Friday, June 12, 2009

Blueberry Garden

As a bonus to winning this year's IGF, the makers of Blueberry Garden also received a voucher for one free BINGOing. Erik Svedang's mastery of simplicity is such that to write even a few paragraphs about this game will be challenging. Trying to write about Blueberry Garden at length is like trying to write a soliloquy about a rock. Alas, it is my burden and I must deliver.

You wander around, sometimes gliding like Knuckles from Sonic and Knuckles (A great jab at mainstream gaming from Erik!) until you find large objects that automatically teleport to a column in the middle of the world. Sometimes you eat things and sometimes eating things causes things to happen. Your main character is a bird, and he can pick up other birds, or rocks. There's trees and they grow fruit. There's also some water sometimes. My name's Dustin and this was my report on Blueberry Garden. Thank You.


* Wikipedia
* My mom who's a marine biologist

The Rundown:

* Silly Title: Blueberries do not grow on trees, goodnight.

* Physics-Based: Physics continue to innovate the industry with "pick up and drop" gameplay.

* Indie Trendy: Indie games continue to try and replicate the experience of being blindfolded, driven to an undisclosed location and released to find your way home.

* Gentle Piano Music: Some of the gentlest, pianoest music out there.

* Abstract Graphics: Explore a rich and varied world of black-and-white outlines.

* Atmosphere as Gameplay: Once again, this seems to go hand in hand with gentle piano music. Whether a successful atmosphere was established or not, it is clear an attempt was made.

* Counter-Intuitive: Leave intuitiveness to the mainstream. Someone has to make games that have no clear goal, and who else but the independent?

* Experimental: The experiment of not telling the player any kind of context or goal was a great success. It really goes to show how obsolete the concepts of clarity and conflict are in gaming.


Blogger Steve gaynor said...

Damn, I was expecting this thing to get like 3 or 4 bingos. It's not "lo-fi" or "neo-retro?" Come on man, help me out here.

June 12, 2009 at 4:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not sure I buy the explanation for "silly title," either. You don't need trees to have a garden.

But I could certainly see "lo-fi" or "neo-retro" (not that I'm certain what the difference is).

June 12, 2009 at 7:05 AM  
Blogger Wordsmythe said...

Man, I'll never get the hang of TypePad.

June 12, 2009 at 7:06 AM  
Blogger Dustin Gunn said...

they're actually opposites. Neo-retro is taking retro elements into high def, fancy games (Braid) and lo-fi is purposely limiting your resolution, colors, graphics, sound quality, etc.

This is just generic vector graphics thrown together in adobe illustrator and not really either.

As for silly titles, the game features blueberry trees, and it's called blueberry garden and doesn't even have the courtesy of focusing on blueberries or gardens at all. Should have been called Super Anthro-Pelican Aquaworld Adventure: Don't Drown!

June 12, 2009 at 9:52 AM  
Blogger zachTaylor said...

I love this blog now.

June 13, 2009 at 1:27 PM  
Blogger Rich Wilson said...

No square for "hand drawn"?

June 14, 2009 at 5:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice run down -- I wouldn't say the game was counter-intuitive, though. I'd say it was actually quite intuitive. In critical terms, hyper-intuitive/familiar. Any goals come to the player quite quickly, I'd argue, as they do traditionally exist across games.

I guess this can be left up to definition. Read the article at for a different kind of run down or even the developer's blog.


June 17, 2009 at 9:30 PM  
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