Spring Falls (PC) Review
Lack of Consequence
Life is stressful, and stress is deadly, at least according to the internet. The simple solution is to relax, clear your mind, and let go for a moment or two. Puzzle games are also simple. Standardly they revolve around a single concept with a clearly defined goal. However, simple is rarely easy. Spring Falls is meant to be a relaxing puzzle game that is available for both the PC and mobile platforms. Like most of its contemporaries, it uses a simple concept to create a series of challenges that grow in difficulty and complexity. Whether these exercises in frustration help you to relax depends on the player.
The objective of Spring Falls is to make a small seed bloom into a flower on the side of a mountain. Players accomplish this by lowering sections of the field to release trapped water and hopefully direct it towards the seed. This becomes increasingly difficult as the levels progress with the addition of obstacles like harsh sunlight and barren ground. While the puzzles are challenging, unfortunately, there is a lot of trial and error involved when finding the solution. However, a limitless undo option makes this less frustrating than it could be. The main problem is that the theme does not support the gameplay. With the emphasis on relaxation, there is no sense of reward or accomplishment. Also, with a lack of guidance and no consequences, most solutions feel as if you lucked into them, rather than genuinely figuring out the puzzle.
With a minimalistic design that emphasizes nature’s innate elegance, graphics match the theme quite well. Particularly well done were the weather effects, the sun’s harsh rays managing to look elegant and graceful. However, as nice as the graphics look, they are mostly window dressing. There is once again nothing done to amplify gameplay or to actually want to continue playing. The music and sound effects suffer the same issue. While providing a soothing atmosphere, they feel as if they were ripped directly from a meditation CD. Unfortunately gameplay wise there is no benefit to even having the sound on.
Spring Falls is not a bad experience, just a boring one. While technically sound and pretty to look at, it has nothing to make it stand out against its contemporaries. Though it’s nice to see it being ported to both mobile and PC platforms, all it does is create a larger comparison group, which makes it even easier to fade into obscurity. Frankly, there are too many other options available to be able to recommend this, but if you like puzzles and can find it on sale, it may be worth looking into.