Review – Potata: Fairy Flower

2D platformers are one of video gaming’s oldest genres and for a good reason: they provide a fun level of challenge and plenty of room for creative level design and innovative artistic license.¬† Hence why the market has seen them in abundance ever since the days of Donkey Kong and Mario Bros. Over the years, those games have tried to continuously come up with new ides to set themselves apart from the myriad of others flooding the market, and occasionally, they have managed to succeed. Hollow Knight, for example, combined a 2D platforming style with Souls-like combat, while Cuphead harkened back to the 1930s with its classic animation style and soundtrack. So what does Potata: Fairy Flower from Sometimes You have to offer to leave its mark on the world? Not a whole lot.

In Potata: Fairy Flower, you play as the titular Potata, a young witch full of mischief. In order to help her pet fox feel better, she has to venture into the forest to get the necessary ingredients for her mother’s healing potion. The rascally witch plucks a beautiful flower, only to learn that it was the home of a powerful fairy. Angered that Potata has destroyed her home, she informs her that she will no longer keep the evil spirits and dangerous animals at bay unless Potata can restore her flower to its original state. And so begins her journey of redemption and personal growth.

Potata: Fairy Flower

A dominatrix fairy.

Gameplay-wise, Potata: Fairy Flower brings nothing new to the table. It’s a 2D side scrolling platformer with all of the basics you’ve come to expect. You can run, jump, and hit things with your wooden sword. Personally, I hated the sword as it’s so small¬† that you have to practically climb inside the enemy before you can strike it. I just ended up avoiding as many enemies as possible. Unfortunately, this tactic doesn’t work for boss battles, but at least you can learn their attack patterns fairly easily.

The best thing I can say about the gameplay mechanics is that the controls are tight and responsive. Potata’s jumping can feel mildly floaty, but it’s nothing that you can’t quickly adjust to. However, she takes forever to climb up and down ropes and ladders, which can make certain areas a tad cumbersome. Luckily, there aren’t too many sections that rely on these mechanics. For the most part you’ll be jumping, bouncing off spring boards, or hopping from one giant bubble to the next.

Potata: Fairy Flower

A swamp has never looked more beautiful.

Occasionally, Potata will come across a barrier that will only fall if she solves a puzzle to deactivate it. This is one of the areas of Potata: Fairy Flower that is truly unpredicatable. The puzzles come with no instructions or explanations, so you’ll have to play around with things to figure it out. There is usually another witch nearby who you can pay to solve it for you, but what’s the fun in that? Besides, her prices go up exponentially with each puzzle, and more often than not you won’t have enough credits to pay her anyway. Even when you know what you need to do to solve the puzzle, they are either stupidly easy or incredibly or ridiculously hard. There is no middle ground with regards to their difficulty curve, nor even a gradual increase in complexity.

Potata: Fairy Flower

This is one of the easy puzzles. A bare-bones Tetris clone.

The art style is definitely the strong suit of Potata: Fairy Flower. It has a striking hand-drawn art style with a vibrant color palette. Everything pops without becoming unrecognizable. My only issues were with the cutscenes and speech boxes. During those instances, the characters look different and almost downright creepy. The image of Potata plucking the fairy flower looks like she’s leering at it with unsavory intentions.

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I don’t like how she’s looking at that flower…

The dialogue being presented does little to remedy this either. There is no voice acting, only text boxes with the characters displayed over them. Potata: Fairy Flower is nowhere near as charming as it thinks it is, with much of the dialogue coming off as bratty or asinine. It’s also rife with grammatical errors, which can be very distracting. I didn’t find myself caring about anyone in this game and that’s a huge strike against any game that tries to get you invested in its story.

As a whole, I have to say that Potata: Fairy Flower isn’t a bad game, not by any means. It’s just simply nothing remarkable in any way. You’ve seen this story before in other games, only told better. The controls are responsive, but there’s no variety to the moves you can perform. You’ve played these kinds of levels before, only there are far more imaginative levels in other titles. It’s an overly cutesie game that you might think would be fun for the kids to play, but the platforming is far more demanding than you would think. If you have nothing else to play and you like challenging platformers with an overly sacchrine look, then maybe check out Potata: Fairy Flower. Just know there are far more rewarding games out there.

 

Graphics: 8.0

A striking hand-drawn visual art style with a vibrant color palette that runs at a solid 30 fps. The look of the characters in the cutscenes and speech boxes can look borderline creepy, however.

Gameplay: 6.0

A side scrolling 2D platfomer that’s about as basic as it gets. Potata’s wooden sword is so small that it’s tough to hit enemies with it. The few puzzles present are either stupidly easy or almost unfairly difficult.

Sound: 7.0

No voice acting, but the musical score is beautiful and competently done, even if the melodies aren’t particularly memorable.

Fun Factor: 6.0

The platforming brings nothing new to the table, but the controls are tight. The protagonist is somewhat unlikeable, especially in the beginning. The game doesn’t start to become interesting until about a third of the way through.

Final Verdict: 6.5

Potata: Fairy Flower is available now on PC, Xbox One, PS4, and Switch.

Reviewed on Switch.

A copy of Potata: Fairy Flower was provided by the publisher.