REVIEW : Growbot (PC)
Today we have to analyze a new graphic adventure, a type of game that we already know is experiencing a second youth thanks to new indie developers who refuse to let this genre die. We bring you Growbot, a magical adventure developed by Wabisabi Play with distribution by Application Systems Heidelberg that premieres exclusively on PC after more than 7 years of development. We move to a space colony with our peculiar robotic protagonist.
In Growbot we put ourselves in the skin – or carcass – of Nara, an alien robot who lives in a space station full of living nature and whose mission is simply to complete the maintenance tasks that have been entrusted to them. One day, the space station begins to receive an attack from a mysterious enemy that causes most of the elements to be frozen inside crystals. Seeing herself alone and not knowing who to turn to, Nara will have to travel the space station to find a solution to the problem and return everything to normal.
The whole plot has an innocent appearance of a children’s story all aspects of the game exude that essence, so much so that a children’s book could be written based on this title perfectly. But this does not mean that it is exclusively for children, sometimes we will see how it touches issues a little more adults that perhaps only the older ones will be able to appreciate, sometimes even becoming disturbing or overwhelming although we do not have to worry about this aspect, it is not The general trend is not even one of those games that appear to be one thing and then become another, it is a particular children’s title and it stays that way throughout the game.
As we have already mentioned, we are facing a somewhat atypical graphical adventure, because although its mechanics are the same as those that abound in this type of game – collecting objects, combining them, using them in the right place, etc … -, it has some novelties that bring some freshness to the genre.
We are facing a game in which mainly puzzles are going to abound, and not exactly a few they end up forming the main core of the game. These range from the usual puzzle of sliding the boxes to form a figure to mazes or mathematical operations. Most of them are easily solved, but I admit that in some or other I have been stuck for a long time to find the solution due to the number of steps they require or the instructions are not entirely clear.
But perhaps the most distinctive item is the shield maker, which also represents a puzzle in its own right. Throughout the game, we will find closed doors with mysterious artefacts – energy shields – and we will have to create a countermeasure to be able to circumvent them. Each of these shields has a sequence of distinctive sounds that we must replicate to open them and we will do this by collecting flowers. Each type of flower has a characteristic sound and what we will have to do is place them in the different boxes of our tool in the correct order so that it sounds the same as if we were playing the classic Simon.
By putting a defect in the game, there are times when it is easy to feel lost due to the theme of the game itself. We are facing a world taken from the most imaginative imagination possible and this means that the use of objects is not always logical to us as they are not everyday and realistic. If in any game we find a stick, a rag and oil next to the campfire we know what to do with them and how to combine them, but if in Growbot we find a holocube, a space caterpillar and a helmet with lights, in principle we have no idea of what each thing is for or it’s equivalent in the real world, so we will not always know what to do with them. Luckily the game does not make us carry a huge list of things in the inventory and we will have no problem using trial and error between what little we have and the interactive objects on the stage.
Let’s talk about the graphic section, which is undoubtedly the most groundbreaking and wonderful aspect of the game. The captures speak for themselves, we are facing a totally beautiful game in which each frame is a work of art, it is a playable storybook. These illustrations are the work of the British Lisa Evans, a renowned illustrator of children’s stories who already has experience in this subject some characters and elements of the game are very similar to those of her independent works, giving a more sense of being a game inspired by the world of the illustrator herself rather than a commissioned job. Throughout the game, his ecological message is constantly repeated, giving great importance to nature, animals and plants.
The soundtrack is also on the same level, with a careful selection of melancholic and relaxing piano melodies composed by Jessica Fichot that will turn our adventure into something very pleasant. We will not have voices of any kind except sound effects in their place, although we will find texts in Spanish to understand the story.