Grow Up is a fantastic game for two main reasons: This is coming from a team working within a major publisher and that the structure and gameplay is such a nice change of pace from what’s out there that it almost feels like an escape from the monotony of the mainstream releases.
Grow Up is the sequel to the surprisingly delightful Grow Home. In Grow Up, you play as a robot called Bud who crash lands on a planet with your ship, M.O.M. You must then traverse the planet, finding the parts of the ship and eventually rebuilding and leaving the planet. It’s a simple premise, one accompanied by charming visuals and music that draws you in with it’s rough edges and undeniable passion.
There is no combat in Grow Up, there’s no overarching narrative to pull you away from the world and there are no objective markers always taking up the screen. Instead, you explore, get accustomed to the game’s mechanics and consistently improve. Grow Up’s controls feels loose and intentionally so. You characters acts on momentum so coming off a jump moving in a direction will be met on landing with continued momentum which can be used in your favour or wrestled with to keep control.
It’s when you start getting some new abilities that all of it can be utilised to get around the planet quickly and effectively. There are plenty of things to find on the planet but that’s not the true enjoyment of Grow Up. You can find new plants and scan them which will then allow you to throw a seed on the ground which will then allow that plant to then grow. Some plants are tall and skill which will allow BUD to climb up to higher places while others will off other benefits like bouncing off them to get better height and to be launched into the air with momentum. None of these feels required to get around but they can definitely help you to get to really rough areas that may have some collectibles.
It’s by getting better at controlling BUD that makes this such a joy to play. At first, it may be slightly frustrating trying to climb even the simplest of rocks but after an hour or two, you will be harnessing all the intricacies to get around and enjoy some of the views.
Grow Up isn’t terribly long and you’ll likely reach the end in a couple of hours. This game acts as an excellent distraction from the bombastic, technical impressive showcases you’re likely to see over the next few months but it’s every bit as enjoyable. It’s not without its problems as I had times when BUD would get stuck in the world or something just didn’t work right but it never hinders your enjoyment. It’s a game that will make you smile, make you appreciate the mechanics at play and maybe, just maybe, make you fall in love with a little robot.