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Game Review: Botanicula (PC)

Short review: Buy this game now. NOW!

Longer review. It’s been a while since I’ve been utterly charmed by a game from start to finish. Possibly El Shaddai on the PS3 being the previous recent game. This is a point n click adventure utterly like no other.

Botanicula is part puzzle game and part interactive story book. Telling the tale of five friends living in a tree, you are introduced to some wonderfully imaginative imagery as each screen they trundle through (wohooing on the way) invites you to click on every pixel possible. Without giving too much away, the plot involves the tree you live in having its life sucked out of it. You must interact with all the other animals and beings in the tree to guard the tree and make it a safe place again. The animals are¬†wondrous¬†bunch and quite frankly barmy. The art style and musical cues and soundtrack absolutely sell the world you’re in. What’s even better is that some of the animals are just there to be clicked on for no reason other than just being there.

The game can be completed in just a couple of hours but that would be utterly missing the point. From just little squeals and funny dream sequences so much is gained from the five characters you really do feel connected and want to help them in their plight. Their plight always has a tongue-in-cheek humour to it and it’s not afraid of making fun of itself. The puzzles themselves are a real mix from item collecting to dexterity puzzles. Nothing will stump you for too long as long as you pay attention.

Pros

~Utterly unique world to interact

~More character than most games in just the first ten minutes

~Sublime soundtrack from DVA

~Fantastically well pitched to cater for all

Cons

~It ends

Conclusion

Botanicula resonates with me on every level. It’s fun, interactive, beautiful, quirky, very European in its humour, slightly dark and foreboding and carries an overall bigger message about friendship and pollution. I fell completely in love with it from start to finish, it doesn’t out stay its welcome and never retreads old ground. A piece of video gaming heaven. I urge everyone to try it.

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