Clicker games are a polarising genre. While some enjoy the mindless grinding and levelling up, checking back every few hours to see how things are going, others just don’t see the point and consider them nothing more than a spectacular waste of time. While I agree they’re a waste of time, I still fall firmly into the first camp having dedicated 260+ hours to them in total. I love a good clicker game, and VaragtP, created of other clicker titles such as Tap Heroes and Loot Hero DX, is back with a third. Let’s take a look at Plantera.
Plantera is a clicker game that revolves around the growing of a garden. You start with a small patch of land and have at your disposal a range of different plants and animals that will generate money as they come to fruition. From apple trees to pumpkin patches, and chickens to cows, there’s a number of items that can be added, 16 to be exact, to your garden to generate cash.
It’s not all plain sailing, however, and there a number of animals out to get your hard-grown produce. Wolves will wander into the garden that needs dealing with, and crows swoop down and grab what fruit they can. It’s a fun little clicker that doesn’t require much in the way of strategy or maintenance but allows you to simply sit back, turn your brain off, and appreciate your whimsical little garden world for 15 minutes.
There are three types of plants available; crops, bushes, and trees, and you can have one of each on every patch of land that you own. As the produce from your plants and animals matures, you can either click it yourself to harvest it or leave it for the workers that you have pottering around your garden. There are 12 plants in total, 4 of each type, and each time you place one the cost for another goes up quite sharply.
There are also 4 animals, each offering different incomes. You’ll start with the humble chicken, producing eggs every now and again, but work your way to purchasing a cow, and then you’re in the money from its milk!
You start with a small area of land, and the number of plants and animals you can have are tied to this. For example, if you have 5 patches of land then you can plant 5 trees and have 7 animals (I made these numbers up, but they’re close). With enough cash, you can expand your land upping this limit, allowing you to purchase more plants and animals. Buy plants and animals, farm them, upgrade them, buy more land … rinse and repeat.
Plantera will continue generating cash even when you’re not playing, but not in traditional clicker style. There is an ability called ‘Alarm Clock’ that increases the amount of time that your workers will work when away from the game. I can only presume that without levelling this up if you left your game off all night, your workers wouldn’t do anything!
It’s very click intensive if you want to harvest your plants manually. One click will remove them from the tree although they do drop naturally with enough time, and a second click harvests it. I’ve been playing this at my office, and I’m almost certain those around me are fed-up with hearing me frantically clicking my mouse and I gather apples!
In terms of progression, the game so far has scaled quite well, although I do foresee some of the later achievements been a bit of a grind. There is an achievement for getting to level 100, and an achievement for having 100 of each plant type. Things are slowing down now and the grinding has started. These could take a while …
Plantera looks great. It’s got a very casual, cute, and relaxing pixel aesthetic. The animals are adorable, and the fruit and plants are colourful and playful. It looks great when your garden builds up. The music as well … man, I love a nice relaxing soundtrack and Plantera’s music is awesome. Everything that the aesthetics convey the music mirrors perfectly.
I have no real qualms with anything to do with it’s aesthetic, the menus feel a little under polished compared to the in-game aesthetic I feel, but it’s not a problem. The game has toggleable fullscreen, a number of language options, and cloud saving, which is great. The only thing that’s missing is a volume slider. The game features only on/off toggles for music and SFX, which wouldn’t be too bad but the game music is crazy loud! Earphone users beware the first time you launch the game, although I’m sure this will be fixed shortly in a patch.
Overall, and bearing in mind I’m already a fan of the genre, Plantera is a great little time sink. It has the staple mechanics of a clicker game, and the graphics and music bring a sense of whimsy where you can turn off and relax in your garden for a while. There isn’t a tonne of items available, and mechanics are simple, but for the £1.99/$2.99 that’s been asked you’ll certainly get your monies worth.
Tl:dr – Plantera is a fun little clicker that will let you turn your brain off for 15 minutes and enjoy the charm of your pixelated garden. With a small selection of plants and animals, mechanics are simple, but for £1.99/$2.99 it’s more than enough to get your monies worth if you’re into the genre. If you’re not, then this probably won’t be the title that changes that opinion.
Rating – 8/10
Purchase – Steam £1.99/$2.99