7 Overall Score

A free way to add gamerscore and pass the time

Some obstacles may be a bit too much of a challenge for casual gamers and menu tricky to navigate.

Written by on February 6, 2012 in [, , , , , , ]

Another free offering from Microsoft Studios and Null City Software is a humble little game entitled Breeze.  This is the story of a happy little flower and a dream to float along a happy little breeze.  Like all games there must be obstacles to this idyllic dream and this game presents many.  The most basic obstacle are the walls that enclose each level.  Flowers must avoid walls and other obstacles or be doomed to explode.  Each level begins with a number of flower “lives” and, when set to the easier difficulty mode, has a certain number of “air brakes” that will stop the flower to avoid hitting obstacles.  I am a big fan of the zen-like game experiences like ThatGameCompany’s epic adventure Flower.   Breeze offers this adventure in miniature on portable Windows phones.  Does it deliver the happy-go-lucky love fest?  I will detail my experiences below.

The good news is that the game is free and it offers 10 achievements with a potential 50 points added to your gamer score.  It also offers a calming soundtrack and takes the players through the four seasons  for 60 level of increasingly more challenging levels.  Players must direct the happy little flower through a level avoiding walls. Players can match their score to the “Null City Record Score” for added challenge.  There are also 2 modes of difficulty.  Hardcore mode removes the ability to use “air brakes” to stop the flower’s movement and catch their breath before proceeding on.  The Player also has less time to complete the level.  There are also two control styles for the game, touch and tilt.  Players can use the touch screen or tilt the device to control the breeze that, in turn, help the flower float in the desired direction.  The “breeze” produced by the player’s touch or by the direction the device is tilted carries the flower along until it reaches each level’s goal zone.

In later levels more obstacles block the poor flower from completing its mission.  Obstacles include collecting all of the sunshine orbs on a level to unlock the end zone.  More challenging obstacles include knives and barbed wire.  There are also moving obstacles such as rocks and twirling walls.  My personal nemesis was tsunami speed wind gust that would send my flower hurtling into walls at insane speeds.  These obstacles are evil and very tricky to navigate through.  My poor little flower never had a chance.  To successfully complete each level a player must reach the end zone in the allotted time within the given number of flower lives.

Overall the game mechanics are fairly simple.  I found a few things a little confusing.  The level selection is a bit too subtle for me.  It took quite a few times before I realized that the different levels were represented as rough sketches of each level’s layout in the center of the screen.  The player can scroll vertically through the sketches to select the level to play.  No visible label helps announce the process but trial and error and a little luck helped me discover this.  I realize this may not be as complicated for others but I was stumped.  Another option I would have loved would have been a true zen mode.  No time limit or limit to lives.  Just floating the little flower to happy music at the end of a hard day would be fun.  I was very happy that the options allowed me to change a few settings for the game.  I personally turned off the vibration that would send an extremely startling jolt every time my poor flower met an untimely demise.

There is nothing earth shattering to this game. It is a pleasant diversion and offers a good deal of challenge and has a large amount of content for a free game.  It is also a fun way to add a bit of gamer score to your Xbox live account.  It also offers a happy alternative to the typical blood and guts carnage.  I recommend it for those looking for a nice way to pass the time on the daily commute.


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Author: Melisa Snyder View all posts by

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