Playing in the Garden: Plantera Review
I always enjoy an opportunity to take a look at an indie title, since it's where I really came into my own when I started writing more seriously. Having the opportunity to check out any indie title is a treat, as they tend to go outside the norm when it comes to game design. Plantera keeps this in mind by offering you a 2D experience while tending your own garden. It's an unorthodox idea, but that doesn't mean it can't offer up an interesting, or even, a relaxing experience.
When you begin Plantera, you'll learn to plant your first crops and how to defend your garden from basic threats. Nearly everything in the game is handled by tapping the touch screen, from picking up your crops to fighting off wild animals. The few times you use the face buttons on the Vita is when you scroll your screen left and right or when you plant crops, bushes, or trees. It's because of this simplistic gameplay that Plantera offers up such addictive gameplay. You'll even continue to gain money after you've stopped the game thanks to your garden helpers, who will continue to harvest your crops after you've stopped. This will help players who are interested in raising their garden's levels to increase the amount of money earned and the kinds of crops and animals you're able to buy.
Since Plantera is played entirely on a 2D plane with sprites, the Vita's screen really helps the visuals pop. The game features some nice and vibrant visuals and coupled with the adorable designs featured for the game's animals. This gives Plantera a visual style that stands out on the Vita, though the presentation takes a bit of a turn when it comes to the audio package. The game features only one song that plays on a loop. The song is quite relaxing, but it can get old after awhile. Rounding out the audio package is the sound effects, which are almost vital to the game. The sound package will let you know if there's an animal in your garden. Overall, the audio package is fine and while the music can get repetitive, the sound effects are great and I particularly enjoy the sound used for the dogs barking.
Plantera feels like an odd fit on the PSVita, just as it did on the 3DS and Wii U before it. It may feel like a game that belongs on a cell phone, but it works very well on the Vita. It's colorful and cutesy visuals looks fantastic on the Vita's screen and, while the music can be a bit repetitive, it's relaxing and fits the game perfectly. Its addictive gameplay has kept me coming back to the game and I'm sure that I'll continue to visit it on occasion in the near future. Plantera isn't normally the type of game that I'd get this interested in, but this one really grabbed me and I'm glad I had the opportunity to spend my time with it thus far.