I felt like Bloom was a big breakout hit for the Playdate in that it was one of the only worthwhile homebrew games that could compete quality wise with the games available in season 1. I felt justified in paying $10 for this game with compelling characters and story. That was at least until I got to the ending. The game builds to what should be a grand finale and yet falls on its face with a rushed ending that in no way closes out the story arc for any of the characters that have been introduced. You really get the feeling that the developers ran out of time as the ending of the game was being made. I'm very disappointed in this game and no longer believe it's worth the $10 it goes for.
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Loved it till the end since it feels like the story was cut in half. I give it a 5/10 since well... the story was cut in half.
The best game on Playdate.
A genuinely astonishing bit of work.
Part visual novel, part gardening sim. You play as Midori, a university drop out who has opted to start a flower business.
The game unfolds via text messages in semi-real time. You grow and harvest flowers, all with their own timers for seeding, watering, picking, etc, and each time you check back in to the game, snippets of conversation appear in a messaging app on your in-game phone. It's not quite real time, in that messages come through after time has passed as opposed to at set times, but with a little suspension of disbelief it still works great.
Most effective are the way the writing handles events: texts that lead up to an off-screen event, then texts that cover what did or didn't happen at said event after the fact. It's an incredibly immersive way of framing things.
The game deals with Midori's relationships with her partner, friends, and parents alongside her business, and there were moments of real gravity in the way these conversations were handled. The art is great, the writing is superlative, the music is a lovely set of lo-fi beats, and the structure of plant, water, chat, wait, repeat fits the little handheld incredibly well.
A beautiful thing.
Does anyone know the score tiers that lead to further texts with the competitive guy? (Sorry, I don't have my Playdate at hand to find his name.) I think the last time he wrote was when I broke 1000 pts. Are there any tiers above that?
Will there ever be translation for playdate games? I wish I could share this with someone who isn't comfortable with english.
Sadly, this game was a bit too rooted in the english language for us to viably translate it in the time we had, but it's something we're always considering for our projects. Hopefully we'll be able to try it in the future.
Just finished the game this evening. Absolutely loved it from start to finish! Was occasionally a bit frustrated with how Midori treated others but it in no way took away from how addictive it was waiting to uncover the next part of her story. One of my favourite gaming experiences this year and would recommend to anyone on the fence. Took about 3-4 weeks to complete the story, checking back daily.
I feel like the ending was a big anti-climax. All the story beats just wrapped fast.
I also felt that Midori came across as a bit selfish and entitled. I couldn't take to her at all.
Look cool, but price seems a bit steep, so will wait for a sale to get it.
I absolutely love this game!! Now that I've finished it, I miss playing it regularly. What are the chances that you can add the soundtrack video that you all made as a mode to the game? I would LOVE to have the 1 bit visual from the video with the soundtrack playing in the background while I have my playdate open on my desk :)
Just bought the game and started playing. Very good narrative and frankly a bit addictive :) I am having trouble with the graphics though which are very small - maybe my eyesight isn't the best but I need to use mirror to play. A few things that could be done to increase size of graphics would be to have the right sidebar accessible via the menu. And reduce the size of the phone to show the apps only. Thanks.
My favourite Playdate game right now. Loving the concept. The only thing that is a bit off for me is that it's not really real time so events happen at weird real time of the day (I thought it was a bug at first because it doesn't match the description of the game). Hope to see a Bloom 2 with that fixed :)
Not sure what to say without overly praising or overly simplifying. Bottom line: one of the top 10 electronic experiences of my year. Played on vacation and somehow remember this game more clearly than my physical location at the time. Adorably engrossing stuff.
There seems to be hitching issues, is there some way I can get a debug log of my game to forward to y'all?
It seems to occur after resuming from sleep, when I'm on the upper floor with the flowers, and it's raining. I'm forced to go Home and reload the game entirely.
Otherwise lovely and beautiful game, great work :D
Thanks! It's an issue we're already aware of. Reloading the game solves it for now. We'll likely be able to look at the issue sometime soon, but no clue yet if it's something solve-able.
Just finished it. It was quite an enjoyable experience. It left me wanting more, but I guess thats a good thing :)
When I tried to install the game on Itch.io, it tells me 'Cannot read property 'build' of undefined'. Is there a way to resolve this problem considering I paid for the game and would love to play it?
Thanks for letting us know. This error has occurred before when Panic's servers were having issues, and it appears to us that may be the situation again...
Fantastic little game that keeps me coming back to dig up my flowers and see what messages I've missed! Also really like the mini game, which helps pass the time while my flowers are blooming.
Only real niggle I have is that I don't find Midori a particularly likeable character. I won't spoil anything for those that have yet to play it, but I just think she comes across as a bit entitled. Not sure if that was intentional or not, but I can't take to her. Perhaps it's maybe because I'm a little older than she is portrayed to be, but I just can't relate to her or her world view. Also, the game isn't fully "real-time". Sure there's a clock on display which is nice but sometimes people's actions don't tie in with the actual time of day - such as going to college at 11pm, and going to bed at 3pm? It just feels a little...off.
