Czech independent studio, Amanita Design, is familiar with the idea of creating expansive worlds rife for exploration. Point-and-click adventure players likely remember Machinarium, the game set in a Steampunk-inspired robot-populated planet. After receiving critical praise and several awards, Amanita Design moved forward with a whole new project.
After years in development, Botanicula has finally been released.
Several trailers for Botanicula have been uploaded to YouTube, many of which introduce the game’s multiple protagonists. The most recent trailer sees the game’s heroes running away from an angry flying beetle, while revealing some of the game’s environments. While the setting looks beautiful and the trailers were amusing, I still had some questions regarding what the game was about. To get some answers, I reached out to game designer Jakub Dvorský.
“Botanicula is a point-and-click adventure game about five friends,” said Dvorský. “They’re little tree creatures who set out for a journey to save the last seed from their home tree, which is infested by evil parasites. We will help the main heroes to explore their world, solve various puzzles, play mini-games, find tons of hidden bonuses and collect cards with all the characters we will meet on our journey. It’s a very relaxed game, perfect for hardcore gamers, their partners, families and seniors.”
Recalling the vast world of Machinarium, I made sure to ask if Botanicula’s lush planet would be just as expansive. “The whole game has about 150 locations,” answered Dvorský. With so many areas to explore, Dvorský expanded on what players could expect to see. “On our way we will go down from upper branches of the huge tree and visit a bee hive, ant nest, the gloomy hollow trunk and other mysterious places.”
After discussing the environments, the discussion turned to the Botanicula’s main characters, in which Dvorský revealed the inspiration for their design. “Botanicula’s world was inspired by one ancient garden here in Czech Republic and generally by nature – plants, insect, microbes,” explained Dvorský. “The relationship of the main characters is very simple — they are friends. Every character has its own special abilities, but it’s always a surprise how they can or can’t use them in particular situations.”
Even before its release to the public, Botanicula has received its first award. The soundtrack from Czech band DVA helped Amanita Design win the Excellence in Audio award from this year’s Independent Games Festival. Dvorský briefly discussed the importance of music and sound to Botanicula. “The music and sounds are important in all of our projects and Botanicula is no exception,” said Dvorský. “The music from Dva is cheerful, colorful, a little weird, and full of life which is also true for our art style. Therefore, it fits perfectly to the overall style and atmosphere of the game and makes it a complete experience.”
Prepare to enter the strange world of Botanicula. The game is now available on PC, Mac, and Linux.
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