Reflection, an Ubisoft division brings us Grow Home, a weird but relaxing mix of platform climbing and 3D exploration with a simple mission: to save our planet.
We manage BUD, a Botanical Utility Droid. We have been thrown from space and landed on an alien world. What’s the plot? Well, we can’t go back to our planet unless we literaly grow home. There is a huge alien plant that we will need to feed and make it grow, and it will lead our path to home. How do we feed an alien plant you may ask: By sticking it’s huge roots to flotant islands. Neat.
2000 meters up is our home and we will have to feed a huge plant if we want to get out of there. We will explore everything from the bottom island surrounded by the ocean, all the way up to space. In between, we will have several biomes: huge caves, jungles, waterfalls, you name it.
Unfortunately, the main mission is just that. If we decide to rush it, the game will offer 2 hours max.
If you decide to go achievement hunting and exploration, Grow Home won’t disappoint you. Each cave, island and biomes hold different secrets for us to discover. While in the beginning we will only have our bare hands to climb mountains, we will find flowers to use as parachutes, catapults, and even a gliding leaf.
The title rewards you for exploration with an easy way to traverse our vertical way up. Which is good, because even the day and night won’t change the wild life which means the world usually feels static and scripted.
If this is not enough, we will be able to also power up our friendly toon. There are a few milestones that will provide us with power ups, such as a wider view, a huge zoom and even a Jet Pack that will save us from several fatal falls.
Oh, there is also lack of enemies. You won’t fight anything. Our biggest fear we will to fall or to step on a carnivorous plant trap, but even if that happens we will quickly respawn in a teleport, which servers for both checkpoints and research.
This checkpoints stations gives us the possibility to scan any kind of object we can grab. Doing that, MUM, a mother spaceship and only entity that interacts with us, will give us information of what kind of thing we are throwing around. That’s it. Think about our research center as a lack of features Pokedex.
Unfortunately, the game doesn’t offer more than that. With simple graphics and a nice music that will relax and invite us to explore this unknown world, we won’t have more than 9 hours of exploration, max. The world is static and fixed being our own clunky movements the only procedural or random thing in Grow Home. We won’t have multiplayer, coop, nothing. The lack of replay is huge.
But still, the experience is new and fresh and is a title to get if you are one of those who loves to explore.