Botanica: Earthbound Collector's Edition
A very unique hidden object game, however, it seems to be geared more towards women so I'm not sure if men are going to dig this game, but I could be wrong. Personally I love it when developers take the time to "think outside" the box, good or bad, I appreciate the fact that they try to give us something out of the norm. This is a continuation game where Ellie and Ian try to find their way back to Earth, but what they find is........Ha! No spoilers here! There are 50 green and red ladybugs (some call them ladybirds) to find and you will find a botanical kit that your father gave you as a child which will be used to create botanical recipes such as smelling salts. The HOS are where the uniqueness comes into play. A hodgepodge mixture of activities awaits you on this one. Several areas require you to first zoom into the scene and it's up to you to figure out what to interact with, codes to uncover, pictures to find, gadgets to fiddle with, all kinds of craziness going on! Some are list finds some are pictures of items needed but all of them are wicked fun with several mini games to complete before finding the items. The mini games aren't the easiest to figure out, they are doable (and skipable) but you are going to have to put on your thinking cap for most such as an interactive radio to fix, several buttons need to be fidgeted with to get the correct settings from clues spewn about the radio, you need to figure out what the clues mean and replicate it with the appropriate dial. Whew, that's a lot of information, but hopefully useful. The map shows where you are and where you need to go as well as which scenes still have a ladybug available to find, and you can use the map for traveling to that location. Have fun playing and enjoy!
December 14, 2013
Botanica: Earthbound?? No. It's HEAVENLY
THIS IS A VERY IMPRESSIVE GAME.
In my last review I complained of developers not paying attention to detail. This is a 180 from that. The game is meticulously detailed.
Overall Rating: 250 starts out of 5. Yes IT IS that good.
Fun Factor: There's so much NEW to this game and so much that's good and new it's also very very fun. Like many good games it takes a little bit to get into a rhythm with this but once you do you will clearly understand what you're trying to do and the game will flow beautifully.
Visual: Really exceptional. The theme here is nautical/island/botanical. The artwork in the game supports that. You feel like you're in the tropics as you play. At the beginning of the game the play venue is a boat. You feel like you're a passenger...or better yet, you feel like you're part of the crew investigating the sunken Titanic. The HOGs (of which there are only 15) are superbly drawn. At this point you feel like you're dealing with photos more than drawing, IMO.
Sound Quality: The voice overs are very clear and understandable. The music is pure background. In some games music drives the mood. Not the case here. The musical style is appropriate and not at all annoying.
Level of Challenge:
a. HOGs: This is the first time I've complained that there aren't enough HOGs. These ARE THE BEST HOS I have EVER played. The majority of items require an extra step. Many of the items incorporate a puzzle just to clear the item! So, if you're a puzzle lover you'll really like this game. One example: the standard puzzle where you have to remember the cycle of buttons to push or you start at the beginning again. That's been incorporated into ONE item in an HOG. There are other HOG styles where you find the appropriate place for an item in the scene and place it. Or you match up a couple of objects that belong together but are separated in the scene. Only after doing this do you clear the item. My count is 15 HOGs. I'd have loved double that!!
b. Mini-Puzzles/mini-games: As I wrote above, ordinary puzzles have been incorporated into HOGs. The strict puzzles are even better!! This game presents puzzle designs I've never seen before and it's so exciting to see something new AND EXCELLENTLY DONE. Other, more familiar puzzles have a little twist to them that makes them like new. (This CE has "achievements." One is probably pretty dubious: spend 100 minutes on one puzzle. I achieved this. I spend over and hour and forty minutes on one puzzle. When the achievement popped up I couldn't believe it...but I wasn't going to skip, I wanted to beat the puzzle and finally I did. There are over 30 puzzles in this game so if you like puzzles, you will LOVE THIS.
c. There is a third challenge: making potions from items (plants!!) and other natural substances you collect. These are stored in your botany "kit" and when you've collected enough to make a potion you follow directions,make the potion and then use it to accomplish your goal.
Story Line: A ship's captain who's had a rocky life to begin with, accepts an invitation to go on a sailor's dream voyage, through a portal to a place not of the earth. He gets lost and in so doing also loses all that he loves. His daughter (somehow...it's not explained) figures out where he is and tries to find him and bring him home safe and sound. She is not alone. In this tropical setting she's joined by another scientist, also lost, who's trying to find the portal so he can return home to his daughter.
Of course the story line is pure fantasy. It's also pure fun and it really ties all the puzzles and HOGs together.
This story is NOT scary, but it's exciting. As mentioned in the description, it's a first person game in which you play two characters. This is not a central theme of the story in my opinion.
This game is excellent. And I cannot strongly enough recommend it.
Here's what you get:
a. A bonus Chapter wherein you play a THIRD person.
b. Re-playable Cutscenes, Soundtrack, Concept Art, Wallpaper.
c. A strategy guide.
d. Collectible (50 of one item scattered throughout the scenes). It's not central to the story and you gain nothing other than an "achievement" by getting them all. It's not distracting...in fact, it's a little bit fun.
e. Achievements. Normal stuff. Plus one thing I didn't realize was an achievement...when I got it it made me smile.
f. A jump-to map which shows your location, where you need to finish up a job and where you cannot yet go.
This is one of the best games I've ever played. I believe you will say the same thing. Get it. Don't wait for an SE. Get it now. Play it now. You will NOT stop until you've completed it. It's like a new drug=I want MORE.
December 14, 2013
BUY NOW button will be pushed momentarily....
In the meantime.... just want to say YAY!: FINALLY! A casual game that grabbed my interest and held it.
SO much to do here and very adventure heavy... most of the excellent 5 STAR reviews covered the technical aspects of the game in detail, all I wish to add is KUDOS to BFG and DEV... this was a long time coming.
And add. this game is definitely an interesting, fun, unique adventurous game that is not creepy, yet has enough intensity to be exciting and inspiring enough you want to continue on...
Graphics are great, puzzles are great (no spoon feeding), storyline.... EVERYTHING about this game= GREAT!
Check it out!!
PS: Oh... see if you can find the DEV logo while in DEMO... (fun) :}
December 16, 2013
Most Excellent, Dudes!
This is what I've been looking for for a long time. The last great HO game was "Eternal Journey: New Atlantis". This game is on the same level of quality and resolution, with an excellent story line, and very diverse mini-games and challenges. I look forward to playing this repeatedly.
December 17, 2013
I agree with the most enthusiastic
This game is wonderful and an immediate buy for me. I can't point out anything that I didn't absolutely adore about it.
December 15, 2013
A journey like nowhere else
One thing I like about this sequel is it was a complete turnaround from the previous game. Of course the characters are as they are, but the background is more out of this world which is good for me. Kudos to the creative minds of the art team :)
December 15, 2013
Great mix-up of puzzles
Enjoyed every minute of this game
December 15, 2013
This was a really fun hidden-object game. Required multiple steps to find some of the objects which made it more challenging.
January 1, 2014
I loved this game and so did my husband. There was so much to do, see and following the story line was super fun.
December 20, 2013
Another great game in the Botanica line!!
Thoroughly enjoyed this. I don't like straight HOGs, and this one isn't. The HO scenes that exist require interacting with the objects, and aren't junk piles. There is a lot to do, and the characters are great (especially the animals!).
January 9, 2014