Is Grow Home a good game?

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Grow Home is a delightful experience and I have a lot of love for this quirky, cute little game.

It takes a simple concept and executes it beautifully, resulting in a relaxing and enjoyable experience; especially if you need a game that you can trundle through without feeling any sort of pressure. Unusually, this rather adorable little game (which looks very much like an Indie title) was developed by an Ubisoft studio called Reflections. Does this mean it’s a good game with years of experience behind it, or more of the Triple-A cringe fest?

Grow Home screenshot
Beautiful and serene.
Creative commons license by Skint Anomaly @ Flickr.com

General Info for Grow Home

Grow Home has very simplistic graphics and fairly clunky controls, but they fit quite nicely into the chosen aesthetic. You control a robot that has been sent down to an unnamed planet in order to grow a giant star plant high enough to harvest the star seed and take it back to Earth. Your task is to climb up the star plant and ‘activate’ the smaller stems that come off the main trunk. Once activated you can steer the stems to connect with glowing floating rocks around the plant that then feed the giant plant energy and make it grow (hence, Grow Home).

The game involves a lot of climbing, although you are equipped with a jetpack that you can gain more and more energy for by collecting power crystals as you explore the floating islands. There are also side objectives you can fulfil as well, such as scanning the life forms you find and collecting the data. The other significant gameplay point is the use of teleporters. During the intro sequence, a ship drops you to the planet’s surface. At the same time, it also drops teleportation pads that land at various points on the ascent so that if you miscalculate a jump and fall all the way back to the bottom, you can teleport to a higher point and continue what you were doing.

Grow Home screenshot
It’s honestly hard to find an ugly screenshot of this game.
Creative commons license by Skint Anomaly @ Flickr.com

Gameplay for Grow Home

The controls are sadly fairly awkward to get the hang of; the character moves in a very puppet-like way, swaying wildly in any direction it walks. The climbing is also a little tedious when using a mouse, as the left and right mouse buttons control the character’s hands and are used to grab onto things. There is also a lot of climbing involved. Most tasks involve climbing, grabbing, dragging and flying or gliding; little else is more complicated than that.

There is no death penalty in Grow Home either. If you do fall and are not able to save yourself with one of the three flight or slow fall methods available, you simply re-spawn in the teleporter closest to the place you died. If you do and explore everything in the game it will probably take up about 15 hours of your time, although a straight run through to the ‘end’ can be done in much less if you need to kill a couple of hours.

Grow Home screenshot
Soooooaring… Flyyyyyying… Oh God, what have I become?
Creative commons license by Skint Anomaly @ Flickr.com

How Does Grow Home Run?

I found the game to be a little laggy and it stutters in places when played on a low-end laptop, but it’s certainly not unplayable. If your hardware is lacking then you should still be able to get along fine, although you’ll have to deal with a few minor noticeable issues.

Conclusion

I loved playing Grow Home and will definitely be revisiting it. The game costs £5.99 (or your regional equivalent) and often goes on sale fairly regularly if that’s still a little steep. Fun fact, it has a lower price-per-hour ratio than some of the previous games I’ve covered on here, but it is extremely enjoyable and a worthy addition to your library.

 

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