Death lasers destroy life – that’s why they call them ‘death lasers’, don’t you know anything? – but they can create it too. As rays bombard your cutesy planet in Pollinator [official site], they also create holes for seedlings to nestle into. As those grow up, they eject pollen which give other flowers special hugs, which… it’s a game about carefully placing plants to create hybrids and score as high as possible. It’s pretty, and pretty fun, and has some smooth jazz.
It’s also the first free game created for SandBox, a French series which pairs designers and developers a bit like Super Game Jam.
For the non-Francophones (look at me, trying to pretend I’m some flipping master of languages) I’ll explain: you control the planet’s rotation, trying to have the laser dig holes in useful places and directing drifting seedlings and pollen. If flowers breed another of their species, they’ll create a seedling for the next level of plant, which you’ll need to quickly guide into a clear hole. You can stack seedlings onto existing plants to give them more flower heads too.
Pollinator was made in 48 hours by a team under the direction of Marcos Healey, who’s creative director at LittleBigPlanet lot Media Molecule. Sadly, the accompanying web show seems region-locked to France, as the show’s part of a competition to be broadcast on cable channel France 4.