Where do you draw the line between a game and a tool? At some point, the thing stops becoming as much about play as it is about what the designer wants you to do with the game. That's where Plants tends to stand out from its competition, being as much a relaxation product as it is game. Whether or not that makes it a good fit for gamer's, though,...[read more below]
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Where do you draw the line between a game and a tool? At some point, the thing stops becoming as much about play as it is about what the designer wants you to do with the game. That's where Plants tends to stand out from its competition, being as much a relaxation product as it is game. Whether or not that makes it a good fit for gamer's, though, is a more complicated question.
The idea behind Plants is relatively simple - you're going to help a flower grow. Despite what the developer thinks, this isn't all that novel of a concept. The goal here is to provide a non-violent, almost meditative experience for those who just want a few flashing lights in front of them when they're trying to relax.
The concept falls flat when you introduce the game elements.
The truth is that the idea of a meditative game has been done before. And it's still one that's got a lot of appeals. When you start to introduce fail states to a game about meditation, though, something stops working. This is a game that seems to want to be all about relaxation, but it can't let go of basic game concepts enough to allow users to enter that state.
Plants is not a great-looking game. It's got a lot more in common with what you would've expected to see in a free mobile game a few years ago than it does with what you'd generally find on Steam today. While not every game needs to be a graphical masterpiece, there's something off about the design of Plants. It might be the fact that the design isn't all that unified, or it might be the fact that it looks like it's as done in MS Paint.
Plants' touted audio isn't enough to help it past its graphical shortcomings.
For all that the game talks about its relaxing music, it doesn't ever feel like a real element. Is there music? Sure, but it's neither better nor worse than what you'd find in most games. If it were important, the game probably wouldn't tout the possibility of turning it off, and if it was meant to be ignored, you'd think that it would be at least a little less prominent in the advertising copy.
Plants is technically a game, so it's probably worth looking at from a game-play perspective. The good news, of course, is that it is quite playable. The only thing that you're going to do in the game is to grow a flower, so it's nice to see that this can be done competently.
Your only goal is to move your plant towards water droplets, which can be done with your mouse. There's nothing particularly revolutionary here, but at least the developer has managed to make this process as painless as possible. The only downside, of course, is that the lack of variety is boring.
The truth is that Plants would feel much more at home on an app store than it does on Steam. There's nothing here that justifies the price of the game, nor the room that it takes up on your hard-drive. It's a relaxing diversion at best, but there are plenty of other games that are better at that task. Plants is a game worth skipping.
Plants is a simple relaxation game that feels a little under cooked.
What follows is the official description of Plants, from the developers.
Plants is a nontraditional and nonviolent experience where you take control over a growing flower.
Unwind and de-stress with the help of the calm music and serene environment.
Your goal: enjoy the scenery and have a pleasant trip.
a stress relieving environment
family friendly content
full screen and windowed possibility
mute sound effects and/or music
day and night cycle
6 flower body mutations
Plants is a single player game in which you first select a flower and then control the flower (upwards). Your friendly flower follows your mouse cursor at all times.
That way you can guide it towards an item, while it leaves a trail of his own body behind.
Flower movement uses energy, picking up water drops prevents running out of energy. When you are out of energy, the session ends.
This game was already available in other stores. The release here also brings a new update: v1.0.2.
So while v1.0.1 was not available on Steam, here is a presentation of the changes from v1.0.1 to v1.0.2:
Update v1.0.2 brings a lot of new things. (18 changes in total)
The biggest additions are the following:
2 new Plant Body mutations: Dark Mode and Twinkling Stardust
New content (5 additions)
2 new Plant body items (Dark Mode and Twinkling Stardust)
3 new flowers to select
You now notice bees flying around
A tree has been added to the background
Visible changes (9 changes)
The Colour game mode does not automatically make plant bodies disappear on the screen anymore, unless you touch it. Also: the speed gradually increases and gets a reset when you switch colours again
Main game: the floating dandelion now swings back and forth.
The font in the main menu and Restart screen is now bigger and more clear
Main menu: a purple oval is added to clearify which option is selected
The sound effect of going back in the menu screen is changed
A back-arrow has been added to all screens in the main menu
The background of the credits screen is cleaner (used to be an enlarged sprite).
The circle showing which flower you are about to select is increased in size
Pause-animation: the button is now disappearing more quickly.
Fixes (4 fixes)
In the Colour game mode you could get under the grass. The camera now stops at the bottom when you move down
In the Colour game mode small spawned flowers would never fade away. They do not appear anymore due to the changes made in Colour Mode.
There was a situation where 2 items were spawned at the same time. Limited to max 1
The crickets would keep on singing when restarting a game at night. Fixed.
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