Even after many years of video games, I still come across some that I don’t really know how to describe. It’s an exciting thing, but also a deeply embarrassing one when part of your job requires you to, well, describe games. Strange Horticulture is called a puzzle, but it is by no means a puzzle that I associate with the word.
You are the nameless and mostly speechless horticulturalist, welcoming customers to a shop that consists of many shelves of different brightly colored plants and flowers, as well as a desk with a drawer. As a player, you can interact with the desktop and its contents, as well as plants, of course.
The basic gameplay loop is pretty simple – clicking on your meter bell simulates a customer calling you, asking for a plant for medical or other purposes. The plants in Strange Horticulture were all created for the game, and there’s a lot of love put into their individual design, both visually and in their descriptions.
At first, you don’t know the names of the plants on your shelves, so you consult your trusty plant encyclopedia and make an educated guess based on the visual description or description of a plant’s properties. You can get an additional clue by looking at the plant through your microscope. Once you can associate a plant with a name, you can stick a small tag on it.
Once a day, the postman brings you a letter. Your post is often from benefactors traveling the surprisingly vast world of Strange Horticulture – people who have encountered a plant and described where you can find it. Letters and tasks completed in the shop increase your will to travel. Once it is full, you can take out the map and explore it by choosing a location. Often the clues to interesting locations will be vague, so you’ll have something else to guess.
Strange horticultural trailer.
Strange Horticulture isn’t a puzzle, it’s a guessing game, literally. It is the simulation of a fantastic job in a fantasy world. Just like how niceplay’ games potion crafting is an alchemy simulator, I’d like to call Strange Horticulture a magic horticulturist simulator – maybe a magic flower shop simulation, since you don’t engage in a lot of actual horticulture like growing plants or making flowers. medications.
As someone who can’t even follow directions from Google Maps, trying to find something by looking at a map is vaguely unpleasant, but finding secret spots and being rewarded with a new plant is always satisfying. You can zoom in on the screen using your mouse wheel at any time to take a closer look at the map or check out the features of a plant, which is simply the best accessibility feature for a UI-driven game like this, but the penalty for mistakes, in the form of a slowly filling up dread meter, is never heavy.
Strange Horticulture is a slow exploration of a slightly strange world – a general veneer of unease quite easy to accept: a ghost here, a witch there. Your days in the shop lead to greater mystery, but the game’s fairly meandering overall pace never gives way to urgency. It’s a good game to play in small sessions, just to soak up its atmospheric writing and lean into a map. My only regret is that I wish there was more to do. The potential is there, and I would have liked to manage my plants and my shop more, even if it meant losing a bit of this relaxed atmosphere. Alas, Strange Horticulture isn’t that easily definable kind of game, but rather its own weird thing.
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Article source https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2022-01-20-strange-horticulture-is-a-relaxing-puzzle-about-witches-and-supernatural-plants