A downloadable game for Windows, macOS, and Linux

Watch your friendships blossom in Buds, the platonic visual novel and plant care simulator.

A year ago, your sister passed away, and moving on has been difficult. You recently moved to a new city, Hitachinaka, in order to get a fresh start. You're not the best at meeting new people and making friends, but you know this will help you heal from your loss in the long run.


  • Every day is a new day.
    • Using your phone, you can schedule your day between meeting new friends and gardening.
  • Full voice acting!
    • Meet interesting characters as you tend to your plants.
    • Voiced by fellow UCSC undergraduates!
  • Story-Based Gardening!
    • As your plants blossom, so too will your friendships.
  • An original OST!
  • And artful CGs.

Meet the cast:

Shiori is voiced by Drew Parker.

Senko is voiced by Artis Anderson.

Buds is the work of UCSC's Game Design and Art Collaboration, and was originally conceived by Sarah Saenz. Follow us on Twitter @BudsTheGame, or see our past projects at gdacollab.com!

And while you're here, be sure to download our gorgeous art book made by lead artist, Chiara Villanueva!

Game Design & Art Collaboration
PlatformsWindows, macOS, Linux
Release date Oct 26, 2020
Rated 4.8 out of 5 stars
(4 total ratings)
AuthorsBuds, Saenz, rymo, chiisagi, Eric Long, Drew, rayolinels, Dallas Truong, Asterranaut, Izzy Schwartz, star☆sapphire, Autumn M
GenreVisual Novel, Interactive Fiction
Made withUnity
TagsAnime, Gardening, Life Simulation, Short, Slice Of Life, Story Rich, Voice Acting
Average sessionAbout a half-hour
LinksTwitter, Community


Buds v1.0.2 (Windows) 155 MB
Buds v1.0.2 (macOS) 156 MB
Buds v1.0.2 (Linux) 160 MB
Buds Art Book.pdf 20 MB

Install instructions

Content warnings: Implied death, aggressive dialog.
This game takes approximately 40 minutes to an hour to finish and there are no save files.

The game will run in fullscreen on launch, and music will play. We recommend you adjust your volume settings accordingly.

🍎 macOS: Download the ZIP file, uncompress it, and run Buds v1.0.2.app to launch. When you run into the "Buds" cannot be opened because the developer cannot be verified error, click "Cancel". Then, open System Preferences, open Security & Privacy, and in the General tab under "Allow apps downloaded from:", click "Open Anyway". On the final security popup, click "Open", and the game will run.

🐧 Linux: Additional instructions included in README.txt. Download the ZIP file, uncompress it, and execute "Buds v1.0.2 (Linux).x86_64". Make sure the file has proper execution permissions. If it does not have x permissions, in terminal, you can use "chmod +x (filename)" in the respective directory to add them.

💼 Windows: Download the ZIP file, uncompress it, and run Buds.exe to launch. In the event you are given a security pop-up, allow the game to run. 


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I played this game few years ago and today, while scrolling my download folder I saw it and thought to play it again. IT MADE ME CRY ONCE AGAIN (and games make me cry pretty rarely)

{SPOILERS... kinda?}

Sister's final message was so bittersweet (it made me cry the most), I loved characters development and how comforting the ending was-- It was so good! This whole "I'm doing it for your own good" was nicely written and it showed how she deeply cared, but also abusive behavior very well :'33 

Only thing I'd consider as a con here was no saving option and unpleasant sound from overlapping flowers after dreaming. Saving because while talking to Shiori I clicked phone and jumped to Senko. When panicking I turned game off and had to play from beginning x'D

It's a shame that it's not popular, you deserve it so much!!

Sorry for any mistakes