Sunday, 22 July 2012

Back from the mud, living on a tree

Catching steam

So I'm back from my holiday, which turned out to contain a lot of wet feet, dirt, rain and mosquitoes (why did nobody tell me it was going to be a Neeker-breeker marshes kind of re-enactment?), but it was a lot of fun nonetheless. The first game-related thing I did when I got home was something I had been planning for a long time: I installed Steam on my computer. For those who don't know the program: Steam is a platform wherein you can buy games, and connect with friends. Remember back when we used to be online on MSN all the time? Well, much like that, but then it's even more awesome, because you can talk to each other while being in-game, even if you're playing different games. It has an overlay that's very neatly done. Anyway, I should stop advertising for Steam, I'll just conclude with saying I wish I'd started using it a long time ago.

To be able to add friends in Steam yourself, you need to own at least one game (protection against spammers etc, I think). It so happens there's a summer sale going on (some games are 80% off, really, ridiculous prices), and I suddenly found two games gifted to me by my boyfriend: Myst V and Botanicula. Such a great surprise! And it was the latter game that I tried out first - it immediately stole my heart.


Botanicula is a game about... yeah, what is it about, really? It is a game without spoken words, a game of images and sounds only, and I love it. You need to explore and discover yourself what's going on and what you need to do through these images and sounds only. Everything feels very intuitive, though (apart from the weird shit that happens after you've solved something). Base story? You live on a tree and need to save the beautiful and special treelife from some sort of evil black spider creatures. I think. To be honest, playing this game for the most part creates the impression of being on a magic mushroom trip and there's no end to it.

  • Awesome animations, with all sorts of funny and, above all, super cute creatures.
  • Fun music and great sounds, of which almost all are made by voice.
  • There are many 'easter eggs', funny animations of species to discover that have no use to the main story but are just, well, fun.
  • Overall: playing this game feels like looking at art, not just like playing a game.
  • Getting 'stuck' and spending time running around, clicking everything left and right in frustration before you find out how to proceed. It's a game rated for 7 years and older, so I guess that explains a lot about me...! Luckily this doesn't happen too often.
Overall, I think this is a great game to play in between other games. It keeps surprising you. You shouldn't play it for too long, though, as you'll start to feel a bit dizzy (at least I did). It's typically a game that you'll either love or hate.


One of the most fun things in Botanicula are the many different creatures you encounter on your tree, of which many are not really interesting for the level continuation, but do add a lot of fluff. Their only use is a spot as a card in your collection book, which I'd like to get as complete as possible. Here are some examples from screenshots I took:

Top left: Soukac
Third from the left, second row: Dzin

Bottom left: Zio A

As you can see, the names of many of these creatures are unknown, but the ones that do have a name have an alien one that sounds a bit Czech (the nationality of the game developers). I thought it would give some sort of impression of what weird stuff you'll encounter.




  1. Wow, so cool, and looks SO different from most everything else!

    Oh, and welcome back! Sorry about the mosquito bites, but it sounds like you had a great time anyway! :)

    1. Thanks for the welcome back. It was a nice holiday indeed, I can survive some mosquitoes. :)5

  2. I need to play this game.

    You and I are both Steam newbies!! *highfive*

    1. *highfive back*!

      I read you bought the Sims on Steam, such a fun game! Been ages since I played it (lost the CD-ROMS), but just found out I can probably download it (thorugh Origin). Sweet world, hopefully there's a way to find back those dresses I created.

      And Botanicula? I think you'd love that game!

    2. SO I bought Botanicula today. And four other cheapcheap games on Steam moments before the sale ended.

      It's installing.

      As soon as I come back from shooting houses (PSH ACTUAL WORK UGH) and edit those photos, I am ALL OVER IT.

    3. Ohh, I can't believe you actually bought Botanicula, that's amazing! Please let me know what you think, it's honestly the weirdest game I've ever played, so I'm really curious.

  3. Een goed vervolg op "Bomen zijn relaxed"!

    1. Ah neeee, dat had je niet moeten zeggen. Driemaal raden welk liedje ik nu in mijn hoofd heb!

  4. Welcome back Rav!

    Your new game is ... odd. lol! It looks a bit like NickJr though. :)
    Must. resist. temptation.

    After your adventure camping, I'm not sure I could have come back to play a game about bugs... Probably best you didn't play this *before* going out to sleep with bugs.

    1. Thanks, Supergirl!

      I didn't know what NickJr is, but I looked it up and it certainly looks 7+ as well. ^^

      I think Botanicula is a bit different (not the difficulty, but the whole gameplay is just weird), but I'm still happy I got it (think it was only 2 euro on Steam on sale).

      Luckily I'm okay with bugs (as long as they don't bite me!) and there haven't been any musquitoes in Botanicula so far, so all is well. :D

  5. Oh, pity I missed that one. Looks cute! I bought a couple games, but only got around to playing one before I went on holiday (I was lucky, I got lots of sunshine). Give Limbo a look. It's quite cheap to begin with and I've enjoyed what I've played. I think there's a demo as well, which is what got me hooked. :P

    1. Heh, thanks. I'll remember it for when I'll ever be in need of new games to try. It will take a while, just so you know, I got so many waiting for me! :)


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