The onset of spring brings with it the vitality and energy of new life after our sleepy winter hibernation. Flowers bloom, days are getting longer, and critters grace us in their abundance: nature comes alive!
Games based in spring share these uplifting characteristics and project the same fresh optimism to our screens. whatever the genre. Sims allow us to be the creatures that encompass the season, platformers encourage us to leap and bound like newborn lambs, while the friction of puzzle games is quelled by the positive mood they encapsulate.
Below is a list of the best springtime games to lift your spirits in a warm and colorful embrace.
1. Cloud Gardens
An homage to the magical spirit of Mother Nature, Cloud Gardens puts us in the bleakest of scenarios and gives us the power to override the ruin with verdant, plentiful vegetation.
In a post-apocalyptic wasteland we find ourselves the harbingers of a new age of spring. Rusty, worn-out landscapes, imbued with a dreary and poignant hue, take on vitality and color as we help nature reclaim this neglected environment.
Players can add additional tarnished objects to the diorama but everything must be covered in vegetation before you can move on. Cloud Gardens is meditative in its peaceful isolation and beautiful in its loneliness. It is a metaphor for hope in otherwise desperate times and provides a welcome respite from the stresses of the world.
2. Bee Simulator
Entertaining and educational, Bee Simulator puts you in the furry thorax of one of our little flying friends. Nothing says spring like the buzzing cacophony of bees in full pollen-grabbing force around freshly-bloomed flowers.
Bee Simulator beautifully recreates the symbiotic environment that brings humans and nature together and exudes the vibrancy and busyness of the season from the micro-perspective of a bee.
Through engaging mini-games and missions, the player learns the hierarchical structure of the hive and the difficulties faced by this important apian species. With an aim to save your family and colony from the impending threat of tree-felling around your home, you fly around the lively park searching for pollen, dancing with your siblings and fighting off invading wasps.
This family-friendly game really highlights the darker, anthropocentric side of humanity and is an empathy-inducing insight into the hardships of the insect world.
3. Plant Tycoon
Plant Tycoon is the perfect game for anyone who is less than green-fingered in the real world. The objective is to propagate the 6 Magic Plants of Isola which can only be achieved by cross-breeding to get the perfect genetic mix.
Taking the ‘Magic Plants’ out of the equation, this is a simple, satisfying and relaxing game in the realms of Fish Tycoon. You start with a pocketful of seeds, some soil and water and you start to grow. The game progresses in real-time so, like a vegetal Tamagotchi, you need to keep track of your plants to ensure they grow strong and healthy.
Plant Tycoon is a perfect springtime accompaniment for those who don’t have the time, inclination or space to nurture a physical, blooming garden of their own.
4. Isle of Ewe
If you’ve ever wondered how much trouble wandering sheep can actually get into then Isle of Ewe has the answer: a lot.
Your mischievous flock has gone wandering and it is up to you, as their shepherd, to rescue them. The game starts as a fairly basic 3D platformer as you leap from platform to platform searching for, and herding, your fleecy friends. But it soon moves past these simplicities.
Your little shepherd stacks sheep upon sheep in an impressively balanced ovine tower as you dodge speeding boulders and hungry golems all the while throwing the poor creatures at interactable objects. This is a lively game that is well worth checking out (especially as it’s free to play).
5. Spring Falls
Nothing is more springy than watching flowers grow, and that is exactly what this entry is about. Players manipulate the hexagonal environment to raise and drop tiles in order to create a flow of water to an expectant seed.
The screen is awash with pastel greens and blues gently shadowing the surface of a towering, hexagonal mountain. As levels progress multiple seeds are introduced and land needs to be made green and fertile through watering before the flowers can grow. Puzzles become increasingly difficult but never to the point of being vexing.
From the meditative, comforting music to the soothing chords played each time a tile is selected, the audial experience is just as Zen as the visual. The whole game is drenched in a serenity that melts away your worries like a deep and satisfying sigh.
This minimalistic idle clicker couldn’t be more bright and alive. Its vividness acts as a striking depiction of the energy of spring. All this within the framework of your own on-screen garden.
Tend it well, and soon your garden will attract life; before you know it, it’ll be teeming with critters including ‘helpers’ – little blue-spherical creatures whose sole purpose is to help your garden thrive whilst you’re idle. The game continues in real-time which means you’re progressing while you’re away from all the furious clicking.
Vermin are also inevitably drawn to your patch and need to be forced away either with the click of the mouse or the aid of a guard dog. This addictive game will invariably lead to many hours spent nurturing and expanding this flourishing habitat.
7. Spring Bonus
A cute match-3 puzzle game; Spring Bonus has the player preparing for spring by melting away the last remaining remnants of an icy winter. The usual rules apply as you attempt to connect as many matching tiles as possible, all adorned by suitably endearing springtime symbols.
Fluffy, yellow chicks, lively lambs and bouncy bunnies fall ever-downward, popping and exploding in an amusingly violent manner. A cheerful soundtrack rings in your ear like a gaudy Mary Poppins fruit machine as you race against time to clear the level.
A more relaxed, untimed version is also available to anyone wanting to complete the 100 stages without any undue stress. Spring Bonus is an uplifting and warming time-killer to fill the brightening evenings.