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 Flower Shop:Big City Break
Meg is having a hard day; working as head designer at a hectic design firm in the city isn’t exactly a bed of roses! Combined with the constant hustle and bustle, the loud noises and constant work deadlines, it's become, quite frankly, a major thorn in her side.
By happenstance, a stray newspaper clipping flies into her lap, advertising a florist shop for sale on a remote tropical island. No more work stress, no more smog, no more traffic, just lots of sunshine in paradise!
And so Meg flees the city to seek solitude on a small tropical island, raising and selling flowers at her own outdoor flower shop, called “Meg's Meadow”.

“Flower Shop” is another in the long line of RTS customer service type games planted on us, but instead of greasy burgers or cakes, this time it's flowers!

The process goes something like this: customers will come in and place a bouquet order, which you'll see in a thought bubble above their head, such as a lily or rose or a combination of all different varieties and you must serve them before they grow impatient.
You must click on the correct seed and walk it over to an empty flower bed. After you plant it, you must wait until it blooms; certain types of flowers may need help such as watering. Sure, I know, it's somewhat ludicrous that you are actually planting flowers and waiting for them to grow while they wait, but it is a game and sometimes you just gotta overlook these things.

The task of watering the flowers will involve you running over to the water pump station, grabbing the can and then running back to the patch where you planted the seed .
When it has bloomed, you must run to cut the flower and quickly bring it over to the wrapping machine, hit the switch, and wait 'til it wraps the bouquet. You then bring the floral arrangement to the customer and collect their money. In later levels, you will be able upgrade your flower shop and get an accessory station, this will enable you to add balloons to floral arrangements which in turn will rake in the big bucks, but it’s an extra task to an already hectic day!
Doesn’t sound all that relaxing to me. Well, y’know what they say about the grass always being greener on the other side!
Once you develop a kind of rhythm it will become second nature to you in no time! You might actually find yourself playing a good five or six actions ahead of Meg.

Chaining your moves together, such as clipping two flowers in a row or picking up money from three customers in a row will help you earn bonus points, which will help Meg upgrade to useful extras like a tranquil fountain (use it to calm even the most frazzled customers) or a sonic bug zapper (kills all those nasty varmints in one shot)
Some flowers such as tulips, roses and orchids require fertilizer in addition to water before they can grow. This is where the time management element of “Flower Shop” kicks into high gear! You will be clicking your mouse around on seeds, water cans, fertilizer bags, pesky bugs, and weeds at a rapid pace!

At times it is easy to get jumbled especially within heavy traffic shifts (like Valentines Day) you might click on wrong items and realize none of the flowers need it, don't worry all you have to do is toss it into the trash can!
The good thing is, unlike most games of this type; you aren’t penalized for waste therefore you won’t lose any “money points" which makes "Flower Shop" a cut above the rest. If you cut the wrong type of flower however, no need to trash it, just store it in your handy dandy storage bed. It will hold the flower for another customer, waste not, want not!
Some interesting customer types will pop into your shop, including "nerds" who order bouquets only because they have a crush on Meg, old ladies who have a lot of patience and tough guys who don't want to be caught in a florist so you must take care of them quickly before they leave.

Lots of cute mini-games sprout up throughout the 60 levels, one of the challenges will have you clicking on caterpillars and bugs that want to use your colorful flower bed as an “all you can eat” buffet. This is one of my favorites because unlike the 1 click action of keeping regular bugs away, caterpillars will need 2 clicks in order to be exterminated!
Each new level introduces a new customer, a new flower, or a new tool for us, giving the game a real sense of growth.
Meg has big dreams and would love to open a chain of flower shops one day; depending on how well you performed your horticultural duties, Meg’s small business will enjoy sweet smelling success!

I loved the soft 3D character graphics. It is a great example of how beautiful 3D art can really set the mood and look of a game. The flowers were so realistic and awesome looking, right down to the drops of dew on the petals, I could almost smell them.

While Flower Shops overall theme may not be all that original, the gameplay was certainly unique and challenging. It has a nice fresh take on the typical service type game. More of a strategy/tycoon/micromanagement- type feel to it.
You will find yourself quickly planning where you will plant certain seeds based on how close they will need to be to the water and/or fertilizer stations.

I enjoyed (more than I care to admit) managing everythingwithin a shift, from the most mundane daily tasks like pulling weeds, and turning on the fountain to maintaining customer satisfaction.

I think you'll really dig it!

Get Flower Shop Here

Graphics A+
Sound B
Pickup & Play B
Overall Fun B

Posted by oxyjen on Jan 2, 2007


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