#526 Grow

Posted: 4th June 2012 by Mulholland in Games
Tags: , , ,

152nd played so far

Genre: Puzzle
Platform: Internet
Year of Release: 2002
Developer: Eyezmaze
Publisher: Self-Published

Right, so when we look at The Path we did so to include an independant title after a series of rather commercial titles… today’s game was chosen because we were sat watching a recorded episode of Dirk Gently and figured it wasn’t gripping enough for complete viewing.

So together we decided to play a number of the Grow titles (for there are many) but for the sake of this blog we are going for the original.

Our Thoughts

Since the idea was to play a game to completion (or 5 hours) this game was actually a rather brief one to do. Between the two of us (and the game giving us a new hint every few goes) we were able to get full marks in a decent amount of time. In fact, based on the previously mentioned episode (and, of course, past experience), I’d say about half an hour.

So what is Grow? The instructions are simple enough, you are presented with a red sphere and a number of objects. The end goal of the game is to place these objects in the right order in order to level them all up the maximum number of times. Some (e.g. the TV screen) need only a few turns whereas things like the ladder and egg need a while longer. However, it is not a simple ordering game in that respect since different orderings can lead to different outcomes. If you place the tornado (or cyclone) too early then a cloud can not form over the mountain. If you do not place the yellow ball early enough then you can’t get the vampire chicken.

Because the game gives you such instant feedback, both through the graphics and nice animations, as well as things happening regardless of whether you’re doing things the right way – sometimes through clues, sometimes by things going completely wrong, and sometimes by doing something completely irrelevant to the final solution. There are often different options – in fact, one of the other games in the series has two different outcomes, depending on what solution you go for – the proper (weird) one, or the daily ‘go to work’ solution. All of that combined gives the game a great ‘just one more go’ appeal (as I’m currently experiencing with the excellent Grow Cube) that’s hard to rival considering its simplicity.

Part of this appeal also comes from the graphics. Yeah, they’re simple and handdrawn – don’t forget this is 2002 – but they work well, by being simple enough to appeal and the cartoonyness ties into the strange setting of the whole game. This isn’t realistic, it doesn’t look it, it’s just good fun. The options also all work well together, considering the amount of options available for a game (math geeks: 10! )

As a game this works well in this age of ‘pick up and play’ where Peggle and Drop7 reign supreme. It really is a nice little Flash-based time waster as are the many sequels found on the same site.

Final Thoughts

Yeah, I know this isn’t a blockbuster spend weeks on it type of game – not that many games are. However, this is a really fun and challenging diversion (not difficult, just challenging) that can be enjoy as a flash game, for free. Worth playing, you won’t regret it.

All Grow games can be found on the Eyezmaze website, where you can play the original Grow game (played here), as well as many other fun variations.