As if playing a painting, Potata: fairy flower is a puzzle platformer that is filled with visual personality. Although the game has a distinct look, the puzzles are dastardly, the obstacles repeat, and the overall lack of direction is frustrating.
Taking control of a young witch trying to find ingredients to heal her sick pet fox, the player will need to platform through environments filled with hazards and collectables. Within the first ten minutes, the player will be faced with a square pressing puzzle that provides zero indication what to do. At first, I didn’t even know it was a puzzle, let alone a mandatory element that needed to be completed in order to progress. Then, I had no clue what I was actually supposed to do as there is no indication. After several minutes of frustration, I paid a NPC all my collected coins to earn a hint but the hint didn’t even help much, just highlighting a few squares without telling you anything more. Unfortunately, I wish I could say this opening puzzle was a fluke but it is not the case. Each puzzle acts the same way, not guiding the player, and is such a shame because what should have been one of the better gameplay elements becomes the worst part.
Boss battles and level design are not much better. The player will constantly face the same annoying obstacles, especially these floating orange spikey things that hover back and forth for no reason. This super generic non-defeatable hazard is everywhere and a lazy design choice. It is even incorporated into some boss battles too. Eventually the player finds some offensive capabilities, such as a sword swipe, but it still doesn’t truly play to the strength of the level design. There are also hundreds of floating coins to collect and items to find. These items, such a key to open a chest or a wooden plank to reach the other side, are necessary to continue which could create some tedious backtracking. Backtracking through the annoying hazards to look for that one thing that was actually in your inventory the entire time but didn’t think to use it in that one spot because there is no indication on what to do.
Potata might look like a unique platformer at first glance thanks to the whimsical visual design but winds up being an annoying puzzle platformer at best. The obtuse story and wordy dialog doesn’t provide any favors either. Patient players might have the tenacity to suffer through the obscure puzzles and collect-a-thon gameplay but other will probably just want to replay they favorite retro platformer instead.
Also available on PS4 and PC.
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