Games that feature anthropomorphic animals aren’t usually my bag. My experience with them has mainly been one of overtly sexualised furries where you would least expect it, and I can never usually get through those games because I’ve cringed my face off. However, The Flower Collectors sucked me in with an intriguing story, set in a post-Franco Barcelona, blending a weird mix of what are usually the adorable critters in life with a bleak, crime noir that they have to solve.
The Flower Collectors features a well written story, with an interesting plot device – the main character is in a wheelchair and limited to his home and balcony. The story itself is relatively short, but it does have different pathways that you can take so there is definitely some replayability in there in order to get you to return to the game, and while they don’t differ too wildly, they are fun to play through to see the differences in what happens. The mechanic which limits you to just your home and balcony is an interesting one as well. While you’re not in charge of doing the actual wandering around investigating bit, you do oversee everything. This gives you a bit of a different perspective on the best way of doing things. I know if it was the person on the ground I’d just be running around like a headless chicken, but when you’re above, you can spot things more clearly and direct your companion to it.
The voice acting plays a large part in and, again, I’m surprised at the quality in an indie game. Some of the lines can elicit a cringe as they are a bit forced and stereotypical at times, but overall the characters are pretty solid and the actors they are paired with are fantastic. I think there was only one voice that I skipped over because I found it a bit on the grating side – it wasn’t necessarily bad, it just didn’t gel with me. All the other are such high quality though, both in recording and acting that it genuinely is a draw to the game. The Flower Collectors, as well as a couple of other indie games lately, are definitely showing that it’s possible to have solid voice acting in an indie game, and it is definitely an exciting time to be a fan of them.
For me, The Flower Collectors doesn’t quite go far enough into actually explaining what you have to do at times. I often felt that while for the most part it was fairly straight forward, there were a couple of sections where it doesn’t explain what you have to do. Not necessarily a bad thing, but when you’re against the clock and looking everywhere for the small area on the screen that you need to interact with, it wasn’t the most fun. It’s not that you fail the game if you don’t pass these tests, but you might not get to do what you want, which is always a pain.
The Final Word
The Flower Collectors isn’t going to scratch my top ten games played this year, but it’s not a bad game. It has an ambitious story that is very well told, but for me, the anthropomorphisation of animals never strikes a chord with me and with the game being quite short I just feel it could do with a bit of extra polish.