A few days ago, I received an email from Lisa Evans, the sole developer behind Growbot, a point & click adventure game, being responsible for all programming art and writing, with the music composed by Jessica Fichot.
Lisa’s background is in illustration for children’s books and even if she hadn’t told me, I would’ve guessed it from the wonderful character and scenery art. Not only is it beautifully detailed, telling as much of a story as the characters and journals do, but it has a paper-like quality, as if it had all been lifted from a lovely story book.
Growbot tells the story of Nara, a young Growbot making her way to a nearby space station, one of the many protecting the Growbot asteroid home. She’s there to train for her captaincy, which includes the knowledge on how to maintain the flowers that power the stations.
Unfortunately for Nara, there won’t be a chance to study as a crystalline force, literally made of crystals, suddenly invades the station, piercing through its walls and sending all systems into disarray. Now it’s up to Nara to restore not only the station but even other Growbots, the invasion knocking them offline or trapping them into the darkest recesses of their minds.
Lisa was kind enough to send me a preview build of Growbot and I have to say I had a lot of fun with this small segment of the game, exploring and collecting items and using the different plants to generate sounds to overcome shields. When I heard the first note, I groaned, because rhythm games and musical puzzles are not my strong suit, yet the interface is so simple that even I managed to make it through.
The world of Growbot is straight out of a bedtime story you might tell your children. It has a likeable hero and a wonderful world, filled with colour and joy but with its hints of darkness, just to make it all more interesting. There is so much depth to these little stations and their gardener Growbots, so much to discover. The in-game guide fills in the blanks but it only fills as you progress and meet new characters.
In the short time I played Growbot, it left me wanting more and I was invested in the hero and her world. I wanted to discover the truth behind the crystals and see the journey to its end, no matter how many musical puzzles I had to go through.
As of right now, Growbot still doesn’t have a release date, but I’m willing to wait for as long as necessary to see what else Lisa Evans has in store for us.
Though I really like what I played through, I’d like to see puzzles with a greater complexity in the final Growbot release, perhaps logic ones instead of inventory, or multipart musical puzzles, where each successful composition unlocks more notes or a shield that needs three musical keys. And yes, that’s coming from the guy with no musical sense whatsoever.
You can go to Steam right now and add Growbot to your wishlist as I have. Also, check out the video of my preview build playthrough.