Give Grow: Song Of The Evertree A Chance And It Will Slowly Grow On You (First Impressions)

Grow: Song of the Evertree is an upcoming sandbox game by Prideful Sloth and published by 505 Games. It’s part garden-tending game, part town-builder ala Animal Crossing, and it’s totally wholesome.

We had the opportunity to try a few hours worth of Grow ahead of its full release. While it starts a bit slow, like its name, it’ll surely grow on you if you give it a chance.

In Grow, you are not a farmer, but an alchemist. The last of your kind to live down the roots of the Evertree, the world of Alaria has been corrupted by The Withering and it’s your task to get it back to its golden age by tending the tree, the Evertree, collect essence, and build back the town.

It’s a simple premise, and you will be reading a lot of jargon in the first two hours as the game explains the lore and world. It’s not anything too crazy- but it does feel like jargon overload at first.

But once the game starts rolling in full, Grow: Song Of The Evertree starts to blossom.

Every day, you have a finite time to do either two things- tend a garden or work on your town. The garden worlds start small and very corrupted, and so it’s your task to remove the weeds, cut grass, break down rocks and then plant new seeds, water them and give them a boost by the power of singing (you have magical singing powers).

It’s all mundane tasks, which is what you expect in these sorts of games, but it’s also not like real-life gardening. You do get to see a significant amount of supernatural growth right in front of your eyes, turning what was a barren land into a garden full of flora and fauna. Cute, colourful creatures will start to appear which you can give belly rubs and play with. Do enough and you can take a selfie with the adorable little bundles of fur.

Across a few in-game days, the garden world will grow even more green, and even open up new lands for you to put some tender love and care in. It’s more of the same tasks, but you also get to see the result of your handiwork from the previous days. If you are looking for that kind of satisfaction- seeing things grow and blossom- you’ll be right at home.

There’s also a town-building aspect. You’ll have to spend resources gained from tending the garden to fill the districts with buildings and townies. Visitors can come every day and if they find the place hip enough they can decide to move in. You get to place the buildings yourself, assign townies their home and workplace and do quests to satisfy their needs and keep them happy. You do get to talk to the townies and give gifts.

The alchemy bit comes from you extracting “essences” from items you pick up. Warm, cute, stinky and various other adjectives are your specific currencies needed to build certain buildings and decorations, on top of the normal currency called Myora. Items are usually dropped from the gardens you tend.

Grow has a pretty satisfying gameplay loop so far. Tend the gardens, help the townies. The gardens should be great for folks who love checkbox-ticking objectives to clear, and the town is where you get to express yourself in how you build and decorate it.

You’ll be introduced to all these systems slowly, and in this aspect it doesn’t feel overwhelming. The first few in-game days has something new being revealed and unlocked.

As for side activities, there’s plenty to sink in. There’s the obvious fishing mini-game, and there’s also bug-catching and collectable hunting. There are secrets to discover around the town area, that will open up over time as you continue to progress. There’s also a photo mode to mess about too.

How does Grow: Song Of The Evertree stacks up in the many sandbox life games out today? I personally haven’t much experience in this genre of games to make such comparisons.

But what I can say is that, in general, Grow has some interesting ideas and a good enough execution that fans of wholesome adventure games should put on their radar. No combat here, it’s just tending gardens and befriend people. And sometimes, that’s just all you want in a video game.

Grow: Song Of The Evertree will be out on November 16 for the PS4, PC (Steam), Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.

Preview based on PC version

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept