Meet Nara. Nara is a growbot, headed to a station to learn… well… growbot things. Unfortunately, a disaster happens shortly after arriving, and Nara has to explore the station to try to find and save the captain and crew, and hopefully save the day at the same time.
First, Growbot is a gorgeous game. With vibrant colours, cute details, flowers everywhere, and a beautiful soundtrack to back it all up, it’s a lovely little world to get lost in and explore. I love point and click games because they are often so beautifully atmospheric and calm, no matter what the storyline has in store for you.
It’s good that Growbot is so stunning and adorable, because its storyline is rather absent – you get small snippets at best, but not much is tied together and I spent a good amount of time just moving forward without fully understanding what was happening beyond the very basic objectives and plot points.
Additionally, the puzzles are hit or miss for me. Some of them were really enjoyable – the color puzzle and spending light sprites home were some of my favourites. Others were a little tedious and confusing – in particular I didn’t enjoy the last puzzle of the game, which just felt tiring and unnecessary. I did love the movement and interface, including the separation of items between left and right side, based on their purpose. The few item-based puzzles were understandable to work through and made sense, while still maintaining a bit of puzzling.
I think your enjoyment of Growbot will depend on which type of point and click player you are. Do you prioritize a fully-fleshed out storyline and top-notch puzzles? Or do you prioritize being able to get lost in a magical, beautiful environment? Personally, I’m the latter, and that’s what made Growbot so enjoyable despite the few downsides. Growbot’s charm is in its characters, art, and atmosphere. It feels like playing through some kind of strange, space-age fairytale, with new discoveries waiting around every corner.
The creatures you’ll come across throughout your adventures are sweet and fantastical, from giant fuzzy galaxy-holders to small dragons trying to make their way through dangerous waters. It’s impossible to not feel good as you continue to meet and help the residents of Nara’s new home and see their reactions to your puzzle-solving prowess.
In the end, I probably wouldn’t list Growbot as a must-play, but I think its world is fantastic and worth getting lost in if you’re after a magical adventure that might occasionally require a quick peek at a walkthrough, or a little bit of tedious maze-exploring.
Order Up! is a weekly column featuring indie-focused reviews, news, or interviews! We like old games just as much as new ones and are always looking for something to check out. Have a game recommendation, a project, or a company you want to talk about? Email me at [email protected] or find me on Twitter @ArcanaChance