Plant Tycoon Review
Plant Tycoon box art
System: PC Review Rating Legend
Dev: Last Day of Work 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Last Day of Work 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Sep. 7, 2007 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Early on, the quality of your soil is poor, and many of the exotic hybrids will not survive very long in it. As your gardening experiments grow, it becomes increasingly important to earn money for upgraded soils, tools, additional seed containers, and various chemical concoctions to give them a boost. In the supplies menu you can purchase tool upgrades, chemicals, imported seeds, and fixtures for your nursery. Initially, it will take quite some time to earn enough money for better soil and other necessities. Once you have enough to invest in upgrades things start to move along at a better pace. Chemicals can speed the process along as well. Insta-grow formula will make your plants bloom quickly, while mutation liquid will instantaneously alter their DNA to make them a completely different species altogether.

Plant Tycoon screenshot

As in real botany, Plant Tycoon requires a bit of patience. The speed settings of the game can be adjusted, but even at its fastest setting things still drag along initially. Fortunately, there are ways to keep busy during the occasional lulls when all of your plants are in mid-growth. With a greenhouse full of plants, attracting bugs is inevitable. Bug collecting is both an entertaining optional mini-game to pass the time and a way to get extra money. Frequently you'll spot different kinds of bugs flying around the plants or crawling between pots, and you can grab your net and snatch them up. You can view your bug collection at any time in a separate screen filled with jars. When you catch duplicates they are automatically sold to give you extra pocket cash. If bug collecting isn't your thing, another neat feature lets you arrange your plants in various formations against colorful backdrops and snap pictures which can be transferred to your desktop.

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Growing plants will take up most of your time, but it's also important to continually sell them to keep a steady flow of money coming in. This is done in the nursery. Individual plants can be tagged for sale at any time. When you switch over to the nursery screen any plants you've elected to sell will appear on one of many stands. Potential customers will slowly wander in and browse, eventually making a purchase if you're lucky. Purchasing improvements such as sculptures, fountains, and other accoutrements will draw more customers in.

Despite its slow pace, Plant Tycoon is a refreshing addition to the casual game genre. Experimenting with the various hybrid combinations, while searching for the secrets to unlock the six magic plants of Isola, provides many hours of entertainment. Creating new and amazing species of plants is also strangely satisfying. Who would have thought watching plants grow could be such a good time?

By Nathan Meunier
CCC Freelance Writer

Features:

  • Runs in True Real-Time: new surprises every time you turn the game on.
  • Over 500 different species of plants to discover.
  • A wide variety of collectible insects to retrieve.
  • Dozens of different seeds to experiment with.
  • Gorgeous artwork with detailed dynamically-generated plants.
  • Prune your plants to remove dead foliage and customize the look of your creations.
  • Genetic Puzzle: discover which combinations will create the Magic Plants.
  • Simulation Game: virtual plants in a persistent world.


    4.1

    Overall Rating - Great
    Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.
    Rating out of 5
    Rating Description

    4.0

    Graphics
    The plants are beautiful and surprisingly realistic.

    4.3

    Control
    Using the mouse to water, catch bugs, prune plants, and other activities is easy and fun.

    3.5

    Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
    Several relaxing acoustic tracks are decent but repetitive.

    4.0

    Play Value
    Lots to do and unlock, and it takes a long time to do it.

  • Screenshots / Images
    Plant Tycoon screenshot - click to enlarge Plant Tycoon screenshot - click to enlarge Plant Tycoon screenshot - click to enlarge Plant Tycoon screenshot - click to enlarge

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