How to play a game that doesn't want to be played? Calendula is an experimental meta game about trying to play a game. Use your logic to thrive against conventions and get surrounded by a dark atmosphere.
User reviews:
Recent:
Mostly Positive (22 reviews) - 72% of the 22 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Mostly Positive (178 reviews) - 75% of the 178 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Feb 2, 2016

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Recent updates View all (1)

February 3

Eyes room bug fixed!

Hi, dear players!

We are glad to announce that the launch bug related to the "eyes room" has been already fixed. We are so sorry for the inconvenience, and hope you enjoy the experience.

Cheers!

21 comments Read more

Reviews

“If you ask me, the scariest things are the ones that feel a little too real. Meta as fuck? You betcha.”
Kotaku

“Its computery chills looks pretty dang swish. Interesting, that, innit?”
Rock Paper Shotgun

“Like a haunted house where the doors and hallways shift around you, Calendula is a slippery thing to inhabit.”
Offworld

About This Game

What is Calendula?

Calendula is an experience. Calendula is a mystery. Calendula is a glass full of blood. Calendula is an experiment. Calendula is an atmospheric game. Calendula is a flower. Calendula is your deepest secret...

About Calendula

  • Calendula begins as a usual game... until it is not anymore.
  • The player's goal will be to unveil the mystery behind an apparently broken game, but it won't be easy.
  • Calendula's mechanics are entirely focused on the struggle of trying to start a game, exploring the limits of the 4th wall and breaking with conventions.
  • Calendula's aesthetics follows an increasing obscure atmosphere, plunging the player into a disturbing, thrilling experience.
  • The narrative is built within a labyrinth of metaphors and abstractions, ready to be unraveled.
  • Unlike other games, the player will feel as if things didn't work the way they should, similar to Twin Peaks' Red Room (David Lynch).
  • The player's journey goes from simple to complex, from bright to somber, from real to dreamlike.
  • To follow Calendula's path, the player will have to use his wit and think outside the box. In this case, a tiny oppressive box.

    Please, remember this: It is not your fault.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows 7 or later
    • Processor: 1.7 GHz Dual Core
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Card with at least 512 MB VRAM and Shader Model 3.0 or higher
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: Snow Leopard 10.6.8 or later
    • Processor: Intel Core Duo
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Card with at least 512 MB VRAM and Shader Model 3.0 or higher
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Recent:
Mostly Positive (22 reviews)
Overall:
Mostly Positive (178 reviews)
Recently Posted
.Frost.
( 2.5 hrs on record )
Posted: June 25
Interesting puzzle game, but way too short for the money. I like the concept of the "game" that cannot be played. As that is a daily problem for most with normal games. No real plot or story, but you kind of piece the puzzle together, with its bizarre graphics, photos, videos. Once the ending comes you will kind of relate the images to the answer, though this is grasping at straws.

For a quick bit of entertainment, it is neither good or bad. Just an average time filler that I would get on sale. At least 75% off would be nice.

Overall I give this a 2 out of 5 Beers.

Cheers,
Frost
Helpful? Yes No Funny
[CGC] Ryan Seacrest
( 3.5 hrs on record )
Posted: June 11
This is a troubling review.

Firstly, the few hours I played Calendula, I enjoyed my time with it.

It's certainly far more different compared to other games out there, and is certainly all the more interesting for it.

Compared to gems like Pony Island, however, Calendula ultimately comes across as a shallow experience, meant to be had once. It's not a long game either, with most achievements taken in within an hour or 2.

Its biggest failing, though, is that it could've been something good, but ultimately settles for mediocrity, namely with going for a theme that is beaten to the ground, compared to its opening premise, which easily showcases the best parts of the themes it runs with. A pity, then, that it decides to discard those in favor of something more cheap, that seems profound, but ultimately isn't.

Puzzles are fairly straightforward, with the exception of one particularly obnoxious puzzle. Though even that one can be solved with some patience.

Overall? A 5.5/10 from me.