However, that doesn't spoil the overall experience. The use of the crank is thoughtful and there's enough to keep me coming back just to see the story develop (and for me to earn a ton of money :))
I'm glad I made this my first "bought" game for my Playdate, and I can't wait to see what RNG have in store for us next :)
Hands down my favorite game on any mobile platform right now. When my playdate arrived, I didn't expect to be picking it up multiple times a day to check in on my messages and tend to my garden. What a delightful experience.
Best game on playdate, that I've found, and I'm on itch and dev forum. The writing feels super authentic. I'd love a series of these with different slices of life. Needs ported to PC officially so I can recommend it to even more people.
Echoing some comments -
Minigame. The characters talk like I should get a certain score in the minigame but no clue what it is? If this is just to get me to play more it could use an update. Maybe less "mansplaining" and more the developer of the game is on a similar life path, then I'd know to play and enjoy it as much as possible.
The apartment has nothing to do. Thematically I kind of get it, but I don't even see evidence of the story. Or even buy decorations. Like after the sake episode you could buy a sake cup set that shows in the apartment.
Dialogue doesn't match time. Sometimes I'm telling characters goodnight at 7am. Maybe dialog should be more dynamic to the clock when you open the convo. (The same line where it says "goodnight" could be "(yawn) I need a nap". Etc.
Oh and a second save slot so I could show people the intro / new game when I want, would rule.
so I've played this for a couple of days and it's been raining, how long do I need to wait for my dandelions to grow? Is it going to be obvious when they're ready to get harvested?
It will be extremely obvious, and shouldn't take too long ... half an hour if I remember correctly? You can't accidentally wreck them anyway if you try early. (Just use the shovel.)
As you unlock more types of flowers they generally take longer to grow, proportional to their cost.
Easily one of the best games on the play date at the moment and could have totally headlined season 1’s subscription service.
I would have liked an option to speed up the text messages a bit because some conversations drag on.
The mini game was a game in itself and it would have been cool to see that get fleshed out a bit more with conversations.
The gardening is simple and effective and it would have been cool to be able to buy more things for your apartment/store. Other than that this was an exceptionally well made and executed game and I hope to see more games like this on the play date
What is the 'global' high score I'm shooting for on the Starshooter Hoshiko minigame? It might be helpful to have the 'global' score listed somewhere or embedded within a conversation.
Bloom is BY FAR my favorite game on the Playdate, and the natural writing style propels it towards one of my favorite games of all time. Thank you for making such a fun and beautiful game!
i like it..bloom has a nice artstyle and the bgm is lovely
I enjoyed this a lot! It's like a Japanese slice of life movie slowly unfolding via text messages.
I absolutely love everything about this game. Since I got this game almost a week ago it has been my frequent return to when I unlock the playdate. Everything about this game feels so fleshed out and just operates so pleasingly. I definitely look forward to what comes for Bloom and from RNG Party Games. For me a 10/10.
Hello. Would it be possible for you to release this on PC?
you can play this on the Playdate Simulator included in the Playdate SDK if you're so inclined (although this kind of experience is better on the console IMO).
Gorgeous video game. Charms the pants off me so far, inspiring work.
Definitely one of the best games on the playdate and easily one of my top games of the year so far. A chill charming game that brought a good story and chill gardening every time I open my system. Worth every penny.
The writing has been top notch up to the point I am and it's such a great blend of various genres (gardening/visual novel) with that rad Asteroids clone, this is just a world I want to keep on living in.
Can't wait to see where the story goes and being able to experience the inward and outward feelings of Midori. <3
I really enjoyed this game and would recommend it to anyone with a playdate. It was charming and very well-written, and had me pulling out my playdate several times a day just to check in. I just reached the ending, and it left me wanting more (in a good way). I suppose I could've used more depth to the gardening and more consequences to my responses, but...sometimes it's all right just to enjoy the story and the mood and not have too much else get in the way. I'm really excited to see what you make next.
edit to add: I also just want to say how impressed I am at how well your team managed to "get" the playdate right out of the gate. This is the kind of sure-footed game I'd expect to find a year or two into the device's life, not right at launch.
That's very kind of you! About your last comment: we thought a lot about what makes a Playdate game "work" during the development of Bloom. It certainly helps that we had been tinkering with the device for over a year by the time we started this game, so we were able to build it with that experience in mind. Still, we had to make a lot of assumptions about how actual players would use the device, so it's nice to see that a lot of those proved correct :) Thanks so much for playing!
Before I say much more, I loved this game. It's probably the best game on the Playdate tbh. Absolutely worth the 10 USD. That said, I have few bits of feedback to give:
- It'd be nice if there were more details on the plants via some menu of some kind (i.e. how long it takes to grow, maybe some fun facts about the flower)
- The end of the story feels very rushed. The story flow was fine and the story itself is great, but then at the end it is like everything is in a panic to bring things to resolution
- I wish there was a bit more to the flowering process. I realize doing mini games per flower would quickly become tedious, but a thought I had was maybe a flower of importance or maybe of more monetary value where you take care of that one more interactively than the others. Like a crank watering mini game where you have to give the right amount of water, or adjust its position to get in the sunlight better, something on those lines?
