Botany Manor – A Vibrant and Relaxing Puzzle Adventure!

Botany Manor - Key Art

“The colour and shape of flowers are a precise record of what bees find attractive.” – Frederick Turner


Botany Manor is a charming, nature-themed puzzle game set in a stately home in 19th-century Somerset, England. Players can explore the house, research flora, and work out how to make different plants grow!

Developer: Balloon Studios
Released: 9th April 2024
Price: £20.99 – 22.49

Platforms: Windows, Xbox Series X|S/One, Switch
Available on: Steam, Microsoft, eShop
Engine: Unity

Botany Manor Screenshot - The Manor


The main objective of Botany Manor is to help the protagonist, Arabella, complete her herbarium so that she can submit it for publishing. In order to do so, the player must take a somewhat linear journey through the stately manor and its grounds finding clues that will indicate the best growing condition for each of the 12 plants that need to be documented. The explorable environment is quite sizable considering the length of the game, and despite the linear progression, the player can freely explore areas that have already been accessed.

The number of clues per plant varies quite dramatically and the process of growing each plant equates to a very satisfying puzzle experience that involves a range of tasks and riddles. These include maths-based problems, logical conundrums, exploration and observation of visual hints, environmental tasks, hidden objects and more! The variety creates a lot of interest and keeps the game feeling fresh and intriguing throughout. The puzzles are not too difficult but have enough substance to provide a light challenge. There is minimal pressure with no timers or fail states which helps to maintain a chilled-out experience.

Botany Manor is relatively short and will take around 4 hours to complete. However, this is a good length for the type of experience with the narrative feeling complete and the gameplay remaining engaging throughout. A decent number of curious achievements (platform-dependent) and collectables are available in the game. These add an extra layer of fun to the gameplay and provide a small element of replayability, though the game will primarily be enjoyed in a single playthrough.

Botany Manor Screenshot - Puzzle


Players take on the role of Arabella Greene, a retired botanist returning to her Somerset manor in 1890 and are presented with a subtle overarching narrative detailing her attempts to break into academia, her struggles as a woman in a scientific field, her career aspirations, and her relationships with various friends and family members. There are also several historical facts and points of interest that crop up throughout. Most of the narrative is delivered via letters and other documents that can be found dotted throughout the manor and its grounds, though some information can be gleaned from the environment itself. The narrative culminates in a somewhat unexpected but uplifting conclusion that provides a solid, and gratifying ending to the game.

Botany Manor Screenshot - Herbarium


Botany Manor has a colourful, 3D art style that is very vibrant and uses bright, uplifting lighting for the most part. The mid-low poly look has fairly minimal detail and no visible linework, particularly in the environment. There is, however, enough visual information to distinguish between important items and create an immersive environment and a satisfying aesthetic that is well-suited to the narrative and gameplay. The UI is well constructed, clean and easy to read whilst staying true to the style and setting of the game.

The varied soundtrack features a relaxing range of music consisting of lots of different but coherent sounds including gentle guitar plucking, woodwind, a piano, strings, a harpsichord and other instruments. The overall effect is quite calming and unintrusive, providing the ideal backing track for this kind of experience. The immersive sound effects, such as the wind blowing, water flowing and birds chirping, in addition to the non-diegetic sounds, help create a pleasant and engaging soundscape for the player to enjoy.

Botany Manor Screenshot - Grown Plant


Botany Manor is a delightful game, offering colourful, stylised visuals, immersive and relaxing sound design, a balanced and intriguing narrative, as well as varied and casual gameplay consisting of low-pressure puzzles that still manage to boast a level of complexity. The historical manor and protagonist provide a fascinating backdrop for the gameplay and serve well to enhance the experience. The game is well made and very enjoyable, it is a great way to spend a few hours and while its price tag may seem a little steep for the amount of playtime the quality and substance make it worthwhile. I’d happily recommend this game to puzzle fans or anyone looking for a more laid-back but satisfying gameplay experience.

If you’d like to read about more low-pressure nature-themed games, you might enjoy these reviews:
Garden Buddies – Casual Crafting, Wholesome Games, and Self-Care Tips!Flutter Away – A Short but Delightful Photography GameBeasts of Maravilla Island: A Magical New Photography Game

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