It was clear as I booted up Potata: Fairy Flower for the first time I, a 29-year-old man, may not have been the target demographic for this game. However, with that being said, Potata is a captivating platformer with plenty of puzzles, intriguing level designs, lovely artwork and graphics and a simple, albeit a bit random, storyline.
If you’d prefer to watch the video version of this review then you can in the YouTube link below.
Let’s start with the gameplay. Potata is a platformer, so there’s nothing too intricate or ground-breaking about the gameplay system. You have 3 basic controls of walking either left or right, you have a sword which you can use to hit enemies or break boxes, but you won’t make too much use of this. The main action you’ll find yourself using is the Jump. It’s a simple system of tapping X (Or A on Xbox One, but this was reviewed on PS4) for a quick short jump, or hold down X for a bigger, longer jump. Moving through the levels were tricky enough, if not a little frustrating. You need patience and timing to get through it, and the fear of imminent death made it exciting enough to continue. As it’s a platform game Potata needed to ensure this was a good system for the game to succeed, and I feel like they have. It was smooth, was enjoyable and it was simple enough you’ll find yourself flying through the levels until you reach one of the puzzles.
There are 3 basic types of puzzles, all of which I’m sure you can find somewhere on your phone’s app store. You have one where you have multiple square lights, with some of the lights having dots in. Whenever you click on a light the ones up, down, left and right of it would light up. To successfully solve the puzzle, you would have to ensure only the lights with dots in were lit and the others were off. For second puzzle, you have multiple Tetris shaped pieces you have to correctly line up to complete the shape indicated. And the final is a simple rotate the blocks so you correctly line up a pipe from beginning to end. Whilst simple, these puzzles were my favourite as they were challenging enough, I felt accomplished whenever I completed one. Should you find yourself struggling in any of these puzzles, you can always ask for help from Luna. You have to pay for the help with the magic stones you collect, but she will tell you show you how to complete the puzzle.
Now the final aspect of the gameplay is the occasional boss battles that appear. I again enjoyed these, even if they are a bit repetitive. These bosses typically came down to either dodging attacks until you can hit the boss or doing a speed run. I found the speed runs frustrating as you would often have to pick up an object and throw it, and the time it took to execute these actions could be what ends up getting you killed. However, that did make it more satisfying when you did manage to get to the next level.
The story is a short but sweet tale. It follows Potata, who is a daughter of a witch, initial going out to find ingredients to make a potion to help her sick fox. Along the way she ends up angering a fairy by damaging her flower and you have to retrieve the 6 petals for the flower and consequentially save Fairy Forest. During this journey you meet many quirky NPC’s who will either help you, or give you a quest to collect an item, or their piglets. I enjoyed the time spent with many of these NPC’s as they were usually quite funny. You also built up the story by finding various notes from these NPC’s scattered around Fairy Forrest. The issues with the story was that it could often get mixed up if you didn’t talk to everybody in the correct order, and could accidently skip moments if you collected something or explored an area too early. Even with that it was still simple enough to follow. It was a mostly heart-warming story which I enjoyed, even if one of the notes did seem like a way to be unnecessarily edgy.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t praise the beautiful world the artists have designed here. It’s bright and full of life. Whether it’s just the background or an interactable item, it looked good. The style may not be for everyone, but you have to applaud the effort they have put into making an environment that lets you want to be part of this world. Its visuals were vivid with a lovely calm score throughout.
Overall, I enjoyed my time playing Potata: Fairy Flower. It was a simple enough to jump into for an evening, with plenty of moments to bring a smile to your face.
I’m giving Potata: Fairy Flower