Game: Grow on the Go
Genre: Casual, Simulation, Gardening, Indie
System: Steam (Windows and SteamDeck)
Developer | Publisher: Pixel Drip Games
Controller Support: No
Price: US $3.99 | UK £3.39 | EU € 3,99
Release Date: May 8th, 2023
Review code used with many thanks to Pixel Drip Games
As you might have gathered, I’m a big fan of gardening games. This stems from the time in my life when I loved gardening. This was before I got discouraged with the battle against the weeds and before my body started protesting to get on my knees in the dirt. Video games about gardening give me the same good feeling, without having to get my hands dirty.
Lately, some good games have been released by indie developers. Grow on the Go landed in the Steam shop in May. Let’s see if it scratches the gardening itch.
Fill Your Plant Shop
In Grow on the Go, you manage your own little storefront to make customers happy with a potted plant to their wishes.
You start out with a few unknown seeds and nondescript pots, and the fun starts with discovering what kind of plants you can grow. Select a seed and a pot, and the pot will automatically appear on your grow mat. Water it (filling in its water meter) and wait for the plant to bloom. When it does, you can use the camera to take a picture. When it’s the first time photographing it, it’ll unlock the plant in your catalogue.
Managing the Store
After you’ve grown it once, you can also grow it to sell to a customer. That’s where the management part of Grow on the Go starts. You choose which order you can fill, try to find the plant and pot that best matches their wishes and grow it. This plant will have a label attached, and as soon as the label turns green, the plant is fully grown, and you can put it on the sell shelf. Where it disappears into a puff of smoke, and your coins come in.
The trick is to try and make the most profit. So finding orders that suit your plant shop best. Customers can ask for a plant that needs a lot of attention, or a lot of water, or one that has a certain size. And they can have a preference for a simple pot or a more elaborate one. The closer you can get to their wishes, the more stars you earn. But sometimes, for the price customers are willing to pay, you can only go for the cheapest plant and pot; otherwise, you’ll even lose money.
There are several goals to meet, with which you can earn Leafs. As soon as you have enough, you can unlock a new region. Your little storefront changes slightly, as does the view from your little counter.
Your first one, the Boardwalk, will stay in stasis for your return, and you then choose a region that has different conditions and different plants to grow. Like in the tropical region, I chose next. It also means you can buy devices to help plants that aren’t really suited to the climate cope.
Graphics and Sound
The gameplay of Grow on the Go is calm, cute and relaxing. Notice in the short clip below how the plant, once it blooms, waves at the camera when you take a picture.
The pictures get a subscript too. That is fun.
The background tune is not intrusive but fitting to the relaxing gameplay. The graphics are clean and colourful. There are a couple of screen bugs that need addressing. Like how the text overlaps in the example below and how the text of the customer’s wishes doesn’t fit in the frame.
The developer has proved since release that he is ironing out the kinks, so I’m hopeful this will be addressed in one of the next updates.
Since its release, Grow on the Go has been updated to fit the Steam Deck as well, and it works well on the device. Though manoeuvring the mouse can be a bit finicky. If you want to play it on SteamDeck, you have to change a setting:
Go to the game, but before starting, choose settings. Go to properties —> Compatibility—> check Force the use of a specific Steam Play compatibility tool. You get a drop-down for Proton compatibility, choose any as this is irrelevant.
Furthermore, there is no cloud save, so both the game on the Deck and in Steam (if you play on the PC as well) run separately.
Grow on the Go is a good addition to the gardening games out there. It focuses on managing your shop, growing plants in several different regions of the world and finding new varieties like shiny plants and out-of-the-ordinary colours.
Some small bugs need ironing out, but for the price, this is a lovely gardening game. Look at the world from your storefront window, and make your customers happy while surrounded by your green cute friends.
Final Verdict: I Like it a Lot