Wylde Flowers Review

Tara from Wylde Flowers riding on her broom with the title on screen
Wylde Flowers

At the writing of this review, I’m over 30 hours into Wylde Flowers and probably not even halfway into the story. Even so, I feel pretty confident in my assessment of the game.

When reading about the game, it presents itself as a story driven farming sim. However, after playing, it’s very clearly a story game with some farming sim elements.

Tara from Wylde Flowers farming and using magic

You start out as Tara, a lady moving from the city to the farm where her grandmother lives to help take care of her. You don’t get any customization of your character and you can’t really customize your home. This bothered me at first, until I realize that I, the player, wasn’t who the story was centered around. It’s centered around Tara and the telling of her story as she bonds with the people of Fairhaven and unravels the mysteries of the cozy island.

Unlike most other farming sim games, the majority of the dialogue is voice acted. It took multiple weeks of talking with the villagers before I finally received repeated voice lines. Every interaction gives you knew knowledge of the people, town, and culture, and is critical in unraveling the story.

Surprisingly, you don’t farm to make money and build an empire of crops and animals. Instead, the motives are majority quest driven, where you raise crops to complete an objective and selling crops at face value is usually a massive loss. You’re encouraged to craft meals, sell them to upgrade shops, or even gift them to befriend the villagers. I spent much of my time at the start foraging and selling when I should’ve been engaging with the people.

In game screenshot of Wylde Flowers with the UI, Tara standing in front of her garden
Tara in front of her garden

The developers were crafty and enabled a way to “make millions” almost effortlessly. I’ll exclude the details here to avoid spoilers, but it resulted in many people using the trick to get loads of money to avoid a stressful grind. As a result, players are able to focus on the story of the game, and learning about the people, rather than desperately try to find specific items to turn in for a profit.

Many games try to encourage progression via time gated events: the easiest example is how there are only so many days in a season for many farming sims. For Wylde Flowers, however, the seasons are gated by the player progression. It seemed silly at first, but it allows players to get everything they need to do before progressing. Rather than try and scramble to grow crops, catch fish, and forage, players can instead play through the story at a leisurely pace and relax. It’s like reading a book for fun rather than reading a book to cram for an exam. Stark difference.

Wylde Flowers screenshot showing 6 witches casting a ritual spell
Coven casting a ritual

I’m a player that tries to min/max and grind in farming sim games. With Wylde Flowers, I can’t. No matter how hard I try, it’s impossible to grind. I get what I need and take my time before moving on in the story. It’s very clear when there is time to progress, so I know when I should start pivoting my priorities to wrapping things up.

Speaking of time, the game allows for changing the speed of time throughout the day. You can set it to move rapidly, giving yourself a challenge; or you can set it super chill, to the point the days almost crawl by. It allows for variety of playing and can be adjusted on the fly.

As the game was also created for mobile and Switch devices, the simplicity of the design adds to the comfort of the game play. I don’t have to worry about aiming my garden hoe to try and get the most optimal garden plots. Instead, I can just click or press a hot key. Same with using my axe or pick; there is no accidental wasting of energy. You can even run around just using a mouse! At first I thought it was tacky, but I realized it greatly adds to the accessibility of the game.

Wylde Flowers - Tara and Giva kissing
Tara and Giva

With approximately 30 characters (at least that I know), the game has a wide variety of cast. Different backgrounds, roles, personalities, and mannerisms. It creates for some fun guessing of the storyline but also is refreshing to see compared to many games with generic cookie cutter tropes. I found myself probably caring a little too much for some of the characters, as I started to play my story in a way that avoiding hurting the NPCs. Sadly, there is only 1 rival marriage, so I can’t play matchmaker like I do with the old Harvest Moon 64. But with only 7 marriage candidates, it makes sense.

There has been some discussion in the official Wylde Flowers Discord around if there will be future updates or DLC. The developers have made it clear they are doing updates, such as quality of life improvements. But there is no confirmation of DLC despite the high demand from players. Either way, the game has at least 30 hours of content (supposedly up to 60 hours), and a highly engaging and immersive of a story. I also suspect that there is the potential for future mods by the community, but time will tell.

At the end of the day, Wylde Flowers is a story game about a lady who discovers she’s a witch and must maintain her cover as a farmer as she solves mysteries and protects those she cares about. The developers just layered on some farming sim elements to bait nerds like me into buying it. And it worked! I love this game!! ♥

Wylde Flowers logo
Wylde Flowers logo

P.S. There is a cat and you can definitely pet it, so 10/10 worth it in my eyes!

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