Amanita Design is single-handedly bringing the Adventure Game back into style.
Their previous game, Machinarium, blew me away with its creativity, soundtrack, style and charming little story. Their Samorost series is also a unique gem of a game series. Amanita continues to create great games with Botanicula.
Botanicula is like a blend of Machinarium, Samorost and Windowsill. Like Samorost, you don't usually control your character directly, but interact with the environment, which allows you to progress. Other times you do tell the characters where to go and what to do, which is very much like Machinarium. And although Amanita did not design it, I couldn't help but think the game reminds me of Windowsill because there are so many clickable things on the screen, and clicking them yields fun surprises.
Cute, happy, creative and unique surprises.
There aren't any serious puzzles here like in Machinarium. It's much more casual. The focus is on interaction with the environment and exploration. You won't need to take notes to figure out the puzzles. Some will require you to make leaps of logic, but in the context of this strange world, it's never an unfair leap. In fact, it's usually a funny leap.
Happiness and charm are very rare in games these days it seems. The tone of Botanicula is happy, upbeat and humorous. I especially like it when the group screams. It's funny, and the surprises they uncover along the way are just as amusing. It doesn't become dark or scary until the last level, which is a surreal trip in and of itself.
Botanicula is a work of art and a joy to play!
Demo is online!