Botanicula Game Poster Image




Beautiful, imaginative adventure is a treat for eyes, ears.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids can learn about ecosystems and the environment and practice their puzzle-solving and reasoning skills in this fantastical point-and-click adventure game. Players will need to put their thinking caps on as they experiment with the game world, analyze what they see, and then use that information to solve context-driven puzzles. Observant kids may also begin to recognize relationships between the tree and its creatures, how they form a symbiotic system, and how parasites can harm this system. Botanicula's simulated tree world is fantastical, but its concepts about ecosystems transfer easily to the real world.

Positive messages

This game is about exploration. It rewards players who observe what's going on around them and use logic to solve puzzles. It also has subtle themes of environmentalism and conservation, thanks to a quintet of botanical heroes who work to save a tree and help their co-inhabitants.

Positive role models

The game's heroes use their inherent, non-violent abilities to solve problems. They employ prudence when confronted with dangerous creatures, and often run away when they feel threatened. They help their fellow creatures when they can, usually to curry favors.    

Ease of play

Things start out easily enough, with players simply clicking on interesting-looking objects to make things happen and advance the story. However, the navigation becomes trickier once players enter larger areas, and the solutions to some puzzles aren't always evident, forcing some difficult trial-and-error play.


A bit of mild scariness comes in the form of menacing creatures that chase well-meaning plants/bugs. Innocent animals are occasionally poked and prodded by these creatures, and sometimes fed to other creatures as you participate in a living ecosystem. One short sequence shows a puppet show where a puppet chops off the head of a dragon, and the dragon's stump bleeds onto the stage. The same puppet show has puppet versions of the five heroes pulling off legs of a bad spider who then bleeds on the stage. The real heroes of the game cower nearby in fear. Near the end of the game, players shoot a menacing monsters until it's dead.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

One scene shows the game's little creatures drinking a strange liquid and having mild hallucinations.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Botanicula is a point-and-click adventure game starring plant-like creatures who live on a giant tree. It contains subtle themes of environmentalism, but is primarily a game of exploration, discovery, and imagination, thanks to its beautiful and unique world and characters. There's a bit of scariness in the form of shadowy monsters that try to attack the game's protagonists. One scene near the end of the game has one of the player's bug-like heroes charging himself up before "shooting" an enemy. Within a short puppet show, a dragon is decapitated and bleeds onto the stage. Given that this is an indie game that is distributed via download, this game has not yet rated by the ESRB. Common Sense Media recommends it for ages ten and up.

What's it about?

BOTANICULA is a point-and-click adventure game that puts players in control of a quintet of tiny beings that are a cross between insect and plant. Its wordless story -- everything is presented through images -- begins with one of these creatures encountering a spider-like monster intent on gobbling up the big, beautiful tree. Then begins an adventure in which the five friends journey up and down the tree, foiling its parasitic invaders and helping their fellow arboreal creatures. Players spend their time observing the environment, looking for interesting and suspicious things to click on as they travel from one screen to the next. They'll encounter plenty of puzzles along the way that require either an eye capable of detecting subtle patterns in their surroundings or patience for the trial-and-error process. The adventure lasts around six or seven hours.

Is it any good?


Botanicula is an extravagance of imagination. The veins of the great, strange tree throb with life, and the animals that crawl over its branches are almost alien in their bizarreness and variety. Many would border on creepy if not for their adorable, babbling voices and human-like needs, desires, and emotions. The ecosystem formed between plants and creatures is wonderful to witness. Many of the tree's curiosities have little to do with the game's primary objectives, existing instead simply to delight the player and provide an opportunity to collect "creature cards."   

Sadly, some of the magic may be lost should players have trouble finding their way through the game's expanding maze of non-linear location tiles. Plus, while many puzzles are elegant and require some satisfying reasoning, some will likely force players into a series of random, trial-and-error clicks as they search for a solution. Others require players to retrace their steps through vast maze-like environments. Still, the unique world of Botanicula is a pleasure to discover, and one most players won't soon forget.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the violence that shows up in the puppet show. Why would the game developers put a bloody scene into this otherwise peaceful game?

