Morning everyone, and welcome to another installment of Android Amusements. In this week’s review, we’re going over Marten Jonsson’s Meadowlands. It’s more of an interactive journey than a game. Think of it as something like a zen garden, only with a fairy flying around a world, occasionally singing a song to inspire action.
Meadowland is described as an interactive poem, and that’s fairly accurate. It’s more an interactive experience than a game. Players exploration of the world at different times of the day unveil new secrets, and making the fairy “sing” at suspicious looking spots can alter the actions of the environment or the people within it. You have an idea of what’s going on, but it’s vaguely designed.
It’s designed to feel whimsical and magical, and Meadowland does. The fairy is the only thing a player has control over, and this ball of light can be guided and directed around the screen. Pressing and holding the fairy will make it sing and, as I mentioned earlier, singing in the right spot can make things happen. People will take notice, plants may react differently, and it’s enough to make you believe in the butterfly effect.
I also enjoyed the use of time in Meadowland. There is a multi-chapter story hidden there, but you won’t see it if you just visit two or three times a week at the same time. You have to stop by at different times of day, over the course of a few days, to really see how the land shifts and changes, and what the people there do. Though some changes are subtle, the skyscape is soothingly beautiful and anytime something is different, it’s easy to pick up on it.
I do feel that a little more guidance would have been beneficial for Meadowland players though. Visiting certain areas at specific times can allow users to eavesdrop and observe important events. However, there’s no way to know when these times may be. The official website is no help, and attempting a Google search only brings up various stadiums and a casino. (You failed me, Google!)
While I appreciate the idea of finding your own way, and exploring Meadowland at your own pace, it took me a week to complete the first chapter. Even now, I couldn’t really tell you how I managed it, because it wasn’t as though I was taking notes. I just happened to stumble onto the right events.
Which, I suppose, is a part of Meadowland‘s charm. If you’re willing to put the time into it, and explore every aspect of this virtual world, then you’ll be rewarded with the chance to proceed and see new things. It’s almost better to go in, expecting nothing special to happen that play session, because then you’re pleasantly surprised when something does.
Still, given the nature of the game and the experience that follows, I would encourage people who are interested in Meadowland to watch the trailer first, and really think before buying. It’s a $3.09 game and there’s no demo, so there may be some buyer’s remorse if someone picks up Meadowland without knowing what they’re getting into.
Though I would have appreciated an extra hand to hold when I stumbled, Meadowland is a soothing adventure. I’ve taken to playing it before bed, to help ease my mind and relax. It’s a pretty little trip through a fantastic world and, even if nothing happens, it’s fun to watch a fairy soar through the skies in five minute bursts.