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Video Game / Plantasia

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All in a day's work.

Plantasia is a 2006 Time Management Game / Simulation Game for Windows developed by Gamelab and PlayFirst.

You play as Holly, who has to grant a wish in order to complete her training as a fairy. The wish she has to grant is for a man named Jack, who wants all the gardens around his estate to be fixed. Grow and care for the flowers while protecting them from pests and weeds, and use the mana harvested from them to repair the garden statues.

See also Diner Dash for a similar game made by the same developers.

This game provides examples of:

  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • Roses yield the most mana, but take the longest to grow, which can make growing them impractical in levels with shorter time limits.
    • Planting same-colored flowers next to each other and then waiting for them to bloom all at once is a usable strategy for getting extra mana, but don’t wait too long or the blooms will disappear before you can harvest them. Especially with flowers that are particularly slow to bloom, such as berries and roses.
    • Upgrading your gardening tools helps get rid of rocks, pests, and weeds faster, but don’t spend too much on them or you won’t have enough mana left to buy flowers. And remember, flowers need time to grow, so they need to be bought and planted early.
    • The strongest versions of the gardening tools won't see much practical use outside of Challenge Mode.
  • Astonishingly Appropriate Appearance: Beetles have green shells resembling military helmets, and are extremely tough bugs that need multiple sprays with the pest killer before they go down.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: Flowers are beautiful and colorful, while weeds are ugly, brown and vicious-looking.
  • Boring, but Practical: Perennials yield a moderate amount of mana (more than pansies, but less than cacti, berries, or roses), don't need ridiculous amounts of water, and grow at an average pace. Growing a lot of them is a good way to make a decent amount of mana in a short amount of time, if not terribly exciting.
  • Boss Warning Siren: Black clouds appear on the screen before a Zerg Rush of pests and/or weeds.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: The secret flowers unlocked by getting to high enough levels in Challenge Mode.
  • Caring Gardener: You are the gardener, helping the flowers to grow and protecting them from weeds and pests.
  • Com Mons: Pansies are the first flower the player encounters. They grow the fastest, but yield the least mana of all the flowers.
  • Difficult, but Awesome:
    • The dragonia has the most mana of the cacti, but also requires the most frequent watering.
    • Berries require lots of water, but give more mana to make it worth your while. Roses grow slower and need even more water, but give the most mana out of all the flowers.
  • Expressive Health Bar: Flowers turn grey and have frowning expressions when they’re thirsty. If they’re not watered in time, they’ll flash red for a few seconds before dying.
  • Fictional Currency: Mana, harvested from flowers and used to purchase gardening tools (and more flowers).
  • Fragile Speedster:
    • Star blossoms are the fastest-growing perennials, but the weakest against pests.
    • Crabgrass is a weed that grows and spreads quickly. It can be removed easily.
    • Ants move and eat ridiculously fast, but die quickly when hit with the pest sprayer.
  • Hikikomori: According to Winkleroot, Jack is a recluse and never leaves the estate. He’s suffering from depression brought upon by the death of his wife, Julie.
  • Hell Is That Noise:
    • The ominous musical sting when a Zerg Rush of pests and/or weeds is about to besiege the garden.
    • The chomping sound heard when a pest successfully eats a flower.
    • The squealing noise indicating that a flower has died of thirst.
  • Lazy Bum: Flytraps are described as lazy plants that take a while to grow.
  • Lightning Bruiser: The Hercules beetle is the strongest bug and only shows up in very late levels. It moves really fast, eats even faster, and needs even more sprays than the leaf-eating beetle to be killed.
  • Make a Wish: To become a full fairy, Holly has to successfully grant a wish. Unfortunately, that turns out to be a lot harder than it sounds when the wisher asks for all of the gardens around his estate to be fixed, setting up the game's plot.
  • Making a Splash: One of Holly's spells summons a rainstorm to water every plant on the field.
  • Mama Bear: The player (as Holly) has to aggressively defend the estate’s gardens from pests wanting to devour the flowers and weeds that want to suck the life out of them.
