Botany Manor Review – In Bloom


    I’ve never had a green thumb. For years, I widely believed that growing a plant required little more than burying a seed in soil, watering it, and letting the sun do the heavy lifting. Botany Manor asks players to take those crucial first steps before challenging them to figure out the additional ways their plants will need to flower. As I explore the beautiful grounds of a mysterious manor in search of answers, clever puzzle solving and a relaxed atmosphere make these scientific feats a joy.

    Botany Manor opens in Victorian England circa 1890, with players controlling the enthusiastic botanist Arabella Greene. She returns home to a large 16th-century manor after a long absence to finish her botany book, which requires discovering ways to grow different flowers. A colorful, inviting presentation, combined with a soothing ambient soundtrack, with low, playful tunes, makes the process enjoyable.

    Search rooms for clues to success in growing exotic plants, such as a flower that only blooms during lightning storms or a flower that requires extreme heat to bloom. included. A flower can only grow in a certain temperature based on its native location. Finding this information requires reading a friend’s letter indicating the origin of the seeds while referring to a chart that lists the temperatures of different regions. Almost everything you see matters, whether it’s a seemingly unrelated nursery rhyme or a device like a camera or Morse code telegraph, and connecting the dots is a fun exercise in creative and critical thinking. Unlocking more parts of the manor by finding keys comes at a good pace, as you don’t linger in these areas long enough to get a deep sense of their layout.

    Increasingly elaborate exercises — such as using seeds to attract birds, unlocking a hidden medieval chamber, and scaling an imaginary tower to open windows to create specific air currents — each puzzle. Makes it fresh and unique. I always looked forward to seeing what activities the next plant would bring, and none of them felt like a mess. Whenever I got stuck (which wasn’t often), the answer was always right there in front of me. I just needed to reframe my interpretation of the given information, which led to interesting logical and imaginative epiphanies. I said excitedly, “Oh!” When I succeeded many times. The reward of watching a plant grow in a parade of lily pads or a vine of bioluminescent bulbs is a treat.

    I like that a flower page shows the required number of clues needed to solve it, which helps keep ideas organized as you can chip in more than one flower at a time. By slotting in all the right pieces of evidence, the game informs players that they have everything they need to solve, minimizing guesswork. My only gripe is that you can’t inspect these clues in the menu. If you need to reassess something, you should go back to its location. While the menu thankfully shows the location of each clue, and opening a shortcut helps speed up travel through the manor, poking around to double-check the wording of a document or stare at a painting again Running can be painful.

    An investigation of documents and memoirs also reveals an important story of Arabella’s struggle to gain knowledge and recognition for her chosen field in the male-dominated academic society of the time. Without saying a word of dialogue, Botany Manor does a good job of showing Arabella’s personality and tenacity, adding context and stakes to everything you do. The puzzles are entertaining enough, but knowing each progression helps push Arabella up against the social glass ceiling.

    Botany Manor is a fun, clever, and creatively conceived puzzle adventure. It’s hard enough to engage without veering into stressful territory, and its whimsical elements add a fun, whimsical touch. I don’t think it made me better at gardening, but it was satisfying to discover its appeal.


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