capsule review

Rare Breeds: Petunia

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Rare Breeds: Petunia

In this delightful online game, you create and save flower hybrids. Cross-breeding flowers with Rare Breeds: Petunia is a simple way to enjoy gardening without having to delay gratification. A pleasant piano and birdsong soundtrack adds to the relaxing mood.

Select "Create a Garden," the game presents you with five blossoms of differents shapes, sizes, and colors. Click and drag one to the round dish above, and you grow half a dozen variants.

From here, you can cross-breed for the traits you like. Rare Breeds: Petunia gives you two dishes in which to place two different flowers. Select any two of them, drag them to the dishes, and enjoy the results. You can do this as many times as you like. In one game, I started with two different purple flowers and ended with a striking pink-streaked gray bloom. In another, I crossed the same nodding white blossoms until blue came up, then selected for shape until I had brilliant aqua blooms in a seashell shape.

When you find a pleasing combination, you can drag your cultivar to the "flower doctor" represented by a crossed shovel and rake. This saves the flower's "genetic code" to your clipboard so you can save it offline. Later, you can start new gardens with your floral masterpieces. It might be fun to start a new garden with two saved flowers--not just one--but that's more of a wishlist item than a complaint.

Rare Breeds: Petunia fulfills the need to relax while satisfying a creative impulse. It doesn't take long to make something lovely and unexpected...and it never, ever gets dirt under your fingernails.

Note: To play this game, you must follow the link and open it in a Flash- and Javascript-enabled browser. After a brief ad video, you can play the game online. This game was a notable entry in the Casual Gameplay Design Competition #8: Sandbox. Read PCWorld's reviews of winning and notable casual games from this contest.

--Laura Blackwell

To comment on this article and other PCWorld content, visit our Facebook page or our Twitter feed.
At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Rare Breeds: Petunia

Related:
Notice to our Readers
We're now using social media to take your comments and feedback. Learn more about this here.