Review: Botany Manor

Estimated read time 3 min read

Developer – Balloon Studios

Publisher – Whitethorn Games

Platforms –  Xbox One , Xbox Series S|X, Nintendo Switch, PC (Reviewed)

Review copy given by Publisher

In the enchanting world of “Botany Manor,” players are transported back to the year 1890, stepping into the shoes of the brilliant botanist, Arabella Greene. Developed as a first-person puzzle game, Botany Manor weaves a tale of mystery, botanical discovery, and historical intrigue, all set within the sprawling confines of a Victorian English manor.

As Arabella Greene, players embark on a captivating journey to complete her botanical research book, ‘Forgotten Flora.’
Exploration is at the heart of Botany Manor, inviting players to delve deep into the manor’s many rooms and gardens, each brimming with hidden secrets and puzzles waiting to be unraveled. The manor itself serves as a treasure trove of mysterious clues, including intriguing books, posters, letters, and fascinating Victorian contraptions, all of which add layers of depth to the narrative.

The botanical aspect of the game is where Botany Manor truly shines. Players will find themselves engrossed in the art of growing rare and fantastical plants from seeds, each with there own unique set of requirements and challenges. While these plants may be inspired by nature’s wonders, they often demand creative and unconventional solutions, compelling players to think outside the box. Utilizing the resources available within the manor, players must create the ideal conditions to nurture these extraordinary plants to maturity.

Alongside the botanical puzzles, Botany Manor also weaves a compelling narrative centered around Arabella Greene’s life and career. Room by room, players uncover snippets of Arabella’s story, shedding light on the challenges she faced as a woman pursuing a career in science during a time when it was predominantly a man’s world. The game puts a poignant reminder of the struggles and triumphs of trailblazing women in history.

Visually stunning and atmospherically rich, Botany Manor offers players a relaxing and peaceful gaming experience. Whether you’re exploring the manor’s exquisite interiors or strolling through its picturesque gardens, there’s a serene beauty to be found at every turn. It’s a game that encourages players to take their time, to stop and smell the roses, so to speak, soaking in the ambiance and appreciating the finer details.

Acessability is something that the Publisher, Whitethorn Games , takes very seriously. To not only make the game more acessabile , but also more relaxed the game has no time limits for puzzles. Control options are also diverse, supporting mouse and keyboard, full gamepad use, and single stick gameplay. Audio settings offer separate adjustments for sound effects and music, while text is presented in clear sans serif on a black background for readability.

To address motion sensitivity, the game offers various camera settings, including vignette mode, toggleable camera transitions, and adjustable sensitivity and field of view. Motion blur can be disabled for visual clarity. Additionally, players can customize the HUD by toggling the crosshair and adjusting its size. These features ensure a comfortable and inclusive gaming experience for all players in Botany Manor.

Botany Manor is a delightful blend of historical fiction, puzzle-solving, and botanical exploration, wrapped in a visually captivating package. Botany Manor is a must-play for fans of first-person puzzle games and anyone with a love for Victorian history and botany.

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