Plantera
Reviewed by Didi Cardoso
Review Date Platform Genre Rating Production
2016-10-15 PC Casual E (Everyone) VaragtP

Plantera was a cute little surprise in my email when I received the game key. I had no idea what it was, so I watched the video and was instantly drawn in by the colorful look and upbeat music.

A casual game where you build your own garden that requires little more than clicking, Plantera soon became one of my routine quick little games to pass the time and check in on occasion. All you need are a few clicks of the mouse, and you can use the arrow keys on your keyboard to move the garden view left or right.

You begin with some land, a helper and a few butterflies flying around. When the butterflies glow, you can click on them to earn money. Once you have some money to spend, you can purchase your first crops. Then, you watch as they grow and then harvest them for money. With more money, you can purchase more crops and expand your garden. As you level up, you unlock a number of vegetables, fruit trees, bushes and animals to boost your production and profit. More expensive crops will yield more valuable produce, and you can always replace the older crops with newer ones when you have the money to spare, since there's an incredible price hike for the last two items for each category.

The garden isn't without its predators though. Birds, moles, rabbits, foxes and wolves will try to steal your produce. Fortunately, you can purchase guard dogs and scarecrows to keep them at bay, and helpers (these blue blob-looking things) that will pick up items once they are ready for harvesting.

However, these blue blobby dudes are pretty slow, and you end up doing most of the work yourself. Click the fruits and vegetables to harvest them, click the other items on the ground to pick them up, click the animals to shoo them away. Not all animals are bad though, since different colors of butterflies earn you different amounts of money, and for some reason ladybugs are very valuable, so keep an eye out for those.

Occasionally, a little knight equipped with a lance comes dashing through your garden, ridding it of all foes in his way. You can also earn bonus money by clicking him as many times as possible before he runs off the map.

To my surprise, my garden kept on being active while I wasn't playing. When I returned to it a second time, I was presented with a bunch of money, which I used to expand, plant and hire more help. I also discovered that I can "upgrade" my helpers so that they stay active for longer periods of time after I've logged out and closed the game. This felt like cheating, since the third time I logged on to Plantera, I had a ridiculous sum of money waiting (a few million) and my garden grew substantially in no time.

The downside is, once you have unlocked all the items and animals, there is little else to do except continue to harvest and expand. Obviously, there are a good number of achievements, but you will have to play quite a bit to get them all, and most people might not feel so inclined to do so on such a casual game. It's not that they are hard to obtain, but they are time-consuming.

On the plus side, the game has adorable sprites, colorful graphics and is definitely family friendly. I loved the music for some reason, and the little sound effects are cute, but for the most part you will just hear the dogs barking and animals farting - I suppose it's the chickens laying eggs, but hey, what do I know about gassy chickens... And farting chickens or not, I still keep going back to check how my garden is doing and to plant a few more things on occasion.

For more videos of Plantera, watch the playlist below: