But the give and take eventually got out of hand. The main reason for this was the selfishness of the inhabitants, who took advantage of the almost infinite power of the evergreen and did not take enough care of it. Thus the song of the ever tree broke and the alchemists were denied access to this sacred plant. The tree and the worlds it created began to die and were plagued by a cruel drought.
Instead of trying to save the tree and make the song sound again, people fled from the foot of the tree to far away worlds. Only we are retarded, a child who has the magical power to make the ever tree sound again. Always at our side are Alambik, the cob, and Diaria, the book. Thus our task is no less than to restore the retarded sapling to the tree it once was.
The possibility of character creation
Fortunately, it is also in Grow: Song of the Evertree possible to create your own character. We can give our alchemist a name, choose his gender and individualize his hairstyle and clothing. As proof Grow: Song of the Evertree goes with the times, I find one detail particularly interesting: there are three genders to choose from. Besides the classic assignments of male and female, there is also a non-binary gender option.
Since beards, as well as hairstyles and make-up can be combined completely freely with each other, the gender has actually rather less influence on the general gameplay. Only in dialogues it is noticeable. Unfortunately, it has to be said that the game has some problems with gender neutrality in dialogues, especially in the beginning. This means that at the beginning there is often jumping back and forth between the salutations he, she and xier. In the further course, however, this problem solves itself.
The gameplay of Grow: Song of the Evertree
The premise of the game is actually relatively easy to understand. We plant a new world on a branch of the evergreen tree and take care of it. The seed to create the world we make at the beginning of the game. To take care of the world we have to do gardening. For this purpose we have some basic, easy-to-use equipment at our disposal. We water plants that have not yet grown, cut the grass with a sickle, harvest fruit from various trees and remove weeds. The latter is an outgrowth of the drought and is always trying to invade our brave new world. Its dark, outwardly emanating color already hints at the malice in this undergrowth.
If we take good care of our first world, we will be able to grow more worlds – all with the power of the Song of the Evertree and the help of Alambik. Also, at the foot of the ever tree, a village settles again, which has been designed according to our own ideas. Designing the village is the second main element of the game.
You can also somewhat compare the gameplay with that of Animal Crossing: New Horizons, which I have also tested for you. We set the rhythm of the world; we decide where which house stands in our village; which commercial enterprises we build and who is allowed to live with us. We can even decide what profession each person is in. In other worlds we can also decide about fertility and crop failures.
A clearly structured game experience for young and old alike
When I try to describe gameplay, or more generally the game experience for Grow: Song of the Evertree to summarize, the words "unspectacular, but attractive in the long term" fit best. It’s a game you don’t have to play every day, but you can play it every day without getting bored. If you take a longer break, the game control and gameplay is so simple that you can get back into it without too much trouble.
Everything in the game seems to be designed to create a relaxing, and at times genuinely addictive, gaming experience. There is a daily cycle, the speed of which we can regulate via the settings. Especially on busy days this is very handy when time moves a little slower. In the evening of a day, when darkness falls over our world, we go to bed in our little hut.
A cozy adventure to take a breath
A special magic emanates from the coziness that is Grow: Song of the Evertree radiates. We are simply one with nature and can do and handle everything the way we want to. While there are a few things to do every day, there is never a compulsion to do anything.
If we ever get tired of working, we can just throw ourselves into exploring the world, cuddling with some animals, or maybe doing a little fishing. Finally, fishing is always a good option to clear your head. Especially in the darkness I can recommend you a walk through your village and the environment, because especially here the title plays out its strength graphically.
However, the vast world and the darkness has one disadvantage: it’s very easy to get lost. And at night we can’t call our faithful companion, who then gives us an overview of the world and takes us to the nearest fast travel point. Because in the night he sleeps and so we have no map available. There is no mini-map or independent quick travel function, unfortunately.
The in-game currency Moyra and various sidequests
And in our worlds there is always a lot to do. As already mentioned above, we have to keep our worlds clean by doing gardening work. In addition, we can collect Moyra, the life energy of the world, which also functions as an in-game currency.
With the in-game currency in combination with essences we can buy and place new houses and stores for our city. After all, you could say that we are the mayor and we want to make sure that our town grows and prospers.
Not only can we collect Moyra, we earn most of this currency by completing tasks. The tasks can be just about anything. Sometimes we have to look for or catch some animals, sometimes inhabitants want some items or it is just our daily tasks – taking care of the world.
