Developer: Poio
Price: $1.99
Version Reviewed: 1.2.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★½
Controls Rating: ★★★★½
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Despite its mildly profane title and occasionally blue dialogue, Grow Dammit! is anything but crass. Instead, it is an elegant little game with a tight, clever design and a distinct, memorable art style. Its high level of polish can’t hide all the flaws but those do little to diminish the strengths.

The player’s job in Grow Dammit! is to reunite the space plant, Uncle Red, with his lost seedlings. Each level is a small planetoid and to gather the seedlings, players must help Uncle Red cover the surface with red matter until all are one. It’s like the red vines from War of the Worlds but less antagonistic. To spread matter at first, players rotate a small sun around the planet and shine its light in different directions to spread growth in different areas. However, just when players get used to straight lines and rock shadows, they are then forced to use clouds and their flowing rainfall to cause growth. In all, there are four different play styles each with their own fascinating twists on the core physics puzzle conceit. Sometimes it’s better to be patient with moves while other times it’s better to be quick and wary of limitations. For example, if players accidently activate one of the enemy slugs roaming around on most levels, a deadly black matter starts to spread. However, if players move fast, they can reach a seedling before death takes it.

Despite the obvious creativity, the touch controls can’t always keep up in the later levels as far as precision goes. Also, the game is pretty short and it saves most of its more interesting puzzles, like ones that combine several play styles, until the very end. Grow Dammit! is very good but it has a bit of unrealized potential.

What is wonderful here is the look of the game. Aside from the contrasting red seedlings, the game has a stark, black and white, noir look complete with film grain. It feels a little like World of Goo in its apparent love of more classical forms of entertainment. That also applies to its lovely soundtrack.

Grow Dammit! is a fresh little game with all kinds of new and challenging brain teasers to offer. It’s just damn good fun.


Posted in: iPad Games, Reviews

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