Botanicula Shows Point-And-Click Gaming Is Alive And Well

While many of the bigger gaming studios concern themselves with either tent-pole releases of blockbuster sequels to games like CoD or GTA, or look to the future of the interactive, augmented gaming of tomorrow, one indie studio is still gaining praises and a following from the classic point-and-click genre. Amanita Design is the company behind the surreal adventure games Samorost 1 and 2 and Machinarium, which present the player with intricately crafted, imaginative worlds to explore while taking their influences from European avant-garde animation with a touch of a fairy tale charm.

These Czech-based developers have recently released their latest game Botanicula, where you control tree beings—from twigs to seed pods—who have to protect their tree-home from nasty parasites. The environment evokes an enchanting world set amongst the leaves and organisms of this leafy land, and the gameplay, like most of their games, remains simple: you wander around this fantastical world clicking around to see what happens.

But where the game’s attraction lies is in the way these strange lands come suddenly to life—complimented by entrancing music from Czech band DVA—where unintended actions grant unexpected results. It’s a much more meditative experience then the violent chaos of a FPS or manic side-scroller, the sort of game you’d want to play to come down from a bout of mindless FPS slaughtering or nerve-wracked platforming.

We asked founder of Amanita Design, Jakub Dvorsky, a few quick questions about their new release.

The Creators Project: Why is it important to you to create a complete audiovisual experience for the player?
Jakub Dvorsky
: Because that’s what we love to create—an interactive audiovisual experience. Games are fantastic medium with huge artistic potential.

Character sketches

What’s it like conjuring up these fantastical worlds? Is there a sense of discover and excitement on your part?
Yes definitely. Designing these worlds, their inhabitants, nature, and all the details along with the story and the gameplay is an absolutely wonderful and exciting job—it feels really good to design the whole world even it’s only small world. Unfortunately, it’s just a small part of the whole development so the whole creation of that world definitely takes longer than just six days :)

What do you think keeps people coming back to graphic adventure games, is there a sense of becoming a child again?
I like adventure games because they are not based on just one game mechanic (running and shooting, running and jumping etc.), they are more dependent on the atmosphere, story, and its world, and less dependent on the player’s skills. It’s one of the most relaxed game genres which is also important. And surprisingly, our games work great for both adults and children, which is great but completely unintentional.

The game conjures up a very beautiful world—how do you go about creating this sense of awe and wonderment?
I don’t know, maybe it’s because we use a lot of intuition, not only a rational approach.