Pair of LEAVES spring to life on Steam
It's a bit early for most of us to be looking for the first leaves of the season, but spring has come early this year in the form of not one but TWO games from German studio ZAR 21 and Daedalic Entertainment.
In LEAVES: The Journey, players arrive on the "high plateau of the Stony Mountains" inhabited by a race of tiny creatures known as the Treefruities. Unfortunately, your appearance causes such a commotion that they let go of their protective leaves, only for a gust of wind to scatter them "all across the lands of Mononino." After exploring this fantastical land to help the Treefruities retrieve their missing leaves, it might seem that all is well. But many years later in LEAVES: The Return, after the Treefruities have moved to a less windy location, their new home tree is "rocked by a giant fit of sneezing" that sends the leaves flying in all directions once again. And so you head out once more, traversing the strange world of Mononino on your second leaf hunt.
Inspired by the likes of Samorost and Machinarium, each LEAVES game sends players through four distinct worlds depicting "real sculptures in a surreal dreamscape." Both are first-person point-and-click adventures, and you can can expect plenty of "challenging puzzles and unique mini games" along the way, as the developer also cites RHEM as a key influence. If for some reason you're interested more in the sequel than the original, The Return can be played as a standalone game with no knowledge of its predecessor.