P.S. That soundtrack is amazing.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
freakin’tiger
( 2.5 hrs on record )
Posted: June 7
CALENDULA is an experiment in which you act as a human guinea pig. You will ask yourself: “How am I playing this? Why shouldn’t it play me instead?”

While there is no exact answer whether you’re playing or the game is, it becomes eerie and very creepy. A masterful execution.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
COMPUTEROSIS
( 4.4 hrs on record )
Posted: June 6
Before I continue, I would like to point out that the time I spend on CALENDULA is not so much how long it took me to beat this "game", but a measurement to how many times I've beaten it overall... I would say the same for Pony Island, but that review was substituted for a guide instead... *sighs* And now, back the review already in progress...

...CALENDULA, without giving too much away, can be broken up into two parts... There's the game that this "game" will constantly try to prevent you from playing and the "game" that's more meta than the game you're trying to play... It's like the difference between an abstract poem of a raven and an abstract poem from Charles Dickens about a raven where despite them both being open to interpretation by the reader, the Charles Dickens abstract poem is more limited because we already know who wrote that abstract poem if we read through it again...

Anyway, as abstract as this "game" can get both inside and outside its puzzle-feeling "gameplay", if one does decide to dive into it, I suggest it should be done with an open enough mind to draw their own interpretations and/or conclusions rather than to prove (or disprove) someone else's interpretations and/or conclusions... This goes double for the "game" and not so much for the game, though, because CALENDULA has its own metaphorical path in comparison to the path (aka "game") that takes you to playing CALENDULA... However, one's milege may vary after one compete playthrough alone, so the experience [positive, negative, or otherwise] may or may not equate to the amount of money use to purchase the game CALENDULA, for example...

Personally, I would recommend it at either the price that one's willing to relinquish in order to play this game or as a wishlist recommendation to remind your [Steam] friends that this would make a potential recommended [Steam] gift to you when a certain future become the current present... I would also gladly buy this for a [Steam] friend if said game was on their wishlist, but I only have one friend before the posting of this review that makes this statement metaphorically foreshadowing until a certain future becomes the current present... Overall, just like Pony Island, it was an experience worth replaying more than once and I would gladly replay this game [again] in my future especially with headphones [again] for a greater experience in general...

If you have read this far into the review's end, then I can honestly see that it is not your fault curiosity has brought you here...
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Shoppa
( 4.1 hrs on record )
Posted: June 2
Product received for free
God this game was ♥♥♥♥ing amazing, that end gave me goosebumps.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Spiritofearth
( 2.1 hrs on record )
Posted: June 2
Get past the point where the Pony Island type stuff stops feeling like a ripoff, and more like a puzzle game that uses the inability to start it as a distinct mechanism that it's gameplay and themes are based around, and there's some fine stuff to be found here. It should take about 2 hours or so to complete.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Yahia
( 1.5 hrs on record )
Posted: May 29
The core idea of the game is actually good. The puzzles are kinda fun, they could be a little harder so the game wont be that much of a rush, but I actually enjoyed the process while resolving them, so they are good.

Design wise I like how the game develops to the eye of the player, there is no time to get bored and you actually wish there were a couple more riddles.

Really original game, I recomend giving it a try.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Rachel
( 1.7 hrs on record )
Posted: May 28
You'll find yourself reminded a lot of Pony Island while playing this game. It leans heavily on inspiration into the world of metaphysics, and you find yourself questioning whether Calendula is a malevolent or benevolent entitiy. The puzzles were clever, and I enjoyed the unsettling atmosphere. It will take you about 50 minutes to play through the entire thing, so I definitely wouldn't say it's worth $7, but it's a great experience. The ending will have you thrown. The entire point of the game is definitely unclear, and the "cutscenes" (points in the game in which you simply move forward through rooms) seem to be unconnected, but the atmosphere gives me shivers.

Less of a game, more of an experience that you interact with. However, that is definitely not a bad thing.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Wrath of Tron
( 0.9 hrs on record )
Posted: May 28
One of the many Steam games I've played that makes me wish there was some kind of in between rating I can gave other than the Caesarish "Yea" or "nay." Since I must, I have to lean more towards wanting to enjoy the "game," but it simply wasn't for me.

