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Grow Home

In Grow Home you play as BUD (Botanical Utility Droid), a robot on a mission to save his home planet by harvesting the seeds of a giant alien plant. On his quest BUD will discover a beautiful world of floating islands that are home to some rather strange plants and animals. Grow the giant plant and use your unique climbing abilities to reach ever higher ground, but be careful…one wrong move and it’s a long way down! Key Features Climbing: Procedural animation allows you to move BUD's hands independently, creating a unique and unrestricted climbing experience. Growing: Guide and ride the giant alien plant as you create your own pathways in the sky. Everything you grow can be climbed on. Use it as a bridge, a safety net, or simply as a tool for artistic expression.
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Game Discussion

Review by Anonymous
Review from Steam

PERSONAL SCORE: 7.5/10

Category
Score


Gameplay
7.5/10


Graphic
7.5/10


Audio
7/10


Longevity
7/10

What I liked:
The slow pace and delicate atmosphere game has;
Easy and immediate, a very good pastime;
Searching for crystals is somewhat funny and challeging and never too much frustrating;
Polished cell shading graphic;
I really liked B.U.D. peculiar controls, which gave him great mobility;
What I didn't like:
Really didn't catch me in the first hour;
Sometimes carrying to teleporters certain animals or plants to analize them can be troublesome;
In certain places, camera view is not very efficent;
I lost myself two or three times not knowing what to do;
Few griding achievements that bored me;
RECOMMENDED TO WHOM: people who want an easy and light pastime, set in a delicate atmosphere. The game is very easy to complete and so are the achievements, despite few of them are too unjustifiably grindy for my liking. At first, controlling B.U.D. may seem difficult, but you’ll get used to it soon. Full price might bee too high, so I advice to get it on sale (even 20% is ok).

Review from Steam

The funny robot man climbs
10/10

Review from Steam

This is an exploration-based game that is quite relaxing and fun to play.
For the majority of the game, the main mechanic for traversing the terrain is climbing. By pressing the shoulder buttons in the controller, the robot "sticks" the corresponding hand to the nearest surface; hence to go uphill you have to alternate between pressing the left and right triggers. I found this action to be mechanically satisfying. It felt very immersive the fact that the game forces me to keep the button pressed to avoid falling while planning the next moves in the middle of the climb.
Since dying has pretty much no adverse consequences, the pacing of the game feels adequately relaxed.
The design of the Steam achievements is also interesting, because it made me engage with the game in a few ways that I would not have had tried. For example, using the leaves attached to the plant is a quick way to climb up the plant in the early-to-mid game; I only realized this because there's an achievement for jumping on 50 of those leaves.
The main issue I had with this game were that the controls felt a bit finicky. Grip was not perfect, so the robot would sometimes release whathever it was carrying, which was particularly annoying when I was trying to carry something to the teleporter. Moving the animals around was also difficult; thankfully they respawn once killed. The camera and the leaf controls were not synchronized. And the teleporter grabs things too strongly. In particular, leaving the teleporter always felt like trying to unstick myself from it, which was not satisfying...
A small note for Linux players: I had issues getting the controller working under the native version, but the game worked flawlessly under Proton.

Review from Steam

Not every game needs to be a 50+ hours epic adventure and Grow Home is living proof of that. An excellent, relaxing, endearing and often funny exploration game that'll serve as an excellent diversion from "gitting gud" in your more demanding games. Recommended.

Review from Steam

Probably the most chill 2 and a half hours I've ever spent in a videogame

Review from Steam

This is gaming bliss
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Whatever you do contributes to your adventure in a meaningful way.
You’re not barred from anything. If you think you can, you can do it in this game. That kind of freedom is something I’ve only found in Breath of Wild; and comparing this to that, Grow Home just allows for so much personal imprinting because you affect the environment.
A neat thing this game has is the big plant. You grab on to one of its buds and shoot off, building towards the floating islands and establishing more walkways and chances to sour.
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I love this game!
It doesn’t care what you do cuz there’s no time limit. “Do whatever” is what it tells me.
With how stressful life can be, this serves such a larger function than just being fun. It is my escape tool and I hope others can make it there’s too.

