Developed and Published by VaragtP
Available on Steam for Windows PC
Plantera is a point and click game aimed at children and adults who like cute fuzzy animals and creatures and planting stuff so as a fan of Harvest Moon it certainly appeals to an individual such as myself.
With an awesome game title, which of course reminds me of metal band Pantera, Plantera pretty much throws you straight into the game as soon as you leave the title screen. There’s aren’t many instructions to tell you what to do but it quickly becomes apparent that you must add crops and trees to a garden which you’ve been allocated and the crops must be collected. You have help in the form of the computer controlled blue creature who pulls crops out of the ground or picks them off the floor and adds them to its satchel. In return, these renewable crops bring you money which you can spend on planting new species of trees or adding animals to your garden such as a pig to sniff out truffles or chickens to lay eggs. Whilst you can rely on your little blue friend to collect the crops for you, the player can also manually click the crops ready for harvest to either drop them from the tree or pull them out of the ground and then again to convert them into cash.
As you add more crops, animals, trees and bushes to your garden as you ascend through the levels, more blue helpers will appear to give you a hand in the garden. You’ll need it as your attention will be focused on preventing a cheeky magpie from stealing your fruit, a rabbit who’s after your carrots and parsnips, a fox who’s got a taste for chicken and a wolf who’s set his sights on your sheep. To prevent these pests from entering your garden and stealing what isn’t theirs, you just need to click on them. Foxes and wolves need to be clicked a few times to startle and make them flee whilst the magpie and bunny only need to be clicked once. After playing the game for a little while, you’ll be able to buy a scarecrow to ward off the magpie and a dog to scare off the other animals though they aren’t always failsafe solutions and sometimes you will need to keep the pests in check with a firm click or three.
There’s other ways to make money in the game too to help you reach the next level. Occasionally butterflies hovering around your garden will begin to sparkle. When this happens, you can click them to receive a financial reward. Likewise, should you see a mole pop up in your garden or the Loot Hero run across your screen, you can click these to gain money. Neither of these creatures will harm your garden in any way but the financial reward of clicking on them means it’s worth keeping an eye out for them.
Whilst enjoyable at first, Plantera can become a repetitive grind. The cute characters and the upbeat music do plenty to keep you motivated and cheerful but with no real end in sight and with the only aim to expand your garden and unlock all the crops/trees/bushes, there’s very little sense of drive. I’m currently up to level 14 and have seen others who are level 100+. My enjoyment is starting to wain a little on this game even though it’s darn lovable. Though they are more complex games, Harvest Moon and Viva Pinata have many more targets to reach and things to unlock that it they very rarely felt like a grind to play. With Plantera, there are Steam achievements but they’re relatively easy to unlock and once they’re done, there aren’t really any other incentives.
Plantera is a wonderful game, there’s no doubt about it. It’s addictive, cheerful and a great bit of fun that you can load up for a short 10 minute gameplay. The little blue creatures even collect the crops for you whilst you’re not playing the game and you’re financially rewarded for this though you’ll need to physically play the game to advance through the levels. For the price, Plantera is a hoot and fans of the farming genre will no doubt be in their element. It quickly becomes one of those games to play when you’ve got a spare five minutes rather than one to actually sink some time into and in that respect, I feel it would have been better suited to tablet gamers especially with its point and click controls and simplistic, level based grinding gameplay. You never know, it may get a release on iOS and Android one day. It deserves to.
A cute critter creation.