Many will point out the heavy borrowing from the Pony Island concept and they're not wrong, but it's not a reason alone to dislike Calendula. Yes there a many completely original games out there, and there have and always will be games that borrow concepts from those before it. It's not a big deal, because so many great games take these concepts and do something great with them. Sometimes it's a new twist. Sometimes it's an incredible story. There's a myriad of things you can do with a borrowed concept to elevate it. Calendula did so very little to try.

The atmosphere was fun and the puzzles were pretty decent. Other than that, it's incredibly short (50 minutes without much brain stuggle,) and it doesn't have much plot or heft to hold the package up. Not a regretful playthrough at all, but I have a hard time recommending it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Fosterhjem Lysveksa
( 1.2 hrs on record )
Posted: May 26
I had watched on Youtube Jim Sterling's partial playthrough on playing this... "game." So I decided to try this one out....and boy oh boy. This had made my brain from normal to mush and then finally into a boiled, liquidfied goop.

In all funny commenting aside, the purpose of this experience is this: One part is "fixing" the "game", and the other part is going through a slow, linear direction with slight creepy imagery at the end of some "stage" before going back to the menu. For there on, these "puzzles" get more, and more complex as you try to resolve this issue.
The plot of this "game" is something that got me thinking in my head on what is it all about....until I didn't expect the ending that had made my jaw drop in utter surprise, and my mind cringed.

This was so mysterious, intriguing, and freaky that the atmosphere is what I liked.
The most part I really LOVED that goes with the atmospheric themes in this "game" is the ambient music. It has a meaning of searching through a path to find. When I close my eyes, I imagine of doing it through my mind.
The only gripe I don't like is that I'm not the guy that plays games on full screen since I prefer using via small resolution window, and they don't exactly provide to what I want.

Do I recommend this game?
A slight yes...if you are interested on why this "game" is broken...for a purpose.
I can't guarantee if you can handle what the meaning of this "game" is all about.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: May 28
One of the many Steam games I've played that makes me wish there was some kind of in between rating I can gave other than the Caesarish "Yea" or "nay." Since I must, I have to lean more towards wanting to enjoy the "game," but it simply wasn't for me.

Many will point out the heavy borrowing from the Pony Island concept and they're not wrong, but it's not a reason alone to dislike Calendula. Yes there a many completely original games out there, and there have and always will be games that borrow concepts from those before it. It's not a big deal, because so many great games take these concepts and do something great with them. Sometimes it's a new twist. Sometimes it's an incredible story. There's a myriad of things you can do with a borrowed concept to elevate it. Calendula did so very little to try.

The atmosphere was fun and the puzzles were pretty decent. Other than that, it's incredibly short (50 minutes without much brain stuggle,) and it doesn't have much plot or heft to hold the package up. Not a regretful playthrough at all, but I have a hard time recommending it.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
2.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 25
Interesting puzzle game, but way too short for the money. I like the concept of the "game" that cannot be played. As that is a daily problem for most with normal games. No real plot or story, but you kind of piece the puzzle together, with its bizarre graphics, photos, videos. Once the ending comes you will kind of relate the images to the answer, though this is grasping at straws.

For a quick bit of entertainment, it is neither good or bad. Just an average time filler that I would get on sale. At least 75% off would be nice.

Overall I give this a 2 out of 5 Beers.

Cheers,
Frost
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
Recommended
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: May 29
The core idea of the game is actually good. The puzzles are kinda fun, they could be a little harder so the game wont be that much of a rush, but I actually enjoyed the process while resolving them, so they are good.

Design wise I like how the game develops to the eye of the player, there is no time to get bored and you actually wish there were a couple more riddles.

Really original game, I recomend giving it a try.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
136 of 185 people (74%) found this review helpful
17 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
0.8 hrs on record
Posted: February 3
If you've played Pony Island then you have played a much better version of this game.

Calendula has the same basic premise as Pony Island: Try and play a broken game that doesn't want to be played. The "game" plays out like an indie short film with bizarre imagery and a pretensious "plot". The entire game consists of about 15 very simple puzzles mixed in with some nonsensicle cut scenes of raw meat in a sink. If Calendula's aim is to be creepy, it failed. If Calendula's aim was to deep, it failed.