  • The Mentor: Winkleroot, an elderly flower who teaches Holly about the gardens and explains the events that led to them falling into disrepair.
  • Mighty Glacier:
    • Certain flowers take longer to grow, but yield more mana and/or are stronger against pests and weeds, including parry bloom, pear berries, golden daisies, pumpkins, and all varieties of cacti.
    • Leaf-eating beetles move slowly, but require multiple sprays from the pest killer to be wiped out.
  • Minimalist Cast: The game only has four named characters - Holly, our protagonist; Winkleroot, an old flower who mentors her; Jack, the man she has to grant a wish to; and Julie, his dead wife.
  • Money Multiplier: Flowers planted on fairy dust circles grow bigger, faster and give more mana when harvested.
  • Mook Maker: If a weed is left alone for too long, it starts to spawn more weeds. Those weeds can spawn weeds of their own, which in turn can spawn more weeds, and more, and more, and more...
  • Moth Menace: Moths appear as pests in later levels, and can easily devour your flowers if they're not killed quickly.
  • Neglected Garden: The plot is kicked off by Holly having to grant Jack's wish and fix his estate's many gardens. They're overrun with weeds, plants, pests, and rocks; you, as the player, have to plant and raise flowers while clearing rocks, killing pests, pulling out weeds, and using mana harvested from the flowers to repair the garden statuary. We find out that Jack was once a talented gardener, but stopped caring for the estate after his wife Julie died.
  • Never Say "Die": When Winkleroot is telling Holly about Jack and his lost love, Julie, he never says explicitly that she died, but words it as “Julie’s time here ended.” The narrative never confirms that she’s actually dead, but implies it by Jack’s grief over her and the fact that he keeps a photo of her in his room.
  • Noodle Incident: Before arriving at Jack's estate, Holly's completed list of tasks to become a full fairy included solving the Sphinx's riddle, visiting the stone circle, and defeating a villain. It's anyone's guess as to how those went.
  • Our Fairies Are Different: Holly looks almost entirely human, just with pointed ears and pinkish-purple hair. Her magical abilities include pulling clothes out of nowhere to disguise herself as a human, as well as making multiple gardening tools work simultaneously on the field, depending on how many of the tools she has and how many are available for her to use at the time. She can also fly or at least hover, despite having no visible wings.
  • Proud Beauty: Roses are described as "expensive, proud, and beautiful."
  • Reinventing the Wheel: Purchased upgrades to your gardening tools only last for that level.
  • Rite of Passage: Granting a wish is the last in a series of tasks Holly has to complete in order to become a full fairy.
  • Romancing the Widow: Unintentional at first. Holly slowly grows affectionate toward Jack as he starts to be more active in garden work again, and a little later it's revealed that Jack is a widow when Holly finds out about Jack's deceased wife, Julie. Then the ending has Holly give Jack a Big Damn Kiss after Jack asks her to stay to take care of the garden after apologizing for his former Jerkass behavior.
  • Secret Character: Checking the greenhouse shows one empty pot for each type of flower, except the vegetables. These five secret flowers can be unlocked by getting to high enough levels in Challenge Mode.
  • Stopped Caring: Jack used to be the caretaker for the estate, along with his wife(?), Julie. But when she died, he fell into depression and stopped taking care of the gardens for a few years, which is why they were in such bad shape before Holly came.
  • Somewhere, an Entomologist Is Crying: Hercules beetles in this game will indiscriminately devour every plant they come across. Real Hercules beetles only eat fruit.
  • Support Party Member: Vegetables can only be harvested once, but leave behind fairy dust circles that make other flowers grow bigger and give more mana when they're planted on them.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Holly's reaction when Jack wishes for her to repair all the gardens of the estate, which have fallen into disrepair.
  • Timed Mission: Each level has a time limit in which to grow enough flowers and harvest enough mana to repair the garden statues.
  • Tough Beetles: Leaf-eating beetles appear as pests that eat flowers. They need several sprays to be killed.
  • The Tragic Rose: The rose gardens are where Holly learns about Julie's death and how it affected Jack.
  • Zerg Rush: Black clouds appearing over the screen is a signal that a swarm of pests and/or weeds is about to show up.