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Plantera 2: Golden Acorn – Review

I thoroughly enjoyed Plantera when I picked it up on PS Vita and PC back in 2016. I was surprised I had 12 hours on the PC version though as it is a passive, relaxing experience of country joys and cascades of fruit and veg rolling across the floor. I didn’t expect a sequel but Plantera 2: Golden Acorn exists, is real and is coming to PC in April 2023. Ahead of its launch, I’ve been delighted to sink many hours into gameplay loop and as a fan of the original, I’m happy here too.

Plantera 2: Golden Acorn is almost identical gameplay wise to the original. You plant veg, fruit, bushes, trees and keep animals on your land that quickly grew produce for you to collect. This is the clicker aspect but as you click, you level up and levelling up brings in cute helpers called Mellows. These walking back and forth across your land collecting the fallen produce you don’t click. The beauty of Plantera was that you could be as active or passive as you wanted, the game would still play itself but you’d build up your garden slower. The same is true here too.

As your garden grows, so does your produce. Nothing will ever look this clean!

What is different and much needed is that Plantera 2: Golden Acorn has over double the amount of things to collect. Each type of produce now has double the amount of things collect which means every time you level up, there’s something to unlock. You don’t have to plant everything but you’ll want the XP needed to level up swiftly requires a lot of produce collection. To do that you’ll need to expand your garden, which gives you more Mellows to help and that requires cash. New this time around is a water layer to your garden where you can click on fish that fly out to be served to you. Also expanded are decorations. These totally optional extras cost cash to buy but then produce a beauty currency. This beauty currency is also levelled up by other actions too but instead of levelling you up, each time you make a certain amount you spawn a golden acorn.

Golden Acorns are the focus of the overarching goal of the game. A giant oak tree is in the centre of your garden and in order to unlock everything Plantera 2 has to offer, you’ll need to grow it. Feeding it golden acorns grows the tree bigger, allowing birds, bees and other acorns to form give you more currency back. It is a simple mission and one you can get with relative ease but it provides focus in a game that previously was just endless and a little vague. You can of course play well beyond that, expanding your garden much larger than before which is nice too. The powerup for continuing work whilst you are not playing remains and that coin harvest can certainly cut down time towards your end goal too.

The animals and garden ecosystem is just a pleasure to watch as everything looks after itself. It’s like a clicker screensaver.

My only minor niggle comes from one of the many critters that enter from the edges of your garden to steal produce. These are largely easily sorted out with a whackamole mouse click or four. The exception is the UFO, that comes along when you start placing cows down. They can and will steal your cows back off of you again and as they appear so often, I found the flow of the game suffered a little having to constantly check each end of the garden to see if one had spawned so I could hammer it away. Bees do prevent some of the UFO’s getting through but not all, so just beware.

Ultimately, whilst its small and simple, Plantera 2: Golden Acorn just made me very happy. It’s bouncy, cute and rounded graphics, reams of produce piling high on the floor and effortless progression for just being there all comes together so well. It is more than the sum of its parts and whilst I don’t really indulge in clicker or idle games often at all, I do have a soft spot for Plantera 2.

Review copy provided by the developer. Plantera 2: Golden Acorn is out on Steam in April 2023.

Plantera 2: Golden Acorn
Final Thoughts
Plantera 2 is more than the sum of its parts because it provides such a jovial vibe and everything is so bountiful. The casual gardening clicker is back bigger and better than ever.
Moreish and wholesome vibes.
Over twice the size of the original.
If you stay in one play session for over 45 minutes, the garden has an awful lot going on.
UFO's stealing cows went from funny to slightly annoying.
Some mild slowdown on very large gardens with busy sections.

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