Botanicula is an intelligent point-n-click adventure from makers of Machinarium
Amanita Design has proven itself in the point-n-click genre with Machinarium, a playful and cerebral approach to drag-and-drop gameplay. With Botanicula, the company moves away from hand-drawn robotics into stylised design, combining 2D detail with unique atmospheric background art.
The production values on offer in the game are incredible. Amanita Designs is proving its expertise at maximising the potential of its chosen art direction. The studio takes the botanic style to creative conclusions that are both unique and familiar, evoking memories of the old LucasArts puzzle games that established the genre. Play it with headphones, too – you don’t often get soundtracks this well produced anymore, and the beauty is in its detail.
Ported from the PC, Botanicula suits the iPad perfectly. Even the deceptively minute interactive objects respond to the touchscreen effectively, and the letterbox UI keeps the play area clear of anything that would otherwise detract from the art. This isn’t a casual experience; like Machinarium before it, Botanicula is knowingly deceptive in its puzzles; everything is offered without an explanation, and it’s a refreshing non-patronising puzzler for players that want to put a bit more time into their games.
That said, it’s a short game. If you’re a completionist that wants to tap everything on-screen to try and max out your collectibles (read: concept art), then Botanicula will take you no more than five hours. The price of admission is well worth the experience that lies within, but with little replayability and a core experience that holds up weakly on a second playthrough, you’re really going to want to invest yourself in the introspective, lateral thinking that will take you through Botanicula’s nine levels.
A gorgeous, well-polished puzzle game, demonstrating some of the best level design the genre has to offer, along with a soundtrack to die for.
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