A walking simulator with colorful graphics and a healthy dose of puzzles, all in first-person view, Botany Manor caught my eye.

This is Balloon Studios’ first game, and we have to admit that the transformation has been a success: this is a charming piece of work from a studio made up of just a dozen people.


Botany Manor introduces us to the estate of Arabella Greene, a botanist in England, where the manor house and its gardens promise us some exotic walks. Once you’ve opened the greenhouse door, you’re immersed in a warm and welcoming world. We’re here, we want to stay, and we want to explore everything this house has to offer.

It’s as if the graphic palette of The Witness had taken up residence in an English manor house, which is in better condition than the house in What Remains of Edith Finch.


As soon as our adventure begins, time seems to stand still. In fact, that’s exactly what’s happening in our game, as time doesn’t run out and we spend exploring the surrounding countryside under a beautiful blue sky in this heavenly corner of England.

We play the role of Arabella, who has returned to her manor house to complete a herbarium and send it to a publisher. Your job is to find flowers worthy of the name to add to your collection, and you’ll need to explore every room in the manor and the surrounding gardens to get your hands on rare and beautiful plants.

You have a list of seeds, and it’s up to you to plant them, water them and, above all, find the perfect environment for them to grow. To do this, you’ll have to solve a number of riddles, since there are no clear instructions on the subject – you’ll have to figure them out for yourself.

Using clues scattered around the mansion (a poster, a postcard, a book, etc.), you’ll have to figure out what the habitat in which each plant grows looks like. Once you’ve figured it out, you’ll need to reproduce this environment in the house (or garden) so that the plant can grow again.

The puzzles, which start out simple enough, gradually become more complicated without ever becoming incomprehensible brainteasers. You’re always faced with puzzles that shouldn’t leave you scratching your head for hours on end.

What’s really pleasing is the diversity of the puzzles. Unlike The Witness or The Talos Principle, each puzzle has its own unique style. Here, there’s no attempt to make us understand increasingly complex problems with a learning curve, but rather a variety of puzzles. This allows us to enjoy original puzzles without feeling like we’re doing math exercises (although I do like math exercises).

We gradually discover the mansion and gardens by solving riddles, and we also learn a little more about the history surrounding the mansion and the life of Arabella Greene. The story we’re told is beautiful, and the narration is top-notch, but we don’t get the wow effect of a walking simulator where everything revolves around the scenario (What Remains of Edith Finch, for example, where gameplay and story are inseparable).


I’m no botanist and I don’t have a green thumb, but I love immersing myself in bucolic worlds where I have to use my grey matter. Botany Manor offers us a moment of calm where nature has traveled to make its home in this manor house that seems to be at the end of the world.

The music accompanies us elegantly, and we wish we could spend a little more time in the gardens, relaxing on one of the dozens of chairs and armchairs scattered around the property. You get the feeling that time has stood still while everything was in full swing. Objects are still there, as if we’d used them only moments before.


If puzzles and riddles are your thing, you’ll need around 4/5 hours to complete what Botany Manor has to offer.

You can still wander around the mansion once the game is over, but there’s not much to do there at the moment…


Les points positifs

  • Original puzzles
  • The atmosphere <3

Les points négatifs

Mentions spéciales

En résumé

Botany Manor is a wonderful game that invites you to solve original puzzles in a colorful, soothing environment. Time stands still as you grow extraordinary plants and discover a passion for botany, English manor houses and walks in wonderful gardens.

Where is the score assigned to the game in this test?
It's simple, there is none. We believe that the experience offered by a video game cannot be reduced to an arbitrary rating as complex as it is. We invite you to read the whole test and the verdict which give a fairly detailed idea of ​​the experience provided by the game.