Past year Grow Home was a nice little surprise. It was the first game selected in “Vote to Play”, a non-regular PS+ feature where you can vote between three options which game you would want to be given in the service. It won but, in general, the decision wasn’t very well received. The other options were Arnello and Zombie Vikings. I think I voted another one, I found all three interesting and different between them, so I had no problem. Grow Home was a simple, visually (even if I really like it, some great vistas and colors) and from a gameplay point of view, but once you get used to controls (one of the main criticisms to the game, along the performance in PS4, partially solved with patches), you can enjoy it. The objective was to guide a robot (B.U.D.) back to his mothership (where central computer M.O.M. is, the guide during this journey), climbing from the surface of a planet. You had to make a Star Plant grow in order to achieve your objective that was the main gameplay mechanic. You also could add and improve B.U.D. abilities (energy, jetpack) by collecting some crystals you can find across the planet and the floating islands you find in your way up.
A year and a half after the original’s PC release, Ubi Soft Reflections has bring its sequel, Grow Up, simultaneously available in different platforms (PC, Xbox One and PS4). The game maintains original simple and colorful look (really like it), but improves with a more open design and refined gameplay. It’s probably because I played and finished the original, but since the very first moment I’ve found myself playing it comfortably and feeling that I was in control, even with B.U.D. procedural animations. I guess someone new to the saga will still found the movements a bit clunky. The story is similar, you’re travelling through space when you suffer an accident, ship is broken into pieces and you find yourself in a planet and you’ve to star climbing to recover all the pieces. This time, you have a new partner, P.O.D., which gives you aerial vistas that help you with objectives.
This time, scanning plants and animals is more meaningful (you can replicate plants that can help you) and the game also adds some challenges that unlock new B.U.D. skins when you complete them. Here, you can enjoy my first minutes with the game. If you enjoyed first game, I really recommend the game. It also has a good release price, around 10 € (8 € if you pre-ordered).