Plantasia

Hey Gang,

From the folk that brought you Diner Dash and most recent Egg vs. Chicken is another new twist in puzzling, Plantasia.

http://www.playfirst.com/game/plantasia

How do you make tending a garden into a puzzler? Well they did it and fairly cleverly. Your primary goal is to gather plant mana which you then can use to get more seeds, better tools, and other tricks. You dig a hole, plant a seed, water it a bit, and boom a plant/flower blooms and you click on it to harvest it. The controls are pretty intuitive and nicely context sentitive (click on a clump of dirt a hole is dug, click on a hole and a seed is planted, click on a bug and it gets sprayed, etc.). You have limited time, limited tools, limited seeds, weeds, and nasty bugs all trying to defy you. Blooms, even if different plants but of the same color adjacent to one another can be harvested together and, like most of these kinds of puzzlers, the bigger group you pick together, the bigger poinst/mana you get. Lastly, and this part really impressed me for some reason, is that the variety of plants in the game (some 35 of them) are more than just graphical fluff. Take, for example, the various pansies. While all of the pansies tend to be the quickest blooming plants in the game, some colors grow faster than other color varieties, produce more or less mana, and or have different resistances to things like weeds or bugs (all of these differences are documented in the game’s greenhouse section that gives you a detailed breakdown of all of the plants you’ve come across so far in the game). Often these seeds are given to you in random assortments so a big part of the strategy is then figuring out which ones serve you best in the given situation. Like if this level is OVERRUN with pests you’ll definitely want to stick with some of the more pest resistant varieties.