That Blooming Feeling - Itch Game of the Week

Tired of what E3 thinks is games? Try something that says it’s not.

That Blooming Feeling is a game created by Tots’ Team. It’s mid-development proof of concept can be found at the time of writing at this page.

My attention is always piqued by games that deliberately avoid the word “game” or other trodden genre definitions. And I don’t mean to start arguing semantics over what is a game exactly, cause that’s still a fruitful discussion right? But Itch does host a lot of artists who make interactive things that deliberately avoid the catch-all term of games. Itch lets game creators replace the word game on their individual game pages with whatever term they felt right. For example Strangethink games are listed “artgallerysimulator” or “Monster Museum” among other things.

I think about this now for two reasons. First, it’s E3 this week and all of game-dom is being bombarded by GAMES, if you get my meaning. It feels to me that there is less experimentation than ever in the mainstream space. Which is whatever, frankly I don’t care or honestly even see that as an inherit negative after understanding the economics of game development today.

Secondly, my game this week is That Blooming Feeling which calls itself a videopicturebook, a descriptor I have yet to come across in this context. Even before you start up the game, naturally that descriptor does some work in painting what the game is going to be. Probably light or child friendly in tone and content, simple narrative at most, whatever you think of when you think of kids picture books. And That Blooming Feeling does meet those expectations.

In That Blooming Feeling the player controls an anthropomorphized drop of water that moves about by walking a rolling around in a ball. Unless I was playing it wrong (often a possibility with itch games) the game mainly consists of running yourself into plants to make them grow and enjoying the scenery. Create a picturesque little scene, and then enjoy simply enjoy looking at what you directed into form. This is why relating the game to picture books is apt, the player creates vistas one at a time, always moving on to the next. It has the progression a non-narrative children’s book might have. Which pretty much means the game accomplishes what it sets out to do. If the game appeals to you visually, you’ll get a couple vignettes of pretty plants to make the “game” worth a download.

That Blooming Feeling was game of the week for June 11, 2017.