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The Flower Shop - Summer in Fairbrook Review

By Andrew Nesvadba, on January 21, 2011

The Flower Shop - Summer in Fairbrook
Download on the AppStore
Rating

PROS

  • Great story; flows well despite choices made.
  • Simple, elegant visuals.
  • Surprisingly varied soundtrack.

CONS

  • Zero gameplay elements outside of occasionally making a decision.
  • Minor incentives to replay for additional endings.

VERDICT

The Flower Shop - Summer in Fairbrook is really only reserved for those after a light romantic story; the interactive elements are too sparse and limited in their scope to be considered a true game.


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Interactive books; choose your own adventures; or whatever you're inclined to call them are an odd category of entertainment that only just manages to cross over in to the realm of 'games' for the very reason that you can influence the outcomes thanks to your decisions. The Flower Shop - Summer in Fairbrook by vNovel Interactive barely covers the 'interactive' portion of this equation, but it should be no real surprise to point out that the story is at least interesting enough to play through to the end, so it's not a total wash-out.

You follow the story of Steve (not Steven) as he deals with a recent break-up with his girlfriend at college. Being the typically unlikeable and lazy individual that he is, it's up to his father to ship him off to the country to live with his Uncle to learn a bit of humility and motivation. It's an unlikely scenario that places Steve in the path of several women that he can either court or rebuff in order to restore the relationship that led to where he is.

Unlike similar recent releases like CAUSE OF DEATH, there are relatively few points of interaction for your character as you're forced to play through scene after scene of exposition or basic character development. This is surprising as these interactive points can have large gaps that could easily be punctuated by moments that allow you to sympathize or at least understand Steve's motivations.

As a gamer it's hard to enjoy this game as it provides absolutely no satisfaction, with no real 'right' or 'wrong' way to play the game ever being presented and unlike similar dating-sims there's no need to improve yourself outside of character interactions. While The Flower Shop is a well told story, other recent adventure titles provide stories just as compelling while remaining truly interactive.

Screenshots

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