Flower Quest

Pipes Puzzle                                         harder                                      19 MB
Untimed Option                           PC                        Walkthrough Not Needed

Premise:  You are born into the fairy world as the special fairy they’ve been waiting for, and as you grow from infant to young apprentice to young investigator to novice sorceress and onward to adulthood, you travel towards a mountain, where you will do what you were born to do, which is goodness know what because I haven’t arrived there yet.  Meanwhile, you are trained by your fairy helper in the art of linking flowers together to remove tiles.  Occasionally you’ll be asked to do other other activities such as catching flowers as they fall through the air.  (You are a fairy, after all.)

Hints:  Don’t be distracted by those tempting, twirling coins — collecting them is not nearly so important as getting rid of the angry-looking mean flowers that will pop up without warning and make trouble for you, adding tiles while you’re not looking because you’re removing some other tiles. ~ Concentrate on turning a stem that is above a tile from yellow to green by linking it with a flower; it can sit there and wait for the appearance of another flower which will enable you to complete the circuit.

My Review:  This is not like most Pipe Puzzles, which usually require you to link an entire grid of pipes, wires, or stems together into one continuous and unbroken chain connecting one designated point with another, with no parts unconnected or touching the grid’s border.  Instead, in Flower Quest, you simply link one blossom with another by turning the stems, without regard to other parts of the stem; and you don’t have to be neat about it because the moment two flowers are linked they and the connecting stems disappear.

My Recommendation:  I apologize for making the premise sound so lame because the game isn’t.  It’s challenging but manageable, it’s pretty and it’s fun, the flowers are colourful fantasy flowers, there are sparkling stars at the end of each round, and the background music is absolutely lovely in a light-hearted, fairy-world way, with flutes and harps and chirping birds.  If you want a game that will keep you on your toes while showering you with flowers, try this one.

You can try Flower Quest for free, here:  Flower Quest


Flowery Vale

Match 3 Game                           easier                                                   11 MB
Untimed Option                           PC                         Walkthrough not needed

Premise:  When your girlfriend announced that she had an opportunity to go to Paris for a month, you panicked and said you couldn’t be without her for a whole month, and then you demanded that she not go.  She went.  In a huff.  You realized you’d been a jerk and decided to use the month you’d be alone to work on beautifying the outside of her quaint cottage, by planting flowers everywhere.  You go into the meadow every day and gather flowers to sell in exchange for the plants you need.  When your girlfriend comes back her house will look gorgeous, and you hope all will be forgiven.

Hints:  Before you start, go to Options and shut off the timer by selecting Relaxed mode. ~ Whenever you can, concentrate on the flowers that have been requested, which are pictured on the baskets you’re filling. ~ Matches can be made in any shape, not just in straight lines like most Match 3 games. This is tricky to get used to, but it increases your possibilities and also helps you strategize by enabling you to move vertical columns faster. ~ When you get stuck, the game will give you a subtle hint. ~ I’m not sure what they mean when they want you to collect bombs but I think they want you to create a large explosion of flowers, which I call a cascade. You can do this by matching more than 3, which makes a flower with arrows around it; match that and you get a burst of flowers. ~ Later in the game when you have access to scissors, use it to remove an impossibly-placed blossom, or the last stubborn blossom, to end the round. ~ And as enjoyable as it is to gather the flowers via the Match 3 rounds, remember that the faster you finish, the sooner you can choose where to position this day’s plantings, because it’s really satisfying to see the cottage become more beautiful. ~ Click on the green dialog box if you’re interested in your thoughts.

My Review:  This is such a lovely game.  The different meadows you visit are really beautiful, with waterfalls and fields of flowers and tiny fluttering butterflies.  And, as an interesting side note, I’d like to comment on how clever and up-to-date and inclusive the artist was, making you look female (like most of the people who will choose to play this game), but giving you an Adam’s Apple.

My Recommendation:  I really enjoyed this game, felt frustrated when the free trial ended, and had to buy it just so I could keep adding to the cottage.  I can’t wait to find out how it will look on the last day.

You, too, can try it for free, here:  Flowery Vale



Match 4 Game                                                                                      28 MB
Untimed Option                      PC                            Walkthrough not needed

Premise:  Butterflies fly off a branch one at a time and you place the one that’s stuck to your cursor onto a grid of filled with more butterflies.  To free them, keep putting subsequent butterflies where they will eventually make four or more of the same color in a line.

Hints:  This is a game in which you can plan ahead. ~ Unlike other (Match 3 rather than Match 4) games, here you are not required to make a match every time you place a butterfly. ~ On the contrary, you get the chance to set up larger matches.  For instance, lining up 3 plus 3 with another color between them will give you 7 when the right one appears on the branch. ~ The ultimate would be 3 plus 3 both vertically and horizontally, with the odd center butterfly as place-holder until the last matching one comes along to make 13. ~ Read the Tutorial first.  Then, when you click “Play”, you must choose between Survival, which is timed, and Endless. ~ Survival’s timer is a dandelion gone to seed, and as its seeds blow away, so does your time; but if you make a match that contains more than 4 butterflies, a British child’s sweet voice calls out “multi match” or “combo chain” and you’ve earned an extension on your dandelion clock. ~ When the ladybugs start arriving, match four ladybugs for a big bonus.