  • Families can also discuss puzzle solving. What do you think of puzzles that can only be solved via trial and error? How about puzzles that demand logic and reasoning?

  • Botanicula shows n fantasy ecosystem in a tree. Families can talk about the environment and real ecosystems formed by trees, forests, and the small animals that inhabit them. What would happen if the food chain were interrupted at the insect level?

Game details

Platforms:Mac, Windows
Subjects:Science: animals, ecosystems, plants
Skills:Thinking & Reasoning: deduction, logic, solving puzzles
Creativity: brainstorming, developing novel solutions, imagination
Self-Direction: achieving goals
Pricing structure:Paid
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Amanita Design
Release date:April 19, 2012
ESRB rating:NR for (Not Rated)

This review of Botanicula was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

  • Brilliant time-shifting platform game about love lost.
  • Stunningly beautiful, warm-hearted game has a green message.
  • Brilliant physics-based puzzler turns player into engineer.

For kids who love beautiful adventure games

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 16 years old Written bybookia12 May 1, 2012


i think its good
Educator Written byCody E. October 3, 2016

Using Botanicula as a Teaching Tool

Botanicula offers a way to teach children 10 and older in explaining ecosystems, symbiotic relations, and the dangers of parasites. Botanicula is an engaging Point-and-Click game, full of beautiful graphics and whimsical soundtracks. Teaching with this game applies the Colorado Content circular of Dimension 3: Disciplinary Core Ideas — Life Sciences. In the pre-fix video to the game, there’s a scene where players witness a time-lapse graphic of a seed falling from a tree, then falls into a hole in the ground, where the seed then sprouts, and blooms into a new tree. This video is worth watching a few times in a row with children, and then ask them what they think is going on or what processes are happening here. If in a one-on-one environment, like a parent or older sibling, then taking the time to point to each scene and talk about each process until a complete or near-complete understanding is reached. The game proceeds to the next segment where a parasite is seen killing the seeds that the tree that blooms in the opening scene, one of the seeds however falls and escapes, landing below in the micro-ecosystem of the tree’s branches. Five hero protagonist then join together in a mission to safely deliver the seed to its proper destination. At this point, the game becomes an environment for children to click and solve puzzles, as well as tinker and click on objects, sometimes multiple times, and the objects will portray varying different symbiotic processes; such as bees coming to pollinate flowers after clicking on tiny branches a few times causing the branches to grow a bit, then sprout into flowers. The protagonists each offer different approaches to problems, allowing the player to experiment with how each protagonist interacts with the predicament at hand. It’s important to talk about how parts of the tree are interacting, and the significance of why each protagonist might work best for the problem at hand. If teaching in a classroom or in a setting with more than just a few kids, then give the children a walkthrough through the first few screens of the first-level, encouraging children to think about how different things are interacting with each other and what’s happening when they do interact. Allow the children to then tinker and play the game, while walking around ready for questions that may arise. For individual teaching, one method is total hands on, and having active discussions with the student through the entirety of the game. Another method, is to just let the student play the game, and ask the student before each level to keep their eye out for relationships between species, what the two species are (or what they might be, if its unclear), along with what happens when they interact. As the teacher you can inject on specific parts, or even take turns switching between having active conversations about some levels, and just checking in and discussing what happened between levels. The active participation approach often has the most impact, however some students learn better in other ways, such as having complete control over their space to explore and think, and then reporting back at the end of each level. When playing, you control five hero protagonists who interact in different ways in the environment of the tree, exemplifying symbiotic relationships. Some possible assignments to assign students after playing the game include: -Write a paper discussing how ecosystems work, and the the vital parts, which maintain a healthy ecosystem -Think about how the ecosystem of the tree worked, what are some other ecosystems that you can think of? Then choose of these ecosystems and complete one of the tasks below -Create a visual digram of an ecosystems displaying connections and key components of the ecosystem -Write about an ecosystem, then discuss what the key components to this ecosystem are and how they interact in order to survive -Have a socratic seminar allowing students to share their ideas and talk about what the students noticed about the tree’s ecosystem. Transition the discussion part way through to talk about why ecosystems are necessary, and how they function as a whole?
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Easy to play/use


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?