Date: October 16, 2010
App type: Game, Xbox LIVE
Publisher: Microsoft Games Studios
Release date: September 30, 2010
Requirements: Access to your data connection, Xbox LIVE
I've been using a Windows Phone since July, and while the experience has been excellent since day one, the one piece of the puzzle I really missed over the summer was app availability. Sure, Microsoft offered a handful of lame sample apps, but what I really wanted was the production stuff, especially the games. And especially, even more, the Xbox LIVE games.
Finally, in late September, Microsoft delivered its first two Xbox LIVE titles for Windows Phone, well ahead of the system launch so that the Marketplace delivery and update services could be tested within a wide audience. Among these two launch titles was Flowerz, a free Xbox LIVE title offering 200 Achievement points (which is the limit for Windows Phone titles, as it is for Xbox LIVE Arcade games on the 360).
Flowerz is addicting, and a great game for a touch-screen-based system like Windows Phone. It's also a great game for those tiny time slices you may have, standing in line perhaps, or waiting to pick someone up at the train station. You can jump into a game, drop out, and then pick up again whenever you like. The game's smart about "tombstoning"--that is, it saves the game state when you exit to do something else, or just turn off the phone--making this capability possible.
As with many puzzle games, the goal of Flowerz is to connect a number of like-colored objects together in a row on a grid. In this case, those objects are of course flowers. There are several colors, with more being added over the lifetime of a game, two-color flowers that leave behind another flower when removed, colored butterflies for changing any flower's color, spades for moving flowers, and more. There are two game modes, Standard and Expert, the primary difference being that Expert starts off with mostly two-colored flowers, which is a bit trickier.
I've purchased or downloaded every Xbox LIVE game that's available for Windows Phone so far (and there are 8), but only Flowerz has earned a spot on my Start screen. It's just a fun little game, and you certainly can't beat the price.
Because Flowerz is an Xbox LIVE title, it offers the following Achievements:
| First Bloom |
Complete the first level in a game of Flowerz.
| Bouquet |
Create 100 total flower matches in games of Flowerz.
| Rotating Crops |
Play a single game of Standard and Expert modes.
| Plan Ahead |
Create a 3 level cascade of flowers.
| Leisure Garden |
Play 25 games of Flowerz.
| Florist |
Clear 1,000 total flowers in games of Flowerz.
| Window Garden |
Earn 100,000 total points in games of Flowerz.
| Petal Power |
Match 5 flowers in a single row.
| Plan Far Ahead |
Clear 12 flowers with a single flower placement.
| Flowerz Addict |
Play 100 games of Flowerz.
| Butterfly Luck |
Use 100 total butterflies in games of Flowerz.
| Flowerz Zen |
Earn 250,000 total points in games of Flowerz.
| Green Thumb |
Reach level 20 in a single game of Standard or Expert mode.
| Clean Slate |
Clear the board of flowers in Standard and Expert modes.
| Master Florist |
Score 9,000 points during a single Standard game.