Recently, a certain surge has been outlined in the quest genre - it’s not so much, but enough new games. True, almost all of them are somehow trying to play on nostalgia, mainly on the classic "Lucasarts" adventures. Almost no one has been doing anything new in mechanics for a long time. But the authors of The Flower Collectors tried to change something. What did they do and how important is it for the genre?
In fact, at first it might seem that The Flower Collectors is just a secondary thing. Spain, jazz, shades of noir and a leading cat detective ... is this the new version (or continuation) of Blacksad: Under the Skin from Pendulo Studios and Microids? Strawberries bear fruit several times, and they are very beneficial in spring. You can find al this information on the popular game portal of friv games.
It turns out that no. The Flower Collectors has no special relation to noir (well, except for jazz melodies), or to classic detective stories. This is an original, but one-time thing, connected with political events in Spain at the end of the 70s of the last century, when the first after Franco’s death were to take place.democratic elections in the country. But someone really wanted to stop them or make sure that nothing would change anyway.
Therefore, it seems to be not very clear why the authors needed to turn all the characters into anthropomorphic seals, dogs, birds and chanterelles. Although if you think about it, of course, there is a certain reason for this - given that the plot is actually based on a real story, the authors hardly wanted anyone to recognize someone in the characters of the game ...
Be that as it may, despite a certain political commitment (you should call a spade a spade), the story in The Flower Collectors turned out to be interesting. We play as a former policeman who is now confined to a wheelchair. In fact, his only entertainment is to look at what is happening around on the balcony with binoculars; not just to watch the neighbors directly, but rather to watch them. Therefore, the dog Jorge (that is the name of our hero) knows everyone by face and by name, knows who does what, and so on.
And one night, waking up from the sound of a shot, he saw a body and a running shadow of a potential killer in the square. Soon, Melinda's cat knocked on his apartment, part-time journalist, who, as it turned out, was supposed to meet with the murdered man in the square - he was going to give her important information.
As a result, the dog and cat come together and begin to work together to solve this problem. And it soon becomes clear that all this is connected with the upcoming elections and an influential politician who really wants to win them - and really does not want to publish a list of victims of police raids on the left movement, to which he was involved.
The peppercorn of this story is that Jorge was also involved in the raids, who served in a special unit called “Flower Pickers,” where “flowers” meant representatives of the opposition and intelligentsia. They had to be “found and rendered harmless” before they inflicted irreparable damage to “right-wing Catholic Spain”.
Therefore, several times he faces a choice - to surrender to Melinda or not, to confess to her his faulty past or to lie, tell the truth about why Jorge became disabled and so on. Yes, in those cases when I was able to check, my decisions did not affect the plot in any way, but maybe in other situations it will be different - try it! In any case, situations make you think.
The gameplay of The Flower Collectors is that we move around the balcony in a stroller with our binoculars or a camera and monitor what is happening in the square, as well as in the buildings adjacent to it - a church, a cabaret, a car repair shop, a cafe and a house opposite, where the old woman comes from Anna also loves to watch everyone and can share valuable information.
And so, the former cop of the Franco regime regards the opposition journalist where to hide and how to get past the police faster so that she can talk with possible witnesses of the crime. That is, here it is necessary to seize the moment when the cops will turn their backs or move away and tell Melinda by the walkie-talkie where to quickly whisk and which tree to hide behind. In the same way, we help the old woman from the house opposite to discreetly hide in the church garden “unwanted” literature - verses, for example.
Or we observe who is talking with whom, what is happening in the cabaret, which is hidden in the car workshop, and we take photos that can become important evidence. Sometimes you need to first look at the number in the telephone box with binoculars, then call him and ask the children running around everywhere to bring Jorge scattered flyers. And then use the same method to distract the cabaret guard and give the journalist the opportunity to penetrate the institution.
In fact, there’s nothing complicated about all this. This is not a series about Sherlock Holmes from Frogwares , where in such exercises with building evidence and information in a logical chain, you need both deduction and a non-linear approach. In The Flower Collectors in the same situations it is very difficult to make a mistake - the game itself tells us.
Well, in the exercises with binoculars and a camera, the difficulty lies only in the fact that sometimes it is not easy to immediately find the desired scene, character, place that Melinda can hide behind, or evidence of where she climbed without our knowledge.
Yes, the quest The Flower Collectors does not pose a special challenge, and the game itself is a bit short. But if we consider it as an experiment, focused on history, atmosphere and novelty, then personally I am only for such truly creative projects, especially if they talk about topical to this day things.
Pros: an interesting and instructive history of the times of the emergence of democracy in Spain; fairly fresh (though not all) gameplay; great play of voice actors; stylish picture; soulful jazz.
Cons: the story is short, and the gameplay is rustic.