Flora-based exploratory puzzler set in 19th century England unveiled for PC and Switch
Plants can be fickle things, and the more exotic they are, the more fickle they are to grow. It takes a true green thumb to know just how to care for each one, and soon players will have the chance to fulfill that role in Botany Manor, the upcoming debut adventure from Balloon Studios.
The titular manor is the stately 19th century English home of retired botanist Arabella Greene and her “collection of rare, forgotten flora.” Arabella’s plants need homes of their own, however, in just the right settings, so it’s “time to do some research” to figure out exactly where to place them. It’s up to you to “explore Arabella’s house and gardens, filled with botanical notes, books, and posters, to find the right habitat for the precious plants.” In doing so, you’ll not only discover new details about the vegetation in your care, but also the life of Botany Manor’s sole inhabitant and the “challenges she faced as a woman navigating her scientific career.”
This may be the indie studio’s first release, but company founder Laure De Mey is no stranger to the genre, having previously worked at ustwo games on Assemble with Care and another nature-themed title, Alba: A Wildlife Adventure. Presented in a lovely free-roaming, first-person 3D art style, Botany Manor is a leisurely “exploration puzzle game” that sees players scour “every nook and cranny” of the house’s many rooms and surrounding scenic environs for items and clues needed to progress. The puzzles you’ll encounter “come in the shape of growing plants,” so you’ll need to “find seeds, pot them and carry your seedlings to the right environment” to flourish. This is easier said than done, and will “sometimes require you to think outside the box.” Succeed in your tasks, however, and you may just find that your plants display “mysterious qualities within them” when they begin to grow.
It’s not quite planting season just yet, as Botany Manor isn’t due to be completed until sometime later this year, but when finished it will launch on Steam for Windows PC, along with the Nintendo eShop for Switch. To follow its progress in the meantime, be sure to check out the game’s official website for more details.