Drinking water, like taking exercise, is something that most of us do a bit, but not enough, even though the health benefits of drinking are numerous and well-known. Water lubricates and energises us, reducing the risk of problems like high blood pressure and kidney stones.
It allows us to avoid constipation, too, while ensuring that our faces maintain a healthy glow. It’s just a shame we can’t be bothered to do it.
Plant Nanny 2, from developer Fourdesire, is an app that aims to help you fulfil your water-drinking potential using the awesome power of gamification.
It does this by giving you a plant to care for. Just like you, plants need water, and the app reminds you three times a day to water both your plant and yourself. The benefits to you may not always be immediately visible, but your plant will thrive before your very eyes, motivating you to keep watering.
That’s the idea, and in principle it makes sense. Watering your plant, by holding down an on-screen button until every last drop has gurgled into the soil, is always gratifying. Naturally, you can set the amount of water you give your plant, since you’re giving that amount to yourself, based on your physical data and exercise habits.
It all looks great, with polished cartoon graphics and a gentle, soothing soundtrack. Plant Nanny 2 is deceptively rich in terms of gameplay, too, with a clicker-style progression loop that motivates you to keep splashing that H2O.
In the first instance, you’ve got one plant to water. Every time you give it a sprinkle your plant grows, and at certain stages it levels up. Once a plant reaches its max level, it heads to the greenhouse to make way for your next plant.
The greenhouse is underground, for some reason. It’s made up of layers, each one able to accommodate three plants. These layers can be levelled up too, using Sunlight. Once a layer is levelled up to the max, you get a Creature, which in turn allows your plants to soak up more sunlight and produce more Seeds.
You can view the Creatures you’ve collected from the menu. They come in the form of beautifully illustrated cards with handy info on them about the animals in question. The same is true of the plants you collect, and you can share all of these on a number of social media platforms and messaging apps.
Planting a Seed
As you can no doubt work out for yourself, Seeds are necessary for planting more plants, and higher value plants require more seeds (which is not strictly speaking how seeds work, but we’ll look the other way on that).
Seeds aren’t the only currency in Plant Nanny 2. You’ll also earn Four Leaf Clovers, by logging in and completing quests. You can spend these on cosmetic pots for your plants.
Like any self-respecting free-to-play mobile game, Plant Nanny 2 is packed with opportunities to increase your holdings by watching ads or making in-app purchases. Four Leaf Clovers come in a variety of bundles, the most expensive costing £91.99.
You can also watch a video to skip the laborious process of collecting Seeds from the levels of your greenhouse.
As a game, Plant Nanny 2 is impeccably presented but very slow. You can only water a plant so much per day, which means it takes days to level one up. Those seeking the rapid exponential progress of something like Bitcoin Billionaire will find themselves frustrated.
But rapid progress isn’t the point of Plant Nanny 2. The point is to help you drink more water.
To that end, you get out of Plant Nanny 2 what you put in. If you approach it purely as a game, you’re doing it wrong. If, however, you take it seriously, give it the right information about yourself, and take a drink whenever it prompts you to, you’ll feel the benefit of proper hydration – and maybe have a bit of fun in the process.
Plant Nanny 2 isn't a game. It's a lifestyle app that looks like a game, and to some extent plays like a game. It's pretty, likeable, and even educational - but it goes without saying that you should only consider it if you want to drink more water.