Growbot is a charming new point-and-click adventure, where you play as a small robot trying to figure out why her home is under attack. There are puzzles, discovery, and adventure in this gorgeous-looking new adventure.
In Growbot you play as Nara, a growbot in training who is looking to become captain of her ship. The environment is very floral, and you’re based on a space station filled with weird and wonderful characters to talk to as well as puzzles to solve. Unfortunately, your space station is under attack by a strange crystalline force, and it’s up to Nara to find out what’s going on and ultimately save the day.
Growbot is a classic point-and-click adventure game, where you direct Nara around the screen with a click of the mouse, and the pointer is contextual, so you can interact with the environment, find items and combine them together to solve puzzles. The UI layout is nice and simple, not cluttering things up at all, and leaving you plenty of room to see what’s going on at all times. You have a small inventory, where you can store items and combine things together, but overall its got a very clean feeling, which supports the gorgeous illustration found in the game.
The key to the game is to wander around the environments, speak to all the characters, collect items and then solve puzzles to progress. It very much follows the footsteps of the point-and-click formula, without deviating too much. The differentiator with Growbot is the stunning visuals, which are presented in a hand-drawn illustrated style. It’s like a children’s book has come alive and reminded me of the fantastical worlds created by Enid Blyton. Hats off to the designer/developer, it’s absolutely stunning.
A nice little feature included in using the space bar to highlight all interactable objects in a room. Sometimes in games like this, you can get stuck into a dead end or corner, but this highlight feature really keeps things nice and simple. Overall in Growbot the puzzles aren’t too tricky, which keeps the story flowing at a good pace. I never felt stuck or confused, I felt like the game explained clearly what I had to do next and I never felt frustrated.
In the world of Growbot you are on a Space Station that’s being protected by 6 ships. These ships together form a shield to protect the main station in the middle, and Nara wants to become a captain of one of these ships. The shields that protect the main space station are powered by flowers and each flower has its own music note, something which you’ll need to be in tune with as this helps solve puzzles. I really enjoyed the flower puzzle-solving mechanic, it was a neat touch and makes the game stand out from the crowd.
You’ll have to craft shields within flower arrangers to open locks, which often hide key items that you need to progress. You have to find the flowers, learn their notes and then work with the flower arrangers to solve the riddles. It’s a neat mechanic, and something best experienced.
There’s a good variety of puzzles in growbot, from your standard finding items and combining them with the right trigger in the environment, plus the musical puzzles and also there’s a maze puzzle too, which I found the most tricky. The developer has catered for those who aren’t great at puzzles by providing a hint system, which is a nice touch, especially when you want to get through the story.
The thing I fell in love with from the first moment with Growbot is the graphics. Wabisabi Games, the main developer behind the game, clearly has a great background in illustration, and this shows in Growbot. The characters are intricate, and the environment designs are rich and full of character. This also helps with the world-building in relation to the NPCs, you feel empathy towards the character because of the detail on their faces. The audio works well with the illustration, it’s not too heavy, keeps you moving, and offers a pleasant partnership with the visual design. Overall it’s a feast for the eyes and the ears.
Growbot is an entertaining point-and-click adventure, with a touching story, beautifully crafted characters in an imaginative world. The visual design and the sound combined often reminded me of something like the Moomins, it’s a game that manages to connect to that inner child-like wonder. The game isn’t super long, and I was entertained throughout. If you are a fan of the point-and-click genre, then I’d give it a go.
Developer: Wabisabi Games
Publisher: Application Systems Heidelberg
Release Date: October 2021