I too found the NYTimes article cited by Dana Ditman. The mention of Blueberry Garden as a game of “curiosity and exploration” piqued my interest. Unfortunately, it is currently a PC-only game and I have a Mac. After spending way too much time downloading, installing, and ultimately unsuccessfully trying to run it with Crossover Games, I used a PC in the EdTec computer lab. While I did not spend enough time to complete the game (my ineptness at electronic games might mean a long term commitment) I did get enough of a feel for it.
The Malone and Lepper article, Making Learning Fun: A Taxonomy of Intrinsic Motivations for Learning, identified an explicit goal and the computer keeping score as strong indicators of game preference. Blueberry Garden is very different in that regard. The goal is quite fuzzy, “find out what is going on there”, and there is no score. There is also no timer, but time is critical because the world eventually fills with water and when you run out of air you return to a starting point.
The 2D graphics are rather simplistic, yet it has an emotionally compelling fantasy appeal, supported by the music and sound effects.
The ultimate appeal of Blueberry Garden is to cognitive curiosity, for an audience that enjoys exploring an unknown world.