I confess that I was intrigued by Two leaves and a bud – Tea Garden Simulator, a game halfway between the loved / hated simulators for mobile devices and something zen to spend a few hours. Actually it’s a game unto itself, which starts out relatively well but gets boring and repetitive pretty quickly.
We are in the East, we are in the mountains, the music recalls just the right degree of melancholy from the past and everything is very, very green. After all the place looks good if you like the genre but, although it is important to note that it is only an early access, I seems to offer very poor gameplay for those who are not a true tea lover.
But let’s go slowly and, before moving on to a test of the game itself, Let’s take a look at the trailer that was already released a few months ago, which basically shows everything there is to know about Two Leaves and a bud – Tea Garden Simulator, now available on Steam with a 10% discount until April 19.
An environment with an oriental flavor
That in this game you breathe andReally relaxing atmosphere and worthy of the best tea house. it is undeniable, with mountains and green fields, tranquility and women from the Far East who are busy picking tea leaves. There is no real introduction to the game., so it is not known if we have bought this great piece of land with a lot of factory or wine as a gift from some distant relative, the fact is that now it is ours and it’s time to start making it fruity… Er, give in.
So here we are approached by an individual who begins to ask us for an order for tea, then another, then another … then another and so on. The dear anonymous lord seems to finish kilos and kilos of tea leaves faster than we can produce them but, above all, your quality expectations grow from order to order. If for the first orders it is enough to stick to the short initial tutorial and follow all the phases without too much trouble, then increasingly complicated variations begin to appear.
Basically this is it the story of Two Leaves and a Bud – Tea Garden Simulator: a kettle, plant tea, collect tea, work tea … if you can sell tea … and start over.
The thousand aspects of tea production
We understand that most of the game is clearly not made up of the plot, but let’s see how that whole process works. The explanation of everything, or in any case the simplest and most basic part of the game, is taught through two very short tutorials accessible from the home screen of the game, namely “Tea growing tutorial“AND”Tea Processing Tutorial”.
The first explains that we have to build a house for our workers, buy land, an expert for planting, move on for a few days and finally collect and stock the leaves in a special space, for sale. The second shows us the various processing stages– Pick the leaves, put them in the dryer, then in the toaster and voila, we are ready to start the world’s largest tea production.
Did I mention that Two Leaves and a bud – Tea Garden Simulator is currently in early access phase and this sadly makes her beautiful easy-target silkworm tea leaves and errors. Our notorious customer does not recognize the order, the temperature cannot be raised, the ATM does not fill, there is something for everyone but above all It was enough for me to restart the game a few times to get a slightly weaker and less bitter start..
After the very basic first orders, Creating the right product becomes difficult and the complete absence of instructions on how to proceed makes everything really boring.. The data available to the player is infinite. and most of them are almost totally useless, unless you have an agricultural background or are at least passionate about everything related to the world of tea.
The indications given in the recipe book for the different types of processing (such as white, green, oolong or black tea) are no longer sufficient, because variables start to come into play that I know nothing about and about which I will hardly be able to understand anything in the short term: I’m talking about substances present in the soil, of the variability of production according to season, Dell ‘altitude of the only parcel of land, but also of collection methods, same terrain improvements given by artificial fertilizers and iron pyrite…
I am confused, very confused … e in my frantic click I produce tons of tea leaves that my client does not want, but that I can still sell probably someone with a less delicate palate. I get rich in no time, but progress in missions is practically forbidden for me..
So I try to turn to tea master Zhang Wei., who I buy a cute tea room for him to put right outside my shed, but as he smiles at me from under his thin long white mustache, even he can’t help me. Or rather, the gives me some vague advice, but omits essential data: He tells me to put the leaves in the bamboo dishes, but not for how long, he tells me that the soil is not good, but he does not tell me why. in conclusion becomes an almost infinite series of attempts and when one is successful, at least I feel the thrill of victory.
But what an effort!
In short, the gameplay itself leaves something to be desired., also because it all boils down to the phases already listed above, in a endless repetition of clicks without feeling, with variables that are too complicated and really too customizable and no real guide that can help you understand how to create the right tea that the game requires. Of course, To enjoy it, you can play non-stop and create and sell tea., touch the different features present and see what comes out – never say never.
The technique is not water, but neither is tea.
The animations are super simple– A clear flow, employees walking and working and practically nothing else, not at this time. The graphics are very basic but really nice., with lots of greenery and designs that accompany the desperate search for a quality tea. The real problem with this game, wanting to overlook everything else, and music.
Yes really At first, this sweet melody really makes a beautiful first impression., after a few minutes of infinite cyclehonestly, it started to get on my nerves and I had to turn it down, until remove it after about an hour of play. As if repetition wasn’t enough every now and then you hear a drop that falls like a glass, making everything even more exhausting.
Maybe a little sugar is enough
Two leaves and a bud – Tea Garden Simulator di per se è a simple but well done game, as I said perhaps too well done, at least from the point of view of the variables. Lacking a guide and having only the possibility of being played through the mouse, everything is a bit confusing and repetitive, especially since at some point I found myself clicking here and there in the hope of obtaining the necessary quality to place the order.
It is certainly a management system in the true sense of the word, totally devoid of a story: we really play the role of a simple tea producer who, without too many frills, produces tea. Point. As we already mentioned Two Leaves and a bud – Tea Garden Simulator rimarrà in early access for one year but honestly I hope the developer uses these twelve months to make the correct changes..
Perhaps a more detailed tutorial in the various mechanics, which are so many: they start from the number of leaves to be collected per plant and reach the drying temperature, until the time they remain in the bamboo trays. Without a doubt, it would be nice to have some musical variation because, as nice and relaxing as it is, after a while the endless repetition of that audio track becomes, in my humble opinion, really unnerving.