Saturday, 27 October 2012

Botanicula Review

I've wanted to write a review for this game for quite a long time, so I thought it would be a good one to start off my blog. So here goes nothing...


Botanicula is a point and click indie game developed by Amanita Design which is based in the Czech Republic. Amanita has made a few games in the point and click adventure genre, some of which are not completely unknown such as Machinarium and the Samorost games.

I first became aware of Amanita Design when I picked up Machinarium sometime while it was on sale on Steam and instantly fell in love with the style. Well actually...tell a lie, at first I thought 'what the hell is this? this is boring' then after I had played it for a few hours I then realised I loved it. The characters as well as the art and animation in the game are something of an oddity and yet they all work so well together that they become amazing. After playing though this game I eagerly awaited another of their games to be realised. This game was Botanicula.

And I was not disappointed.

The first thing I noticed when I picked the game up was that the art style had changed from a grungy robotic city to a world of colourful plants and insects, this is not a bad thing however as I found that the quirky design had managed to convert so well over to this new world that this environment was brought to life even more than their previous title.

The gameplay is simple, it's point and click, as the genre would suggest, but it is so much more than that. I, like many others, hear the words point and click and instantly think that it cant be that interesting or exciting to play, but Amanita have totally converted me. The puzzles in the game are imaginative and mind boggling, sometimes to the degree of being too difficult or not explaining what to do or what your capable of, but this can be part of the joy of discovering this strange new place and the world is so vivid and interesting that you cant help but keep playing to see what weird and wonderful thing could be just on the next screen.

The characters, both the player's party and the NPCs, are so interesting and unique, some of them make you wonder how the developers came up with something so weird, others make you wonder how the designers ever came up with something so awesome. You collect cards throughout the game as a way of recording your experiences and the characters you meet along the way, they also work as a reward, unlocking new animated scenes if you collect them all. This works as a nice nice incentive to get people to fully explore the world you've created without hindering people who don't care, the only problem I found was that although I went looking in every last corner I still didn't collect all of them, it may be possible to do without a guide, but I certainly didn't manage it.

The final thing I would like to get to is the sounds. The sound effects in this game are what made this game, for me, go from a decent game to an amazing game. Throughout the game I found me and my sister crying with laughter as we heard the noises some creatures made, sometimes it got annoying, but until that point it was hilarious. I obviously can't show you the sounds on here, but if you get this game (and you should) then you will certain see what I mean.

It's crazy, it's pointless and it's impossible not to like this game even a bit. Botanicula is a game that as far as I am aware not a whole lot of people have played and yet it's one of the few I think everyone should play. If you are bored and need to kill a few hours, or you see this pop up on sale give it a try. If you don't get dragged in by the games charm then there's nothing I can do for you now...

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