stub Botany Manor Review (PC & Switch) -
Connect with us


Botany Manor Review (PC & Switch)



Botany Manor Promotion Art

For every flower there’s a seed, and for every rare plant, there’s another piece of parchment in the ever-evolving catalog of unwritten types of flora that will soon find its place between the margins of Botany Manor’s encyclopedia. This is, undoubtedly, a perfect starting point for anyone who’s drawn to the idea of chronicling the various aspects of botany, both out in the garden, and in the lengthy verses of a leather-bound book. It’s also an ideal location to explore the ins and outs of Victorian culture, and one that has far more secrets than the average estate or vacant plot of land, for in Botany Manor, flowers are blessings in disguise, and it isn’t uncommon for them to hide their true colors or inner values from the fledgling green thumbs who pick them.

Botany Manor is all about one thing, and it doesn’t take a genius to realize that, while there are several different petals to cut and harvest for a bouquet, the most important thing is the preservation of floral tributes—a tradition that you, a budding botanist, must work tirelessly to keep alive, if only to teach future generations the importance of the garden and its natural role in the environment. This is where a book comes in—a botanical research encyclopedia titled ‘Forgotten Flora’—of which you must flesh out with written descriptions of the countless variations of plants to provide a deeper insight into the nature of their growth. It isn’t an easy job, but it is certainly one that others will benefit from, for sure.

Botany Manor has just launched on PC and Switch, and so, naturally, I felt the urge to read the script for myself. The question is, should you read it, too? Well, let’s cut a few ribbons and discuss it.

An Abundance of Flowers

Victorian manor exterior (Botany Manor)

The game sees you taking on the role of botanist Arabella Greene, whose sole purpose is to tend to a garden in a rich and beautiful nineteenth-century Victorian manor, and unlock new ways of growing rare forms of flowers and other natural phenomena. As the green-thumbed protagonist, you must explore the inner sanctums of an idyllic estate and unearth several of its secrets, some of which pertain to your personal life, and others that revolve around the rare types of flora that sprout up around the four corners of the land. There’s a bit more to it than that, but for the most part, your objectives either lie with having to unlock various crafting abilities, or sourcing new seeds to aid the growth of some type of natural rarity.

Botany Manor is inexplicably cozy, and it doesn’t take much to come to terms with its chosen style; it’s easy on the eyes, and it doesn’t ask too much of you, even when you’re given the blank pages of a botany bible and instructed to, well, fill them out without the aid of an associate. With that said, seeing as there are no time frames for each chapter, or even any drastic consequences that tie in with failing to transcribe each page, it’s an easy one to digest, and therefore a real delight to work through, all things considered.

The flora and foliage of Botany Manor aren’t entirely real, though they are based on several natural rarities that’ll no doubt make even the most anti-floral pickers a little green with envy. It’s all purely fantastical, of course, but then, that’s sort of the beauty of it; if I had wanted to see an assortment of tulips, then I’d need only gaze out of my living room window.

Let It Grow

Greenhouse interior (Botany Manor)

There are, of course, several challenges to address in the main story, some of which require you to think outside of the box and get a little creative with your strategies. For example, some types of flora require several preliminary tests before being able to produce any form of natural quality—a series that often means having to experiment with different contraptions around the manor, and searching for set pieces that can compliment the eventual outcome of the project. Fortunately, a great deal of these processes aren’t massively complex, as a lot of the time it’s merely the case of experimenting with different lighting, locations, and other factors. In other words, it’s nigh impossible to hit a brick wall with this one, unless, of course, you lack the patience to see it through.

Again, none of the above items on the to-do list are meant to come across as daunting or overly complicated, as a lot of the tasks that land on your docket can, more often than not, be completed by simply branching off the beaten path and exploring the borders that orbit the world. And honestly, that’s one of the things that I enjoyed the most: exploring. Was I usually traveling in the right direction? Perhaps, though it didn’t really matter, as there was, weirdly enough, always an incentive to keep me forking out soil and trucking forward to another piece of unchartered territory. And as it turned out, that same basic feeling of wanting to explore stuck with me from the moment I opened the book, to the second I chalked up the final passage and had it shelved.

In Bloom

Plant growing (Botany Manor)

Sure enough, the book that was in my possession was always calling out to me, nibbling at my hand and begging me to conceive another entry, but I often found myself slotting it on the back burner, if only to accommodate other, slightly less pressing matters. In my mind, I had a lot more to do, and even though the whole point of the journey was to build a manual for up-and-coming botanists, I still found myself losing track of my objectives and embarking on other quests that, quite frankly, had little else to do with flowers. I had the art style to blame for that, though.

It didn’t take long for me to fall head over heels in love with the theme that Botany Manor opted for; it was well-collected and colorful, and not to mention bursting with a generous selection of rooms, gardens, and other peculiar allotments to be explored, too. Thankfully, I didn’t have to concern myself with any technical issues, either, as the game didn’t conjure any problems for me to address or tweak via the settings menu. Suffice it to say that, a lack of technical faults is always a pleasant surprise, and it further illustrates the fact that, from the outside looking in, the developers knew all too well what they were doing when they decided to conceive the blueprint.


Glowing plant (Botany Manor)

Botany Manor is a very, very beautiful game, and it’s absolutely bursting with flavorful aspects that make even some of the most textureless thorns stand out and feel soft to the touch. In addition to it being an educational tool for fledgling gardeners and botanists alike, it’s also a surprisingly fantastic and in-depth guide for those with a craving for story-driven worlds and creative exploits, thus making it a near-perfect assortment of flowers for most, if not every player, regardless of their skill or background in the field. Granted, its story isn’t particularly mesmerizing, but it’s certainly something that’s worth sticking around for.

While I wouldn’t go as far as to say that Botany Manor provides a masterclass in botany, what with its arrangements being purely fantastical, and not, for example, based on real-life flora, I can say that, for what it does offer, it’s a great little stepping stone for fellow aficionados and like-minded petal pickers. It’s also just a great game, in general, and one that’ll surely tick a slew of boxes in most checklists, too. And on that note, I’m honestly struggling to find a fault in it, much less fashion a hole that, in all honesty, doesn’t quite exist, to begin with.

To answer the simple question of whether or not Botany Manor is worth stopping and, well, sniffing the roses for — yes, it most certainly is, and not just because it’s a great tribute to the art, but because it’s arguably one of the coziest games we’ve had the pleasure of working through in weeks, or perhaps even months. Regardless of whether or not the kingdom of flora is your forte, it’s definitely worth giving some thought, if only to break up some of those slightly more aggressive and complex RPGs on the market.

Botany Manor Review (PC & Switch)

A Bouquet to Celebrate

Botany Manor is an absolute delight to play through, and not to mention a real testament to the art of botany and all things floral. It’s a little on the short side, but that isn’t to say that you shouldn’t stop a take a good ol’ whiff of those sweet, sweet roses.

Jord is acting Team Leader at If he isn't blabbering on in his daily listicles, then he's probably out writing fantasy novels or scraping Game Pass of all its slept on indies.