Room to Grow (PC) Review

By Athanasios 06.03.2021

Review for Room to Grow on PC

Puzzle aficionados have almost certainly played Sokoban, or one of its thousands of copycats and variations, where the goal is to push certain objects (usually boxes) in the correct spot, with the tiny level size and overall structure acting as your enemy. As for Snake, everyone has played it, whether that's a hardcore gamer, or your 70-year-old grandma. Why are these two classics mentioned here? Well, it's because Room to Grow combines those two, in a bundle of puzzles that will keep you entertained for quite some time.

Cactuses can endure intense heat, prolonged periods of drought, and can fill potential enemies with lots of sharp and painful thorns. This cactus, or, to be more precise, this cute cactus, can actually extend its body, move all around the place, and travel through forests and frozen landscapes. Room to Grow is essentially a puzzler that plays a lot like the classic Snake, with its green hero getting larger with each additional step it makes, which in essence restricts its movement in the current map, and makes its goal even harder. What is its goal, again? "Why, nothing that complex," said this critic ironically, as he tried to push a small cactus down its hole for the 50th time in a row.

This is basically a game of Sokoban, where, instead of crates, small cacti are pushed inside black holes in the ground. The rules are simple, but as is customary in the genre, you don't need a long list of mechanics to offer something challenging. As one moves from level to level, the puzzles get progressively harder, with some of the riddles available able to put anyone's skills to the test. On the other hand, however, the difficulty curve here is probably the smoothest ever conceived, with each subsequent map being just a tiny bit tougher than what came before, slowly introducing new ways to deal with new problems. The only problem? Maybe the difficulty curve shouldn't be so freaking smooth.

Screenshot for Room to Grow on PC

There are many levels that will crush your spirit in Room to Grow , but it will take you some time to reach them. Super-casual players, or complete genre beginners won't have a problem, but those experienced enough will get bored pretty soon. There's a 'Skip Level' button, but for some weird reason this can't be done in the level selection map, which means that if you need to go straight to the tougher regions, you have to enter a stage, skip it, and repeat the process all over again for as many times as it's required. In other words, since the developer doesn't penalize players for skipping maps, maybe movement in the map should be completely free.

All these put aside, Room to Grow is a darn fine puzzler, that's pretty entertaining despite its slow pace. It looks good too, with simple, yet appealing visuals, with everything having a clean, and vibrantly coloured look. There are lots of puzzles to solve, too, with each area having a secondary set of levels, which are much, much harder. All is fine? No. For starters, this is one of those titles that is a much better fit in the library of a handheld the likes of the Nintendo Switch, or, due to its super-simple-to-use control scheme, of a smartphone or tablet. It's a great game to pick up and play every now and then, but not something that most will spend time on while sitting in front of their PCs - but maybe that's personal taste speaking.

A more serious problem is Room to Grow's hesitation to add more than just a few new tricks to spice things up. In the first chapter, the Forest, for instance, the majority of levels rely on pushing the whole body of the snak… err, the cactus in a specific direction, by bumping into a certain kind of rock. It takes a large number of levels to reach the "Snow" chapter, where the cactus can finally get to experience a couple of new challenges… and nothing else for lots, and lots of stages. Generally, this is kind of weak when it comes to variety, and as a result, will only be enjoyed by those who don't mind playing tons of well-designed, but otherwise same-y puzzles.

Screenshot for Room to Grow on PC

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

Room to Grow is probably one of those titles that don't do anything wrong… but aren't really that great. Sure, simplicity can work wonders, and in the world of puzzle games that has happened many times. Not here, unfortunately, as the progression is extremely slow, as if this is afraid of frightening players, with the few mechanics available being handed to you in an equally slow pace. Is Mischka Kamener's creation bad because of these issues? Far from it. As long as you don't mind NOT being fed with new stuff to remain interested, this is a neat assortment of smart puzzles, that will take some time to be completed, pro or not.

Developer

Mischka Kamener

Publisher

Mischka Kamener

Genre

Puzzle

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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