Solarium offers plant-centric edutainment!


I downloaded free game Solarium [official site] pretty much entirely on the strength of the following negative Steam review: “I didn’t play it very long, but it’s literally all about plants. I guess I should’ve read more reviews about it prior to downloading, but unless you’re really interested in learning about plants, I wouldn’t suggest playing.”

Literally all about plants! Learning about plants!

What I found was a kind of Encarta ’95 Mind Maze-ish style of game as a kind of odd fusion of slightly stilted graphics and educational information.

As far as I can tell you access different biomes and use the information you find there (or have from your own general knowledge) to answer questions. Correct answers give you points you can use in constructing your own plants.

It’s a weird, interesting project which seems so strongly like a mid-nineties edu-tainment prospect that I love it, even though it’s kinda clunky and kinda ugly. I also like that the information you get which helps with the questions is imperfectly mapped so you need to make some of the connections or deductions yourself.

The game itself was released back in 2015 but has only just appeared on Steam hence John pointing it out to me now. If you’re interested in seeing what I mean (and potentially learning a few things about plants) it’s a free download via their website as well as on Steam and Itch.

Apparently they also have an Android app called Tales of the Tardigrade!


  1. bob22 says:

    I’m often baffled by reviews like that – I really think Steam could do with some sanity moderation.

    I assume they’re from people that absolutely must add their opinion to everything (he says while commenting to nobody in particular on the internet) much like the negative ‘i wish there was a neither’ option, as if simply not recommending it one way or the other wasn’t an option.

    I buy and download games that aren’t for me all the time – I’m self aware enough to realise that not everything is for me, and sometimes like this dum dum I even buy things under a (likely inebriation related) misunderstanding of what it is I am buying.

    But to then leave a negative review for that game seems so unreasonable to me, as I’m the last person anyone should be coming to for a recommendation. I think some folks don’t know that not all opinions are made equal.

    Still better than the people that leave negative reviews along with basic tech support questions.

    👎 Doesnt download bad developer

  2. fuggles says:

    Yeah I wish I could remove those reviews on moddb. “Couldn’t install – 1/10”.

    How about ask? Other people manage. A binary review system is not super. Good game but not for me should not be a negative.

  3. Unclepauly says:

    “Small playerbase” /THUMB DOWN

    Wat(or wot, I’m not sure)? Are we reviewing the game or the people playing the game?

    As far as the game in the article I only care about what plants taste good. Nothing more, nothing less.

  4. Kirasath says:

    Oh, this really seems like a game for me, i love plants!