Title of Botany Manor showing a large manor house with fountain and garden in the foreground.

Botany Manor Review

Game: Botany Manor
Genre: Puzzle, Adventure
System: Nintendo Switch (Also on Steam (Windows) and Xbox One/S/X)
Developer | Publisher: Balloon Studios | Whitethorn Digital
Age Rating: US E | EU 3+
Price: US $24.99 | UK £22.49 | EU € 24,99
Release Date: April 9th, 2024

A review code was used, with many thanks to Whitethorn Games.

Balloon Studios, a small studio founded by Laure De Mey, has a mission to make games that ‘let players escape to peaceful, historical worlds’. The trailer for Botany Manor certainly gives the peaceful vibe set within a Victorian English manor house. Yvonne previewed the Steam demo back in June 2023 and enjoyed her gardening experience, even though she suffered from first-person motion sickness. So, have the developers managed to quell the nausea? Have they continued to nurture and grow the Botany Manor garden?

Let’s dig in and see what wonders can be unearthed whilst pottering around the tranquil house and grounds of Botany Manor.

Welcome to Botany Manor

Sunlight room with large table, various pots and plants fill the space. There are beautiful stained glass doors.
Where am I?

You start your adventure in the conservatory. A note on the side explains that you, Arabella Greene, have been away, and the manor has fallen into disrepair. However, you can’t worry about that; you have important research to complete! There is a potential book deal with Mayflower Publishing House, but you need to complete the herbarium with the details about 12 forgotten flora to be considered.

A wooden table with plant pot and bag of soil. There is a cabinet of seeds and a watering can.
One of the many potting tables.

Having read the note and collected your herbarium, you are able to go through the beautiful stained glass doors into the main conservatory, where you are guided towards the potting table. A leaflet explains how to plant seeds: place a pot, fill it with soil, take a seed, and water. There are numerous potting tables around the house and garden, so don’t think you need to return to the conservatory each time! Once planted, you will need to work out how to get the Windmill Wort to flower.

Page from the herbarium with the clue menu open.
Selecting the right clues.

By searching around the conservatory, you will find three clues: a postcard from Sicily, a temperature chart, and a wildflower soil preferences picture. By selecting the ‘Add Clue’ in the clues area of the herbarium, you can choose the relevant clues for the flower from a list of those found. The clues don’t automatically populate. You then need to interpret and action those clues to get the plant to flower.

Botany Manor, Page from the herbarium for the Windmill Wort, showing a bright red pin-wheel flower and an explanation that it needs a soil temperature of 60 degrees centigrade to grow.
My first forgotten flora … remembered.

Identify all the clues and produce a flower to complete the herbarium entry. This is a great opening puzzle for Botany Manor. The Windmill Wort’s special air purifying qualities clear the smog, and you can finally open the doors and venture out into the garden to continue your horticultural adventure.

Playing Detective in Botany Manor

Open gates with a path leading towards Botany Manor, a circular fountain, trees and shrubs fill the area.
Welcome home!

Before you can enter the manor, you need to find the key to the gates. There are numerous locked doors or gates around the estate, and although it can seem frustrating, it guides you to the relevant clues rather than bombarding you with too much information and too many locations in which to search.

There are five chapters to the story of Botany Manor, each with a number of herbarium entries to complete. In Chapter 2, you have two entries to complete, and the clues for each plant are generally located separately. However, the two entries in Chapter 3 have more mixed-up clues, so you will need to work out which clue is relevant for which plant.

Three sunset pictures at different times of year. The centre picture is for 22nd May, with colours blue, yellow, pink and orange.
These sunset pictures must be a clue, but which one holds the answer?

My biggest disappointment was that I couldn’t view the clues from the herbarium. In the end, I was taking photos of absolutely everything I picked up so that I didn’t need to remember either where the clue was located or what it said! Obviously, it disturbed the game flow to go to the Switch Album, but it was better than running back around the house and garden trying to find the right clue!

Chapter one clue locations, showing three boxes each with a question mark and the wording 'not found' and 'conservatory'.
So all the clues are in the conservatory!

If you struggle to find a clue, then the herbarium does give the location of them, as well as where to find the seed. Although some puzzles can be solved by trial and error, it’s a lot easier and much more satisfying to find all the information and have that ‘eureka’ moment.

Short Stay at Botany Manor

View from the terrace overlooking a pond with fountain. An easel is setup to the left.
As pretty as a picture.

I don’t want to give away too many of the secrets in solving the 12 distinct puzzles, especially as Botany Manor only has around 4 to 6 hours of gameplay (obviously, depending on how quickly you solve the puzzles!) There is no specific help or hints menu, but checking if you’ve found all the clues is a good starting point if you get stuck.

Poster of four wildflowers, explaining that a windmill wort is a volcanic flower, a checkered lily is a meadow flower, a sword lily is a woodland flower and a daffodil is a grassland flower.
Beautifully drawn wildflowers.

The artwork is absolutely beautiful, with the posters and entries in the herbarium reminiscent of Victorian watercolours. The music and sound effects add to the gameplay without spoiling the tranquillity of Botany Manor. The underlying story of Arabella Greene is a nice addition and gives an insight into the Victorian era.


The controls are intuitive and with the extensive camera and accessibility options, there should be a combination to make your time roaming around Botany Manor enjoyable. Personally, I reduced the camera sensitivity and increased the camera smoothing and with a larger cross-hair, I didn’t experience any queasiness wandering around the house or gardens.

The text for the article in the London Record May 1829, demonstrating the white writing on black background.
Text overlay.

However, I did find a few of the clues difficult to read. Some of the papers on which the notes were written appeared either too bright or too dark, making it difficult to read the text. Although I appreciated the text overlay, personally, I found the white text on a black background hard to read at times, especially when there was a lot of text. I think the underlying original image distorted the characters for me.

Apart from the long initial loading and a couple of minor judders, I didn’t experience any (software) bugs with Botany Manor. The game regularly saves, with the option of a manual save as well. However, there is only one game per user.

There is no passage of time, and the plants blossom immediately with the right conditions. The miracle of video game gardening!


There is no denying that Botany Manor transports you to a bygone era. I had a thoroughly enjoyable time digging around to find the growing conditions of the forgotten flora, ensuring my herbarium blossomed in completeness and unearthing Arabella Greene’s life.

Final Verdict: I Like it a Lot I like it a lot

Do you like our content? Support LadiesGamers on Patreon!
Check out our Tiers and Benefits and join us.Button to click on to be a Patron of LadiesGamers

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *