Blueberry Garden


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Rating: 4.7/5 (33 votes)
| Comments (10) | Views (91)

Blueberry Garden

JohnBBlueberry Garden is a game about curiosity. It's a game about exploring your environment and playing with objects just to see what they do. The game's world, though stark in appearance, is vibrant and alive, with a thriving ecosystem of plants and creatures that interact with each other and change over time. From the moment you step foot in this garden, all you want to do is walk around and see what you can see. Too bad someone left a giant faucet running and everything's flooding with water!

blueberrygarden.gifWinner of the Seumas McNally Grand Prize in the 2009 Independent Games Festival, Erik Svedäng's Blueberry Garden is a rare gem of a game. The moment you start playing, you'll feel like you're in a world without borders. Structured like a 2D platformer, your beaked character can, at first, walk, jump, pick up objects, teleport home, and fly for a short period of time. When holding pieces of fruit in your hands, tap [enter] to eat them, granting you a new power for a brief time.

"Wait. What's this? New powers? What powers. Tell me the powers!" You might say. Well, no, dear reader, we will not tell you the powers, nor will we tell you what's going on when you stand near those big objects and are teleported back to the beginning. Want to know why? Because that's what makes Blueberry Garden so much fun. Apart from teaching the basic controls via signposts, the game leaves you to your own devices to figure out what you can do. No tutorials smacking you over the head explaining how to navigate a menu screen. Just pure and blissful exploration of a game's mechanics, something very few releases in the last few years seem to get right.

The goal of the game (other than to explore and have fun) is to plug the leaky faucet and stop the garden from filling with water. Even though there's an objective, you don't necessarily feel pressured to complete it. At least, not at first. The game's gentle structure only becomes important once you've played around in the world long enough to want something to do. After you've jumped and flown around for a bit, watched the birds, eaten a few fruits, and gotten caught in thorns, you'll feel ready to accomplish something.

blueberrygarden2.gifAnalysis: Blueberry Garden is as glorious as it is unassuming. Not many people would pay attention to a platformer with very little purpose to its gameplay, fuzzy hit detection and physics, and a world colored so flat and gray. But that's exactly why it's unique, and the lack of detail leaves room for your imagination to fill in the gaps.

If you're in this to win, you'll be saddened to know that Blueberry Garden will only take you a few hours to complete. It's not about reaching "the end", of course, but the wonder-filled journey leading up to that point. You're free to take your time playing with the fruits in the garden for as long as you like. The latest version of the game even includes a Playground mode which allows you to drop fruits and animals into a blank level to see how they interact.

Blueberry Garden is a one-of-a-kind experience and a star of the indie gaming community. It preserves some of gaming's most cherished elements — exploration, creativity, and discovery — and does so with a subtle artistic style we so rarely see in games today.

WindowsWindows:
Download the demo
Get the full version

Mac OS XMac OS X:
Not available.
Try Boot Camp or Parallels or CrossOver Games.

10 Comments

I'm going to try this. I think I heard about this game earlier and trying to try it but I don't remember. Perhaps my old computer refuse to play it.

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I remember there being quite a few complaints of people buying the game and saying that it ran slow when it first came out. Remember to try out the demo first and to check the minimum specs before buying it.

I personally tried it out and liked the demo, but found out there wasn't a save feature for the full version either so I decided not to get it. I would have gotten it if it allowed me to save my progress of changing the ecosystem.

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hi arrr,
I got a question. How much % gameplay the demo show comparred to the full version?

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Downloaded the demo, and it looks fairly cool.

Stuff I've discovered thus far...

Star-fruit:

prevents you from drowning

Brown raspberry thing:

points out the next object

Don't know what the blueberry does, though.

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@Arr - It's not really a game that needs a save feature. It can be comfortably beaten in about half an hour. The real fun is just wandering around and seeing the world. My favorite thing to do in the game is to just fly around listening to the wonderful music.

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mmm I found an addition in the full version that makes the game experience bad for me... :(

While you can explore as you like without limited time in demo, you are running against the impeding water in the full version. Furthermore, it is so easy to miss the bottom objects and so unable to solve the game.

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beat the game! The naughty part still around the quirk of jumping when sticking yourself into wall or stuck between birds and berries. But after I turn off that faucet, things become back relaxing and casual as I hope. The game though, as stated by editor, is very short.

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Isn't this really old?
This came out months ago if I remember correctly.

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The time limit ruins the game for me. It becomes a task of memorising the entire layout of the map and working out the optimal order to proceed. I've gotten close twice, but I hardly feel compelled to try a third time in a row... and by the time I've gotten around to trying again, I'll have forgotten the order that I worked out for those two times.

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