This is a difficult game to write about. I’ll admit that I wanted Ice Water Games last title, Eidolon, to succeed. It remains a wonderful game; poetic, beautiful and awe inspiring in ways that very few games are. SteamSpy, however, is a powerful tool. So here we are; Viridi. The next game from Ice Water Games is a game about arranging and watering flowers.
If I found myself leaping to the defense of Eidolon, a “non” game in the eyes of many philistines since it involves not a small amount of walking and not a lot of killing, then I may well find my defense pushed to the limits here. Viridi will be shunned by many as a non game, but I know that Ice Water Games understands that, and this won’t be pitched to people as a game in the traditional sense.
The world is a hectic and busy place. Just look at the world of gaming; maybe a hundred games get released every couple of weeks, women are poorly portrayed in games while their absence in the industry is telling, GamerGate continues to rumble on ruining lives while attracting no column inches, games are launching in buggy, broken states and DLC and pre-order bonuses are more prevalent than ever. That’s just off the top of my head, my point is - this is a busy world we have created and perpetuated for ourselves.
One of the reasons Eidolon resonated with me is because of that quiet. That simply beauty of being alone overlooking a lake. No achievements in sight, no arbitrary goals; just me and the game. It was a welcome break, a refreshing palette cleanser. Viridi has taken that emotion and run with it.
What we have here is extremely simple; a flower pot with some seedlings. You can load it up as often or as infrequently as you want to water them, see what’s changed, get your free seedlings once a week and re-arrange your plants as you see fit. There are in app purchases, which is something I have never been crazy about, but nothing seems too expensive here. You can buy plants and more exotic seedlings to spice up your garden should you wish, or just stick to what you have,
I’ve been playing Viridi on Steam and I already feel like this won’t be the game’s target market. Coming out on iOS as well, Viridi could well speak to a commuter demographic crammed onto tubes and buses, granting them a moment’s respite from the rat race. The music is gorgeous and the art is wonderful in its simplicity.
Having said that I have a couple of mechanical issues with Viridi. When you revisit your plants you’ll often find a couple of weeds that need removing, that’s fine. But when you do the camera movement is a little erratic; snapping to the location where you removed it. The same is true while you’re watering your charges, a problem that’ll need to be resolved for the eventual release on phones. The major camera issue, though, is that you can’t zoom in while planting your new seedlings, making precise placement in your decorative pot a slight chore.
There are quibbles though, rather than annoyances. Viridi will find a market away from the hustle and bustle of roguelikes and Early Access first person survival games. It’s charming, simple and extremely relaxing.