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Botany Manor review – peaceful plant-y puzzles

Botany Manor is sure to grow on you with its laid-back puzzle experience, focusing on sowing seeds and letting flowers flourish in your stately manor.

Botany Manor review - a potted plant over a background of a landscape

Our Verdict

Botany Manor lets me live out my dreams of being a horticulturist, discovering wild and wonderful plant types from across the world all from the comfort of my own home.

Welcome to Botany Manor, home to wonderful species of plants and plenty of excellent scenery. Through the gates, you find a delightfully green-thumbed puzzle game that sets you on a horticultural path to grow even the strangest of seedlings.

Though I’m not a puzzle person – they tend to leave me rather perplexed, no matter how I try, anything with plants is plenty good for me. Plus, I’ve been waiting for Botany Manor for quite some time, and I’m glad to say it doesn’t disappoint.

Set in the 1890s, you take on the role of Arabella Greene, an esteemed researcher of all things flowery. After receiving an empty herbarium, you now need to fill in entries for picky plants from all across the world and how to grow them.

Each area of the manor and its lovely grounds has a couple of plants for you to grow, with an inventive and interesting way of going about it. In order to work out what each seed needs, you gather scraps of journals, posters, letters, and more that act as clues. Then, you enter them in your herbarium and complete each entry.

Botany Manor review - a big tree covered in mushrooms inside a wooden room

There are so many well-thought-out puzzles to help the flora flourish, from sticking them in a smokehouse, pressing apples into the soil, and snapping pictures of them with a Victorian flash powder camera.

You start off on the grounds, in a hot house, and swiftly make your way through gardens to the sprawling manor itself, and beyond to an orchard and up into the attic with keys you find strewn around the place.

It’s not just plants that you learn about here, you get a sense of who Arabella is and what her life is like. She’s now an older lady and has been working with plants for a while – though this hasn’t been without its drawbacks. There’s a substory here showing that certain education and career bodies won’t accept her because she’s a woman, though the very fact she now has her own Forgotten Flora book shows that she’s proven them all wrong.

In terms of how the game looks and feels, it’s delightful. It’s got a nice and unintrusive soundtrack that lets you know when you do something right with a nice tinkle of strings, and the graphics are nice and bright. I recommend turning the camera sensitivity down just a teeny bit, but that might just be my own eyes’ preference.

Botany Manor review - an entry in the herbarium notebook with a picture of a plant on one page

My only ‘gripe’, per se, is that I would like a menu screen to see all the clues I’ve picked up laid out at once – you can see the names of them on each entry’s page, but you can’t click them and read them. This means you need to backtrack through the (albeit lovely) manor to locate the specific items and re-read them. Again, not a huge problem by any means – I’m just forgetful and need constant reminders of what I’m doing.

Botany Manor runs very well on Switch, though the initial load time can be a little long – but no matter, go and furnish yourself with a cup of tea and then settle in. This is definitely another game I can enjoy wrapped up on the sofa, or even when travelling, as it isn’t too time-consuming and can be dipped into whenever you want. Overall, if you like plants and puzzles, I highly recommend picking up this whimsical game.

If you like a good gardening game, check out our picks of the best, or try these farm games instead.