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Review: Fruity Garden July 3, 2006

Posted by Jesse in : Game Reviews , trackback

Game: Fruity Garden
Developer: BondarchukV
Version: This is a review of the demo version of the game.

Fruity Garden is a cute game. You play the part of Anna Maria, whose Granny has given her a Fruity Garden of her very own to take care of.

The gameplay is pretty simple. You start out with one fruit tree, and all you have to do is wait for fruit to grow and become ripe (it will shake when it’s ripe) and then you click on it. If you don’t get to them in time, fruit will fall from the tree. If a piece of fruit hits the ground, a caterpillar will start climbing the tree. This will cost you points, so it’s best not to let the fruit hit the ground. As you progress, you will get additional trees to take care of, and birds will start swooping down to take your fruit away. If you move your mouse cursor over them, you can shoot at them with a slingshot. A direct hit will turn them away, and they’ll drop any fruit they picked up. Sometimes when you click a ripe fruit or shoot a bird, you will get a bonus, which is either extra points or powerups. They’ll bounce around the screen, and you just have to click on them to collect them.

What I liked:
The graphics are bright and cute. I can definitely see them appealing to a younger audience. (Which I assume is the target.) The music is also well made, and I imagine a younger audience would be drawn to it. There’s a simple in-game tutorial system, where a fullscreen dialog pops up and you are given advice or instructions. Fruity Garden should be good for developing a child’s hand-eye coordination.

What I disliked:
The difficulty ramps up rather quickly. I was only through a dozen or so levels, and I was having difficulty pulling out perfect scores, and I’m an experienced adult gamer. I imagine that would mean it would be quite difficult for a younger child to succeed at all. (Note: Since my original draft of this review, the developer has posted a comment on the Indiegamer Forums that he will take a look at the easy mode difficulty level. Once taken care of, that will help the game alot, in my opinion.)

Games it reminded me of:
The first game that comes to mind is the carnival classic game of Whac-A-Mole. Take a hammer, and smack every single mechanical animal that dares to stick his head up. Also, there’s an element of Duck Hunt going on when the birds start trying to steal the fruit. (That gives me an idea. Replace the mouse targeting with Duck Hunt style mechanics, and I could easily see this game doing well in a kids arcade or a bowling alley.)

Recommendations:
If you’re an adult gamer, it seems pretty obvious that this game isn’t for you. However, if you’ve got a young child who would like play video games with you, I this is worth a try. There’s a 40 minute trial demo, and that should be enough to see if your child is interested.

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