One of the most admirable goals of many independent developers is to grant gamers with particularly different experiences that most games don’t offer. This gives indie games an edge in terms of story-telling and originality. Because of that, these commodities can often be joyful and relaxing experiences.
From the creators of Machinarium, Botanicula delivers that spark of creativity that many gamers love in an indie title. From the way it looks to the way it makes you think and explore, this games is sure to keep you busy for a while. Although the game has its flaws, gamers should have a decent time as they uncover silly bits and pieces in this point-and-click adventure puzzle game.
As one may imagine, this game’s presentation is impeccable; the menu-screen is simple and easy to follow. The in-game menu is just as simple. However, sometimes the menus tend to pop-up when you don’t need them. If you mistakenly hover over the lower or upper portion of the game’s screen you’ll find yourself clicking something you don’t want to. It is something small, but pressing escape instead of having menus clutter your otherwise immersive look at the world would have given the game a finer look.
Menus aside, Botanicula manages to capture your heart with its incredibly adorable sound effects and great score. For someone that needs some laughs, the sounds of this game alone can make you chuckle quite a bit. Listening to your characters react to your actions in the world or listening to someone “talk” to you, is remarkably cute. There is something about those sound affects that make you want to click everything you can just so you can hear what silly little sound they may make.
As far as the plot is concerned, you follow the adventure of five silly creatures as they try their very best to save the last seed of their home tree. On the way, you will find many creatures that will help you, puzzles that you will need to solve, and items you will need to gather. In a small game like this, the plot serves its purpose to give you reason to go out there and explore.
Like Machinarium before it, this title offers a cute and rather abstract graphic sense that makes you want to explore the world and discover all its captivating little inhabitants. Some creatures will be outright outlandish as if they come out straight from your dreams or nightmares, and some will be cute and cuddly. The graphics are artistic as opposed to trying to be realistic, which for a game like this makes a lot of sense.
Here is where Botanicula suffers from multiple personality disorder. While the game is all about exploration, discovery, gathering items, and puzzles, you will be presented with a few ‘mini games’. Some have you playing tennis while others have you bouncing balls in order to eject them from small openings. This is great for all the family, young or old, but for any diehard gamer, this won’t cut it. That is exactly where this game will have a great divide. Gamers who play games like Skyrim, Diablo, Mass Effect or Call of Duty will certainly not be interested in this game. For gamers who love an out-of-the-norm experience, this one is a winner.
Although you are limited to only being able to click the screen and see what happens next, the puzzle solving and item collecting is good, but could be polished. At times, the game can be cryptic and not tell you exactly where to go or what to do. This could get you stuck if you aren’t aware of what you’re doing. That notion of not knowing what you need to do is a double edge sword, you can get really frustrated. However, if you find a way out of your situation, you’ll have a rewarding feeling of accomplishment.
Botanicula weighs in at $9.99, which means that it suits a gamer that enjoys creative and cute titles like this one if they aren’t worried about the price. Having said that, more hardcore gamers who are not into clicking and clicking will not see this as a game at all. As harsh as that may be, Botanicula’s demographic isn’t targeted for the modern war-fighters out there.
As a matter of fact, for ten dollars, there are many other downloadable titles out there that will keep a hardcore gamer satisfied. For the casual gamer however, this title offers a great amount of silly fun. Although at times it can be frustrating, there is no denying that the game does a superb job at making you want to keep playing and keep clicking on everything you see.