Next year, be a retired botanist in a puzzle-filled mansion of forgotten plants

I love the pitch for Botany Manor, an upcoming exploration and puzzle game: "Welcome to Botany Manor, a stately home in 19th century England. You play as inhabitant Arabella Greene, a retired botanist. Explore your house and gardens, filled with research, to figure out the ideal habitat of forgotten flora. Grow each plant to discover the mysterious qualities they hold."

Marvelous. I'll be right over as soon as you're done with it, which appears to be some time in 2023. I want nothing more than to wander the dusty halls of my sunlit home finding the perfect place for a new succulent. I want to reorganize the solarium to make room in the warmest spot for a rare cactus specimen. I am desperately preparing to find a place where a climbing vine will look superb on a fountain, garden wall, or bit of statuary. 

"The puzzles you solve in Botany Manor come in the shape of growing plants. Find seeds, pot them and carry your seedlings to the right environment," says the description. Which sounds neat to me, since apparently the ideal habitat will involve thinking outside the box, searching the manor for items that will help you achieve your goals.

The manor will be filled with botanical texts, posters, newspapers, letters, paintings, and postcards, all of which will serve to give you material that you can pore over for hints that will improve your plants' odds. At the same time they'll give hints and stories form Arabella's life as a woman scientist in the 19th Century.

Botany Manor will be the debut game from Balloon Studios, a new indie developer based in Devon, UK. It'll be published by Whitethorn Games, who previously published games like Wytchwood, Apico, and Lake.

You can find Botany Manor on its official website and on Steam. It'll release some time in 2023.

Jon Bolding is a games writer and critic with an extensive background in strategy games. When he's not on his PC, he can be found playing every tabletop game under the sun.