Posted: October 5, 2014
I've thought about writing a review for Botanicula for a few weeks now. Aside from the fact that there are numerous apt (and more briefly stated) praises already posted here, the game has been out for a few years now.
It's an Indie, point-and-click, puzzle adventure; brought to us by the Czech creators of Samorost 1&2 and Machinarium, Amanita Design – if you enjoy either of those games, you will take delight in this. The thoroughly organic world and its inhabitants are highly imaginative, some even bizarre-looking and -sounding. Some players may consider it too succinct, or even more attuned toward children. The simple story, though solid and sweet, does not require heavy ruminations – this is a game of the senses, pure and simple. You control a group of four friends on a mission to plant a seed. The main goal on each level progresses you to the next level; the puzzles are intuitive. The price of the game, whether regular or on sale, is appropriate. Yes, it is a Flash game. (Interesting to note that I cannot enjoy tBoI or Windosill on my current PC setup without gameplay becoming bogged down almost instantly; but with Botanicula, never any bogging or catching.) Summed up: the graphics, gameplay, sound and music - all superb, A+++. What more can I say to get you to try out this lovely gem?...
There was a tremendous amount of heart put into this game, truly.
Botanicula is a visual and (emphasis on) auditory indulgence: you may think you're just going to ease into it, test the waters with your big toe; but you will be swept away and never realise it till the ride comes to its satisfyingly, cyclical conclusion. It offers a kind of cleansing and respite, whether from the mundane of the outside world, or to just step away from frenetic and adrenaline-packed L4D2 runs.
The sounds are sheer ear candy – you want to touch everything. The world is strange and wondrous: during first-time gameplay, you never know what manner of creature or environment alteration will manifest itself from your curiosity-driven touching; subsequent gameplays (for myself, anyway) do not fail to continually instill such positive feelings because the graphics, music, creatures and environment (plus their corresponding sounds) are just that sublime.
While there are, sadly, no cards to obtain from playing this game toward earning badges, the 47 in-game, animated cards more than make up for it; and count toward the game's 53 achievements. It is rewarding to collect them all (and yes, you will aspire to collect each and every one of them in every gameplay you attempt, even the time-spent Svolavac. (Though, I think there should be a card for the 3 jingle-y leaves that tumble out around your feet - other gamers like myself may know what I'm alluding to.) The names of the creatures achievements are in Czech, and punching them up into Google translate will not only add to your enjoyment, but enlighten it, as well.
The music steals you off from the word go, setting a pace perfectly harmonised to what is happening in the game, at that time. A previous reviewer here made mention of the burst of cheery song that erupts when you achieve a goal – it really does fill you with sheer happiness, no kidding... and lately, when playing L4D2, I've been thinking how cool (if a bit bizarre) it would be, hearing that tune after everyone's made it alive to the saferoom...
Definitely give it a try, if only to experience the eye and ear candy... if it doesn't turn out to be your kind of game - or you can only enjoy one gameplay - you will know someone who'll love it...