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Potata: Fairy Flower Review: Difficult Daisies

In this side-scrolling fantasy game, you play as Potata, a young witch who longs to take adventures in the surrounding woods. She is an adorable character who bounces about this unpredictable world fighting spiders, collecting blue tokens, solving intense puzzles, and coming into contact with highly sarcastic fairies.

Potata: Fairy Flower Review: Difficult Daisies Potata: Fairy Flower is a PC game published and developed by Potata Company, and was released on December 27th, 2019. This game is yet another colorful indie adventure with adorable characters and a pleasant story. Potata is a high-strung young witch whose love for fairies and flowers distracts her from everyday duties. As she digresses more and more, you will find yourself facing unfortunate puzzles as you come closer to danger with every advancement. This side-scroller is full of pleasant imagery and interesting characters, and while difficult, definitely has the ability to reel the player in. While the game presents itself as rather difficult in my experience, it definitely has much to offer. For those who enjoy indulging in the fantasy world and exploring forests, Potata: Fairy Flower is a great game to explore. However, if you lack patience, you may not want to take a chance on this one

This game is available on Steam for $8.99. 

Story

The story of Potata: Fairy Flower is one of the game’s most important aspects. That being said, I will refrain from giving the main plot away. However, what I can say is this: Potata is a cute little witch who feels confined by her home and desires exploration. She is a little too curious, though, and just like curious cats, she very well may suffer for it. After picking a beautiful flower, she angers the forest dwellers and is not especially in favor of those around here. While she finds the forest appealing, the very forest she loves sees her as a sort of enemy. Each of these details is present in the introduction cutscene, but the story continues once you begin playing the game. 

An example of the game's colorful forest aesthetic.

An example of the game’s colorful forest aesthetic.

The actual gameplay section starts off with Potata going to search the surrounding woods for ingredients for her mother’s soup. Her pet fox is sick and needs this meal to help him heal. This, of course, is where she gets into trouble, and the story proceeds from there through cutscenes and further dialogue. As far as Potata as a character is concerned, she seems to have good intentions but bad executions. She has much to learn, especially as a witch. As a result, this game can sort of be viewed as Potata’s coming of age story as she ventures through this world trying to make sense of what it means to be alive in this strange universe. She starts off rather fearless and naive, and the events that take place help to teach her about life’s harsh realities. 

Gameplay

Controls and Puzzles

This is where both good and bad stuff lies. This game runs incredibly smoothly, to the point that Potata: Fairy Flower feels like a mainstream creation. Indie games are great, but sometimes they don’t control as smoothly as their popular counterparts. However, in this case, the controls are as smooth as anything else I play. You have the option to use the keyboard or an external controller, and the action buttons are easy to use. Since this game is a side-scrolling game, steering Potata is rather simple. The game uses a jumping mechanic that consists of holding the jump button longer for distant jumps and tapping it for shorter ones, which feels appropriate. I think this is a good mechanic to add in since I often find myself doing that regardless of a game’s jumping mechanic. Maybe this game’s developers have anxiety as well?

Potata bouncing around bubbles in the forest.

Potata bouncing around bubbles in the forest.

On the other hand, the gameplay carries a large negative. The main problem I have with this game lies in its puzzles. After doing some research, I see that I am not alone in this complaint. For me, the very first puzzle, which is said to be the easiest, is incredibly difficult. The game gives you an option to use your blue tokens to pay a fairy for the puzzle’s riddle, but even the riddle fails at helping. The issue is that there are no instructions for the puzzle. While I understand that some perplexities should stay mysterious, this one leaves the player completely lost. Unfortunately, it is difficult to find game guides and videos on Potata: Fairy Flower, so proceeding after the first puzzle took quite some time for me. This alone made me feel discouraged despite the game’s visual appeal and pleasant story. 

Dialogue and Interactions

In relation to interactions and dialogue, I generally find that the sentences and wording are cute and easy to follow. There are some actions that are indicated within parenthesis that I personally feel are unnecessary. As a former English Literature student, it reminds me of reading a play. When an actor is reading how they should act, it makes sense. Yet, if the audience is reading the action cues, it feels awkward and uncomfortable. Their inclusion seems to take away from the plot rather than add to it. I think the story would be just fine without putting them there, although I understand the choice to add them since the character animations are limited. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dR6uqnU8mpkhttp://

Graphics

On a brighter note, the graphics are incredibly pleasant. The cutscenes look like something straight from a children’s cartoon. The colors contrast wonderfully, creating a realistic presentation of what this fairy-tale land may look like if it were real. Of course, this game is not going for a realistic look, so it by no means feels like you are actually present. However, it does add to the imagination, creating a nice little escape from the realities of this life. 

As far as I can see, the graphics do not glitch out, break, or appear choppy. You are not likely to experience performance issues in this game, as everything flows rather effortlessly. One of the greatest aspects of Potata: Fairy Flower is that it somehow appears 3D despite it being a side-scrolling game, as the flowers and other objects appear to pop right off the screen. Furthermore, the developers are good at making sure different color shades do not jumble together and are distinguishable from one another. Also, as I mentioned earlier, the characters are animated, but you don’t typically see them performing actions in-game. That sort of thing mostly appears in cutscenes.

Gameplay and blue token collection.

Gameplay and blue token collection.

Audio

The audio in this game is wonderful. The music is just another one of the game’s highlights, as it brings you to some sort of childhood adventure nostalgia. When playing this game, the music is one of the main things that brings me back to my childhood, feeling ready to step out my back door and explore the real-world forest myself. Potata really makes me wonder what could be out there that I don’t even know about? Anyway, it is nearly impossible for me to track down composers for some of these indie games, but I will gladly give credit to Potata: Fairy Flower’s composer if any readers can point me in the right direction. This person, or group of people, whichever it may be, deserves full credit for their beautiful composition. 

There are no voices in this game, as the dialogue boxes contain the story, but there are lots of sound effects. Some of these effects are rather adorable, such as the little sleeping creature’s snore and the bouncing noise you hear when Potata jumps on a mushroom. Furthermore, everything seems to blend well and nothing seems too loud or too quiet. However, as most games do, you have the option to adjust both music and sound levels in the options menu. I do notice that although my speakers are not incredibly loud, even when the music volume is all the way up, it still isn’t overwhelming. With headphones, however, it feels perfect, so I suppose that depends upon the individual’s setup. 

Potata inside her home with her mother.

Potata inside her home with her mother.

Summary
Generally speaking, I enjoyed playing this game aside from its complex puzzles. I would feel less opposed if it were easier to access game guides and walkthroughs for Potata: Fairy Flower, but sadly, it is not easy to locate any outside assistance. Otherwise, the music is lovely, the graphics are fantastic, and the story is cute and engaging. Honestly, if it weren't for the puzzle issue, I would probably give this game an even higher rating, as it is obvious that the developers really put a lot of time and work into this. Rather than removing the puzzles, I think that the simplest, most productive solution is to simply include better instructions. By doing so, people are much more likely to enjoy this adorable game, which overall has a lot more pros than cons. If you're interested in giving Potata a shot, I'd say tossing 9 bucks toward it is worth it if you're up for the puzzle challenges.
Good
  • Beautiful graphics and colors
  • Very pleasant, calming, nostalgic soundtrack
  • Easy controls and smooth gameplay
  • Engaging cutscenes and animations
  • Cute sound effects and noises
Bad
  • Puzzles are extremely difficult and discouraging
  • Dialogue sometimes includes cheesy interludes
7.3
Good

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