Here is a little game-shaped gift to everyone out there who, for example, received a "grow your own plant from seed kit" and has followed the instructions TO THE LETTER but the sodding thing has stalled out at two inch saplings for A WHOLE FREAKING MONTH AND A HALF despite literally all the conditions stipulated in the care leaflet being met and the correct dosage of food being measured out and applied as per instructions and yet we are still in this awful situation and it won't grow but it won't die and WHAT DOES IT WANT WHY WON'T IT JUST FULFIL ITS END OF THE DEAL?
Which is why anyone in that hypothetical situation might enjoy Jezzamon's Ludum Dare entry, Flower Shop [online Flash version].
The idea here is that you've got a fairly straightforward puzzle game where you use a bit of trial and error to work out which elements of the seed-growing process produce which types of plants and then use the info to fill customer orders. Every day people come to the shop window to request particular kinds of plant - one with blue flowers, for example, or heart-shaped leaves. You then pick one of four seed types, one of four fertilisers and one of four watering can sizes to create the right thing.
It's a fairly simple proposition because each seed type corresponded to a colour, each fertiliser dictated the flower shape and the amount of water controlled the leaves so it swiftly became about plugging the right combinations into the game to produce the orders. But there was pleasure in the basic logical process of figuring out what went with what and I feel like it might be a game I'd share with a kid who is getting to grips with logical deduction.
It's also a great case for how nice it is when plants behave in a sensible way and don't mess you about with this two-inch seedling nonsense, Mate, you're a really basic chilli plant not Mariah Carey.
Here's the link to the Flower Shop Ludum Dare page - it has the Github link as well as the Flash version.