more planting grounds) being opened up for use via plants that change with how much power you have at hand, and more expensive flowers will give you more power. However, if you harvest all the flowers, or they die, you can lose access to various spots of growth.

Later in the game you gain access to certain areas using keys that can be bought. These areas are still locked away behind low-level plants. This helps create a balance of constantly growing flowers in order to open the way to the patches where you can grow more flowers.

There was also a stamina-type system in play that could be upgraded by finding special items that were hidden all around the valley. Thankfully, by the time you start running out of stamina on a regular basis there are ways to restore it - either by using a potion, resting on a couch or having some tea.

In addition to everything else were various small interactions, gifts and other small hidden details that you could find if you searched all the areas that would open up to you. There were many small secrets to find and unlock over the course of the game, which was quite a surprise.

It is possible to find the game without finding everything in it (I never unlocked roses as a flower to grow, for example) so you don't need to min/max completely or worry about not getting everything.

Flowers of the Valley is a rather grindy game but as soon as I started getting bothered by it, something new unlocked or I'd meet a new person or find a new area that would pique my interest once more. Overall, it was an enjoyable game to while away a few hours.

Posts

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Thank you for the review and for playing all the way through :D I'm glad you liked the story and that you apparently found a lot of the optional stuff, too. It sounds like atmosphere and gameplay balance worked out the way I was hoping for so I'm very happy.
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