Botany Manor Review

Botany Manor is a puzzle-adventure game that puts you in the garden boots of its unseen protagonist, Arabella Green. Arabella is a botanist with a passion for exotic plants, who returns to her countryside manor in 1890 to complete her book, Forgotten Flora. In order to do so, she must discover how to turn the seeds in her collection into thriving plants. That’s where the puzzle aspect of the game comes in.

Botany Manor Review

Each phase of the game has you working out how to make a seed or two germinate, grow, and blossom. The clues on how to do this are all around you. In true adventure game style, you’ll move between locations looking for objects to examine, each of which will provide a little insight into what it takes to provide the right conditions for each plant to grow. Luckily, you can also find the tools to replicate those conditions around the mansion as well. After all, getting a tropical plant or one that normally grows on the side of volcanoes to thrive in the English countryside will require some creativity.

The game provides you with some help along the way in the form of a journal. As you find items that provide clues to how to grow a plant, they will be collected into your journal. You can then drag them onto each plant’s page. This is a bit of a puzzle exercise in itself, as the game will let you know once you’ve placed all of the right clues with a plant. When you’ve got all of the right clues in place, you’ll know that you have everything that you need to know to germinate the plant’s seed and successfully grow the plant. Unfortunately for those without the ability to recall everything that they’ve seen so far in detail or who play the game in small bursts with gaps in between, the game doesn’t include the details of each clue in the journal. So, if you’ve got everything and still need to figure out how it all fits together, you’ll have to remember where you found each clue and re-examine them again. Luckily the game segments the manor and its grounds so that the clues for each plant are in the same general vicinity. You’ll do some backtracking, but we’re not talking metroidvania-style slogs here. Overall, I found the puzzles interesting and fun to solve. I didn’t find anything to be so challenging as to block my progress, but there were times I had to pause to reason things out. If you’re used to solving puzzles and enjoy such games, you’ll be able to make your way through the game without too much trouble, but things aren’t so simple as to take away from the challenge of solving a puzzle and the little rush that comes from discovering its solution.


The things that you find while exploring the mansion and its grounds don’t solely serve the purpose of providing plant secrets, though. They also help to tell the story of Arabella despite the fact that she’s a silent protagonist. The game doesn’t tell its story through cutscenes, voiceovers, or pages of text, but instead leaves it to you to piece together Arabella’s life through the mementos and keepsakes displayed in her ancestral home. This subtle form of storytelling works quite well, conveying the struggles faced by a woman in a science field in the man’s world of Victorian England. It makes her struggles feel more personal and more human, without ever feeling preachy or overbearing. Telling a story without an explicit narrative is no easy task, but Botany Manor pulls it off brilliantly.

As far as games go, Botany Manor is a little on the shorter side, but that’s OK in this case. The gameplay fully tells its story without trying to extend things with inconsequential busy work or unnecessary padding. It’s a relaxing and peaceful game that will exercise your brain just enough without taxing it. If you’re looking for a game that will help you to relax and unwind without boring you in the process, then the botanical puzzles of Botany Manor will meet your nutritional needs.

Final Rating: 88% - A puzzle adventure that will grow on you.


Note: A review code for this game was provided by the publisher.