After a failed start this monday, the IGF 2009 winning Blueberry Garden has finally been released by Erik SvendÃ¤ng. This is notable especially because I can’t recall the last time a grand prize winner was released in the same year that it actually won the prize! I kid of course, and truthfully it’s interesting for something like this to have earnt such a prestigious award as unlike previous titles such as Aquaria or Crayon Physics it’s pretty hard to talk about. You play the bird-man pictured above and simply explore the world however you desire in an attempt to partly play around with the world and experiment with it, and partly to figure out if there is some sort of conclusion. As play begins you are given an image of a tap flowing water, and from there on your task is to do what you will with that information.
It plays similarly to a platformer however you have the ability to pick up and eat different kind of fruits which bestow extra abilities, such as an air bubble around the protagonist. You can also fly, which takes away some of the usual expectations of a platformer clearly. You can’t fly straight upwards though, only on roughly a 180 degree angle with a little leeway on either side. Similarly to Takahashi’s ‘Noby Noby Boy’ its hard not to suggest to people to buy because of the incredibly cheap price point of $5, and whilst it’s hard to really tell people specifically what there is to do in the game there’s certainly a lot to enjoy here. The atmosphere is great and the music is a complete joy, as well as the sheer surreal juxtapositioning of a minimalistic terrain crossed with wonderfully vibrant vegetation and the occasional gigantic block of swiss cheese.
There’s a demo on Steam at the moment, which I hear mixed reports on whether it actually works or not, so at the very least you should play it to see whether you find it interesting or not. Ultimately though at just $5, no bad can come of that purchase, and if its really your curiosity that’s pursuaded you to play the game then that’s exactly the kind of mindset the game desires of you. It’s a game that fully deserves the recognition it received at GDC, and it truly deserves just as much today.