Last time… on the Voltatilis Channel: ‘Despite what they say… Mindless fun is okay sometimes.’
Welcome back to the Voltatilis Blog. I’ll stand by what I said last time: Mindless fun is okay sometimes.
But on the flip side, sometimes a story has something to say. Something important, something enriching… Botanicula is such a game.
Botanicula was developed by Amanita design, who also developed the much-loved Machinarium. The game grew on us on the 7th of May, 2012, earning astonished applause as a Point-and- Click Adventure Game.
Steam marks the game as Overwhelmingly Positive, with a huge reviewer count of 2,424.
It has been gifted a good 82 on Metacritic and has won the IGF Excellence in Audio Award, Game of the Year from Jayisgames.com, the Best Story and World Design award from Indiecade, the IGM Readers Choice award for best sound and music, and the Mac App Store Best of 2012.
The game supports a nice range of languages- 10, to be precise- which is good, as that’s something the previous games have been lacking. These languages are English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Traditional Chinese, Russian, Japanese, Polish and Czeck.
This game is available on a nice wide array of platforms, these being Windows, OSX, Linux (unfortunately, not Steam OS), iOS and Android. On both Windows and OS X, it only requires a minimal of 1GB of memory and 700 MB of storage space.
The story for this game is simple. There is a tree that plays host to it’s own micro Eco System. One day, however, dark, spidery beings come and devour the tree’s seeds. One, however, survives, and falls into the head of our avatar, who remains un-named in the game, but whom is referred to as ‘Mr. Lantern’ in some of my research sources. He, along with an assortment of other protagonists, must save that last seed and plant it.
This game is all about it’s characters. Every single one is unique. Many make unique noises. Our avatar and protagonists are all unique in design and function: Mr. Lantern stores the seed and emits light, Mrs. Mushroom can make copies and shrink, Mr. Poppyhead floats in water and is durable and heavy, Mr. Twig can grow his arms and grow flowers, and Mr. Feather can fly. This results in a lot of ways to solve puzzles. And it doesn’t stop there. Each character in the entire game is unique and… just Alien. In a cool way.
I love it.
The reward for exploring is cards of each character, that literally just show the character and make their noise when you hover over them. And you know what? To me, that’s a perfectly legitimate reward. I accepted this and went with it, trying my very best to retrieve every single card.
The game is a point-and-click adventure game- click on the environment to edit it. There are very rarely mini-games, which are cool and add to the experience There is no ‘HUD’, which I think is a very good choice for a game as artistic as this one. The game’s difficulty curve is slightly questionable, but the game’s progression as a whole is great for this style.
The Game is basically an art book. It has this way of beautifully using contrasting colours, whites and browns, yellows and greens… The music for this game is phenomenally atmospheric, and the atmosphere itself is beyond gorgeous.
This game is great. As I said, it’s the sort of game that Has Something to Say- what that something is? I don’t quite know. But whatever it is, I know that I have at least an idea now- and that this fact alone will enrich my life- maybe not on a cosmic level, hell maybe not even on a day-to-day basis, but this game is now a part of my identity in an extremely small way. And, in the end, isn’t that the whole point of Art?
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