About This Place

First started in late 2007, Kasey's Mobile Game Review (then just a regular feature of Kasey's Korner) started as a simul-post between here and IGN. Later I realized there's no reason to post it twice, when I can use the traffic on my own site. so, here we are, in 2010, and the mobile game industry has grown a bit. What do you think?

Mobile Game Review of "Plantasia"

(Can't review it on IGN yet as it's not even listed on there!)

From the makers of Diner Dash came another game of similar ilk, this time involving plants. Does it play well enough? Yes... Thought feels slightly more "forced".

For those of you who have played enough of these "action-strategy" games where you basically handle multiple demands together through increasing difficult levels, Plantasia is probably not worth another glance, as it's pretty much a me-too title. It has its own charms, but whether that's enough to prefer it over its competitors is doubtful. However, it is decidedly non-violent (except spray bugspray on bugs and use scraper to scrape weeds) and can be... diverting.

Basically, you're a plant specialist, and you're in charge fixing up several gardens. There are total of four gardens, each with 5 sections. Each "section" then is a sub-level, while each garden is a "level". Each sub-level has 9 "pots". Sometimes the pots already have a plant in it, sometimes a weed (must be weeded), but most often, nothing. If there's nothing, it must be "filled with soil", then "seed planted". After that, you need to constantly keep it watered (esp. if it goes "dry"), free of weed (use the weeder), free of bugs (both flying and crawling kind, use the bug spray), and harvest the bloom to increase your mana, which can then be used to purchase more equipment, such as water two plants at once, or more seeds and/or more advanced seeds (which gives you plants that are harder to take care of, but yields more mana when harvested).

To add to the challenge, there are "fairy dust" and plants that leaves fairy dust, which are basically "color markers". If you plant a particular color plant in a matching pot (which has the same color of fairy dust) you get a bonus when you harvest it. Thus, using those once-only plants properly early on, and getting the right seeds later, is very important. As is not to let any plants die due to lack of water, or other care.

In "story mode", you are required to buy certain amount of "statues" in order to pass the sub-level. You can get an "expert win" by buying extra statues (basically, by going above and beyond the normal needed amount of mana). Expert wins are quite difficult at level 3 and 4. As stated before, there are 4 levels, each with 5 sub-levels.

The other game mode is "garden challenge". Each of the four "levels" is a garden and you are allowed to basically keep playing as long as possible by keep as many plants alive as possible and keep harvesting until you can't afford to "buy" any more time on the clock. As time cost increases after each purchase, there's a limit to how long you can last, but that's the fun of it. Different gardens have different availability of plants, so challenges are somewhat different. At the toughest level, button pushing can be quite hectic.

So basically the idea is to keep as many of the plants happy as possible, while killing off any invaders like bugs and weeds, and harvest as fast as you can.

The graphics are simple sprites, though pretty well animated. Music is not too remarkable, but tolerable. What I don't like about Plantasia is the fact that the requirements are "forced". In other words, you MUST buy the statues to win the level. They are NOT automatically bought for you as to give you to mana to buy other things if needed, so you decide when to buy the statues. It feels a little bit "forced".

All in all, Plantasia is a pretty much fun non-violent action-strategy game using the same theme. Due to that, I can only give this game an 8, due to lack of originality. It's kinda fun, and it's quite stable.

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