Following up 2015’s adorable experiment Grow Home, Ubisoft announces the open world sequel Grow Up which takes those core growth concepts to a higher level.
Considering the nature of the industry, Grow Home is a game that probably shouldn’t exist. It’s this small, beautiful concept — an experiment really — built from a team of 8 tenured developers who work within giant publisher Ubisoft. Somehow that team got Grow Home approved, somehow it turned into a great little game, and somehow it will now receive a much larger, yet conceptually stable sequel.
Today, during Ubisoft’s E3 2016 press conference, Grow Up was revealed along with the game’s debut gameplay trailer. Where Grow Home was this contained experience revolving around a single goal, to utilize the tools of protagonist BUD and this mysterious little world to reach a spaceship in the sky, Grow Up will open the goals up to the player’s will. Grow Up is an open world filled with many Star Plants to grow and build off of. Where to grow, is of course entirely up to BUD — and the player, naturally.
Rather than growing to one singular point like in Grow Home, Grow Up will spread pieces of BUD’s spaceship, MOM, across the world and well into space. The player will use BUD’s tools, including an all new glider (and friend) named POD, to explore and discover these lost ship pieces. BUD will even have to climb up to this planet’s moon, which will likely require a Metroid-esque number of upgrades and required events to manage. The world of Grow Up has many secrets to discover. Let’s hope Ubisoft gave that team of eight some extra help this time around!
As mentioned before, it’s rather a wonder that Grow Home and Grow Up exist at all. Somehow within Ubisoft, which considering the publisher’s dedication to proven methods of making money off of games is odd, this small team created something very endearing. Yes, the idea of a sequel is in itself somewhat exhausting, especially when the first words used to describe it are — “It’s bigger!” We like to hope, though, that if somehow Ubisoft can make Grow Home, it can also allow that spirit to flourish in a larger-scale development project like Grow Up.
Ubisoft itself may not realize just how special Grow Home and Grow Up are. The press release is filled with great bullet points like, “24 Distinct Plant Species” and “Lush, Fully Open World.” Yet it kinda feels like some of the developers within are winking and nudging each other, knowing they’ve somehow snuck this through the meat grinder. When BUD skins and Star Plant map packs hit Uplay, then we know things have gone wrong.
Grow Up is planned for release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC starting in August. Expect more details on the Grow Home sequel in the weeks ahead.