The best simple, yet extremely engaging game I have ever played is Densha De Go! (Go By Train) 3, an extraordinary little number for an obscure platform I can’t quite remember (could’ve been the Sega Saturn). For perhaps obvious reasons, the game (and indeed series) was only released in Japan. The premise involves the player operating a number of different trains around the railways of the metropolis of Tokyo. It’s challenges were nothing more than stopping the trains in the right place and at the right time. Playing Breezy Leaf, the new mini-game from OI Games, I was reminded of the simple brilliance of Densha De Go!, and its furiously addictive mundanity. If that sounds like an oxymoron, please rest assured I mean it in the best possible sense.
There’s a beautiful nostalgia that comes with Breezy Leaf, which is due in part to it’s wonderfully rendered graphics and soundtrack, which follow in the same vein as the game mechanics themselves; simple yet effective. It’s essentially an 8-bit experience, with every pixel, buzz and hum proudly on display. And who doesn’t enjoy a little bit of 8-bit gaming? Featuring a gorgeous colour palette and endearing design, it’s hard not to be enamoured with the cute little game from the off.
The premise of the game is thus; keep the little leaf off the ground and on the screen by means of a stationary leaf blower. If the little brown maple sails off the top and out of sight, that’s game over. If he hits the lawn, or indeed your blowing apparatus, that’s also game over. You have to keep him swirling around in the centre of the backyard arena by applying just the right amount of pressure to your blower. It’s an extremely detailed engine the guys at OI Games have built, the sensitivity of the mechanics beggars belief. The first twenty times I tried the game, it was game over in one second flat.
But eventually I caught on, and manged to survive a little longer, then a lot longer. The game’s score isn’t measured in seconds; you get a point every time you hit the leaf with a gust. There’s eight different variations of blowers to unlock, with the final one, the coveted Golden Lawnmaster, only being released after you score 500 points or more. Which seems to me nigh on impossible. But if there’s one thing that Breezy Leaf does well, it’s keeping you coming back for more. You’ll be playing this one over and over again. For anyone that enjoys a challenge or a little slice of nostalgic gaming, this one’s right up your street, or indeed, your train track.
Breeze on over to the App Store to get your gardening hands on Breezy Leaf for free today!