One of my core memories in life is, embarrassingly enough, a scene from the very lesbian show, the L Word. In this scene Alice Pieszecki highlights ‘The Chart’ – a whiteboard of names that signify one thing: gosh, queer women hang around in a lot of the same dating circles don’t they? The L Word has aged pretty poorly, but that chart still holds a special, sapphic significance to me and as such, it’s what came to mind during my experience with Wylde Flowers.
Developed and published by Studio Drydock, Wylde Flowers is a very queer-inclusive farming sim game, but with a witchy twist. You play as Tara Wylde who, after being dumped by your significant other and losing your job, returns to the town of Fairhaven to live with your grandma, Hazel. After settling in you discover your magic potential, and things end up spiralling from there.
As well as magic, mining, farming and everything else you can expect in a farming sim, Tara is surrounded by a tight-knit community, as well as several love interests. I knew from the get-go that I was either going to romance Westley, the werewolf bookseller with a heart of gold, or Amira, Fairhaven’s doctor and fellow witch. After several hours of playing though, Amira won my heart because yes, I am hot for doctor, thank you for asking. Little did I know that this decision would lead me to stumbling right into Fairhaven’s very own L Word chart.
History plays a key role in Wylde Flowers, and that seemingly goes double for uh, sapphic history. During my pursuit of Amira I discovered that Kim, the Japanese non-binary sweetheart who is Fairhaven’s butcher, also had a crush on Amira. So I did what anyone else would do in a situation like this: research how to win Amira’s heart before anyone else could – sorry Kim. Several Oatmeal Raisin Cookies later, Amira asked Tara out on a date, and we were officially going steady.
It’s around this time that I discovered something: Kim was not going to take this standing down. They let me know that they were happy for Tara and Amira’s blossoming relationship, however they had had their eye on Amira too and seeing us together was, you know, not fun. As someone who has been in that situation, I can respect the honesty and while I felt sorry for Kim I felt that this was something they’d get over.
Reader, Kim did not get over it. In one of our many interactions together they took Tara to one side and informed her that they’d seen Giva (another lesbian character and love interest) and Amira walking together up the mountain pass. Hell yeah, it’s cool for Wylde Flowers to show queer platonic relationships, I thought. That was until Kim implied Amira was going to leave Tara for Giva. To be exact, they said: “I’m sure it was just like a friend thing, of course. It’s not like Amira’s going to throw you off just because a cute new girl moved to town.” Not only did I gasp at the absolute shade of it all, but I felt betrayed. Kim, honey, we were friends a whole season ago and now you’re pulling out the claws? Yeowch.
(Yes Kim, I found out that you liked Amira and as your friend I should have probably respected that but also goddamn you this is a video game and I wanted to kiss the hot, witch doctor.)
It didn’t help that Kim also mentioned their love for Amira at my wedding with her a few weeks after. Kim I love you, but at my wedding? Honey…
However, this little tiff between Tara, Amira and Kim? It’s a little messy sure, but it is also only the tip of the iceberg that is the sapphic dating history of Fairhaven’s residents. Buckle in reader, it’s about to get complex.
Before Tara even rocked up to the island of Fairhaven, Amira was in a brief on and off again relationship with an immortal fae creature called Peri. Tara meets Peri for the first time in Ravenwood Hollow during the Summer season, though we don’t learn anything about her relationship with Amira until further on in Wylde Flowers‘ story. It’s never really touched upon by the two women, but it becomes clear through talking with the other magical residents that there is some lingering resentment between the two. I smell a messy break up.
However, it isn’t until much later in the game that we get an idea on why Peri isn’t all that into Amira outside of an occasional hook-up. As it turns out, being immortal isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be and has led Peri to closing herself off from romantic attachments. It doesn’t help that she’s also still madly in love with Vivian Wylde, a human that’s also Tara’s ancestor. With Vivian being human, when she died it broke Peri’s heart and so, outside of the occasional dalliance, she decided to never love again. It’s a sad tale, but I won’t lie to you: it didn’t stop me from hitting on Peri all the same, because I can’t say no to drama!
Just so we’re all up to speed on what’s happening here: Tara is dating Amira, who had a shared attraction to Kim but it didn’t go anywhere, but it did go somewhere with Peri. But! Peri couldn’t fully commit to Amira because she was still in love with Tara’s ancestor, Vivian Wylde. Huh.
Wylde Flowers is a charming, outrageously entertaining game for sapphic drama and I, for one, am here for it.