Wylde Flowers review: Apple Arcade’s farming and life sim has a magical twist


There’s something about the calm, positive farming and life sims like Stardew Valley and Animal Crossing that have made these games so popular. Maybe it’s the idea that a serene life like that could be accessible to anyone, and such games give you a kind of escape from your reality, if only for a short time. period. While some such farming and life simulations are available on iOS and its allied platforms, Apple Arcade has been missing such a game so far.

Wylde Flowers is a new game very similar to popular games of its genre, but with an interesting and magical twist in the plot. The central aspect of the game puts you in control of Tara Wylde, a former resident of the city who returns to an idyllic little village called Fairhaven, to take over the operations of her grandmother’s farm. However, there is much more depth to this game, including local politics, relationships, topics of diversity, culture and inclusivity, and of course, the economics of running a farm.

Conversations and relationship building are an important part of the experience with Wylde Flowers

Wylde Flowers review: Simple controls, complex game mechanics

The game’s controls are about as easy as it gets and are customizable to suit your preferences. There are only two key controls here; movement via a virtual joystick, and a tap to interact with the world. Interactions include talking to people, picking up objects, and tasks such as watering crops, operating machines, chopping wood, mining metals, and buying items from shops. Walking around the island can take a long time, but it helps you collect the items you see and talk to the people you meet along the way.

Despite the simplicity of the controls, the actual game mechanics are considerably more complex. You need to keep track of the time, day, weather conditions, your inventory of materials and items, and the funds you have earned and have available. There’s also an energy bar that replenishes by sleeping at night (sleeping on time is rewarded), or by eating or drinking. The food you eat is given to you, bought, or made from materials in your own kitchen. Later in the game, the “magic” bar also becomes important.

While you can find much of what you need just by walking around and gathering items, some things will need to be purchased, or you’ll need to enlist the services of townspeople to convert items into usable gear. Similarly, you can sell crafted items for money, or even offer them in exchange for goodwill and friendship to certain people. You need to keep an eye on the time and day, as shops have opening times and you may sometimes find a shop closed if you land during off-peak hours.

wylde flowers apple arcade buy Apple Arcade

You can buy the things you need from the shops, but you have to keep an eye on the schedules and your funds

Wylde Flowers explores themes of diversity, culture, religion, xenophobia and even a bit of politics

What appealed to me the most about Wylde Flowers was his approach to his universe. Key to the gameplay is the storyline in which Tara Wylde must take over and manage her aging grandmother Hazel’s farm, while discovering that she has magical powers like some of the other residents of Fairhaven.

Talking to various residents, including old friends, fellow farmers and the mayor of Fairhaven, you find that the residents have a deep respect for Hazel Wylde. However, recent events have raised questions that hint at the rise of xenophobia and intolerance within the community. The more people you talk to – even for a minute while walking past someone – the more likely you are to learn about the city and its happenings.

You’ll also have to make choices along the way when interacting with the residents, often having to choose between conservative and capitalist values, rather than doing what you think is right. The residents themselves are a diverse group, spanning all races, religions and sexual orientations. The depth and element of discovery adds so much more to this game beyond the basics of farming and making a living in a small, somewhat self-sufficient village.

wylde flowers apple magic arcade Apple Arcade

As someone with magical abilities, you can use spells and potions to your advantage in Wylde Flowers

Wylde Flowers review: promoting good habits

A major theme of Wylde Flowers is the idea of ​​leaving city life behind for the peace and quiet of village life. However, there are plenty of other things that quietly steer you towards healthy habits. Vegan foods and plant-based concoctions tend to give you a bigger energy boost than other types, and as would be the case on any coastal island, fish makes up a large part of the food. Eating in restaurants is possible, but naturally costs more than cooking at home.

Sleeping on time is rewarded with more energy, living off the land is a profitable business, and maintaining good relations with other residents rewards you in unexpected ways. However, what players will perhaps like the most is how very little can go wrong here; the village of Fairhaven is safe, the locals are friendly and helpful, and the worst that can happen is someone, most likely Mayor Otto, says something to annoy you.

Wylde Flowers Review Verdict, Final Thoughts

The idea of ​​another farming sim might seem unnecessary when there are already plenty of great games in this genre, but Wylde Flowers does a lot to make it appealing, aside from its availability and exclusivity on Apple Arcade. There’s a lot of depth and character to this game, aside from the very interesting subplot of discovering your own magical abilities, in addition to learning how to run the farm.

Wylde Flowers is well worth installing on Apple Arcade for this reason, and you can expect to invest around 60 hours of game time to complete the entire story. It’s also attractive in the sense that you can play it one (in-game) day at a time, which is about 10-15 minutes of actual playtime, and you won’t find yourself too lost or confused when you choose again. I highly recommend this game if you are an Apple Arcade subscriber.

Benefits:

  • Simple controls, detailed game mechanics
  • Interesting story, variety of characters
  • Sensitively explores various real-world topics and concepts

The inconvenients:

  • Going around the island takes a long time

Score (out of 10): 9/10

Gadgets 360 played Wylde Flowers on an Apple iPad mini (2019). Wylde Flowers is available with Apple Arcade subscription on iOS, iPadOS, macOS and tvOS which costs Rs. 99 per month.


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