Developer: Last Day of Work
Publisher: Same as Above
Released on Sep 27, 2007
Plant Tycoon is my go-to waiting game right before finals week. It is a relaxing gardening simulator where you grow and nurture plants, then crossbreed mature ones to produce new offspring. Being a gardener, the goal is to pollinate different species of plants until you finally discover the six magical plants to restore the ecological balance to the island of Isola.
Genre: Casual Sim
In this game, you run a greenhouse tending to exotic plants. You don’t have to do much besides checking back every few hours, to see if your plants are thriving at the nursery. The background music is nice to listen to if you’re trying to get some studying done. It’s also unlikely that people will get too invested since this is a fairly passive game.
If you’re impatient like me, you can go into the Options menu and change the speed from Normal to Fast. This helps time elapse, making the plants grow a lot quicker. On Fast, it would take about 45 minutes for a plant to start budding and 5 more minutes for the flowers to bloom. On Normal, the game is supposedly five times slower.
In the greenhouse, you start off with some basic gardening supplies like a handful of seeds, a bag of soil, a watering can, a pair of hedge clippers, and a butterfly net. Trimming off dead leaves will make plants easier to sell. Fill the pot with soil, add a bit of water, plant a seed, and voila! You should have a few plants growing in no time.
Once you return to the game, you’ll notice that the game automatically progresses without any input from the player. When you click on a plant at the greenhouse, its stats are displayed, including the health bar and water level. The species remains unknown until the plant matures. Plants marked for sale will have a price tag on them.
It’s important to take care of your garden: Plants can die of thirst or disease if left unattended for too long. Common plants, like the Jalapa Maranta and Bluestar Astera, are more robust, able to survive in poor quality soil. However, most species are fragile hybrids that decline in health if you don’t buy bio-organic soil.
To produce seeds, simply transfer pollen from one flowering plant to the next. You can examine the seeds in storage to determine which species have already been identified. There are endless combinations of flowers and leaves that already exist in the game. I usually throw out seeds I don’t need for extra cash.
Notice the attention to detail on these seed varieties. Someone probably spent hours designing hundreds of seed shapes in different colors. You’ll have to solve the genetic puzzle by experimenting with rare or valuable species of plants. Spraying plants with insta-grow chemicals will rapidly accelerate their growth.
The store provides gardening supplies and any upgrades you will need to grow endangered or extinct plants. Spraying younger plants with plant food makes them grow bigger or produce more flowers. Adding fertilizer does the same, except it works on every plant at once. There’s even a chemical that causes genetic mutations.
Filtered water helps your plants stay hydrated longer, whereas soil from Isola improves the longevity of weaker hybrids. You can use pesticides to remove infested insects or give plants vitamins to temporarily boost their health. Buying extra trays expands your seed storage inventory. Buying a fresh coat of paint is sure to attract tons of customers.
When you’re ready to sell your plants, head on down to the nursery and watch as the customers pick them up, one at a time. Decorative ornaments you’ve bought will be displayed here. Adding a flowerbed or installing a fountain at the center of the shop should attract huge crowds.
I would suggest purchasing all the ornaments, including a brand new sign so you can push customers to buy them faster. Setting prices too low reduces your profits but raise them too high, and no one will buy anything. It can be frustrating pawing off your last two plants.
Bug-catching nets are entirely optional unless you want to capture fast-crawling insects in the nursery. It requires staring closely at the screen, which is pretty boring, to say the least. So I just keep watering plants until a shiny one shows up. And they really are speedy little buggers.
People who have the urge to get every achievement should try to collect all 48 insects. They spawn at random, flying around the plants when the player stays in the greenhouse. These critters are sorted by rarity as well. Some bugs can be worth up to $40!
These are the Fourpetal Maple, Rosaceae Fern, Mela Rare Oak, Aureus Scandens, Nox Orchid, and Fabled Lemonbush. Each magic plant grants a special perk — causing insects to spawn, making you richer, or boosting the health of other plants.
Plant Tycoon is not what you’d call an action-oriented game. But it still has decent graphics for a game made in 2007; an easy-going, real-time simulator anyone can have running in the background.