Grow Song Of The Evertree Review 1

Grow: Song of the Evertree review — Gardener of worlds

Where are all of these people getting food anyway? I haven't seen anyone GROW a single crop!

Games about farming and relaxation are beloved, but they mostly follow two schools of thought: either they’re like old-school Harvest Moon, or they’re like Animal CrossingGrow: Song of the Evertree definitely reminds me of both of these franchises, but it also does a lot of things differently in quite creative ways. Whether you’re basking in the relaxing loveliness of taking care of one of your worlds or carefully decorating a section of the town as it populates, there’s plenty to like about what this game has to offer. Anyone fond of decoration and beautification will undoubtedly get the most out of it.

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Grow: Song of the Evertree opens with an exposition dump. The plot is familiar fantasy stuff. There’s this tree that’s a symbol of the wellness of a place and it’s been reduced to a fraction of its former power. There was a thing called The Song of Myora, which caused energy to flow, that shattered, which led to The Withering. Thus, the Evertree was plagued by corruption and so on. It’s usually called Yggdrasil, but we all know this song. You play as an alchemy apprentice who was left behind when people departed following The Withering. A chatty book and talking alchemic device have taken you in and taught you how to harness the power that can restore life.

 

Your goal is simple: to find MacGuffins by growing worlds and scouring ruins in order to bring the Evertree back to full power. As you’re making things better, people are also slowly trickling back, so it’s also up to you to build the town up and make sure your citizens are happy and cared for. It’s sort of like Animal Crossing mixed with Harvest Moon and Actraiser. We’re really checking off those boxes, aren’t we?

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Little by little

One of the main goals in Grow: Song of the Evertree is to build new worlds from world seeds. They’re not actual worlds, mind you, but more like pocket biomes. The first one is automatic, and you need to plant trees and plants, water them, remove obstructions, and protect the wildlife. Each world starts as a small area, but they grow much larger as you tend to them. You don’t cultivate the worlds indefinitely, though. They all hit a limit, at which point you can either keep them around or retire them to make room for more worlds.

As you grow things and tend the land, you get Myora and elements. Myora is your main currency, and is used to build certain structures or purchase items. Elements are used to build other structures and create more world seeds. There are a bunch of different elements, and you’ll want a steady stream of them. It’s kind of hard to gauge precisely what they are, as many have names like ‘abundance,’ but then there are ones like ‘smelly’ or ‘icey.’ You build a world seed out of 50 elements and your composition determines what sort of biome you’ll get.

For instance, you can make a desert biome if the dominant element is ‘parched.’ Different biomes have varying plants and critters, plus they’ll grant you even more elements you can use to make more diverse world seeds. Tending to the worlds themselves is relaxing, although it can get samey after a while. You’ll mostly be smashing obstructions with your hammer, planting seeds, watering things, and the like. You can also clear obstructions by paying creatures called Everkin with some Myora.

How much time you have in a day is finite, but there’s no rush aside from that. You’re encouraged to play Grow: Song of the Evertree at your own pace.

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And yet the town moves

The other half of Grow: Song of the Evertree is building up towns. As you progress through the story, you’ll unlock new districts. Each district has a stone at the center that gives you a set of goals to achieve 100% happiness. You start out by having creatures repair the airship docks. Soon, people will begin to visit and make the move. You’ll need to build homes and businesses using the elements obtained from your worlds to complete these goals and move forward. Whenever you’re in one of these districts, you can access the build menu and choose where to place structures.

After a day, things get built. You assign residents to homes and jobs, and the residents all go about their lives and occasionally provide you quests. These are honestly not great. Most residents just want bugs or facial hair. Obliging them often rewarded me with another pair of glasses I have no intention of ever wearing. All buildings can be customized, either with items that let you increase how many people can be assigned to them, or purely cosmetic things such as roof decorations.

You can even beautify the town by placing any number of decorations around the place. Trees, flower pots, posts, benches, there’s a good variety to the decorations. You also have a big book of goals to accomplish that reward you when you hit milestones. There’s quite a lot to Grow: Song of the Evertree. On top of everything else, each district has nature reserves where you can assign critters to live, or you can explore the whole area for treasure chests and secrets. The world is absolutely gorgeous and exploring it is charming.

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I’m ruined

Finally, you’ve got ruins, which are basically little puzzle dungeons. These are quite varied in terms of what exactly you have to do. There’s no fighting or anything, though, so you don’t need to worry about health. There aren’t any survival or energy meters, either. Grow: Song of the Evertree is mostly about relaxing and doing what you feel like. You can take care of one world at a time or make as many as you want and get to them when you get to them. You can decorate and add to your town as much as you want to, or you can only mess with it when the game forces you to. It’s all up to you.

The game really does have a good mixture of guidance and freedom. You do need to pay attention to story progress, though, as you won’t be able to unlock all the districts without doing so. But it doesn’t feel like a bother. Grow: Song of the Evertree is a lovely, relaxing time that will have a lot to offer to fans of quiet, gentle experiences that are more about calmly going about your day while accruing currencies and decorations. Some will undoubtedly find it a bit dull, but it’s probably not for them anyway. Regardless, I’m fascinated by how tiny the game’s install size is in spite of its prettiness. That’s quite the feat.

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Grow: Song of the Evertree
Gorgeous and relaxing, Grow: Song of the Evertree will strongly appeal to fans of games about gardening and enjoying the Zen qualities of nature.

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Author
Image of Andrew Farrell
Andrew Farrell
Andrew Farrell has an extreme hearing sensitivity called hyperacusis that keeps him away from all loud noises.  Please do not throw rocks at his window.  That is rude.  He loves action and rpg games, whether they be AAA or indie.  He does not like sports games unless the sport is BASEketball. He will not respond to Journey psych-outs.