Plantera 2: Golden Acorn is a clicker, idle game from solo developer VaragtP. The game asks the player to develop a garden and grow fruits and vegetables, with the goal of collecting golden acorns that will help the large tree in the centre of the screen grow.
Plantera 2 starts off simple with a tree in the middle of a small garden and some butterflies for you to catch with the assistance of an adorable blue helper. As is the case with many idle clicker games, the basic premise boils down to buying items that will make progressively more money and, in turn, become progressively more expensive. As Plantera 2 goes on you buy new vegetable patches, bushes, and trees to make money and generate golden acorns. These acorns can be used to help the main tree grow, which is the ultimate goal.
Plantera 2 makes buying these new and more expensive items such a joy. A combination of the cutesy graphics, chipper music and the way the helpers gladly run around collecting fully-grown produce meant I was genuinely excited to find out what I would unlock with each level up. Some levels will unlock animals, which drop eggs or other by-products you can sell, and others unlock decorations and cosmetic items.
There are a few bad animals that will come into your garden and attempt to steal from you: a fox chases away your ducks, a crow swoops down for your vegetables and a mouse scares away your cats to name but a few. These creatures can be shoo’d out of the garden by frantically clicking on them a few times but, if you aren’t careful, they can be easy to miss once the game begins to progress and everything becomes a bit more crowded.
Since this is an idle game, there is no real pressure to do anything other than buying plants and stopping the various critters from coming to scare away your animals or steal the occasional carrot. The helpers which roam around the garden will automatically sell produce for you and you eventually unlock items that will scare away the bad critters.
I did find it a bit tricky trying to keep up with what was going on, picking up vegetables and animal produce that the helpers missed and preventing bad critters from scaring away my ducks. If you decide to take more of an active role in the progress your garden is making, you may find yourself frantically clicking the screen while zipping to either side and praying you don’t miss any boars or foxes coming your way.
There are optional ways of making some additional money like catching fish or butterflies, wacking moles or frantically clicking the knight that runs through sometimes. There is always something to do if you want to do it.
If you haven’t gathered already, the graphics in this game are so cute. The little helpers and animals are so sweet despite being made up of so few pixels that I felt genuinely scared the first time my pets almost got chased out of the garden by a fox that I missed. Plus, ability to put hats on the helpers only makes them cuter. Aside from the sweetness, the fruits and vegetables are all designed wonderfully and its easy to tell what each item is. This doesn’t extend so much to the animal by-products which tend to be a circle with limited identifying detail.
One of the best and most exciting things about Plantera 2 for me is that the developer, VaragtP, appears to have a genuine passion and love for the game. Despite being a solo developer, they are consistently updating to fix bugs and issues that have appeared since release and have already shared a list of potential future updates that could add even more to the game. Seeing a developer listening to the comments made by the game’s fans and actively look at implementing them is so refreshing that it makes me excited to return to Plantera 2 over and over again when I want a bit of a fast-paced pick-me-up.
Ultimately, it is the love and pure joy in Plantera 2 that makes it worth picking up. There is nothing ground-breaking about it. There is no brilliant plot or characterisation, but it is a simple, cosy and cheerful game that is sure to put you in a good mood. The entire time I played Plantera 2: Golden Acorn I had a smile on my face and, at the end of the day, that is what gaming should be about.
Megan played Plantera 2: Golden Acorn on PC with a code provided by the developer.