Spring Falls

Aug 10, 2020

Spring Falls

There's a lot of puzzle games in this bundle. I suspect some of it is, put plainly, that puzzle games are relatively easy to design: once you have the premise, it's mostly "level building". There's also less moving parts to deal with, so it's easier to get your intractable thing up and running. The other theory is that all the non-puzzlers don't have Linux versions, and I'm starting with working on those instead. Or maybe people just really like puzzles. Or it's just confirmation bias because I notice them more. Either way, puzzles are here, and Spring Falls is probably my favorite one yet.

The rules to Spring Falls are simple: lower the columns to flow water to where it needs to be, to spread grass and bloom a flower. Minor elements come and go to add slight twists, but the core premise never changes. Not only was thinking about gravity and water flow fun, but I appreciate how reserved SPARSE//GameDev kept with the concept: adding wilder gimmicks would have taken away from the minimalist beauty.

And speaking of beauty, Spring Falls is, in my opinion, a very gorgeous game. Working your way down your hexagonal mountain, slowly watching the backdrop change as you descend, was a serene experience when joined with the gentle background music and the frequent sound of flowing water. Unfortunately, the bundle doesn't seem to include the soundtrack, but it's available on Steam for $4 if you're inclined.

And possibly most of all, I'm thankful this is a puzzle game that has a reasonable difficulty curve that I didn't find difficult at all. In fact, I managed to beat all 60 levels with next to no hair-tearing. Several levels got close, but with how simplistic the controls and your options tend to be, there are only so many approaches you can do. With several resets, adjusted opening moves, and plenty of presses of the undo button to see what would happen if I did this or that, I usually found myself on the right track quickly. While you can jump ahead in levels if you're really stuck, I highly encourage going through them in order, as the journey down the mountain is well-paced with the addition and removal of twists.

With a soothing environment in harmony with a sensibly-designed game in the front, Spring Falls was an absolute joy. Easy to pick up, entertained for an hour or two, and knew not to overplay itself or stay past its welcome. I would certainly recommend giving it an evening's attention.

I enjoyed it. Spring Falls is a good game.