Last year, Ubisoft published a charming little game called Grow Home on PlayStation 4 and PC. Just over a year later they’re bringing back the cute with Grow Up! I’ll preface this review by saying I never played Grow Home, it was never available on Xbox One so I have nothing to compare Grow Up to. I will be reviewing it as a stand alone game.
The game took a little getting used to, but once I did I was hooked. Picking up where Grow Home left off, we start as B.U.D., an adorable little robot on a mission to find all the broken bits of M.O.M. and promptly get them back to the moon. This game is just genuine, down to earth fun. The atmosphere is oozing with charm from the plant life down to the little insect buddies.
The controls take a little bit to master, they are really unique and once I had them down pat I had a blast roaming the vast world as B.U.D. Speaking of vast, the world of Grow Up is surprisingly huge. By the time I got up high and really got to take in the beauty of the world I realized just what I got myself into. Seeing the curvature of the earth is really neat too and does add a lot to the game.
This game has a really cute sense of humor. Obviously it’s aimed at children, but I’m basically just a big child so I can appreciate it. The little quips from P.O.D. (your helpful companion) detailing the different flora and fauna of the world are adorable and really fit in this cute aesthetic environment. Staying on the topic of environment, I really love the art style they went for with this game. It fits the kid-friendly adorable feel of the game. The progressive shadows that occur due to plant’s moving or from clouds work great for the most time as well.
Unfortunately this game is not perfect. The cute little insect dudes aren’t the only bugs in the game. The climbing can glitch out causing grabs to just no grab resulting in B.U.D. falling a good way down. Lots and LOTS of clipping. Things going through other things is a common sight in this game. While riding a growing starplant limb it’ll just decide to go through one of the many other plant limbs, most of the time knocking B.U.D. off in the process.
The animation needs a bit more work as well. While running, B.U.D.’s head will momentarily stick out of his butt due to the animation freaking out. The movement is really floaty, takes the fun out of it when you stumble after a big jump and end up tumbling off a very high island all the way back down to the ground. Running has its issues as well, running and then trying to stop immediately just isn’t going to happen. I fell off many a cliff trying to get used to the floaty physics.
The map can be a pain to use. Trying to find a specific point of interest or item can take a while as you have to zoom in and out everywhere due to how many structural levels this game has. Lastly the camera freaks out way too much! Especially when riding the starplants. Once the plant is finished growing, the camera will flip around and turn frantically trying to center B.U.D. on screen.
This game is too much fun not to at least try. It’s only $10 USD, definitely worth it when the main mission of just finding the parts of M.O.M. will easily eat up 5+ hours. After that there’s all of the other collectibles, abilities, and P.O.D. challenges to find, collect and complete. This game is especially great if you, like myself, have a younger sibling or family member. They will glue their eyes to the screen. A good way to keep them quiet for a bit! The game is charming as heck, has a wonderful art style, and is packed to the brim (for a $10 game) with things to do. If this sounds like your kind of thing then what are you waiting for…Grow Up!