Plantera 2: Golden Acorn Review (PC) – To Plantfinity and Beyond
As idle simulations or clickers, or whatever you prefer to call them go, Plantera 2 is an adorable addition to the genre; and a much-awaited sequel for beloved fans of the first game. I will openly admit I hadn’t experienced much of the Plantera world before diving into this review. The cute visuals and sweet design gave me an initial pull to be interested in what it had to offer.
I’ve played a few idle sims in my time, and they usually all work in a similar formula. The player does some initial groundwork, whether that be placing objects, paying staff to do it for you, or upgrading items. This eventually develops into the game playing itself.
Plantera 2 offers not much more than the formula mentioned above. You are invited into the garden once more. A blank canvas, to grow plants, plant trees, place animals, and add unique small features to make your garden truly yours.
In Plantera 2, once a fruit brush or a tree has been planted it will start to grow fruit which can be harvested for coins. Coins will then become your currency to buy more vegetation and trees, as well as decorations and animals to make your garden grow.
Round blue mellows will help tend to your garden and the more foliage you have, the more blue mellows will come to assist. They will pick anything off the floor that may fall or harvest fruit as it grows. You as the player can assist in the speed of this as well as preventing critters and other animals that are not your own from stealing and kidnapping the goods.
The game is so straightforward it doesn’t need instructions. Everything is accessible from the interface and there are no complicated menus. Nothing really requires a massive amount of explanation and all can be worked out within a few minutes of play. The only thing not explained to the letter is how exactly players level up and gather acorns. There are progress bars in each corner that do slowly advance and one can only assume this is based on activity within the garden and coins collected. As that is literally all it really can be.
Your shop has multiple tabs to toggle between trees, decorations, and even hats for your mellows to wear. Many items will be locked behind your level, to begin with. Then as you progress, your garden levels up so do your access to new items, objects and animals. These trees and bushes are usually worth more when their fruit has fallen and this allows you to collate and collect coins quickly.
As you begin to add chickens, ducks and pigs to your garden farm, predator animals will try and come and steal coins. With your clicker, you can mallet animals right in the noggin to shoo them away. (Don’t tell PETA, they’ll shut the joint down). If you would prefer to take the less animal abuser method, you can also catch butterflies, and fish with your net.
One particular thing that is bit strange is the Tory run shop. With each object, animal or plant you buy, the price increases. I know inflation exists but why is it halo spilling into sweet idle games? Fair enough if it upgrades the fruit that grows, but it doesn’t. It also just creates disorder in my garden. Why on earth am I now paying two thousand coins for a purple tree, when I paid 200 coins two tree’s ago. Now I can’t afford to make everything match and that my friend upsets me greatly.
Ri-Idle Me This
Plantera 2 will leave you with some entertainment for around an hour, but after this it truly turns into Idle Sim. Following that, you mostly will be waiting to plant new things, add an animal or two, and brighten things up with special decorations, which can take its time. There will be at least something you can plant after unlocking each level to expand your garden. Speaking of garden expansions your garden can certainly turn into a side scrolling pictorial of randomly placed stuff.
The main event of Plantera 2 – the Oak Tree, had done big fat nothing for many hours of playing. However I have finally seen the magic of the Oak Tree, which will require a few more levels to fully complete and it is a sweet addition of magic – that I won’t spoil – that could easily be missed if you finish the game too early. When your spoils are collected you can accumulate acorns to spend on your oak tree. This can increase the size of your oak tree, add a bird house, or even add acorns to the tree itself which increase in value with each upgrade added. Beehives can eventually be added and bring in that money honey.
Most fruits are often around 2-5 coins worth, but if some bees make honey this can be worth nearly 100 coins. Of course, that literally does not matter eventually because when you hit the twenties in level, you’ll have over 100 thousand coins and buildings. Like most idle sim apps, the game will also continue collecting your garden crops for a short while after and you can buy time for this to be extended, leaving your garden in safe hands even without you at the helm.
Overall, Plantera 2 is exactly what it says on the tin, an idle sim which is cute, adorable and easy to play. I think in 1996 I would have loved this as a screensaver, and that isn’t as much of a diss as it sounds. If you enjoy that, great. I think everyone does need to delve into this genre now and then. Boasting up to 40 levels to fully unlock everything and catchy music, that sometimes sounds like you’re in a french restaurant…? How can you resist?
Plantera 2 will keep you entertained for a few hours at least. It’s one of those games where you can put your brain in a jar, relax and enjoy it. You don’t even truly have to play it eventually if you want to get lost in just watching the mellows collect everything and the adorable visuals. No really, I have had this on in the background, dipping in and out of it when I have felt like it, and it has almost felt like a playable pause menu. If you’re a fan of the genre, it’s a good price point for a good find, but don’t expect to be Mary Mary quite contrary by the end of it.
Plantera 2: Golden Acorn is worth the visit to the garden if you like the idle sim/clicker genre. More of an interactive screensaver than a videogame, it’s still a delightful, adorable visual garden. It runs on the same natural formula of the genre, remaining accessible and easy to play. Cute, adorable, albeit a bit basic, but enjoyable in the short term.
Plantera 2: Golden Acorn is available now on PC via Steam.
Disclaimer: In order to complete this review, we were provided with a promotional code from the publisher. For our full review policy, please go here.
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