“Once upon a time, in a quiet corner of Nirgendheim, there was a village called Sylasia. The Sylasians were known to be friendly and kind by everyone. They were the keepers of magical Sunflowers, which unlike other sunflowers in Nirgendheim, were more like family members to the Sylasians.
In the neighboring lands of Sauris, in a tower looming far above the lands, lived the Evil Eagle of the East. All the Evil Eagle wanted was power for himself. He tried to collect all manners of magical items from all across the realm. His most recent target, the magical Sunflowers of Sylasia!
Can you help the Sylasians ward off the Evil Eagle of the East? The Sylasians and their sunflowers need all the help that you can give them.”
Sunflowers have long been a symbol of Ukraine—the worlds largest producer of sunflower seeds—a symbol of peace, and a symbol of resistance. They are put to good use in The Magical Sunflowers, a fundraiser game released by the fine folks over at Engima Fellowship to raise money for UNICEF, to help families affected by the Ukrainian conflict.
I’m always inspired when people are able to use their own unique skills and creativity to make the world a better place. So I was very happy to purchase and play this game. The whole experience took about 50 minutes for me to play through, solving puzzles as it told an uplifting story about hope along the way.
The Magical Sunflowers reads like a fairy tale; while clearly inspired by the current events in Ukraine, the story is told through metaphor and symbolic imagery. The tone is kept intentionally light and the story beats are broad, making it a great game to play through with children. Much like Enigmida’s passover-themed game Escape the Plagues, this game could be used as a discussion starter during family game night.
The puzzles are on the easier side of things, which fits well with the idea of the game being more appropriate for the entire family. The highlight of the experience is a set of puzzles near the end of the game that are thoughtfully crafted to all tie into each other in some fun, exciting, and novel ways. That sequence alone is worth the price of admission.
The hint system comes in a separate pdf, allowing for offline play. Th system is a progressive hint system, with the hints jumbled up and peppered with false hints and solutions to prevent you from accidentally spoiling yourself on other puzzles. (There’s also a couple of delightfully groan-worthy dad jokes in there, do read through them after you’ve solved the game!)
Picking up this game is a no-brainer—especially for families that game together. The family-friendly story is timely, the puzzles are fun and your purchase supports a great cause.
Also, if you’re reading this before April 14th, 2022, be sure to check out The Book of Dreams on Indiegogo, for another puzzle-themed fundraiser.