The Botanist

The Botanist aims to bring people together through gardening

One night, James Biddulph couldn’t sleep, so he got up and made a quick garden generator on his computer. It worked by having you type in a word from which an abstract-looking plant would grow. He did this as the idea of having a garden has been his motivation in recent months. Biddulph is anticipating a move from a flat in the city to a house surrounded by a little more greenery with his fiancee. He can’t wait. “Most of us spend a lot of time in cities, offices, busy, urban environments, pretty stressed out most of the time too,” Biddulph…


Find peace with Sodzen, a game about watering a plant

I kill nearly every plant I touch, and over the years, I’ve wasted so much money on every plant imaginable in the hopes of finding the one species that can withstand my black thumb. But only now, with Sodzen, have I finally found my perfect plant. Sodzen is a low resolution, highly pixelated game submitted for #LowRezJam by Ottawa-based team SweetHeart Squad, which includes Sean LeBlanc, Ryan Bluth, Emma Thurlow, Cat Wong, Michael Hetman, and Ian Martin. The goal of Sodzen is simple: water the plant. You don’t have to water several plants (there is only a single plant), or…


Relax during wartime by gardening in this upcoming game

Gardening has long been in videogames (I’m thinking Harvest Moon especially), but recently there’s been a sprig of interest in small, singular experiences that are concerned with nothing but the procuration of plants. This year alone we’ve had Viridi, Barmark, and Prune. Each of these find within the careful act of gardening a form of meditative progression; a oneness between nature and ourselves. A Good Gardener, another upcoming gardening game, seems to follow the same thinking as those that came before it. It started off as a game jam project made for Ludum Dare 32 but has since been cultivated…


Prepare to chill with your plant friends when Viridi arrives on August 20th

My mum used to flick the bag of slug pellets upwards so that they rained upon my brother’s grave with great spread. Each flick of the wrist sent hard blue balls of chemical into the air and I’d watch them descend over the soil. Some caught in the petals of the carnations. This taught me that slugs were pests when precious plants were around. Their greed had to be fooled to cause their death. But that is not the case in Viridi. There is no space for this friction. Instead, the sight of a snail slowly circling my plant pot…


Cultivate a meditative bonsai garden in your pocket with Prune

We have a lot to thank trees for. Aside from—you know—letting us breathe and all, science also tells us that cultivating plant life can actually boost your serotonin (like an antidepressant) and your immune system. Permaculturists call it the “harvest high,” known to both quell anxiety and build a sense of self-worth. Like players in a videogame, gardeners love seeing their visible and positive impact on the world around them, watching the fruits of their labor take shape right before their eyes. Games like Harvest Moon show just how similar the reward system for gardening and gaming can be—though, granted, the feedback loop…


Viridi promises to capture the soothing art of potted plant care

When Ice Water Games launch Viridi later this summer, polygons will give way to carefully crafted stems, leaves, and petals, projecting out of the base of an equally pleasant pot of your choice. Flat yet strong colors, along with the feeling of lightness, achieved partially through an emphasis on pastels, will fill in the tender outlines of the agave, aloe, hens and chicks, echeveria, zebra cactus, and other varieties of greenery that you may choose to nurture. The game aspires to serve as a therapeutic respite  Viridi is a game about planting succulents, or thick, fleshy, water-retaining plants, and participating in and…