Humble Botanicula Debut Disappoints Linux Users


I Need What?

The latest Humble Botanicula Bundle is out, and for Linux users, it’s an extreme disappointment. As with all Humble Bundles, the same sales trends apply. Linux users are still paying the highest average dollar amount which is over $2 more than the encouraged, total average dollar amount. Windows users pay the least and Mac users fall right in the middle. It’s an economic phenomenon for sure, but even doubly so for this one.


The bundle does have one redeeming factor, but the flagship game for the aptly titled Humble Botanicula Bundle, Botanicula, is a game that is unplayable for most.

Botanicula runs on the Adobe Air platform, a platform that has been abandoned by Adobe on Linux and hasn’t seen a new release for some time. Adobe Air is no longer being actively packaged by distributions and is only available through Adobe as a binary blob. There is a lot of talk on the Internet about how to get Adobe Air going so that purchasers can give Botanicula a go, but is it really worth it?

It’s Not Compatible

Linux, as an operating system, is always evolving and taking on new shapes. Userspace applications, toolkits and other, all evolve with it. It is my personal viewpoint that if you say your software runs on Linux, it must run with software that is active on the platform at the time you make that statement. Adobe Air is no longer an active product for Linux, so games and applications that are developed for it today should not be regarded as compatible.

The other two games offered with the standard bundle, Machinarium and Samorost 2, are plagued with their own problems. Machinarium is already offered in a previous bundle, so if you are a repeat customer, there is no gain for you here. Worstly, these two games require Adobe Flash, another product that is dead on Linux.

Aside from the elation you might experience from donating proceeds to World Land Trust to save the rain forest, this bundle is a complete ripoff for Linux users.

I am curious what the motivation is, with the state of things being the way they are with Adobe, to make anything using Flash or Adobe Air.  It seems that all of the capabilities of both products are met with HTML5.

About Dean Howell

Aside from being a huge Sega fan, Dean is an LPIC certified Linux professional with over a decade experience. In addition to spending his free time burning through the classics from Sega and evangelizing open source, he's also the editor-in-cheif of The Powerbase.