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Saturday, June 9, 2012

Botanicula

Botanicula is an adventure game from Czetch developers Amanita Design. The basic story follows a group of insects escaping from and eventually confronting an army of shadow creatures who are sucking the life out of the natural world. The player experiences this universe by using the mouse to travel to new areas, to solve puzzles and interact with different creatures and objects. What I found immediately striking about this is that unlike most games in the point and click adventure genre there are not one but five protagonists, each of equal importance. This situates the experience in an interesting context as you play the role of a guide as opposed to an absolute controller. Interaction is entirely contextual, the party of insects can not be moved around manually, instead reacting to other actions and changes in the environment. It is these environments that really sold the game to me because the aesthetics of Botanicula are simply amazing. The world itself is teeming with life, the art work is beautiful as well as original in style and execution. These visuals are enhanced by the quirky and spontaneous soundscape which brings to life the creatures and environments.



Beyond the game itself I find Botanicual to be also worth mentioning due to it's financial success. The game debuted through Humble Bundle, a short term 'pay what you want' site which turned over $822,356 USD. This figure doesn't include sales outside of this promotion so I imagine the profits would be a lot higher as well. It's cool that an independant developer can make that kind of money purley through online distribution.

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