I remembered playing the action adventure game he and Omar created, The Flowering Nose, a couple of years back when my eyes were first opening to the potential the Web offered for games. The Java applet impressed me with the old-school charm of its scrolling tile-based worlds, its quirky characters and dialog, and its addictive gameplay; and all delivered within the convenience of a browser.
And yet the moment the game begins you realize that this is no ordinary Web game. Immediately you are teleporting back to the glory days of the SNES and landing squarely within the Strawberry level. From there your task is to seek out the one last sprout, which is the one item you need to open the final gate.
To find the sprout you will first have to find a host of other items that will eventually lead you to it. Some items you will use, others you will trade with NPCs that you meet along the way. The catch is that you can only carry one item at a time.
Items are magical in this game because each item allows you to teleport to a unique level named after it. Within each level you will find a teleport device that must be activated by placing an item (any item) onto the large red "X" next to the sunflower. Once activated, you can travel to that item's level by moving onto the teleporter.
Control in the game is with the mouse. Left-click to move the Flowering Nose to the square you click on, or hold down the mouse button to have the nose constantly following the mouse. Right-click to toss flowers, which are your munitions against enemies. You can collect more flowers at any time by simply moving over them, the same way you pick up any item. Press [space] to drop an item; you'll use this technique when dropping an item on the red "X" to activate the teleporter. Press [X] to use an item, such as digging with the pick axe, or opening a door with the key.
The game packs several hours of play time, so you will want to make use of the red flag poles in the game to save your progress. Caution: do not save your game (if you can help it) on the Cherry level. I encountered a bug in which the nose got stuck every time it loaded my game from there. I had to start a new game because of it.
Yes, it's an odd game with a few minor issues, and yet it was brilliantly designed by Seth Fisher to contain amazing depth, wit and charm. This strange and beautiful game should not be missed, as it is not often that you will find a game with this level of detail presented in a deceptively simple way. It is a throwback to the video game classics of years ago; a rare find, and one of a kind.
Seth Fisher died suddenly from an accidental fall on January 30, 2006; he was just 33. His artwork and memories live on through his family, and through this wonderful game on collaborator Omar's website.
- Seth Fisher (FloweringNose): concept, level design, graphics, story
- Omar Waly (RadicalPlay): engine, programming, sound and music