It is very important not to ignore the tasks of the villagers for too long. Sure, we all know that there will always be days when there is too much work to also take care of squeamishness or sensitivities of inhabitants. However, if these remain unfulfilled in the long run, the inhabitants will leave our city again. After all, they don’t want to be unhappy in the long run and all their needs should be met.
All open tasks, whether main quests, sidequests or whatever, are stored in Diaria, a kind of living diary, and assigned to different categories. I also find the "Find tasks" function actually very interesting. For example, if we are busy with our daily tasks and just can’t figure out which task we still have to do, we can activate this function to help us out. It then shows us the approximate direction in which the unsolved task is located.
Grow: Song of the Evertree – What was that again about being an alchemist??
I must confess, I was most pleased with Grow: Song of the Evertree looking forward to being an achemist. And this is also my very biggest point of criticism, which kind of breaks the game. Because, in fact, there are almost no elements that really have to do with being an alchemist. We can’t brew potions, although there is a flask in our home, we can’t create items or the like through alchemy and also otherwise you somehow miss a deeper meaning behind collecting objects.
Sure, there are the essences. Objects collected by us can be converted into essences in our home, in the flask. We need them to construct more advanced buildings and to create world seeds. And yes… that’s actually it again. Kind of sad… really sad.
I also find it problematic with the essences that there is no filter function to pick out certain essences. In addition, there is also no reference book in which the individual items are recorded. So you can’t look up which material preferentially brings which essences. Quite annoying when you need to find or create a certain essence.
I also have to admit that the story of Grow: Song of the Evertree, but especially the storyline was not really convincing. After the birth of the first world, the story just dribbles along, nothing really happens. After we have finished the first result of our creation, it goes a little bit faster and there is finally some story, but somehow it was nothing half and nothing whole. Despite the interesting fragments, everything remains rather superficial. It’s difficult to describe, but I think you can see that the game just couldn’t really pick me up as a person.
A few words about the performance
Of course, in most cases, I can only review the Nintendo Switch version of a game, but I took the trouble to do a little research on this one in particular. Originally, the title was developed for the PC, which is also noticeable in many places.
Per se you can say that the performance on the Switch is not bad. There are some longer loading screens here and there, which is a bit annoying for my taste, but the game doesn’t jerk around much and I didn’t find any major glitches or bugs.
What I can say, though, is that the graphical resolution of the Nintendo Switch is nowhere near up to that of the PC. There are a lot of really nice, small details even in the background, which give the game something lovable and even addictive. You just want to see more because Grow: Song of the Evertree is just so beautiful, so colorful and so adorable.
On the Nintendo Switch, on the other hand, there is much less attention to detail to marvel at. Many textures look somehow less high quality and partly look really washed out. Also, the frame rate jumps back and forth quite a bit. So the port on the Switch can’t be called really successful, yet I’m clearly used to worse, for example from my favorite negative example Monster Harvest. All this does not mean that the game does not have beautiful graphics. Especially at night the light effects are just awesome and the colors can enchant you.
My conclusion on Grow: Song of the Evertree
- Pleasant, decelerated gameplay
- Easy to master gameplay
- Super nice soundtrack
- Many possibilities for occupation
- Constantly growing setting makes the title interesting even in the long run
- Not the best performance on the Nintendo Switch
- Partially strongly fluctuating frame rate
- Often quite long loading times
- Unsharp textures
- The story comes a bit too short
I’m still not quite sure what to make of the game. Grow: Song of the Evertree Has a lot of positive elements that I liked, such as the freedom to design the world, the many cute little animals, and the task variety. On the other hand, I also missed a really deep story and the alchemy existence was only scratched on the surface. I think that you won’t regret spending about 25 € for this game, but personally I would rather wait for an offer if you are not absolutely sure that you will like the game.
The review sample was provided to us by 505 Games. Thanks for this!
Born in 1997 I’m really happy to still be able to call myself a real 90s unique.
I was born and raised in Saarland, and I still live and work here. In my job as a chemical technical assistant, I have a lot to do with numbers and calculations, so gambling is a nice change for me.
My first console was an NES. I still own one today and love it idolatrously. Besides the NES, I have two Nintendo 3DS systems and of course a Nintendo Switch. Mostly I play Jump`n`Run and strategy games, but I am open to everything. What I don`t like are horror and action games, but of course there are exceptions. On the Switch, my current favorite game is Monsters 2, though I’m always up for a game of Overcooked 2 with my sister as well.