Blackthornprod GAME JAM 3: Overflow

“Overflow” by Shahar Bengad, Ron Digmi & Tomer Ben Harosh.

“A puzzle game where you draw water from a well to water your plants. The water in the well grows and can overflow if [you are] not careful. The less water in the well, the more moves you can make. The water will grow your plants and the [red weed] too.”

In the puzzle game “Overflow” you play a little white creature with a passion for floristry. In each of the sixteen levels you have to water all the flowers until they magically bloom. However, many of the fields are covered with weed seeds, and as soon as they get even just one single drop of water – which they do automatically when you move across those very fields – they grow instantaneously. These weed bushes become so huge that they cannot be bypassed by you any longer. Since you only have a water bucket with you, but no weeding tools, you cannot just pluck them out of the ground as well. So, in order to still keep all your favorite plants hydrated, you will have to think carefully about the paths you take.

But that is not the only problem “Overflow” confronts you with. In keeping with the title, there is also a small pond in each stage that can actually overflow. When this happens, the weeds that surround the water source also immediately come into contact with the precious liquid, causing them to sprout out of the ground with full force. Of course, this will block your access to the water and you will have to restart the level. You can avoid the small flooding by repeatedly scooping out water. However, this only works if your bucket still has free space. The very container, on the other hand, can only be emptied when you water one of the plants.

Another important puzzle element is the different blooming times of the flowering plants. While most require only a sip of water to unfold, other varieties require up to four loads. This inconsistent behavior gives the puzzle and level design of “Overflow” a certain charm. Often the paths that you have in mind as a possible solution when you first see the room structure turn out to be a total bust. But with a little persistence you may soon become the best keeper of this beautiful pixel garden. [PLAY]