In Flower Knight Girl, a terrible foe has descended on the world of Spring Garden, and it’s up to you and a special cadre of verdant fighters to drive the enemy back to where it came from. You are their newest commander (in true JRPG fashion, you are woken up from a deep sleep by your busty assistant on your very first day) of the Flower Knights, and it’s up to you to hire, train, and equip them, before sending them off to eradicate the pests that are infesting the nation. Along the way you’ll be a fighter and a lover, squashing petulant pests from each mission map, and romancing your Knights by bringing them gifts in the hope of earning their favor – which will increase their stats, and make them more effective fighters in your honor.
Once you send them out to fight, your job is largely done. As your assistant tells you early on: they take care of the battles, while you handle the war, and it’s the war management that drives much of the game. Before you take on a mission, you’ll be assigning your Flower Knights into several squads of five. You’ll be looking for groups that complement each other, and negotiating speed (how quickly the Knights move through a map) with power (how hard to stomp on bugs). On top of that, you’ll be able to receive assistance from another player’s collection, by friending them in-game and then borrowing their toughest squad and taking it into battle alongside your own. It’s a good opportunity to learn from other players, find out what combinations work best, and see some rare Flower Knight Girls in action.
The mission maps are laid out like a board game: your squads hop from node to node, collecting treasure or fighting pests. Occasionally, randomizers will split them up, sending them down divergent paths, and possibly into danger. Essentially, you watch as your knights stumble wildly across the map and into the mandibles of various insectoid enemies, like so many marbles cascading down the world’s most terrifying pachinko machine.
That’s not to say you can do nothing to help your heroines once they’ve taken the field. You have two strategic abilities that can change the course of a given mission. First of all, several of the scenarios offer you multiple starting nodes from which to launch your assault, and it’s usually wise to split your squads up among them. If you see one path is loaded with pests and the other nothing but treasure chests, you can split your groups up accordingly, with the bulk of your fighting force taking the hard road.
The second trick up your sleeve is the solar beam. Whenever a unit of yours encounters an enemy, you have access to a limited-use solar blast. This weapon fires down from the sky and blasts all the baddies in battle, but just when to use it is tricky indeed. Do you protect your weakest squad, so they can grab the treasure beyond? Or do you make the journey easier for your top-tier warriors, giving you a clear path to victory? It’s a tricky decision, and a good commander sometimes has to doom one squad for the good of the army.
The interface is nothing overwhelming for fans of classic Japanese role-playing games like Final Fantasy, Ogre Battle or Chrono Trigger. For the hardcore fan, there’s plenty of numbers and stat bonuses to play with, but there’s no need to worry too much about that. Knowing that a fighter like Sunflower likes to eat cake, and keeping all the Knights well-equipped with bracelets and earrings, is more than enough to get a strong squad through some tough battles. When your fighters do need help, you can always borrow a friend’s.
In another tribute to classic Japanese games, the Knights themselves are hired through a gachapon-like machine. After collecting gacha seeds and flower gems on the battlefield, you’ll cash these in for new, random Flower Knights, of varying levels of rarity and power. Each of them are, if you’ll pardon the pun, “green” when they first arrive, so you’ll need to train them up. If you get multiples of a girl you’ve already added to your collection, then no worries - you use any “extra” fighters to level up your favorite units.
As for the women themselves, the game goes to a good amount of effort to give them character. The art is attractive, with a variety of body types and attire on display. Personalities, too, run the gamut, from aristocratic waifs to curvy firecrackers. It should be noted that each one has her own plant-based name, too - your battalion can consist of knife-wielding Dandelions, to gun-toting Jasmines, and every other flower in between.
Free To Play
The game is free to play, and while you can pay for some things, there’s little in Flower Knight Girl you can’t get just by beating missions and playing normally. You’ll be completing achievement quests left and right, rewarding you with yet more characters or gifts or gold. Special quests and missions are available daily, and the allies you’ve made through lending squads out sometimes need a hand defeating the brutal Raid Bosses that pop up. Just signing in each day is going to get you some kind of bonus each time.
The English translation of the game is available now at Nutaku.com; all you need to do is register, no payment required. If you are a fan of anime games, JRPGs, or simply watching battle-hardened babes kicking bug butt, Flower Knight Girl is the game for you.