TouchArcade Game of the Week: ‘Song of Bloom’

The idea behind the TouchArcade Game of the Week is that every Friday afternoon we post the one game that came out this week that we think is worth giving a special nod to. Now, before anyone goes over-thinking this, it doesn’t necessarily mean our Game of the Week pick is the highest scoring game in a review, the game with the best graphics, or really any other quantifiable “best” thing. Instead, it’s more just us picking out the single game out of the week’s releases that we think is the most noteworthy, surprising, interesting, or really any other hard to describe quality that makes it worth having if you were just going to pick up one.

These picks might be controversial, and that’s OK. If you disagree with what we’ve chosen, let’s try to use the comments of these articles to have conversations about what game is your game of the week and why.

Without further ado…

 

Song of Bloom

Developer Philipp Stollenmayer aka Kamibox’s games typically fall in the category of platformer or puzzler, and occasionally silly arcade games. One thing that’s usually true about them though is that they aren’t hard to describe. But his latest game, and by his own admission his most ambitious yet, is something that’s almost beyond being able to describe at all. And really, how different it is from anything else I’ve played is what makes it so special. It’s called Song of Bloom ($1.99) and I’m going to try to describe this indescribable experience.

I guess if you had to fit it into a box Song of Bloom could be called a narrative puzzle game. You are presented with a series of brief scenes that are voice narrated. The scenes don’t make a ton of sense at first, but each one is hiding a secret or a puzzle to figure out which then unlocks additional scenes and additional parts of the story. You’ll actually need to play through many of these scenes multiple times, sometimes doing something a bit different in one than you did previously to unlock a new part of the game to explore.

I am doing a bad job of describing it, I know. In reality Song of Bloom really needs to be experienced to be understood. If you’ve ever played mobile games that have you doing weird things with your actual device in order to solve puzzles, there’s quite a bit of that here. It can make solving the puzzles a bit obtuse sometimes, but there are also hints as to what you’re supposed to do hidden throughout the rest of the game. It’s the kind of game that rewards you for exploring every nook and cranny and thinking outside the box, and the way some of the puzzle elements are intertwined with each other are really ingenious.

I still think I’m doing a bad job of describing Song of Bloom. It really is just one of those things you’ll need to plop down your two bucks to try for yourself. But if you enjoy artistic experiences and clever puzzle designs, as well as surprisingly deep narrative elements, I think you’ll feel like you’ve gotten more than your money’s worth when all is said and done in Song of Bloom. This is an absolute masterpiece.

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