Tane wo Maku Tori (たねをまく鳥, seed-sowing bird), is a puzzle game for the WonderSwan where you help a sad bird grow plants so it has enough food to feed its family.
Tane wo Maku Tori is played with the WonderSwan held in portrait orientation. This means the Y buttons are on the bottom left and the X buttons are on the bottom right. For navigating menus you use the Y buttons like they were a D-pad and use the X3 to select options and X4 to cancel (they’re just like using A and B if you were holding the WonderSwan in landscape).
During gameplay you mostly use the Y buttons. The game takes its influence from ghostleg or ladder lotteries. The gameplay involves moving amida bars up and down in different columns.
- Y1 and Y3 — Move your column selection left and right, respectively
- Y2 and Y4 — Move the bars in the selected column up and down, respectively
- X3 — Will accelerate the water droplets while pressed
- スコア (current score)
- T (remaining time
- Water drops, which you are trying to direct to the seed
- Later levels have hazards including these bugs that will try to eat the flowers
- The column you’ve currently selected is shaded darker
- The seeds that you are trying to grow into huge flowers
Also, 7 shows where an ETC mark will appear if the time is about to run out or a bug is about to eat the flower in multiplayer mode.
Clearing a stage
The connecting “branches” that you move up and down are sometimes branches, sometimes steel girders and all sorts of other things. So from now on I will refer to them as amida. You select a column and move the amida up and down in that column.
At the start of a level, the seed-planting bird will drop a seed. Your goal is to guide water droplets to the seed and help it grow. When the seeds have bloomed, the bird will collect new seeds for the next level.
If time reaches zero and you haven’t grown your plant, it’s game over. If your plant is eaten by insects or other creatures, it’s game over. Even if you’re on a level with multiple plants growing, it’s game over if a single one is eaten.
Water flows from the top of the screen down to the bottom and moves along any amida they come across. They will only continue to move straight down if they don’t come across amida to cross. If the amida is at an angle, the droplets can only travel down them but not up them.
Water drops always appear as small droplets, but because of how they move around on amida they can come into contact with each other and form larger droplets. A bigger droplet reaching your plant is great for the plant and means you’re only worrying about how to get that single droplet where it needs to be. But if you mess it up then that’s quite a waste! The larger the droplets you use, the higher your score will be.
When the droplets combine in the middle of a horizontal amida they will be stuck there as a larger droplet (as shown above) but if they are hit again by another droplet they will start moving again. Combining droplets is good but if you combine too many it will form a white droplet, which will instantly fall off the level. Even if the white droplet falls onto your plant it won’t count as nourishing and won’t add to your score. There is something you can do with these largest, white droplets that will be explained later in “Special techniques”.
Insects move around the amida much like the water droplets do, except they can move up and down the level including up and down any angled amida (as shown above). The main difference that matters is that you want to keep the insects as far away from your plant as possible. You can keep insects near the top of the level, away from your plants, but they eat up your water droplets too. Instead of letting them interfere, guide the insects down the level like you do for water droplets but aim to have them fall off away from your plant. When you’re playing this game well, you’re simultaneously guiding droplets to the plant and insects away from the plant in such a way that your droplets avoid the insects on the way down.
If you make a big enough water droplet, you can use it to knock away insects that have started eating your plant.
When a pest or water droplet is on an amida branch you can move them up and down. For example, rather than only moving amida to stop pests from moving onto them, you could let them move on to one and then move that one much further away from your plant. You could also transport a water droplet down nearer the plant very quickly.
A droplet can’t move onto amida as the amida is being moved. Let’s say a droplet is moving down and about to reach an amida. If you move the amida up, the droplet will continue to move down because the amida was in motion when it passed by.
Big droplets of water can wash away bugs. If you time it well, you can wash away multiple bugs at the same time with a single droplet.
If your bigger droplet washes away bugs, even if it later becomes a white droplet it will continue to move along amida instead of dropping off instantly. So by attacking bugs you can make the biggest droplets including the white one and still guide it to the plant. Doing it this way will count all the droplets that came together so you can achieve very high scores.
When you start the game you can skip the opening cinematic or gameplay demo (which appears if you wait long enough) with the X3 button (taking the place of the A button if you were in landscape). Move the cursor around with the Y buttons. The modes to select from the main menu appear in the following order:
Story mode. The birds sows seeds at the start of each level and you grow the plant. There are 8 levels.
Continuous mode. First you select a difficultly level. 易 is easy, 並 is regular, and 難 is hard. At first you can only select easy. Once you have bloomed 10 flowers in easy mode, the regular mode is unlocked. Once you’ve bloomed 10 flowers in regular mode, the hard mode is unlocked.
In this mode the time limit increases if you cause a flower to bloom. You still lose if the time reaches zero but by blooming flowers you can make the game last longer. In the top right, below the time remaining, is a counter showing how many seeds you’ve managed to bloom into flowers.
Battle mode. This is the regular game but multiplayer using two WonderSwans connected by an extension cable.
View your high scores for each mode.