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Grow Home Review

Grow Home Trainer
 CHEATfactor Game Review by:  Joe Sinicki Reviewed on: PC 
 

Welcome to our CHEATfactor Game Review of Grow Home. We review the game and then factor in how the available cheats affect the overall game experience. For better or worse, our reviews will help you decide whether or not to use cheats when playing the game.

Grow Home is a lot like it’s main character B.U.D. Short for Botanical Utility Droid, it’s charming fun and trips over it’s own feet more often than you’ll find amusing. For everything Ubisoft has done right with Grow Home (and there’s a lot), it all seems to be negated with intentionally clumsy controls and repetitive gameplay. I liked my time with Grow Home and recommend you give it a try, but I just couldn’t bring myself to love it.

 
...remarkably charming and a genuinely fun world...
Grow Home Review Screenshot
 

B.U.D. is in a bit of a jam at the start of Grow Home. He’s stranded on an unfamiliar planet and unable to get home unless he collects flora from star plants which will grow gigantic vines to new floating islands when you find enough of them. Yeah, it’s kind of a poor man’s version of Wall-E but it’s still remarkably charming and a genuinely fun world to explore. Grow Home’s worlds are visually simple with their blocky polygon images but at the same time it’s colorful and vibrant style is dynamic and colorful. It’s even a bit breathtaking when you get into the later portions of the game and start to look down from your giant beanstalk at the world below you.

A lot of the game’s personality comes from B.U.D. himself, and the developers have done a great job making him a dynamic main character you care about while still having him remain silent throughout the entire experience. There are no attacking aliens or big story twists here - this is clearly B.U.D.’s story and it’s handled well. What makes the character so unique is that every one of his animations is procedurally generated, so you won’t see any repeated canned animations here. B.U.D.’s legs are in a constant state of motion and it’s a lot of fun to watch him flail around, it’s sort of like watching a child who’s just learned to walk; they seem to know what they’re doing but momentum is not on their side.

The quirky control scheme comes with a catch though as B.U.D. can be a beast to control. In matter that’s sort of similar to games like I am Bread and Octodad, each of B.U.D.’s arms are independently controlled by the mouse buttons or triggers if you’re playing with a controller (which I highly recommend). Throughout much of the game it was a struggle to figure out how to pull the resources I needed while still keeping B.U.D. under control. I lost count of the amount of time that his legs would become tangled under himself and he’d fall over into a ball and need to reset himself. Don’t get me wrong, I get it, B.U.D. is a charming bumbling fool that I’m supposed to fall in love with, and I did - I just wish it wasn’t so hard for him to do even the most simple of tasks.

 
...a remarkable sense of accomplishment...
Grow Home Review Screenshot
 

Grow Home is not a long game, I was able to finish my first play through in just about three hours (subsequent play throughs lasted a bit longer because I took my time exploring) but it is a rewarding one. Every time I grew a beanstalk and rode it as high as I could there was a remarkable sense of accomplishment, though I’m not quite sure if that was because of the game or that I was finally starting to grasp the game’s controls, though I’m leaning towards the later. B.U.D. is a remarkably lovable character and I wanted him to succeed so each step in that direction felt great and sort of like helping out a friend. It also didn’t hurt that M.O.M., an onboard intelligence gave B.U.D. maternal praise nearly every time he did something right.

Unfortunately though that rewarding feeling proved to be a bit of a fleeting one as before I finished either of my playthroughs, I felt like I was just going through the motions with Grow Home, especially when I started to get the hang of the clunky controls. I often felt there was no payoff besides seeing B.U.D. happy, and while that was something that I wanted, it does’t make for great replay value in the long run.

Grow Home is less of a Disney quality experience, and more in the tone of something from Dreamworks or Universal animation - it’s fun and novel but nowhere near as memorable as it could have been. I liked my time with Grow Home a lot, I just did;’t love it, and with no real reason to go back once you’ve collected all the hidden crystals, it’ll likely be uninstalled before long. That being said, there’s a lot to like about Grow Home, especially if you’re looking for a quirky platformer that dares to stray away from the pack.

 
Overall:  6/10 Presentation: 7 Gameplay: 6 
Lasting Appeal: 6 CHEATfactor: 6 
 
 
CHEATfactor
 
CHEATS USED: Unlimited Parachute, Unlimited Jetpack, Unlock All Teleporters
 
Though I was hoping for some way to change the controls for Grow Home, I couldn’t help but love the jetpack and parachute cheats in the Grow Home trainer from Cheat Happens. Stumbling around and falling down because of the quirky controls can be tough, but it’s frustrating when it causes you to tumble down a beanstalk and these cheats make that easier.
 
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