Luxuria Superbia is not a subtle metaphor

While storytelling tends to use the device of one thing actually meaning another, metaphor is generally a subtext.  It’s obvious when you see it, and there’s some good hints to point you in the right direction, but if you just want to take things at face value that’s fine.  “As you wish” doesn’t always have to mean something other than “Sure, no problem”.  And then there’s Luxuria Superbia.

Luxuria Superbia is the newest game from Tale of Tales, an indie developer known for their artistic approach to game design.  It’s far more game-y than their normal fare, but accessibility doesn’t mean the game has less to say.  Luxuria Superbia is a game of flowers, and it’s the player’s job to make them bloom with color.

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This is done by touch, either using the gamepad or mouse on PC or by direct touch on iOS.  You start in a garden that’s all white with one flower available, and the levels consist of traveling down a multi-walled tube and touching the buds on the walls to bring a little more color to that section.  It doesn’t take long to completely fill in the walls, but Luxuria Superbia needs a gentler hand than that.  Over-eagerness results in failure, while a careful touch keeping the tunnel right on the edge of blossoming without going over racks up the points.  The flower likes to be touched and will respond with words of encouragement, and true success comes from prolonging its experience and yes, this is a game about sex.

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There’s a web browser demo over here, four levels long and powered by Unity.  It’s absolutely worth seeing, and accomplishes the amazing feat of being 100% work-safe despite almost every aspect of it being an obvious sexual metaphor.  While interesting enough on PC, though, after watching the video below it seems like the best possible experience would be iOS.  Some activities are best performed with a direct touch, after all.