Botanicula is one of the most beautiful, quirky games I have ever played. A point-and-click adventure game by Amanita Design, Botanicula doesn’t last long, but it holds your attention the whole time.
Amanita Design is known for its old-school, point-and-click adventure games—you may have heard of its other game, Machinarium. In a time filled with first-person-shooters, Botanicula is a breath of fresh air. The last point-and-click game I played was probably Pajama Sam or Putt-Putt. Botanicula brought me back to those much simpler games. The gameplay is slow and calculated, letting you take in the artwork and puzzles at your own pace. I spent several minutes just staring at the beautiful art design. That is Botanicula’s main thrust: its unique, quirky art design sets it apart from other games. It almost kind of reminded me of a stop-motion Tim Burton or Henry Selick film.
Not to mention the fantastic sound design. The art and sound design work together to give the game a wholesome, organic feel. It sounded like most of the sounds were made with human mouths and voices, which was really cool. The music is relaxing and ambient.
The gameplay is pretty straight-forward: solve puzzles with your mouse, have the characters move from screen to screen. The puzzles are pretty easy, which I didn’t mind at all, aside from one tricky puzzle near the end that I had to look up. Each group of levels has you collect a certain number of somethings to proceed. There are also cards to unlock by interacting with certain characters or objects. The game doesn’t give much incentive to actually collect the cards, since all they are are cards featuring a character, but the reward is in the discovery itself. Setting off a cool animation, discovering secrets—this is all the incentive the player needs.
Needless to say, I loved this game, and at $5 on GOG.com, plus all the extra stuff they threw in (artwork, wallpaper, soundtrack, avatars—check out my Tumblr avatar) it was totally worth it. I definitely recommend this game to the gamer who likes to stop and smell the flowers.