Fujii is a flower-filled garden of surprises that showcases everything wonderful about VR in a single experience.
I have played a lot of VR games over the years. Likely hundreds at this point, over many different platforms. I can say with absolute certainty that there has not been a single game or experience in VR that has left my mouth agape with awe as Fujii has, over and over again.
If you were to try to fit Fujii into a specific genre, I feel relaxation sim might be a good fit. There are so many ways that simply playing the game soothes the soul. The gorgeously brilliant colors that permeate each scene with a myriad of vibrance that adorn relatively simple shapes pair well with the simplistic touch-based controls to create a game that is as calming to play as it is to engage visually.
You play as an unnamed character whose slick and shiny hands help bring a land which has succumbed to darkness back to life, by spreading light and growth to each area you visit. Starting in the world tree, after gaining your bearings in regards to movement and VR interaction, your guide — a spritely gnome — ferries you off on his personal leaf gondola and blankets you in the sweet sound of his humble guitar-like instrument as you voyage to the beyond. The beyond is shrouded in darkness, however, and it’s up to you and your supernatural powers of healing to bring it back to its former glory.
In each of the three unique and equally beautiful areas you visit, you begin your journey in a small, well-lit landing spot. Paths branch off from this area, but your goal is clear: activate a beacon flower by reviving either animals, flowers or plants nearby. This will cause the light to expand out, giving you access to the otherwise shrouded pathways. Once it is fully powered up, tapping the flower with one of your hands releases the light energy up into the air and spreads out into this world, bringing with it progress. Each time you complete a task or stumble upon a rare plant or secret area, you’ll be rewarded with a Light Gem.
The Light Gems in Fujii act as both keys and a type of currency. Doors can be found throughout the various winding pathways and are unlocked with a handful of these gems — they open after inserting the required number into a port on the door itself. You might think that carrying a lot of gems around would be a daunting task, but thankfully as a garden caretaker, you have a blooming plantlike structure which contains pods of storage space that can be summoned at will.
You are able to both store and retrieve items freely from this entanglement of vines and petals, and as you remove them, your light gems will float in the air, whereas the other objects will fall to the ground. Thankfully, you can scoop them up with your amazingly stretchy arms and either move them back into your inventory or to their intended place. You can store seeds of plants you have found out and about as well as some of the creatures’ eggs, and you are able to plop them into your garden within the world tree and tend to them as you see fit.
Tending to your garden is a matter of placing a seed within a pot or similar vessel, and bestowing upon it a deluge of water, which oddly enough, spews from your hands. You can refill your water source by sucking in a stream of water into your arms and then carry it with you to water whatever you please. Spraying water across the ground also activates a stream of blooming flowers — it’s the little touches like this that make the game feel so right.
In this world of lush foliage and peculiar animals, there are straight up a bunch of flowers. You will be watering them, touching their petals, tapping their tops and even pulling down their stalks to activate them. Some are small, some are huge, but they all are beautifully crafted and fun to interact with. Even though most of your time is spent tending to your garden and finding enough gems to open doors, there are actually some musical Simon type puzzles that really brought a smile to my face. Playing musical notes on a flower’s petals is just surreal.
Music in the game is also top notch, with an exploratory synth-scape to it all. Cheerful and playful, it perfectly sets the tone and engrosses you even further in this whimsical wonderland. There is no combat or bad vibes — just peace, relaxation and the art of gardening. Everywhere you look in Fujii there is something to catch your eye, from fluttering alien fish to wisps of color that swirl about and pulse to the rhythm of nature. Fujii is truly a spectacle to behold and an absolutely transportative experience rife with awe and saturated with magical splendor.