An aCUTEly addicting clicker
Plantera is a casual farming clicker game developed by VaragtP. It has simple gameplay mechanics, cute cartoon-y visuals, a catchy tune, and it’s also pretty addictive. Not knowing anything about the clicking genre beyond Cookie Clicker, I surprisingly thoroughly enjoyed playing Plantera, and it made a great introduction to the addictiveness (and madness) of clicking games.
The aim of Plantera is to build a garden and then expand it into a thriving and lively greenland. You start with only three pennies to your name, but it’s enough to buy carrots that sell for one penny each. When you have enough, you grow another carrot patch. As you begin to earn a little more money, you climb up the produce chain. From this process, it’s a case of buying and selling different veggies, and with more money you can buy bushes, trees, cattle, and reap all the rewards. The clicking comes into play because you collect crops by clicking on them, alongside the little blue helpers who do it for you. When you return to the game after time away, the little blue helpers have apparently been working in your absence as you find your money has quadrupled since you last played – meaning more trees! More cows! More plots of land! It never ends.
But it’s not only the gameplay that encourages you to keep playing; the visuals are easy on the eyes. Every object is vibrant and colorful. All the animals are like round mochi blobs that plod along your garden. Everything is pretty cutesy. The movements make everything seem lively; there is fruit dropping all over the place, animals are ambling along, predators are being chased away. The music of the game was so popular that the developers created the soundtrack as optional DLC – that’s how catchy the music is. The composer, Jesse Valentine, has created music that, even after the hundredth time of hearing it, is not annoying. It is similar to The Sims music in that respect.
Plantera is simple, easy to understand, and its attention to detail makes it on point. Not to mention it understands exactly how to keep you playing using a heap load of positive reinforcement. It sounds and plays like a mobile port, but its gameplay content lies somewhere in between mobile and computer gaming. Sure, there is lots to do at the beginning. Birds fly in and try to steal some of your crops so you have to buy a scarecrow to keep them away. When you buy chickens and sheep, you’ll grab the attention of foxes or wolves, so you need to buy a guard dog…or two. Buy fertilizer to double the value of your crops. Click on butterflies and moles for extra quick cash. The buying and clicking is a relentless cycle
However, after playing for a couple of hours and unlocking everything, Plantera does start to get boring. At level fifty, your garden empire has pretty much reached its potential: your cash pool is around 2.5M, and a cow costs 905K. There is an option that makes the game window smaller, so you can let it run on its own, left free to do other activities on your computer. But obviously it’s not the same. Cast your mind back to the beginning. What happened to that first little blue worker who dreamed of a small humble garden? He is now lost in a blue sea of clones. With nothing else to do, you just end up expanding your land and buying more of the the same plants and animals. There are regular updates at the time of this review, but whether further updates will include more content and unlockable features is unknown.
Not shy of the clicker genre, developers VaragtP have made other clicker games. Loot Hero DX and Tap Heroes have had mixed responses, but they have really found their footing with Plantera. A cute and addicting clicker game, Plantera is available on Windows via Steam for £1.99.