SGBCC Day six – Botanicula

This is day six of my Lent 2013 Steam Game Back Catalogue Challenge.

Botanicula is lovely. It is very recognisably Amanita Design’s handiwork, visually, audibly, and whimsically. It is actually difficult to describe it without simply saying “lovely” over and over again.

I’m fairly certain I played it for more than the allotted hour today, but it’s so utterly pleasant and imaginative and – well, lovely – that it felt beyond relaxing. I spent the majority of the time sat with a wistful smile, occasionally punctuated by a wry grin.

There are plenty of little hidden joys – creatures that you discover through exploration, interactions and charming animations that keep you interested. It’s a simple point-and-click adventure, but it never feels like a chore. Even the bits that you’d normally consider mindless clicking somehow felt more mindful. There were several moments where I honestly thought I was clicking on things just for the joy of clicking them and seeing what happened, then something occurred to help my bunch of tree creatures on their quest. It feels serendipitous rather than convoluted.

I suspect you may get more out of the game if you understand Czech – the creature’s names (Soukac, Brouk, Tykvovec, Hrouda, Zavod and Tocnak amongst many others) sound like they may or may not mean something or allude to something. I don’t really feel like I’m missing out but it would be interesting to know if this adds another layer of whimsy for those in the know.

I could quite happily play this all night, but I’d better not.

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