Grow Home was something of a sleeper hit, coming out of nowhere from Ubisoft and offering a loving homage to the old school 3D platformers of the N64 and Playstation era. The publishers of the Assassin’s Creed series are no strangers to sequels, so a year on its time for Grow Up, which takes the concept of the original game and looks to expand it with a bigger world, more challenges, and plenty of collectables.
Grow up -a fun game that retains the charm of Grow Home
While the first game was about helping your robot, B.U.D., traverse the world vertically to get back to his orbiting spaceship, Grow Up sees the same ship scattered across an entire planet, meaning that you’ll need to head in every direction to piece it back together. On paper, the sequel is a larger game, but in reality there are so many new tools and pick ups available from the off, getting from place to place is a breeze this time around.
Plants can be scanned and added to your inventory, after which you can grow them at will. Most of these act as organic ladders or trampolines, propelling you higher and further with ease, removing much of the slow climbing grunt work of the original game. While it’s still there, you’re so tooled up now that the times you’re actually required to haul yourself up a rock face are few and far between. Even in the early game, you’ll have plenty of ways to reach your goals, including a parachute (unlimited this time around), and a hang glider.
Because of this ease of getting around, the total story play time is on a par with the original game, around 4 hours, despite having much more to do. The start of the first game was a bit of a slog, as you slowly improved your abilities, so it’s nice to cut straight to the chase in the sequel, but don’t go into Grow Up expecting a much bigger game.
When you’ve finished the story mode, there are more collectables to mop up (if that’s your thing), and a new mode, which offers 40 spots across the world where you’ll have to complete timed challenges, rewarding you with new costumes.
Once again, controlling B.U.D. can feel a bit like directing a drunk at times, as his limbs flail about without much coordination, but it’s all part of the experience. You can also roll up into a ball now, Metroid style, and speed across the landscape. The only time the controls are an issue is during the timed challenges, where you’ll crave a bit more precision as your robot merrily spirals away from the goal you’re trying to reach, with seconds left on the clock.
Grow Up retains the original game’s charm, and has it in spades. Helping your robot pal around the world is still fun, and the local wildlife and your new buddy POD, who helps you spot collectables and ship parts, all ooze a lovable Pixar-esque appeal. It’s a fun game at its core and a surprisingly relaxing experience as you climb higher and further. Yes, it’s more of the same, but with the original game being a short experience, there will be plenty of people out there with room for seconds.
HT: The Independent