Review from Steam

In almost every facet, Grow Home feels like an indie title. Yet, this game actually comes from a small team at Ubisoft, a developer who I’ve grown pretty tired of over the years due to a series of bloated, formulaic releases which aim for quantity over quality. It makes me happy to report, then, that Grow Home is not only the antithesis of modern Ubisoft, but also a very unique platforming experience in terms of both mechanics and atmosphere.
The premise is simple; you play as a robot dropped onto an alien planet to grow a huge plant to its limit, climbing as it extends to reach some vital resources at the top. This is all the plot there is to speak of, placing the focus of this game on your journey up to the sky. Unlike most platformers which involve jumping between various surfaces to reach your goal, you will mostly traverse this game’s environment through a free-climbing system. You’ll begin by gripping one hand on a surface using a controller bumper, use the left stick to position your free hand, and then press the alternate bumper whilst letting go of the first bumper. This is a simple yet intuitive system that essentially allows for complete freedom with how you go about your climb, further contrasting from other titles which limit climbing to specific cliff protrusions. Whilst it took a short while to get the hang of it, adopting a consistent climbing rhythm felt very engaging, and reaching the next checkpoint of safety was always rewarding as I had to enact every little movement to make that happen.
The other mechanic that is required for progression involves controlling star shoots. These are placed consistently along the body of the plant which, when grabbed, will fire outwards whilst allowing you to control their movement. You can use them to curl around the main body of the plant, make passage to the local floating islands easier, or just create a crazy-looking plant and avoid the main objective altogether. I enjoyed creating shoots which went upwards initially but end relatively flat, providing extra platforms to break up the climb. How you use these shoots is ultimately your choice; their only essential purpose is to connect the main plant to islands with a light-green body which will give the plant the energy it needs to grow. The plant will eventually connect to two fully explorable large islands, and while you can completely avoid these if you so choose, there are interesting creatures, caves and collectibles to find within them that makes these detours worth taking.
There are also some optional tools that can help speed up the journey and reduce the risk of falling. Growing the plant will reveal many leaves you can bounce on, and the surrounding islands offer flower gliders that allow you to cross larger distances and correct for small climbing mistakes. By collecting a series of blue crystals hidden around the islands, you’ll unlock and upgrade a jetpack which is really fun to use, whilst not making climbing redundant due to its initial limited capacity. While the general procedure of reaching the top will be the same for everyone, the path you take and the tools you use to get there will be different per person, per playthrough; no two journeys will be the same.
The game is clearly intended to be a relaxing experience, with many design choices helping to achieve this. The game features no combat, with all creatures you come across being non-hostile, and no AI that will attempt to halt your climb. It is possible to die by falling a considerable distance, but death ultimately has little consequence, with a series of respawn points placed so that you’ll never be too far away from your point of failure. The soundtrack takes clear inspiration from ambient music, with a light collage of electronic sounds accompanying you through all parts of the world. This all occurs in a world with an art style that is partially inspired by Minecraft with the semi-blocky nature of all objects, but is also partially unique, with bright greens and blues dominating the surroundings, creating a very colourful environment in spite of the limited colour palette. All of these elements help to create an experience that is really serene, easily helping me to unwind after a stressful day.
The game is overall not very long, only taking about ninety minutes to two hours to reach the top, but a couple of extra optional objectives, the collectible crystals, and a varied set of achievements help to extend the value of this package. The game doesn’t want you to stress over checking every inch of the map to complete these tasks: useful hints provide a general sense of direction without an immediate solution, and once you collect enough crystals, a radar will appear when you are in close proximity of the remaining ones. This makes completing the activity quite enjoyable, and the unlimited capacity jetpack at the end certainly makes it rewarding. However, there are unfortunately a couple of achievements which are simply “do X thing for X time/distance”, the requirements of which you are unlikely to complete even if you finish up everything else before realising they’re the only things left. As a completionist, I found these to be very tedious, feeling out of place in a game that otherwise offers a very solid five hours of worthwhile content.
I played this game entirely on the Steam Deck, and I’m happy to report it worked pretty much perfectly out of the box, likely achieving a Verified status when Valve gets around to it. While the frame rate hovered around 30-40fps much of the time, this did not bother me as this isn’t an experience that needs high frame rates to feel good to play. It may be worth trying the Experimental compatibility layer however, as the game felt even smoother on that as opposed to the default compatibility layer which I used to complete the game initially. It is also worth noting that, if you are bothered by Ubisoft’s launcher, do not worry as this game does not require you to install it to play.
Overall, Grow Home is a hidden gem that approaches the platforming genre differently. Its commitment to relaxation and freedom is consistent, and it rarely outstays its welcome despite the simplicity of its mechanics. I look forward to checking out the sequel!
8/10 – Click here to see what my review scores mean!
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