My Review:  Perhaps I’m being too picky because this really isn’t a bad game, but two things bother me.  One is that the rules of the game are in direct contrast with the usual Match 3 game, and that’s confusing to me.  For instance, in the usual game, if you were to match 3 across attached to 3 down, you would be rewarded for such a good move.  In this game, that move gets you nothing.  I understand that’s because this is Match 4, not Match 3, and you’d have to connect 4 across with 4 down for the higher score, still… after all the Match 3 games I’ve played, when I see that 3X3 configuration I see a successful move, and when it doesn’t register with the computer, that disconcerts me.  The other thing is the fact that the butterfly at the front of the line at the tip of the branch is not the next one, it’s the same one that’s at the tip of your cursor, and since it can’t be in two places at once, that disconcerts me  also.  Very petty of me, I know.  More significant, I suppose, is the fact that there is no variety in this game.  I hate to use the word  “boring” for such a pretty game, but….

My Recommendation:  I love butterflies (who doesn’t?), and this game is visually pleasant; but because there is no variety, it becomes tedious after awhile.  For that reason, I’m guessing that it will be enjoyed most by women and girls who absolutely adore butterflies and who are transfixed by this game, and as usual I’m suggesting that you try it before you buy it.  I’m also guessing that children might enjoy it more than adults.  But please explain to them that this game does not follow the standard rules, and that they should not try to play other Match 3 games by these rules.

You can try it for free, here:  Fluttabyes


Frozen Kingdom

Match 3 Game (with several variations)                harder                      65 MB
Untimed Option                      PC                              Walkthrough not needed

Premise:  An evil wizard is plunging the land into permanent winter, and you are an apprentice magician earning points to buy laboratory equipment so you can defeat the wizard and save the kingdom.

Hints:  If the opening narrative refuses to run, skip it.  You won’t need it. ~ Keep focused on your goal; unlike other match 3 games, you do not necessarily accumulate more points by making more matches. ~ Each round offers a different variation of the match 3 puzzle, with different rules and different goals. ~ Some rounds are timed by counting keystrokes. ~ At the start of each round check the top of the screen to see if moves are counted (upper right) or if your goal is simply to accumulate certain colors (upper left), and check the bottom of the screen (red arrows) to see if you can rotate the grid. ~ If you are given the option to rotate, use that to your advantage with every move you make. ~ You may also change the style of the game by selecting a different format from the bottom of the screen. ~ When you get stuck, use a bomb (which they call “an artifact”), and save some of your money to buy more bombs.

My Review:  My favorite parts of this game are the visual aspects.  For instance, the apprentice’s laboratory, which is beautifully drawn and fun to equip.  I couldn’t wait to accumulate more money to see what more I could add to it.  And then there’s the snowflakes.  What’s more beautiful than snowflakes?  Sparkling snowflakes, that’s what!  And that’s the treat you get when you’ve completed each round.

My Recommendation:  This simple game has lovely details, and if you want a game that exercises your brain and also gives you pleasure with its bits of beauty, this is a good one.  It gets hard, but if you’re observant you can learn what to do.
I recommend Frozen Kingdom if you want an challenging brain game that lasts a long time.

You can try it for free, here:  Frozen Kingdom


Farmscapes & Barn Yarn

Match 3 Game                       PC & Mac                                              198 MB
Untimed Option                                                         Walkthrough not needed

Hidden Object Game with Sales              PC & Mac                           226 MB
Untimed Option                                                         Walkthrough not needed

Premise:  Joe’s grandson Tom is up from the city for the summer, and he puts the boy to work to keep him occupied with something other than computer games, while getting the farm fixed up at the same time.  In Farmscapes, which occurs during the first summer, they work on planting a garden and selling the vegetables so Joe can afford to improve the property, in order to save it from being bought out and turned into condos.  In Barn Yarn the following summer, by selling what they find in a big old barn Joe has bought for very little money, they are able afford to turn that old barn into a very nice place for them to hang out, as well as to protect the farm animals during the winter.

Hint:  In Barn Yarn find butterflies & coins.

My Review:  Farmscapes is a Match 3 Game in which you make matches to obtain vegetables to sell, while  Barn Yarn is a Hidden Object Game with a Sales component.  Both are light-hearted and amusing, and  I really enjoyed both of these games because the characters are such fun to watch — especially the cute, rather chubby, and very naïve grandson.

My Recommendation:  I think your kids will like these nicely drawn, enjoyable, and charming games, and so will you.

You can try them for free, here:

For PC:   Farmscapes
For Mac:  Farmscapes

For PC:   Barn Yarn
For Mac:  Barn Yarn