Ubisoft has dabbled with smaller, lower budget, almost-indie-like titles with some success. Child of Light was well received with critics, as was the quirky 3D platformer Grow Home. Grow Home’s charm struck a chord with players and reviewers alike, so much so that at E3 this year, Ubisoft Reflections treated us to the announcement of a direct sequel, Grow Up.
The game picks up right where its predecessor left off, but does not require you to have played the first game. Having finally reached M.O.M., the mother-ship with an affectionate acronym, you’ve set off into the stars. B.U.D., the infantile, clumsy and lovable star of the series, is perfectly content repeatedly losing tic-tac-toe to the maternal ship AI until an asteroid storm breaks up M.O.M. and scatters her pieces across an unfamiliar planet.
And so the hunt begins. Through the use of the planet’s natural flora – which you can collect to plant at your leisure – and a number of upgrades littered about the place, you circumnavigate the open world with the clumsy, stumbling juvenile robot, collecting pieces of the ship and sending them to the moon for reassembly.Grow Up builds upon the first tremendously. For starters, the world is far more expansive. Whilst there is still an emphasis on verticality – growing starplants is necessary to reach the upper atmosphere – constant climbing is not the central objective of the game. Instead of endlessly scaling up and growing something reminiscent of a beanstalk, there’s a whole world to explore. Granted, you can probably orbit it within a few minutes, but the increased scope of the game is commendable.