Is it a digital representation of reincarnation?
A metaphor for the creative process of making a game?

I don't know.

But oh well, It is not my fault.
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50 of 72 people (69%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
0.8 hrs on record
Posted: February 3
I really liked the concept of a haunted video game ala PonyIsland/Undertale, but the game isn't even an hour long and the puzzles are way too simple.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
47 of 68 people (69%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
0.7 hrs on record
Posted: February 2
An excellent and unique experience, there is no game quite like Calendula. For a game that is mostly made of seemingly broken features and insane surreal glitches, it tells a fairly coherent and enjoyable story. Even if you're not in it for the story, it's still a supreme mind-screw. The puzzles are brain-tingling but solvable, and each time I solved one I felt like I'd done something incredibly wrong.

Note the short playtime, but also know that the game is expertly paced and just the right length for the type of experience it delivers. If you want to feel truly bewildered and slightly uncomfortable, then this game is definitely for you. It never let me get my bearings, and it was over before I knew what happened. I love it.
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35 of 49 people (71%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: February 4
I hate to have to say this... I really do. I loved the game... but I cannot recommend it to people, especially at the current price tag it has. The game is good, it has great atmosphere to it and its all psychological in its presentation. I love games like that. The problem here... its too short. You can get through it all well within 30 to 40 minutes and thats the game. If the price drops... I do recommend a playthrough of it then. especially if it was on sale for a dollar. That feels like a more acceptable price tag for a game that has no real replay value. No, i am not trying to bash the makers of this game. As i said before, I loved it and I love the concept of it, its just... -way- too short. ONLY get this... if you have enough money to just blow on something you are only going to play through once, if you are willing. otherwise, give it a pass.
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35 of 50 people (70%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
0.8 hrs on record
Posted: February 3
Well, that.. certainly wasn't what I expected from this game.

Not only that it had just one hour of playtime at best, but most of this time is spend in the main menu, where you have to solve a bunch of easy puzzles. After solving one you get to walk a few meaningless steps in a meaningless corridor and see some really meaningless pictures, which are meant to be disturbing. There also are creepy sound effects all the time, which at least have a better impact than the rest. I guess you could say that the screenshots on the Steam shop page already spoiler you most of the game's content.

I would've recommended CALENDULA if it was free. But I paid 6$ for this, which is far too much. Well, at least I can refund it right away after I bought it.

(P.S.: If you're looking for a game that twists your mind, I can highly recommend The Stanley Parable. It's great.)
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20 of 25 people (80%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
1.1 hrs on record
Posted: February 3
[WARNING: SPOILERS]
I bought this game on a whim, because it looked interesting as hell, plus I'm a massive fan of meta/headscrew games. The well done visuals and effects got me interested, and then... what? The whole ending turns out to be the overdone "whole thing is a metaphor for death/rebirth" cliche? I was expecting to learn more about what was going on, to uncover some secret hidden in plain sight, have the information it wanted at the start to be used against me somehow, ANYTHING but that same cliche. The game did occasionally give some occasional good foreshadowing, but a big chunk of the disturbing imagery seems to have been put in there simply for the sake of being disturbing. I never really got invested in the game, I spent most of my playtime waiting to get to the good part.

However... I don't really HATE this game. If I had, I probably wouldn't have even bothered to review it. I like the amazing potential it shows. The quality of the visuals, the effects, music, all show real talent, at least when it comes to creating an visually immersive experience.

But I didn't really come for the graphics. I came for the experience. It sucked. 3/10
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24 of 34 people (71%) found this review helpful
22 people found this review funny
Recommended
0.8 hrs on record
Posted: February 3
I've had games where it felt like I was fighting the interface more than the game before but this is the first time it was enjoyable.

Also a much cheaper trip than most drugs.

Although, probably a game to avoid if you have epilepsy because holy flashing lights, Batman. (People still make Adam West Batman jokes, right? ...please tell me I'm cool)
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