Flower Town is a game in the Nintendo 3DS StreetPass lineup that’s centered around a town that is totally enamored by all things related to petals, blossoms, and pollen. It’s a flower-growing simulator that comes off as stuffy and slow in its early moments, but it may very well grow on you (ha-ha) if you stick to it. There’s a surprising amount to do, and even more to learn.
ESRB Rating: E
Compatible With: Nintendo 3DS
GOOD: A deep flower sim that offers lots to do. You might learn something about flowers.
BAD: Probably a bit too slow-paced for some, especially since advancing the gameplay depends on gathering lots of StreetPasses.
NECESSARY READING COMPREHENSION: High. There are lots of instructions to go through, and they're all delivered via text.
Price: $4.99, or $14.99 as part of the StreetPass game bundle
THE BASICS: One to Grow On
Once you’re settled, a scruffy young man named Mr Mendel (as in Gregor Mendel—get it?) introduces you to the basics of clean living in Flower Town. Every inhabitant, yourself included, strives to be recognized as a “Garden Master”—someone who has bred a large number of flowers, both common and rare. Can you do it?
GAMEPLAY: Slow Growin'
Once Mr Mendel shows you the ropes, he sticks by you and guides you through most of your interactions. He helps you grow your first flower, which involves planting a seed and then having several friends come by to water it until it grows.
Like all of Nintendo’s StreetPass games, the action in Flower Town is driven by the StreetPass function. The people you breeze past on the real-world streets become inhabitants of your town, and will each contribute a can of water to your plant until it’s fully grown.
More importantly, the folks who stop by your house bring their own plants along for the trip. When pollen is flying through the air, your plant begins to generate seeds that can be used to grow the same flower with a new color, or even an entirely new plant.
Growing new flowers is the highlight of Flower Town. Each seed you harvest from your plants stands a chance of growing into a new breed, which is marked by a percentage and a silhouette. You get to decide if you want to take the chance, and when you spawn a new bloom after making a gamble with a rare seed, it feels pretty gratifying.
Every time you gain a new flower, your journal automatically records its family and species, and makes a note of the flower’s importance in history and culture. If you like collecting information, you’ll have a good time filling in your journal. When you’re not growing, you can visit shops to pick up odd jobs and buy decorations to spiff up your garden.
However, having to leave things to chance makes Flower Town a bit of a slow-moving game. The slow pace can be particularly aggravating if you live in an area that doesn’t get a lot of StreetPasses (read about how you can alleviate that). You can use Play Coins to hire some friends in your Mii Plaza and get things moving.
GRAPHICS AND SOUND: Springlike
The game’s flower models look good, and the background graphics—including the town, your garden decorations, and courtyard—are designed with gentle, soft colors. The soundtrack is likewise gentle, and more or less what you’d expect to accompany a game about growing stuff (unless you really had your heart set on some “heavy metal to grow plants by”).