Ludum Dare 43: Eternal Home Floristry

“Eternal Home Floristry” by Deconstructeam (Jordi de Paco, Marina González & Fingerspit).

“A game about criminals preparing flower arrangements.”

Imagine a future in which almost no flowers exist anymore. The so often described, intoxicating scent of roses would be just a faded memory. The gentle touch of a tulip blossom would have been erased from humanity’s wealth of experience. Being able to give away a bouquet of flowers would be an unimaginably expensive privilege in such a world. And floristry would suddenly take on a whole new meaning. Exactly this scenario is the narrative fundament of “Eternal Home Floristry”.

An old floristry master named Sebastian lives in seclusion in a small hut, where exactly thirteen specimens of five different flower types can still be found. One day he meets the criminal Gordon, who has lost his right arm in a shootout. He picks him up and treats him like a protégé, teaching him what special effects each of the different flower types can trigger and how they can be put together. Because real flowers are no longer an everyday joy, their effects increase. Thus, a flower bouquet can lead to the positive end of peace negotiations between gangs, or, if one chooses completely different plants, to a total bloodbath.

All in all, it is possible to prepare and decorate thirty-five different bouquets in “Eternal Home Floristry”, but you can only create four per playthrough. In this way, a variety of different stories in this approximately twenty minutes long game is explorable, which differ in their output sometimes more, sometimes less from each other. In addition, the initial composition changes with each playthrough.

In my books, “Eternal Home Floristry” is one of the best jam games Deconstructeam has ever created. The mechanics of floral arrangements and their impact on the story may well remind our attentive readers of “Zen and the Art of Transhumanism” – and thereby of “The Red Strings Club” -, but this game is a consistent, self-contained little masterpiece. The stories of the two protagonists are told in a fantastic way and not only appear as a decoration to legitimize the unusual game mechanics as they overlap perfectly. This symbiosis unfolds a very special kind of ludonarrative harmony which is rarely found, supported by the beautiful pixel art, the mysteriously calming background music and the special tunes that occur whenever flower gets pulled out from the sacred ground. Therefore, I can only thank the fabulous trio sincerely for their time and work. I was rarely so happy and proud that my name is Sebastian. >>PLAY