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Botany Manor Impressions

If you’re looking for a charming escape filled with nature’s tranquility and the gentle challenge of puzzles, then look no further than Botany Manor on Xbox. This delightful game from Balloon Studios is a breath of fresh air, perfect for unwinding after a long day or for those who enjoy cozy, exploration-based experiences.

The game places you in the shoes of Arabella Greene, who has inherited the sprawling Botany Manor and its magnificent gardens. Stepping into this beautifully rendered 19th-century world is an instant delight. Lush greenery spills from every corner, sunlight filters through stained glass windows, and the soundtrack is a calming melody of birdsong and classical piano. It’s a visual and auditory feast that instantly puts you at ease.


Your primary objective is to restore the manor’s once-thriving herbarium. This involves exploring the manor and its sprawling grounds, searching for rare and exotic plant specimens. The puzzles you encounter are cleverly designed, often revolving around using observation skills and logic to unlock doors, decipher clues hidden within old journals, and manipulate the environment to your advantage. While the difficulty isn’t overwhelming, the puzzles are satisfying to solve and offer a sense of accomplishment without ever feeling frustrating.

The true joy of Botany Manor lies in its exploration. Every corner of the manor and its gardens holds something to discover, from hidden nooks with lore entries about the estate’s history to tucked-away greenhouses brimming with unique flora. The developers have meticulously crafted a world that feels lived-in and full of stories waiting to be unearthed.

One of Botany Manor’s greatest strengths is its laid-back approach. There are no timers, no enemies, and no pressure to perform. You can explore at your own pace, marveling at the meticulously designed environments and soaking in the calming atmosphere. The game is perfect for those who want to unwind after a stressful day or simply enjoy a relaxing escape into a world of nature and discovery.


While the main story can be completed in a single weekend, there’s plenty of replay value to be found. You can revisit areas to complete optional objectives, collect all the hidden plant specimens, and piece together the manor’s intriguing backstory. The short playtime is perfectly balanced by the game’s inclusion on Xbox Game Pass, making it an excellent choice for those who want a charming and relaxing experience without a hefty price tag.

Botany Manor isn’t without its minor shortcomings. The puzzles, while well-designed, can feel a bit repetitive at times, and the story, while present, takes a backseat to the exploration. Additionally, the environments, while beautiful, can feel a bit static, lacking the environmental interaction found in some other exploration games.

Despite these minor drawbacks, Botany Manor is a delightful experience that is sure to charm nature lovers and puzzle enthusiasts alike. With its stunning visuals, relaxing atmosphere, and engaging gameplay loop, it’s a perfect addition to any Xbox gamer’s library, especially those subscribed to Game Pass. So, if you’re looking for a charming escape filled with the beauty of nature and the joy of discovery, then Botany Manor is definitely worth a visit.


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blank Kevin Austin has been in gaming journalism in one way or another since the launch of the Nintendo Gamecube. Married and father of 3 children he has been gaming since the ripe age of 6 when he got his first NES system and over 30 years later he is still gaming almost daily. Kevin is also co-founder of the Play Some Video Games (PSVG) Podcast network which was founded over five years ago and is still going strong. Some of his favorite gaming series includes Fallout and Far Cry, he is a sucker for single player adventure games (hence his big reviews for Playstation), and can frequently be found getting down in one battle royale or another. If it's an oddball game, odds are he's all about it.

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