Wylde Flowers review (on Apple Arcade): Social messaging with a dash of fun
Wylde Flowers is the newest addition on Apple Arcade, bringing a comfy farm life simulator experience with strong social messaging. Must play for young gamers on iPhone.
Apple Arcade has some of the highest quality games to offer for iPhone, iPad, and Mac users. With Sayonara Wild Hearts still being a top draw to Arcade, there's a new title from Studio Drydock that is going to pamper lovers of the SIMS and several mobile farming simulators. Wylde Flowers is a unique take on a farming simulator that lays emphasis on relationship building with an entire town and managing some farming at the same time.
Wylde Flowers is available for free to Apple Arcade members on iOS, iPadOS, and macOS devices. If you have been waiting for a reason to get an Apple Arcade subscription, this game gives you a good one to try it out. And if you have kids, you now have a game to let them enjoy and learn about crucial social messages on their iPads, or Macs.
Note: We tried the game on an iPhone 13 Pro Max as part of a pre-release beta version. Your experience could vary.
Wylde Flowers Storyline
You play as Tara, a young girl who arrives on a small picturesque island called Fairhaven. The game initially lets you settle in with Tara's grandmother, before making you accustomed to Fairhaven's small yet cheerful population. However, you will soon know that not everyone is good here and hence, have to work on with most individuals on the island to progress. In the meantime, there's some farming to do, as you have to help Tara's grandmother with her farm produce.
Plus, Tara also discovers that she is a witch, like her grandmother. Hence, there's some flying around on a broomstick, making magic potion, and more magical stuff. However, Fairhaven does not accept the witches openly and it becomes Tara's job to make the change happen.
In essence, Wylde Flowers wants to talk about serious issues of the society, such as discrimination of gender, ethnicity, and backgrounds. However, there's never an “in-your-face” preaching of the subject matter, as the clever writing presents everything in a cheerful manner – one that certainly catches your attention but does not force you into guilt trips. For example, the Pride flag on top of the Townhall is a subtle yet powerful way to suggest the game's theme. You are also going to see several characters of various skin colours.
Helping this storyline are the funny dialogues that certainly make Tara and most of Fairhaven more relatable instead of being too cartoonish.
Wylde Flower gameplay
Wylde Flowers feels not that different to play than “The SIMS” on mobile. The basic gameplay requires you to move Tara around the map with joystick style controls. You will witness a lot of button-tapping to engage with a character, or kickstart a mission. Character movement is fairly easy, especially with Tara being able to jump over fences, and even go through certain objects – an important control element for a mobile game. Tara is also able to collect food items for her farming duties, even look after the crops.
Sadly, despite trying to simulate an open-world setting, most of the map is available in segments. This takes away from the continuity, given that Fairhaven isn't that big of a map. Additionally, I would have liked directional pointers towards the destination, since opening the small map every time to navigate seems like an unnecessary extra step.
The graphics quality resembles the SIMS, with more cartoonish character designs and simpler movements. It looks cute but given that iPhones, iPads, and Macs from even a few years ago are capable of handling better graphics, I wish we could have seen better textures and lighting. Nonetheless, the theme is more likely to appeal to children and young learners.
Note that you can have multiple save games on a single device. There's no multiplayer option available.
Wylde Flowers on Apple Arcade is a cute and fun game for children and peace-seeking adults to have a nice time dealing with exciting concepts like magic and farming. At the same time, parents can be assured of the game doing its bit to teach about crucial issues in the society with regards to prejudice. The relaxed gameplay pace requires you to spend more time doing activities around the map. Hence, this is best suited for those looking for a comfortable narrative driven game on their iPhone or iPad.
If you have a subscription to Apple Arcade, you should give this a try, regardless of your age group. Those wanting to try it out can spend Rs. 99 per month, or get Arcade as part of Apple One membership, starting at Rs. 195 per month.
- Relaxed gameplay pace
- Smart writing
- Great concept
- Graphics could be better
PlatformiOS, iPadOS, macOS
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