Regardless though, this game has had me checking on my Playdate for a solid week now begging for more of this game. Thanks to the devs for all their hard work!
I ADORE this game. When I finish my playthrough, I'm going to suggest my daughter play. Is there a way to reset progress, or would I just delete my save game?
Deleting your save should work. You can back it up on a PC before you do so if you'd like to keep it for later.
this is a wonderful relaxing game. Been playing it daily for a about 4 days now and it’s just so niiiice.
Just bought the game to support! But I noticed as it installs that it is listed as "Bloom by 19171734867005250" which is a weird way to spell RNG Party Games ;)
Thanks! Yes, this is a quirk of web sideloading on Playdate, it should show the correct author after fully installing.
I know you stated that the 1.0.8 patch is minor but now this does bring up a question. Is there a way to update a game already on the PlayDate without uninstalling the entire game and installing again? Really don't want to lose my progress even tho I've probably almost beaten the game.
Hi, save data is separate from game installs, see here: https://rngpartygames.itch.io/bloom/devlog/377380/bloom-v108-minor-patch
As other comments have said, this is maybe the best game on Playdate so far. Its genuinely fun to check in every couple of hours and make progress. I really like the relaxing music too!
I won't go into spoilers, but I do kinda wish the dialogue changed based on where your finances are at. I already had some pretty good cash flow at the point where I was texting someone about getting some financial help which made me feel weird/bad. That is nit-picky though. This is really great, and I am very excited for Poly's Roly Rumble if that is in the works still.
Hmm, am I missing something? I just started the game, it's raining on the roof, the shovel doesn't do anything, and I've only got 500 yen which isn't enough to buy anything in the shop (except dandelions, which are specifically called out as being a weed, so I assume I don't want them?). Am I going to magically make money tomorrow when the shop opens?
Dandelions are the starting flower. You do want to buy some and plant them. You then will be able to dig them up once they grow (which auto-sells them) using the shovel.
Sorry if that description confused you. It was just meant to be a bit cheeky.
Ahhh, thank you! Yeah I couldn't figure out why there would be a weed for sale, any my rent is like 2100 so I didn't think I could waste any money buying something I couldn't sell. :)
I was in the same boat as you until after a day realizing no money was coming my way. I figured let's just buy one - plant it - see what happens. Much to my surprise when I turned a profit I felt a little silly having not tried it sooner.
totally did the same thing, took me a day and a half to work it out
I haven't yet finished it, but the story grabs me, the gardening is satisfying, the music is wonderful. What a lovely lovely game. I am so happy to get to play it, and I hope y'all make more!
The best game on playdate so far.
This is a cute and fun game that fell short of blossoming for me.
First, I want to express what I really appreciate about this game, the overall design and attention to detail are clearly at front of mind for the developers. The game sucks you in and does a great job of providing a thoughtful and unique interface. While perhaps not the most intuitive layout it is quick to get the hang of and seamless to navigate. The soundtrack and the audio design overall are also fantastic and match the wonderful visual style expertly.
I was, however, disappointed in the simplicity of the game mechanics. The gardening simulator is very minimalist with only a planting a harvesting mechanic. Watering your flowers is only required once, and only if it's not raining. There appears to be a mechanic for the player to decide which flowers to plant based on how long they will take to grow, but without any information as to how long any of them take this is impossible to take advantage of without guessing. Additionally, the player only unlocks new flowers by playing through the story, and the gardening mechanic is more of an afterthought to gain enough money to purchase more plots for additional flowers. There is no Flower Shop related mechanic.
The story seems to unravel in "bursts" where you find yourself chatting back and forth with several characters for several real-life minutes. The game presents you with options for responses, but these options have no actual impact on the story, or even the conversation itself, and are rather an illusion of choice meant to make you feel more engaged. In short order, the conversations felt more tedious, as a means to end, than an engaging story for me. I found myself no longer paying much attention to them, as it felt like I was just reading someone else's text messages and simply wanted to unlock new flowers.
The collectibles mechanic provides a little novelty but has no impact on gameplay, it is simply a cute little item you can unlock once a day and not much else.
I hope this does not come off as harsh, and if you love narrative-heavy games this is probably worth your while. I just felt like $10 was steep for a game that does not feel like it quite comes together and leaves my interest wilting.
- Some kind of "plant book" with information such as the time they take to grow and the "base" profit when harvesting.
- "Notification" on your phone for when a new collectible is ready
I’m not very far into the PlayDate’s season of games, but this is such a fantastic and deep experience, with amazingly realistic conversations and thoughtfully neat uses of the crank. This might be one of the best, the breakout game, on this system!