By Nathan Grayson on August 23rd, 2013 at 4:00 pm.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’ve had an especially stressful, topsy turvy week. Also, we’ve been posting about bloody manshoots and manwars and carshoots and carmanbloodwars for ages due to Gamescom’s monolithic domination of the news cannons, and it’s time for a change of pace. I want something relaxing. Something soothing. Something that creates instead of reducing everything around it to chalky pools of ash and blood. I want… an ethereal gardening simulator! Watashi Wa Hijo Ni Yoku Nihongo Hanasenai sees you breathe life into a barren, featureless expanse while dreamy melodies dance and drift through the background. Occasionally, there are turtles. It made me feel all warm and happy in my heart chambers.
Watashi Wa is, admittedly, an incredibly simple game. The world starts out blank, save for a piece or two of foliage. You, however, have the ability to make trees grow at an accelerated pace and drop countless seeds… via a beam that looks weirdly like pixelated puke. But it’s still an enchanting experience, and you’ll have a forest literally raining down around you in minutes. There’s just something inherently wondrous about watching new life tumble down like fresh snow.
There really, really isn’t much to it, though. There are only a couple tree types, and I quickly found myself wishing for more variety in the glorious oasis I’d willed into being. The odd turtle occasionally served as a nice surprise, but again: that was it. Also, what kind of tundra forest is overrun exclusively by turtles? NATURE DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY.
It’s here that Watashi Wa’s 7DFPS roots show through, skeletal and undergrown as they are. I’d love to see this expanded into a fuller project – still with a minimalist bent, but bolstered by more variety and surprises. Maybe throw in a dash of Proteus and see where it ends up. I really, really wanted to lose myself in this place, but I couldn’t for long. Still though, it was a nice escape from real life’s ugly stranglehold while it lasted.