Level of active clicking needed to play: 1/5
After you’ve spent an initial few minutes setting up your farm, you can just leave and come back when your offline timer is up. There is very little commitment involved. Hooray!
I’ve always enjoyed watching things grow… Hence my rather apparent addiction to farming games. It brings me back to the days of playing Farmville on Facebook or Harvest Moon on the original Playstation. Good times. As we all should know by now, I’m rather fond of clicker/idle games; there’s nothing quite like watching the cash roll in as you stare at the virtual workers/adventures toiling away at whatever job they were assigned to. A lot of clickers these days require a lot of effort to play however, as they tend to compare you to other players and give rewards based on how high your score is. Sometimes, even as a clicker, it gets a bit stressful because you’re never reaching the full potential. Plantera by VaragtP Studios however is so insanely casual, it’s actually an amazingly refreshing change of pace.
You can access Plantera for free via PC on Newgrounds or on mobile GooglePlay/App store. It’s also available on Steam and on the 3DS if you’re willing to spend a few dollars. I’m not sure if there is a difference between paid versions of the game and free to play ones. For now, this review is about the Steam version.
Plantera is a clicker/idle farming game where you start off with an empty field, a confused little blue guy and a few butterflies. A couple of clicks later and you can buy yourself a carrot patch: the beginning of your new life with the little blue helpers. Eventually with enough coin and experience, you unlock new tabs like bushes, trees and animals. Each of these take up a certain section of space. Patches on the first tab take up the foreground along with animals on the fourth tab. Bushes on the second take up the mid-ground with trees on the third taking the background. It makes things a little bit more neat by allocating pre-set locations for them but it really limits the amount of customising you’re allowed on the farm. There’s also a fifth tab with some upgrades to your farm like extended offline production and scarecrows or dogs to prevent pests from eating everything. Within the fifth tab there is the option to multiply the coin production from selling your produce which is always helpful. As you play, you’ll gain more workers and more land to play with. Overall it’s a nice and calming pace. Nothing complicated going on, just simple growing and upgrading.
That being said, the limitations on the ability to customise the farm actually relieves me, believe it or not. As an incredibly indecisive perfectionist, I struggle when I’m given free reign of interior/exterior design. I would sit there for hours wondering how to make it the most efficient or prettiest to the point where I get so stressed out I would stop playing. Plantera isn’t like that. It’s like it’s made for people like me who just need a relaxing time and for people to decide trivial things for me. The background music is light and gentle, it’s not too terribly annoying for something that has such a short loop. The option to just outright buy the coin multiplier also helps because no one enjoys the feeling of having to soft reset to claim bonuses. Why not just save up for it and get it immediately without losing progress?
It’s a little funny though. There’s honestly not too much to the game but every now and then, this lad with a jousting rod comes running through. He doesn’t hurt any of the animals or destroy any of the produce lying around, he’s just there for giggles and to give you free coins. If you can click him enough, you can make an easy handful of cash. Again, he doesn’t really serve much of a purpose as you can easily make the money faster with upgrades. It’s just nice to have a little visitor from time to time. He doesn’t come by often but it’s always a pleasant surprise.
It’s a lovely thing really and honestly has such a high score for being one of the most chillest games I’ve ever played although I can really understand if it’s not your cup of tea. Like I said, it lacks content and thus things to do but for a tiny game with some of the cutest graphics ever, I’m content with my purchase and will come back to it whenever I need to relax. Time to grab some tea and biscuits and watch them harvest carrots for me.