Game: Tuttle: Star Flower Harvest
Genre: Casual, Indie, Simulation
System: Steam (Windows)
Developer|Publisher: Ismael Rodriguez | Retro Casual LLC
Controller Support: Yes
Price: UK £4.99 | US $5.99 | EU € 5,89
Release Date: June 20th, 2023
Review code provided with many thanks to Ismael Rodriguez.
Tuttle: Star Flower Harvest is a 2023 casual simulation game developed by Ismael Rodriguez and released by Retro Casual LLC.
We play as a farmer in a pixel black-and-white world, where we need to plant, grow and harvest flowers while defending them from various enemies. While Tuttle: Star Flower Harvest is, without a doubt, a farming simulator at its heart, it also has elements of tower defence games.
The game mechanics are deceptively simple: we start with one box of seeds, and then for every harvested flower, we get one seed for a new flower and tokens, which can be used to upgrade our gear, buy more boxes, etc. At the same time, we get emails with helpful tips from our in-game employer, which is a nice touch and adds to the game’s atmosphere.
The game has a complete controller and keyboard and mouse support. When using the keyboard and mouse combo, we have movement with WASD and then using our pitchfork with J for opening boxes, harvesting flowers, and beating off pests, K for jump (although W/Up/Space is also working), I for Inventory and L for a scythe.
When starting a save and continuing a game, we can decide if we want a permanent death, special boxes, etc. We can also delete a save.
With Tab, the player can reach the task and upgrade menu, where we can also read the occasional email our farmer will receive from his boss, his family, and even environmental organizations warning him about his company. It adds a nice touch of story progression to the overall game experience.
As mentioned above, Tuttle: Star Flower Harvest has elements of tower defence games; our flowers are attacked by pests, which we must fight off. It means that besides harvesting the flowers for seeds and tokens, we must also run from one side of the screen to the other to fight off our enemies.
On the upper side of the screen, we have a radar-like map that shows the location of our field of flowers and the movement of the pest we need to fight off. As our employer will helpfully point out, every time we stray for too long fighting pests- our job is to grow flowers, and if we do not, we’ll be removed from the field. The game gives us a timer counting down a minute before kicking us off the field.
What happens if the insects reach the flowers? Well, they eat them, of course, and destroy our production. Our little farmer can also lose health if he is ineffective against them. The game allows for some special attacks using our pitchfork.
The game offers enough upgrades as time progresses for our farmer to have the upper edge in the fight, but the game is challenging. It requires strategy and focus to stay on track.
Results and rewards
The harvesting of flowers, which is the game’s main objective, brings about tokens and seeds. The seeds are automatically planted and grow into colorful flowers. Tokens, however, need to be collected as soon as possible because otherwise, they expire and are lost. As I mentioned, tokens can be used to buy upgrades and boxes with more seeds. At the same time, when completing certain milestones of the game, it awards you tokens and upgrades. Milestones can include harvesting several flowers, opening several boxes, etc.
Game style and soundtrack
Tuttle: Star Flower Harvest is a classic pixel game. However, it is mostly in black and white. The pops of colour, like the petals of the star flowers, contrast nicely with the rest of the game; as a whole, it looks and feels appealing. The soundtrack is in the lo-fi genre, which helps with the overall chill game experience.
Tuttle: Star Flower Harvest is an excellent little game. Despite the frantic nature of the gameplay, it is strangely relaxing as a whole. That being said, it is by no means brainless action; it requires concentration and strategic thinking. Despite my initial somewhat reservations, I found myself hooked on the game, and I’ll keep playing it for quite a while.
Final Verdict: I Like it a Lot.